We’ve all been there: You scarf down a delicious dinner only to be hit with abdominal discomfort—as well as the noises and fumes that come along with it. Aside from eating certain foods (hello, beans!), gas can also be caused by how fast you eat that food and how stressed you are in your day-to-day life. The good news is that there are quite a few natural remedies you can try to nip a case of the farts in the bud.
Sip Peppermint Tea…
“Peppermint tea is very effective for gas-related problems,” says Shinas Hussain, M.D., general practitioner with ICliniq. That’s because peppermint tea contains menthol, which can aid in digestion as well, says Hussain. Try brewing a cup and drinking it either 30 minutes before you eat or with your meal.
…Or Add Peppermint Oil Capsules to Your Routine
Tea isn’t your only option for the minty goodness: Try peppermint oil capsules. “A supplement can help to relax your gut, preventing that uncomfortable gassy buildup,” says Brooke Alpert, R.D., founder of B Nutritious and author of The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Look Years Younger. Just make sure they’re enteric coated to reduce your chances of dealing with any heartburn, and take one 30 minutes to an hour before eating, she says.
Guzzle Plenty of H2O
Do you often forget to refill your water bottle throughout the day? It’s time to start upping your agua intake—especially if you get gassy on the reg. “Water is important for pushing foods through your digestive system,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., founder of Better Than Dieting. She recommends drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day.
Get Your Ohm On
You know how you feel super-relaxed after yoga class? Well, that’s not this exercise’s only benefit. It turns out certain yoga poses are actually good for your gut. If you’re gassy, practice your cat/cow pose, recommends Alpert. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, making sure to engage your core. Round your back and exhale as you tuck your chin for ‘cat’ pose. Then, arch your back and inhale as you turn your face upward for ‘cow’ pose.
Since this progression works your core muscles, it may help move food through and relieve some of your gas. “This yoga stretch helps activate the lower belly and get things flowing,” says Alpert.
Try a Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium is a beloved mineral in the health and wellness world for many reasons—one being that it can help curb gassiness. “Magnesium plays an important role in muscle contraction and may help with GI tract function, preventing and relieving gas buildup,” says Arielle Levitan, M.D., author of The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health. Levitan recommends taking a magnesium supplement up to two times a day with meals.
Related: Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?
Down a Glass of Dill Water
Dill is definitely our favorite salmon seasoning—but did you know it has gas-fighting powers? “Dill contains essential oils that calm the stomach,” says Erin Stair, M.D., founder of Blooming Wellness and author of Food and Mood: Eating Your Way Out of Depression. Dill water (a.k.a. “gripe water”) has been used for years as a homeopathic treatment for babies with tummy troubles.
You can try it, too. Just boil 1 tablespoon of dill seeds in approximately 200 milliliters of water, let it cool, and sip throughout the day or 30 minutes before eating, says Stair.
Pop a Digestive Enzyme Supplement
Rachel Carlton Abrams, M.D., board-certified family and integrative medicine physician and author of Discovering Your Body’s Intelligence for Lifelong Health and Healing suggests taking a digestive enzyme before eating foods that tend to gas you up. A digestive enzyme can help you break these foods down—and hopefully avoid the usual ballooning and tooting.
Make Activated Charcoal Your BFF
The charcoal trend really is everywhere. “Activated charcoal is a very porous substance that attracts toxins throughout the gastrointestinal tract,” says Lahana Vigliano, holistic nutritionist and founder of Thrival Nutrition. Try taking activated charcoal after eating. (Just don’t take activated charcoal with meds, says Vigliano, since it can decrease their effectiveness.)
Go for a Walk
So you inhaled your lunch at your desk, and now you’re worried your co-workers can hear what’s going on inside your stomach. Consider this your excuse to take a break and step away from your desk. “Just moving your body can be stimulating and help air move through your system,” in turn helping to dissipate gas, says Alpert.
Chew on Ginger
Ginger is commonly used to help ease digestive issues—including gas—because of its soothing properties. “Ginger chews are perfect for once-in-a-while gas,” says Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor of medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. To make your own, all you have to do is boil slices of ginger root to soften them, and coat them in sugar. “They taste great, have a slightly spicy kick to them, and often help pretty quickly,” says Sonpal.
Chronic gas, though, may be a sign of a more serious gastrointestinal issue, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or lactose intolerance, so if you’re gassy on the regular, head to your doc.
According to the Mayo Clinic, more than three days of abdominal discomfort in a three-month period may be a sign of IBS, while gas, cramping, or bloating a half hour to two hours after noshing on dairy may indicate lactose intolerance.