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20 Home Remedies for Belching

Understanding Belching

Belching isn't a big deal; it's not even a medical condition, most of the time. It's simply the result of swallowing air. But the air that goes down has to go somewhere, so most of the time it leaves the same way it came in--through the mouth. We all burp, or belch--it actually serves a purpose. It removes gas from the stomach by forcing it up into the esophagus and then out your mouth. Without this escape device, we'd blow up like one of those big balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, not to mention the sharp cramps we'd feel running all the way from our stomach to our throats. So belching is a good thing. And no matter how many goods ones we let out during the course of a day, the swallowed air that turns into a belch is only a tiny fraction of the intestinal gas that we all have.

Medically, belching is called eructation; the definition from Taber's Encyclopedic Medical Dictionary is "Producing gas from the stomach, usually with a characteristic sound." In many Eastern cultures, that characteristic sound is accepted as an appreciative expression of a good meal. In Western society, however, no matter how good the meal was, eructation is not acceptable. Bottom line: We try not to belch in public.

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To reduce belching, you need to reduce the amount of air you swallow. The home remedies in this article will help you do just that.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Because belching is the body's way of getting rid of swallowed air, you can cut down on unwanted and potentially embarrassing belches by cutting down on how much air you swallow. Here are some home remedies for doing so:

Stifle it. Sometimes, belching produces such an inordinate sense of relief that chronic belchers will encourage themselves to burp many times. It's better not to do this. Repeated belching triggers more belching.

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Don't smoke. Here is yet another reason to quit smoking. When you inhale smoke from cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, you swallow excessive amounts of air.

Watch what you put in your mouth. Chewing gum and sucking on hard candy or lollipops stimulate air swallowing, too.

Check your dentures. Am improper fit can cause you to swallow air--and burp.

Mind your manners. Mom was right again when she told you not to talk with your mouth full. She wanted to teach you manners, but the fact is, eating with your mouth open makes you swallow air.

Eat slowly. People who gulp down food and beverages are swallowing excessive amounts of air. They're also crowding the stomach with too much to digest, which causes a gaseous buildup.

Relax. Anxiety and stress can cause you to swallow more often, which increases the amount of air taken in. When you feel stressed, force yourself to breathe slowly and deeply.

Don't catch cold. A cold brings on postnasal drip, and this annoying symptom will probably make you swallow much more frequently. So if you catch a cold bug, try to blow your nose often to keep your nasal passages as clear as possible. Better yet, try to protect yourself from exposure to cold viruses.

Limit bubbly beverages. Drinking carbonated beverages, including beer, creates air in the stomach that has to come out, one way or the other.

Go strawless. Drinking through a straw increases the amount of air you swallow.

Stay active. Don't lie down after you eat. Activity will force the burps out instead of letting them build up.

Keep a diary. Keep a diary, noting foods and beverages consumed, as well as specific incidents prior to the start of burping. You may discover that you are more burp-prone immediately after you eat certain foods, like dairy foods. (See Home Remedies for Lactose Intolerance for more information.)

Get a checkup. Although belching is not normaly a symptom of an illness, some gastrointestinal disorders are accompanied by belching, including gallstones, hiatal hernia, ulcer, and gastritis. If you find yourself burping more than normal, it's a good idea to check with your doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions.

If you're simply belching to expel gas, you can look to your kitchen for relief. Read the next section to learn more.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Cures for belching are as close as your kitchen. Here are some kitchen remedies that can help curb burps.

Home Remedies From the Refrigerator

Ginger. Ginger tea can help relieve the need to belch. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon freshly grated gingerroot. Steep for 5 minutes, then drink. Or mix 1 teaspoon fresh ginger pulp with 1 teaspoon lime juice, and swallow after a meal.Lemon juice. This works whether it's fresh or from the bottle. Mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup cool water. Drink it quickly after meals.

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Papaya. One surefire way to cure belching can be found in the fruit drawer: papaya! It's full of an enzyme called papain that can get rid of whatever's causing that burp.

Yogurt. Eat some yogurt with live cultures (check the label) every day. It aids digestion.

Home Remedies From the Spice Rack

Many belching cures can be found in your spice rack. Here are a few remedies that just might squelch that belch:

Caraway. Eat some caraway seeds, straight or sprinkled on a salad. They calm the digestive tract.

Cumin. Roast equal amounts of cumin, fennel, and celery seed. Combine. After you eat, chew well about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the mixture, then chase it down with 1/3 cup of warm water.

Peppermint. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon dried peppermint. Steep for five minutes. Drink.

Belching may be natural, but you can limit your own moments of embarrassment by using the home remedies in this article.

For information on treating other uncomfortable or potentially embarrassing conditions, try the links on the next page.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

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Linnea Lundgren has more than 12 years experience researching, writing, and editing for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books, including Living Well With Allergies.

Michele Price Mann is a freelance writer who has written for such publications as Weight Watchers and Southern Living magazines. Formerly assistant health and fitness editor at Cooking Light magazine, her professional passion is learning and writing about health.

ABOUT THE CONSULTANTS:

Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist. He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide, and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

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