Flatulence (Adhyamaan)
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Introduction

 

Passing gas or passing wind is considered to be one of the most embarrassing acts that a person can commit in public. However, sometimes the urge becomes so strong that the person cannot control and becomes a laughingstock. Passing gas is actually a perfectly normal bodily function, but in some cases its severity becomes so high that it can be termed as a disease. About 30 to 40% of all people worldwide suffer from problems with flatulence. A survey would show otherwise because most people with gas problems would refrain from speaking about it in public, even with their own physicians owing to embarrassment.

A proper diet is indeed the best way to get rid of this embarrassing tight-spot.

Definition of Gas/Flatulence (Adhyamaan)

 

Adhyamaan is the Sanskrit word for flatulence. A flatulent person feels the urge to pass wind repeatedly. The gas expelled by the person could be noiseless and odorless, or it could be noisy and with an offensive odor. The gas that is expelled during adhyamaan is called as a flatus. In slang English, the act of passing wind is called as ‘farting’, though this word could be considered offensive in some circles, as much as the act itself.

Flatulence is a normal physical activity and happens in every person, especially after a heavy meal. Hence, the medical term flatulence is applied to only those people who suffer extremely from this condition, i.e. they have no control on their biological urges of passing wind.

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Causes of Gas/Flatulence (Adhyamaan)

Ayurveda has a fantastic explanation for adhyamaan. According to Ayurvedic beliefs, adhyamaan is caused due to abnormal agni in a person. Agni means fire, and in Ayurvedic language, a person with normal agni is a healthy person and a person with abnormal agni is an unhealthy person.

Sometimes the agni of a person is vitiated. This can happen due to the following causes:-

  • Distortion of the intelligence of the person, i.e. prajnaparadha;
  • Wrong coordination of sense organs and their objects, i.e. asatmyendriyartha samayoga and
  • Vagaries of weather and time, i.e. kaala parinama.

Any of these three can impair the pitta dosha of the person. This vitiation of the pitta dosha is called as the amala pitta. This is the chief causative agent of all digestive problems with the human system, including adhyamaan or flatulence.

In medical terms, flatulence is caused due to the inability of digesting all the food that is consumed by the person. The food that remains undigested is passed on to the colon. Here the fermentation of the leftover carbohydrates is carried out by the colonic bacteria, which leads to the formation of intestinal gas.

People also swallow air directly during different activities that they perform. Whenever you eat or drink anything, you also take in a fair amount of air. This air passes out as wind. Generally such air that passes out is odorless and noiseless.

Some foods contain more gas producing capacity than others. Beans are notorious in this aspect. The complex sugars contained in the beans are not digestible by the intestines. The undigested part passes out as wind throughout the day.

There are many people who are lactose intolerant. These people cannot digest the lactose sugars in milk and other milk products. Hence the undigested lactose accumulates in the person’s stomach as gas, along with other problems such as bloating of the stomach, cramps and even diarrhea.

Many medicinal drugs are the cause of flatulence. Antibiotics like narcotics, calcium channel blockers, etc. can cause flatulence in the person.

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Symptoms of Gas/Flatulence (Adhyamaan)

A healthy human being passes wind about eight to twenty times a day. Hence, just passing wind a couple of times a day is not called flatulence. Flatulence is the term given to excessive passing wind and therefore sometimes it is also called excessive flatulence.

The symptoms to diagnose flatulence or excessive flatulence are as follows:-

There is a repeated and uncontrollable urge to pass wind.

The urge is felt at the anus. The nerve endings of the anal tract are specialized to understand the signal.

In flatulence, the urge can be so strong that the person could get confused between the signal for passing wind and for defecation. Hence there could be accidental defecation sometimes.

The wind passed by flatulent people has traces of methane in it due to undigested food. Due to this, the gas passed is foul-smelling.

When the wind is to get expelled, pressure is built up over the anal sphincter. This causes the wind to vibrate the anus, leading to noisy discharges.

The person could have either diarrhea or constipation.

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Complications from Flatulence (Adhyamaan)

Flatulence is an embarrassing condition. A person who breaks wind in public is generally ridiculed and even shunned in social circles. This is perhaps the most drastic complication caused by flatulence.

Medically, flatulence can be the external symptom of some deep-rooted gastric or intestinal disorder. If the problem arises repeatedly, then a detailed medical investigation is required. Some people have pains with flatulence. These pains could be either in the abdomen or in the anal tract. Such pains need to be checked for ulcers, piles or tumors.

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Prevention of Gas/Flatulence (Adhyamaan)

Flatulence or Excessive Flatulence can be prevented by adhering to the following guidelines:-

Avoid foods that cause flatulence. See the following list of foods that cause flatulence:-

    - Beans

    - Brans and whole grain cereals

    - Eggs

    - Fatty foods

    - Fermented foods such as breads, dosas and cakes

    - Fried foods

    - Fruits like apples, grapes and bananas

    - Meat with high fat content

    - Milk and milk products

    - Potatoes

    - Prunes such as jujube fruit

    - Pulses like black gram and Bengal gram

    - Sauces, chutneys and gravies.

Chew the food properly before ingesting. Starchy foods are mostly digested during chewing itself. If taken into the body un-chewed, then they will remain undigested and cause gas problems.

Do not slurp on your hot drinks like tea and coffee. Slurping takes air inside along with the drink. This extra air passes out as gas.

Similarly, do not use straws for drinking. With straws, you have to build in suction pressure by sucking in air.

Say a complete no to all aerated drinks. Aerated drinks contain carbon dioxide, which passes out as gas. In fact some people use sodas as a remedy to eliminate gases after a heavy meal.

After a heavy meal, take a brisk walk or indulge in some other form of exercise. This will burn the calories and aid in digestion.

Do not eat rapidly. Eat with slow calculated bites so as to get the stomach well-acquainted with the foods that you are putting inside it.

Many medications, especially allopathic, cause flatulence. If you have a problem with flatulence, you should tell this to your physician before he or she prescribes an antibiotic for some ailment.

Keep your stress levels down. Overworking the brain reduces the blood supply to the digestive system and slows down digestion.

If you have dentures, check that they are properly fitting. This is to ensure that you can masticate (chew) your food properly before ingesting.

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Diet for Gas/Flatulence (Adhyamaan)

The right diet in the right balance is the best way to reduce the problem of flatulence. The following steps are to be noted:-

Avoid all foods that cause flatulence. Refer to the above list.

However, it is unhealthy to avoid all flatulence-causing foods at one go. Eliminate them one by one, so that you do get the nutrients of the other foods.

Drinking a lot of water helps. Water can convert the gas toxins in the form of liquid toxins. This helps in the removal of the excess gas in the form of urination and perspiration rather than gas.

Putting a drop of peppermint extract in the water you drink helps to reduce the offensive odor of the flatus.

Do not eat to the extent of fullness. A full stomach will find it difficult to digest the foods.

If the problem is very severe, then you must eat little amounts several times a day, to give your digestive system proper time for digestion.

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Ayurvedic Treatment and Remedies for Gas/Flatulence (Adhyamaan)

In Ayurveda, there is a three-fold treatment method for the problem of adhyamaan. The three principles involved are:-

  • Deepana , i.e. treatment by the use of carminatives;
  • Paachana , i.e. treatment by the use of digestives and
  • Vaatanulomana , i.e. treatment by the use of gas-expellers.

Carminatives are substances that have antispasmodic properties to treat cramps within the abdomen. This reduces the pain during flatulence. Digestives break down the complex foodstuffs to simpler molecules leading to better digestion. Gas-expellers help in expelling the gas rapidly and in voluminous amounts in one go, which normalizes the problem of flatulence for some time.

There are a large number of herbs ascribed in Ayurveda with curative properties for flatulence. Below is a list of such herbs with their action of the human body.

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body

Ajamoda

Apium graveolens

Celery

Ajamoda has a powerful carminative property. The oil extracted from the seeds of the ajamoda reduces spasms in the digestive tract.

Ajwain

Carum copticum

Bishop’s Weed

Ajwain is a wonderful carminative. It is one of the prime remedies Ayurveda doctors prescribe for curing flatulence.

Bahera

Terminalia bellerica

Belleric Myrobalan

Bahera is a digestive. It helps in the proper movement of food within the stomach and the bowels.

Dalchini

Cinnamomum verum

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a carminative. A few seeds of cinnamon drunk along with water reduces the offensive odor of the flatus.

Dhania

Coriandum sativum

Coriander

Coriander contains a chemical linoloom, which aids in gastric secretion. Coriander can be used as a gas-expeller.

Elaichi

Elettaria cardamomum

Cardamom

Water or menthol extract of cardamom reduces gastric discharges. It also reduces the offensive odor of the flatus.

Haldi

Curcuma longa

Turmeric

Turmeric is used for its stomachic properties.

Harad

Terminalia chebula

Chebulic Myrobalan

Harad is a good carminative. It also has laxative and stomachic properties that aid digestion.

Kala jeera

Carum carvi

Caraway

Caraway gives an oil on steam distillation known as carvone. Carvone has good carminative properties.

Lavanga

Syzygium aromaticum

Clove

Clove helps in reducing the offensive odor of the flatus.

Methi

Trigonella foenum-graecum

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is an antispasmodic carminative. It helps in easy expulsion of the flatus.

Rusmari

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary

Rosemary is a carminative and stomachic.

Saunf

Foeniculum vulgare

Fennel

Fennel is a stomachic. It aids in digestion and also creates a cooling effect in the stomach. Indians consume saunf traditionally after every meal. It acts as a mouth freshener as well as aids in digestion.

Sowa

Anethum graveolens

Indian Dill

Indian dill is an excellent carminative. This action is due to the presence of carvone in its mericarp.

Sunthi

Zingiber officinale

Ginger

Ginger is an anti-carminative. It stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and facilitates digestion.

Vacha

Acorus calamus

Sweet Flag, Calamus

Calamus is an excellent carminative. It aids in better digestion and cures flatulence.

Zafran or Kesar

Crocus sativus

Saffron

Saffron is used as a stomachic especially in children as it is mild.

Some Ayurvedic preparations that have been proven effective in treating the condition of flatulence are:-

  • Agastya Rasayana
  • Pancha Sakara Choorna
  • Abhayadi Modaka
  • Madhu Yashtayadi Choorna

All these preparations need to be taken under expert prescription and supervision.

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Post Your Comments

Comment Script

Comments

WOW...JUST LOVED THIS PAGE!
THANK YOU FOR THE HARD WORK IN PREPARING THIS EXCELENT INFORMATION...IT HAS HELPED ME REGAIN MY LIFE. GOD BLESS! CC :)
#1 - CC - 09/16/2009 - 04:40
very useful,just chewing one of the ingredient ,helps me to solve my stomach disturbance,thank you
#2 - indira - 12/06/2009 - 06:04
thank you very much for this highly informative notes. It made me to understand this situation better.
#3 - jit - 03/01/2010 - 12:08
thank your expert advice, i hv really u/stood why my stomach is bloating and i feel suffocation. thank you very much.
#4 - unni krishnan.b - 03/16/2010 - 07:53
Thank you for not suggesting going to see my doctor (who cause me more problems with their desire to use new drugs to please the pharmaceutical industry - and make them rich!) and for the useful list of easily obtainable remedies which I will be trying out
#5 - Pat - 04/12/2010 - 06:17
It is really simple and informative which is useful.
#6 - ramesh babu - 07/06/2010 - 13:06
I have been on oxygen 24/7 for 12 years. I also have apnea and use nose pillows- 13,000 HOURS so far-
I wake up with a nasty sore throat so the Dr. told my to try distilled water in a humidfier that hitches through my apnea machine ( and includes my oxygen).The first three nights I had HORRID flatulence. Could there be a connection? Those same three days I also had Mozarella Cheese (which I've never had before) three times. Years ago I was told I was lactoce intolerant aso I don't drink milk though I can eat ice cream with no problem.THX
#7 - carocare - 07/11/2010 - 19:35
This highly researched presentation has helped me to undestand the nitty critty of flatulence. This problem has been a source of great concerns to me often and I have often times been, as tonight, woken up at night to nurse its pains. Now I understand it better. Thank you.
#8 - Udo - 07/25/2010 - 20:50
Pls tell me the remedy for headache due to flatulence..I get severe headaches.If i take zintac or any othr medicine for gas relief, the enxt day the traces of gas will be there. Also pain in entire body. I m damn tired of this ailment. Pls advise. For your info, I m taking a medicine for prolactin levels. I don't ahve a child. Maybe this cabergolin medine is causing this problem.

Pls help
#9 - j[@]i - 03/09/2011 - 23:53
Thanks for the help informations about flatulence but my question is-how can i take these herbs mentioned in your discussion and prepare them for usage e.g what do i do with the clove? thank you again for your answer.
#10 - concern - 03/23/2011 - 11:20
let us know the ayurvedic asav for gas trouble because i am suffering this trouble.
#11 - surendra upadhyay - 06/22/2011 - 05:50
Is drop drop urinating in kid caused to flatuence as he was admitted in hospital for gastro and now he is 8years old but from 2 days in the night has this problem when he goes to urinate there is no flow as usually but drop drop so has to go two three times WHICH IS FRUSTATING AND DISTURBS THE SLEEP
#12 - nisha - 08/21/2011 - 20:23
KEEP IT UP
#13 - Josh - 08/29/2011 - 06:52
is halal food free from p[@]ing gas?
#14 - malaydog - 12/13/2011 - 06:58
Best explantion for a non medical person on web
#15 - Kiritvvora - 01/13/2012 - 06:04
I HAVE IBS SO ALL THIS INFORAMATION WAS VERY HELPFUL!!
#16 - LISA - 01/16/2012 - 15:26
Thanks it was interesting to read and to find out about harmfuland helpful foods etc.
#17 - JT - 03/21/2012 - 01:00
Yes, using a cpap adds gas to your digestive system many people suffer from being g[@]y and bloated upon awakening. I suggest a longer moring ritual, and walking helps move things through the digestive track.
#18 - brett usa - 06/15/2012 - 17:17
There is a mistake in the article. Methane is odorless, it is other gases that generate the smell such as methanethiol, hydrogen sulfide or dimethyl sulfide.
#19 - Wolfy - 07/20/2012 - 15:56
I suffer with excessive flatulance which even keeps me awake at night. This article was very helpful especially because natural remedies is suggested. I would like to use them but can you suggest what is the best way to have it. I feel helpless as to know what to eat & constantly have an urge in my stomach to either p[@] wind or defecate. Night time seems to be the worst.
#20 - Arnie - 08/07/2012 - 04:05
The write-up is very detailed and informative.
#21 - Sharma, Hyderabad - 08/15/2012 - 01:15
thank you for this advise.i hope it will work for me
#22 - joan priscilla - 09/02/2012 - 02:29
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