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Burping, or belching, is how the body gets rid of air in the stomach when there is too much. Everyone has to burp now and then, but if you're burping a lot, there are things you can do to help control it. Before we discuss how to stop excessive burping, let us look at some of the many causes.
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Swallowing air is one of the most common causes of burping. This can happen when eating or drinking too fast or when talking, especially while eating. Chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages, drinking from straws, eating whipped (airy) foods such as souffles and milk shakes and smoking can also bring air into the stomach. Some people swallow excessively when they are nervous and some people have aerophagia which is a condition involving unconscious swallowing of air.
Other causes may be from eating certain foods such as beans, broccoli, cauliflower and milk - though this may be more of a flatulence problem. Medical conditions like heartburn and food allergies may also be a reason for excessive belching.
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If you suspect a certain food is the culprit, eliminate it from your diet for a while and see if it helps. If it does, you can reintroduce the food to see if the burping starts back up. If it does, you will want to stay away from that food. If you suspect more than one food, eliminate all of them and slowly reintroduce one at a time.
Fennel, anise, dill and caraway seeds are well known herbs for gastrointestinal problems. Choose one and gently crush the seeds to release the essential oils. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of crushed seeds, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Drink three cups a day before a meal or as needed.
Peppermint contains menthol, a beneficial ingredient to treat heartburn and burping. To prepare a cup of tea, pour 1 cup of hot water over 2 tablespoons of dried leaves, cover and steep for 10 to 20 minutes.
Ginger can calm the digestive system, thus minimizing air. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 3/4 teaspoon of ginger root, cover and steep for 5 minutes.
Tangerine has been used since the 6th century BC to relieve burping. Scrub the tangerine, peel it, cut the peel into pieces, boil the pieces for 5 minutes, strain and drink.
Honey & Apple Cider Vinegar
When the cause of excessive burping is heartburn, this remedy should help stop the belching. Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into 1 cup of warm water and drink.
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Mother Nature: Burping - http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/16/35.cfm
Native Remedies: Excessive Belching - http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/natural-treatments-for-excessive-belching.html
Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, Bottom Line's Healing Remedies (2006)
Image courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fennel_seed.jpg
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