Are you looking for some belly-flattening herbs to add to your diet? If a bloated belly is getting in your way of having a flat stomach, you don't have to give up hope. A bloated belly isn’t something you have to live with every day. There are strategies you can employ and herbs you can take advantage of that can help reduce inflammation, improve your gut health and get rid of belly bloat.
In this article, we're exploring 7 belly-flattening herbs that will act quickly and help you get rid of the bloat, feel more comfortable and look your best.
The first herb on our list is marshmallow root. This belly-flattening herb acts like a soft fibre that swells when it comes in contact with water and helps to get things moving along in your digestive tract. Marshmallow root has a diuretic effect when consumed, meaning it helps the body get rid of excess fluid, which aids in reducing bloat (1).
It's been used to treat various digestive issues that can contribute to bloating, including constipation, acid reflux, heartburn and diarrhoea. It also creates a coat on your stomach lining. Some studies show that marshmallow root can help to heal and repair your gut lining, which is crucial for gut health and reducing bloating in general (2).
Aquamin is a belly-flattening herb derived from a type of seaweed that is found and grown off the coast of Iceland. It contains more than 72 trace minerals that offer various health benefits, including magnesium, iron and calcium, which is why it's used in many health supplements (3).
It has a neutral taste and is also quite easy for the body to digest and absorb. It can help reduce inflammation in the gut, thereby ameliorating your bloat. It banishes inflammation by inhibiting the activation of the signalling pathway known as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) (4)(5).
Aquamin is also a good source of fibre and a mineral prebiotic, so it helps the good bacteria that support gut health to grow.
The magnesium content of Aquamin plays a role in enzyme activity. Enzymes help break down your food and improve digestion, which can then reduce bloat. In fact, a magnesium deficiency has been widely associated with bloating and other gut health problems like constipation.
Lemon balm is another belly-flattening herb you can add to your shopping list. It's a member of the mint family that’s often used to reduce bloating and gas, as well as other digestive problems like constipation (6)(7)(8).
It has a soothing and calming effect on the body, which can improve digestion. One study found that taking 600 mg of lemon balm before being exposed to psychological stressors helped to improve participants’ moods and made them feel calmer (9). When stressed, your digestive system suffers. This happens because, when you’re in the fight-or-flight response, your body will actually divert blood away from your digestive system to your limbs to help you fight or run, even if you’re just being stressed out by your emails. This means there’s less blood available to help you with digestion.
Lemon balm can help you stay calm and relaxed, and ensure your body stays focused on your digestion when it needs to.
In a small study, researchers found that people who ate lemon balm sorbet after meals reduced their indigestion symptoms (10).
While having it in a sorbet form is one option, you can also have it as a tea or a tincture, use it in savoury dishes when cooking and take it in capsule form.
Liquorice root is not only used to flavour liquorice candy but is also used as a medical treatment, which many people don't know. In fact, it's been used as an anti-inflammatory medicine since Ancient China (11). It can help reduce gut inflammation, acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion and an upset stomach, thereby reducing bloating and having a belly-flattening effect (12). The main compound in liquorice root that gives it its anti-inflammatory properties is glycyrrhizin (13), which also gives liquorice its sweet taste.
Glycyrrhizin also has antimicrobial properties, so it can help reduce any bad bacteria in your gut that contribute to bloating. As with most things in life, be careful not to consume too much. Ingesting too much glycyrrhizin is also associated with negative effects like high blood pressure, heart failure, fluid retention and electrolyte imbalance. 1–10 mg of glycyrrhizin a day is considered a safe dose (14).
You can have liquorice root as a tea or tincture, get it in capsule form, or consume it as a liquid.
Sipping on some chamomile tea can do wonders for a bloated belly. It's often used to treat nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, gas, ulcers and indigestion (15).
Chamomile tea has a calming effect on the mind and body. Few people realise just how much being relaxed can improve your digestion, reduce bloat, and flatten the belly (16). As discussed earlier, when stressed, digesting your food properly will probably not be your body's main priority. Chamomile tea can help you reduce stress, therefore improving digestive problems—like bloating—and helping you get your flat belly back.
More research is needed to confirm the digestive benefits of chamomile, but if you go by anecdotal evidence alone, this herb has helped many with their digestive woes.
Fennel has been used to improve digestion in Ayurvedic medicine for a very long time. It is often consumed as tea around mealtimes to aid digestion, which is similar to liquorice tea.
While Ayurvedic practitioners may not have been able to explain exactly what gives fennel its bloat-busting powers back in the day, we now know that fennel aids digestion by reducing gas, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating (17). It may even help prevent ulcers, which then reduces your risk of bloating (18).
Reducing constipation alone can help banish your bloat. A study on nursing-home residents showed that one serving of herbal tea containing fennel seeds a day helped to increase the average bowel movements of participants by four over 28 days (19). More studies need to be done on fennel tea to confirm the benefits for digestion and bloating.
Turmeric is arguably one of the most well-known anti-inflammatory ingredients and it has shown to improve digestion by reducing bloating and gas, and by reducing indigestion (20)(21)(22). You can add it to your food, have it as a tea and even get it in supplement form. What gives turmeric its anti-inflammatory powers is the plant compound known as curcumin.
Curcumin can also increase bile production in the gallbladder. Bile helps to break fats down into fatty acids and aids digestion (23). One thing to keep in mind is the bioavailability of curcumin. If you pair curcumin with piperine, a compound found in black pepper, it dramatically increases the absorption of curcumin (24).
While anecdotal evidence suggests that turmeric may help with heartburn because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, more research is needed to confirm.
Now, if your belly is constantly inflated and nothing of what you try helps, don’t lose hope. We have combined all the properties of these herbs together with digestive enzymes to help you automate your digestion and put an end to your bloat, gas, and pain—in under 29 minutes. Get your Bloat Banisher and regain the quality of life you lost!