Ask the Herb Lady BURP!!! What Can I Do For Digestive Gas?

With Cathy Burkemper


Q:        I seem to have a lot of gas and belching after every meal.  I am 52 years old and in great health.  I’ve tried antacids, but they only seem to work temporarily.  Any suggestions?


A:        Do not take an antacid.  They do exactly what their name suggests – neutralize the stomach acid.  They offer no therapeutic benefit, just symptomatic relief.  The natural approach would be to stimulate digestion.  Our stomachs are supposed to be acid.  This is how we break down our proteins and turn them into amino acids.  Most of us start to lose our stomach acid by age 40.  If we don’t have enough acid to digest our food, the result is foul intestinal gas and sour belching.  There are several things you can try:


  • Use peppermint oil.  Tap one drop into water, or lick off the back of your hand.  Do not put the oil directly onto your tongue, as it may burn.  The peppermint oil stimulates the production of digestive juices and enzymes to get the food moving through the system.  It also helps reduce stomach gas.
  • Don’t drink beverages with your meals.  This will dilute your stomach acid further.  If you must have a beverage with your meal, make it water.  Be sure to add a lemon or lime to increase the acidity.
  • If heartburn is your problem, slippery elm works great.  Mix the powder with water to make a dough and eat.  This will give you quicker relief than by taking the capsules, unless you take them 15-20 minutes prior to your meal.
  • Digestive enzymes taken before meals can start the chemistry in your stomach to break down the food before it gets there.  Always take them before meals.  There are different enzymes to break down different types of food, such as proteins, fats, dairy, etc.  If in doubt as to which enzyme to take, there are “all around” enzymes which break down fat, protein, dairy, etc.
  • Apple cider vinegar can supplement stomach acid.  Take either one tablespoon or one capsule prior to meals.


You may want to discuss this with your health care professional to see which remedy would be best for your particular case.


This herb information is for health education purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners.  Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.


Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins?  Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist.  Write to:  Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO  63011.