We wish there was a one-size-fits-all cure for stomach bloating, but the reality is you're more likely to try a whole host of remedies before finding the one that works for you. While I've personally had success with activated charcoal supplements, fenugreek, a medicinal herb, has been used to treat bloating, constipation, and stomach inflammation for centuries. In fact, the first recorded use of fenugreek dates back to ancient Egypt in 1500 B.C.
"In ayurvedic traditions, it's used to enhance digestion, prevent stomach disorders, and as an antibacterial when treating respiratory issues," writes Nicole Rice, a doula and Ayurvedic educator and cook, for Mindbodygreen. "In short, this is your go-to stomach herb!" For the uninitiated, Ayurveda is the ancient Hindu system of medicine that is based on the idea that the body and the mind are inextricably connected. Herbs are revered in Ayurveda, and are used to treat countless physical and mental ailments.
Fenugreek, in particular, has been used to fight inflammation on the inside and outside of the body for decades. The herb "works to treat digestion and is often incorporated in an ulcerative colitis diet treatment plan due to its anti-inflammatory effects," explains Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, in addition to treating inflammatory conditions like mouth ulcers, boils, bronchitis, tuberculosis, coughs, cancer, kidney issues, and more. Externally, Fenugreek can be heated and used as a sort of paste to treat inflammatory conditions like pain and swelling in the muscles and lymph nodes, gout, wounds, leg ulcers, dandruff, and eczema.
While fenugreek seeds have a bitter taste, similar to celery, maple syrup, or burnt sugar, they taste far better when cooked. As The Kitchn writes, you can either toast them over the stove, steep them in boiling water, or crush them into a powdered spice. The herb is most commonly used in curry powder or tea, but you can also sprinkle the seeds or powder over yogurt, cooked greens, or a sauce. Fresh fenugreek leaves can also be added to salads.
Head over to Mindbodygreen for more on this ancient herb, and shop fenugreek seeds below.