Recently I have been through the RINGER with bloating.
What began as your average Wednesday ended with my having to leave work early with major stomach cramps and out of control (6 months pregnant, anyone?) bloating.
I have NEVER felt this kind of pain before. Or experienced this kind of bloating. And what was more upsetting is that the following morning, it was still there and just as uncomfortable, and the day after that, and the day after that, AND THE DAY AFTER THAT! I took the Thursday off work, hoping that with rest and plenty of peppermint tea and a heat bag that the problem would subside. Obviously, it didn’t.
I was disappointed; peppermint tea has never let me down before.
Because I was in such discomfort and was feeling so ‘full’, I had no appetite across those days. I was eating some fruit and veggies to get some fiber into my gut, but otherwise I couldn’t stomach anything else.
Finally I arranged for a house call Doctor on the Sunday, the 5th day of bloating. He suggested that an ultrasound be done as well as a poop test (…you can only imagine my excitement…). So off I went to my actual Doctor on Monday morning, explained to him what the house call Doctor suggested, and ended up walking away with referrals for a:
1. Blood test (3x viles later…)
2. Urine test
3. Poop test
4. Pelvis ultrasound (internal and external…)
5. Abdomen ultrasound
Through all of this, my painful bloating continued. I had all the tests done and was relieved to hand over the final referral slip, having by this point basically given away my soul and first born child.
So now, the part that you’ve been actually wanting to know about (what do you mean you didn’t want to know that I had to hand over a piece of my poop to be tested?). Before we do the big reveal, there was a runner-up for ‘Most Relief Provided’ and I must acknowledge it, as it’s only fair it receives the accolades. Runner up goes to – walking!
Over the weekend during this period we must have gone on about 20 walks, all ranging from 1+ kilometers to 3+ kilometers. While gas wasn’t necessarily my issue, it has been proven that going for a little walk around the block can be of huge assistance to those experiencing constipation and gas. In my instance, it relieved the discomfort I was feeling and gave me a good dose of endorphins which were MUCH needed.
But now the big reveal – what gave me the most effective relief from bloating?
Peppermint Essential Oil!
While the warm peppermint tea may have helped with a bit of that ‘comfort’ feeling, it didn’t do anything to actually reduce or relieve my bloating. I was worried to have my essential oil initially when the pain started as I thought it may have been a bit too ‘intensive’. But finally I gave in and added some to my usual Barlean’s hot chocolate of an evening, and boom – within the hour my tummy began to go down and by the morning it was noticeably less irritated. I’ve had a couple of drops each morning and evening since and my bloating as continued to reduce and I can confirm my tummy is now back to its usual neutral condition.
After a bit of research I can give you a few fun facts on Peppermint Essential Oil and some proof of why it is just so damn good;
1. A meta-analysis (when data is combined from multiple studies to confirm or disprove a theory/fact) from 2015 confirmed severe and/or unbearable Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms were significantly reduced and relieved by Peppermint Essential Oil.
2. In a 2017 study on over 2000 children, Peppermint Essential Oil was proven to reduce the frequency, severity and length of abdominal pain.
3. A 2013 study was able to prove that capsules containing Peppermint Essential Oil were able to significantly reduce the nausea and vomiting side-effects of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
4. The main component of Peppermint Essential Oil is menthol, which relaxes the smooth muscles throughout the colon and reduces spasms. It also helps to reduce gas build up!
5. Due to its relaxing qualities, Peppermint Essential Oils can help to ‘loosen’ things up and get your bowels moving when constipated.
The amazing thing about Peppermint is that whether you’re having it in tea or using the essential oil, it has great benefits regardless and can be consumed at any time of day as it doesn’t contain caffeine, and it can boost energy AS WELL AS aid in having a better nights sleep – go figure!
All aboard the peppermint train! *toot toot*
Love, A xo
PS. If this has spurred you to invest in your own vile of peppermint essential oil, PLEASE ensure you do your research before you buy! Particularly when it comes to ingesting essential oils, it is imperative that you make sure the oil you’ve chosen is safe to be consumed.