If your abdomen sometimes feels swollen and uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Bloating affects 20–30% of people.
Many factors may trigger bloating, including food intolerances, a buildup of gas in your gut, imbalanced intestinal bacteria, ulcers, constipation, and parasitic infections.
Traditionally, people have used natural remedies, including herbal teas, to relieve bloating. Preliminary studies suggest that several herbal teas may help soothe this uncomfortable condition.
Here are 5 herbal teas to help reduce bloating.
In traditional medicine, peppermint (Mentha piperita) is widely recognized for helping soothe digestive issues. It has a cool, refreshing flavor.
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that plant compounds called flavonoids found in peppermint may inhibit the activity of mast cells. These are immune system cells that are abundant in your gut and sometimes contribute to bloating.
Animal studies also show that peppermint relaxes the gut, which may relieve intestinal spasms — as well as the bloating and pain that can accompany them.
Additionally, peppermint oil capsules may alleviate abdominal pain, bloating, and other digestive symptoms.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) tea has a lemony scent and flavor — along with hints of mint, as the plant is in the mint family.
The European Medicines Agency notes that lemon balm tea may relieve mild digestive issues, including bloating and gas, based on its traditional use.
Lemon balm is a key ingredient in Iberogast, a liquid supplement for digestion that contains nine different herbal extracts and is available in North America, Europe, and other regions, as well as online.
This product may decrease abdominal pain, constipation, and other digestive symptoms, according to several human studies.
However, lemon balm or its tea hasn’t been tested alone for its effects on digestive issues in people. More research is needed.
Ginger tea is made from the thick roots of the Zingiber officinale plant and has been used for stomach-related ailments since ancient times.
Human studies suggest that taking 1–1.5 grams of ginger capsules daily in divided doses may relieve nausea.
Additionally, ginger supplements may speed up stomach emptying, relieve digestive upset, and reduce intestinal cramping, bloating, and gas.
Notably, these studies were done with liquid extracts or capsules rather than tea. While more research is needed, the beneficial compounds in ginger — such as gingerols — are also present in its tea.
This tea is made from roots of the Angelica archangelica plant, a member of the celery family. The herb has a bitter flavor but tastes better when steeped with lemon balm tea.
Angelica root extract is used in Iberogast and other herbal digestive products. The herb’s bitter components may stimulate digestive juices to promote healthy digestion.
Additionally, animal and test-tube research notes that angelica root may relieve constipation, which is a culprit in bloating.
Overall, more human research with this root is needed.
Some sources claim that angelica root shouldn’t be used during pregnancy, as there isn’t enough information on its safety. You should always consult your doctor before using any herb during pregnancy or while breastfeeding to ensure proper care.
Gentian root comes from the Gentiana lutea plant, which bears yellow flowers and has thick roots.
The tea may initially taste sweet, but a bitter taste follows. Some people prefer it mixed with chamomile tea and honey.
Traditionally, gentian root has been used in medicinal products and herbal teas formulated to aid bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.
Additionally, gentian root extract is used in digestive bitters. Gentian contains bitter plant compounds — including iridoids and flavonoids — that stimulate the release of digestive juices and bile to help break down food, which may relieve bloating.
Still, the tea hasn’t been tested in humans — and it’s not advised if you have an ulcer, as it can increase stomach acidity. Thus, more research is needed.
Traditional medicine suggests that several herbal teas may reduce abdominal bloating and relieve digestive upset.
For example, peppermint, lemon balm, and wormwood are used in digestive products that have shown preliminary benefits against bloating. Still, human studies are needed on individual teas themselves.
That said, herbal tea is a simple, natural remedy you can try for bloating and other digestive issues.