Relief from uncomfortable bloating may be a cup of tea away.
The nagging discomfort of bloating is never a welcome guest, no matter when and where it hits. When it’s happening it can seem like that bloated feeling will last forever, but rest assured there are a few helpful ways to get rid of bloating—and one of the most effective is to brew a hot cup of tea.
There are several types of tea that are effective for bloating relief, especially herbal teas. “My favorite herbs for bloating include carminatives—herbs that relax muscles in the digestive tract to ease cramping and bloating, and encourage proper digestion, absorption, and motility,” says Rachelle Robinett, registered herbalist (AHG), founder of Pharmakon Supernatural and HRBLS. She also recommends bitter herbs and roots, which support healthy digestion. In fact, when bloating hits: “Anything bitter is better than nothing at all—even chewing a leaf of arugula before a meal can be helpful,” she says.
The world of tea varieties is wide, so we’ve removed the guesswork for you and shared below this registered herbalist’s top-recommended teas to drink that help fight bloating—plus what properties make them such great natural remedies for this irritating digestive woe.
The Best Tea for Bloating
Chamomile is one example of a carminative that’s very easy to find at nearly every grocery store. A 2022 review showed chamomile to be therapeutic in gastrointestinal (GI) disorders as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, illustrating its effectiveness in treating tummy complaints like bloating.
Earl Grey Tea
Few things are as comforting as a cup of Earl Grey tea on a chilly afternoon. Beyond providing its distinctive taste and aroma, Earl Grey’s signature bergamot oil content may also help to alleviate bloat, since it acts as a potent carminative.
“I also always recommend digestive herbal bitters, which help enhance our bodies' natural digestive processes,” Robinett shares. “Just about everyone I've ever met could benefit from bitters, which used to be part of our food system, but have been largely bred out by conventional methods.” While digestive bitters are often made into tinctures, really any bitter herb meets the criteria and can be brewed into a tea on its own.
Wormwood is one example of a noteworthy digestive bitter that’s a common addition to tea blends and addresses bloating. In fact, research shows wormwood can be effective against a host of GI concerns including indigestion, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), stomach pain, gas, and ulcers—all of which can contribute to bloating symptoms.
Whether it’s peppermint oil, extract, or whole leaves, this popular tea ingredient can also help combat bloating. As yet another carminative, peppermint has been found to be an effective treatment option for both symptoms and pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) per a 2019 meta-analysis. And while IBS may not be the root cause of your own bloating, this symptom relief within the GI tract bodes well for anyone struggling with bloating and pain associated with it. Further, a 2020 meta-analysis found peppermint to be soothing to the colon during colonoscopy procedures, which may translate to bloating relief if the root cause is colon irritation.
Dandelion Root Tea
As another effective digestive bitter, dandelion root tea is a great option for bloating relief. One 2022 study found this herb to be effective at alleviating inflammation along the entire GI tract. In fact, researchers noted its efficacy in addressing acid reflux, indigestion, gastritis, ulcers, and colitis (or inflammation of the colon)—common culprits behind a bloated belly.
While fennel is a popular vegetable in cooking, it’s also proven to be a helpful carminative with anti-bloating power, and can absolutely be consumed in tea form to reap these benefits. This aromatic vegetable has been used as a cure-all for gut complaints like bloating for decades, one animal study may further illustrate how fennel benefits the GI tract. Research on broiler chickens found fennel supplementation to positively impact the integrity of the intestinal lining, suggesting one mechanism by which it can help soothe bloating.
Burdock Root Tea
Burdock root is another bitter for busting GI discomfort like bloating. One 2018 study found that burdock root extract moderately reduced stomach acid production. This means that if you have acid reflux or stomach ulcers, where excess acid production triggers bloating symptoms, burdock root tea may be a helpful addition. Meanwhile, a clinical trial from that same year discovered that burdock could help to fight H. pylori infection, a common cause of stomach ulcers and general inflammation of the stomach lining that can lead to bloating.
Another carminative of note is a healthy spice you likely already have in your pantry: cinnamon. To make a quick, homemade cinnamon tea for bloat relief, simply mix hot water with either ground cinnamon or simmer cinnamon sticks in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Its benefits will be amplified if you also mix cinnamon with one or two of the other herbs on this list.
Lemon Balm Tea
You might assume lemon balm is either extracted or related to the common yellow citrus fruit, it’s actually its own herb that’s part of the mint family. And it could be just the saving grace you’re looking for when bloated. In fact, this herb has been used to address GI concerns for decades, with one animal study finding that lemon balm may help to promote healthy intestinal motility, which can help to move any undigested food that might be causing bloat and discomfort through the GI tract at a healthy rate. Another review noted that lemon balm has potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve pain in the gut while soothing the tissues of this important organ system.
Thyme is an easy-to-find anti-bloating tea ingredient with carminative properties, helping to relieve muscle tension in the GI tract. If you’re in a pinch, add some fresh thyme sprigs or even dried thyme to a cup of hot water and sip your way toward relief.
Ginger and ginger-derived products, like ginger ale, ginger tea, and ginger chews, are well-known suggestions for easing an upset stomach. There’s so much research to back up using ginger as a common anti-inflammatory household remedy. Ginger has been shown to soothe the stomach, especially when symptoms like nausea and vomiting arise. This finding is illustrated in a 2019 meta-analysis in post-chemotherapy patients, 2022 analysis in pregnant women, and review in postoperative patients. The general soothing effect of ginger on the GI tract can also make a big difference in bloating symptoms.
Gentian Root Tea
As a digestive bitter, gentian root has been used in traditional medicinal practices for years to ease stomach pain and support digestion (you may recognize this bitter herb as an ingredient in cocktail bitters and digestifs (like amari). This is partly due to the robust number of bioactive plant compounds it contains, which reduce inflammation throughout the body, including within the GI tract, which could contribute to bloating and gas.
Tips for Buying or Making Herbal Tea for Bloating at Home
This list of tea for bloating is already robust, but it’s really just skimming the surface. Chamomile, ginger, and cinnamon teas are one thing—but how can you go about finding and making the more obscure herbal teas mentioned here?
Sourcing the Herbs and Tea Blends
When choosing herbs or premixed herbal tea blends, go for “organic and well-sourced ingredients, either an industry-trusted brand, or a local, independent, or regionally supportive seller,” Robinett recommends. “I also always want to know that an herbalist either owns the company or was involved in creating the recipes.”
“There are also so many great herbal tea brands now including Traditional Medicinals, Gaia, Banyan Botanicals, and Pukka Herbs,” she says. One reputable seller of loose-leaf, bulk herbs that Robinett particularly likes is Mountain Rose Herbs.
Steeping and Prepping Your Tea
Once you have your herbs at home, Robinett advises steeping your herbs for longer than you might think for a more effective de-bloating tea. “I'd encourage aiming for a 15 minute steep on average,” she says. She also loves to brew teas in large batches and store them in the fridge (for up to five days), so you have some ready to drink and combat bloating when you need it.
What to Do if Bloating Persists
Robinett also encourages anyone whose digestive issues won't go away to investigate the root cause of bloating or other symptoms. “If you're experiencing digestive discomfort or dysfunction, there's a reason," she says. While herbs and tea can help soothe symptoms—and sometimes the underlying cause—it's important to identify that cause so you can eliminate gut issues and symptoms once and for all. “Consider stress, eating in a rushed state or too quickly, not chewing enough, poor nutrition, or food sensitivities,” she says, all of which are potential causes of bloating that's affecting everyday life.
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