A Nutritionist’s Tips To Reduce Bloat—Plus, 10 Teas For Digestive Health

Let’s face it: a bloated midsection is all it takes to spiral down a weight-loss mission, negative self-talk, or a woe is me conversation with a friend. We’ve all been there. But truth be told, a bit of bloat is no big deal. In fact, it’s one of the most common phenomenons. When we eat, we bloat. And to a degree, this is totally normal. Bloating has a decidedly negative connotation in the wellness world, but it’s pretty standard. Therefore, let’s curb the chase for a persistently flat stomach—that’s not realistic. Especially during certain times of the month. You can, however, minimize bloat’s impact on your daily life. Without further ado, here’s everything to know about bloat: facts, myths, and the best teas for bloating.

What is bloating?

We know what it feels like—but what is bloating, exactly? Ultimately, bloating is a combination of gas, air, and/or fluid retention in the stomach and intestines. When you’re bloated, you may feel as if there is no room in your stomach. Often, your tummy feels full, tender, and tight. In some cases, swollen. If you’ve experienced it, bloating can be both uncomfortable and painful. Luckily, there are many ways to stop bloating in its tracks.

What causes bloating?

A variety of factors. As mentioned, bloating happens when the GI tract becomes filled with air or gas. This can be caused by the mere process of eating. However, certain foods and carbonated drinks can make it worse. Inevitably, some foods produce more gas than others. If you have a food intolerance or allergy, you’re likely no stranger to bloat. Additionally, bloating happens if you eat too much too fast. Beyond food, the menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating. Research shows that changes in progesterone and estrogen cause the body to retain more water and salt—thus, bloating.

Surprising Facts About Bloat

While it’s common knowledge that overeating—as well as eating too fast—triggers bloat, there are sneakier culprits to a bloat brigade.

1. Healthy Foods Cause Bloat

Even some of the world’s healthiest ingredients can leave us bloated. We fill our bellies with hearty lentil salads and nourishing grain bowls, only to realize we’re a bit gassy. A few of the biggest culprits?Cruciferous vegetables and beans. Veggies are high in insoluble fiber, which draws fluid into your intestines. This leads to bloat. Of course, the answer isn’t to cut out good-for-you foods—like produce—rather, it’s to eat them alongside healthy fats and protein, cook your veggies for easier digestion, and focus on chewing slowly.

2. For Better Digestion, Ditch The Diet Foods

There’s more than one reason to ditch diet foods. Fat-free and sugar-free foods are laden with sugar substitutes, which are hard for your intestines to digest. They stay in the bowel and draw water in, increasing bloating. And even if your body can digest those faux sugars, they’ll just create even more gas. No, thanks.

3. Get Moving: Sitting All Day Makes You Bloat

In general, being more active leads to increased activity in the GI tract (a good thing!). Therefore, sitting all day can lead to slower metabolism to even slower digestion. Hello, constipation. And when you’re backed up, you’re likely bloated. The prescription? Move. Invest in a standing desk, do 20 squats between meetings, or head out for a quick lap around the block before cooking dinner.

Signs of an Underlying Gut Issue

So, how do you know if you’re experiencing “normal” bloat or an underlying gut issue? While this varies from person to person, below are universal indicators of an underlying gut issue. If any of these ring a bell, consider discussing these symptoms with your healthcare provider.

  • Chronic digestive issues. Daily constipation, bloating, gas, stomach cramps, acid reflux, or heartburn. A healthy digestive system should be able to process food and get rid of waste with ease. 
  • Unexpected weight loss or gain. Without a change in diet, stress, or exercise habits, steep weight loss or gain can point straight to an unhealthy gut. A gut that’s not balanced can have trouble absorbing nutrients, regulating blood sugar, signaling that you’re full, and storing fat.
  • Constant fatigue. A lack of diverse gut bacteria is directly linked to a lack of energy, chronic fatigue, and sleep disorders. A gut that’s not functioning properly can have a hard time producing or regulating serotonin—which can affect your ability to get a restful night’s sleep. 
  • Skin conditions. Gut health affects everything, including your skin. Conditions like eczema and acne are linked to inflammation in the gut, caused by food allergies, poor diet, and lack of good gut bacteria.

Bye-Bye, Bloat: 5 Ingredients to Limit

If you regularly experience bloating, diarrhea, congestion, eczema, or acne, you’ll want to take a closer look at your diet. Keeping a food journal and jotting down your symptoms can be very insightful. That said—because we’re all bio-individuals, what triggers your bloat won’t be the same as mine. Take this list with a grain of salt.

At any rate, these are universally helpful ingredients to limit for gut health:

10 Functional Teas to Give Bloat the Boot

Sift through the tea box at your favorite spa, and you’re bound to find teas like chamomile, lemon balm, rose, and peppermint. No surprise, as these herbal teas are one of life’s most simple and soothing pleasures. Creating a ritual out of steeping tea is comforting, relaxing, and instantly grounding. In many cases, a cup of tea can also help with digestive woes. Without further ado, here are 10 of the best teas for bloating.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Ginger Tea

No surprise here. Ginger is incredibly nourishing for overall health and well-being. It has been used to treat digestive issues since ancient times—and the research proves it. Ginger is known to aid in—and increase the speed of—digestion, while also reducing intestinal cramping. For further soothing effects, pair your ginger tea with raw honey and lemon.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint—and peppermint tea—has long been used to soothe digestive issues, including bloating. Similar to ginger, peppermint is also an intestinal relaxant. It’s wonderful for nausea as well. Peppermint works by allowing everything from swallowed air to built-up gas to pass through the intestines more easily. It’s also one of the best teas for bloating because of its high concentration of flavonoids (these help calm the bacteria).

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is a delightful option for digestion, wellness, and promoting relaxation. Small but mighty chamomile flowers are known to decrease levels of bacteria, soothe abdominal pain, prevent diarrhea, and decrease gas. Enjoy chamomile tea for a bloated or upset stomach as well as to aid in a better night’s sleep.

Turmeric Tea

Turmeric is a bold yellow spice with a pungent, bitter flavor. It’s been found to have potent inflammation-fighting and gas-relieving properties. In fact, it’s been incorporated in traditional Chinese medicine to treat abdominal pain and bloating, according to a 2016 review in Electron Physician.

Fennel Tea

If you haven’t tried fennel seeds, they taste similar to licorice and have long been used to aid in digestive health. According to herbalists, fennel is known to decrease constipation and abdominal pain. It can help muscles of the gastrointestinal system relax and reduce gas, bloating, and stomach cramps.

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemons and citrus fruits are known to provide powerful cleansing properties and immune support, especially when added to tea. Lemon balm, specifically, can help alleviate mild digestive discomfort like bloating and gas—as well as increase normal digestive movements. To boost your digestion each morning, try drinking a lemon-based tea, like Traditional Medicinals’ Lemon Balm tea.

Dandelion Root Tea

Feeling bloated due to extra water retention? Dandelion root tea can be a solution. For years, dandelion (that’s right, the flower!) has been used to stimulate urination. Now, research suggests this folk remedy may have some basis: those who took an 8-ounce extract of dandelion not only urinated more often, but also urinated in greater amounts. In essence, dandelion tea can provide relief because it acts as a diuretic.


We love a matcha moment. Made from green tea leaves, this full-bodied tea packs an earthy flavor, a deeper green color and, of course, caffeine (but less than a cup of coffee). Among the many benefits of matcha, it’s packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants and increases metabolism. In terms of bloating, studies point to a number of ways that green tea supports gastrointestinal health, including better food absorption and gas reduction. Many people add milk to their matcha, so you can enjoy it latte style or add a small amount of sweetener to taste.

Hibiscus Tea

Like steeping a cup of turmeric tea, hibiscus tea makes for a beautiful, colorful drink. The flowers produce a sweeter, cranberry-like flavor. When boiled, the flavonoids in hibiscus can help regulate a hormone called aldosterone. This controls electrolyte levels and affects water intake—both key to beating the bloat.

Wormwood Tea

Have you heard of wormwood? Wormwood is a leafy, green herb that makes a bitter tea. It’s an acquired taste, but you can soften the flavor with lemon juice and honey! Due to its bitterness, wormwood is sometimes used in digestive bitters. These are supplements made of bitter herbs and spices that may help support digestion. To make the tea, use 1 teaspoon (1.5 grams) of the dried herb per cup (240 ml) of boiled water, steeping for 5 minutes.

Notably, wormwood shouldn’t be used during pregnancy, as it contains thujone, a compound that can cause uterine contractions.

This post was originally published on October 24, 2022, and has since been updated.

Drink These Teas for PMS—A Nutritionist Explains

Let’s face it—your monthly visit from Aunt Flo isn’t always a welcome one. The cramps, mood swings, and chocolate cravings come with a vengeance. But good news: Mother Nature can help ease your recurrent battle against menstrual pain. While over-the-counter meds certainly provide relief, there’s a gentler, more holistic approach within reach. Welcome to the world of tea for menstrual cramps. Fortunately, specific herbal remedies can turn your monthly discomfort into a tea-rrific experience. Time to become an expert in alleviating menstrual cramps—the natural way.

Featured image by Riley Blanks Reed.

What causes menstrual cramps?

Menstrual cramps are a result of uterine contractions. They’re triggered by a hormone called prostaglandin. And prostaglandins play a crucial role in various bodily function—i.e., regulating inflammation and pain perception. During menstruation, prostaglandins increase, causing the uterine muscles to contract more forcefully. The result? Cramps and pain. All of that said, other factors play a role in menstrual cramps too: hormonal imbalances, fibroids, endometriosis, and general lifestyle choices.

Image by Michelle Nash

Lifestyle Tips to Ease Period Pain

Before we dive into specific herbs and tea for menstrual cramps, what are simple lifestyle and dietary tips to ease menstrual pain? The following adjustments are meant to be guidelines, helping make your cycle a little more comfortable:

1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet

Incorporate ingredients rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon), flaxseeds, and walnuts. These all have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce cramps. Additionally, consume iron-rich foods—grass-fed animal protein, beans, and leafy greens—to counteract iron loss during menstruation.

2. Stay hydrated

It’s always important to stay well-hydrated, but especially during your period. Proper hydration can help alleviate bloating and reduce the severity of cramps. More on this below, but sipping herbal teas (ginger, chamomile, and peppermint) count, too!

3. Maintain an exercise routine

Consistency is key. Walking, swimming, yoga, and strength training improve blood circulation and release endorphins—natural pain relievers! Ultimately, there’s no need for strenuous exercise during the heaviest days of your period. Opt for more gentle activities instead.

4. Try heat therapy

Apply a heating pad or warm compress to your lower abdomen or lower back to relax the uterine muscles and relieve cramps. A warm bath—infused with Epsom salt—is also soothing.

5. Consider hormone-supporting supplements

Supplements like magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B6 may help reduce cramps and overall menstrual discomfort.

6. Try acupressure and massage

Acupressure techniques and gentle abdominal massage can alleviate muscle tension and reduce cramps.

7. Use a period tracking app

Utilize a period-tracking app to predict when your menstrual cycle is approaching. This allows you to plan ahead and implement self-care strategies before pain sets in.

Image by Michelle Nash

Herbs for Menstrual Cramps

Medicinal herbs have deep roots. In fact, they’re an integral part of traditional medicine. Certain herbs are known to relax uterine muscles, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. These are some of the most popular ones:

Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, helping ease menstrual cramps by reducing uterine muscle contractions. A cup of lemon ginger tea works wonders.

Chamomile: Like ginger, chamomile tea has calming effects and can help relax the muscles, reducing tension and pain.

Peppermint: Peppermint tea contains menthol, eliciting a soothing effect on muscles and reducing cramping.

Red raspberry leaf: Red raspberry leaf tea is known for its uterine-toning properties, helping reduce the severity of cramps.

Black cohosh: Native American tribes have traditionally consumed black cohosh to alleviate menstrual pain. It may also help balance hormonal fluctuations.

Dong quai: This herb is often used in traditional Chinese medicine to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce cramps.

Fennel: Fennel tea can help relieve bloating and gas associated with menstruation.

Lavender: Lastly, lavender tea can have a calming effect on the nervous system, potentially reducing stress-related menstrual pain.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before adding herbal remedies to your routine, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.

Image by Michelle Nash

6 Teas to Sip on Your Period

We love an any-time-of-day tea ritual—but especially during that time of the month. Sip of these six teas to ease cramps, relax your muscles, and help regulate your menstrual cycle.

Yogi Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a tried-and-true staple when it comes to drinking tea for menstrual cramps. It can be soothing to brew a cup of ginger tea with a small spoonful of raw honey.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Frontier Co-op Organic German Chamomile Flowers

These whole, loose flowers brew into a light golden tea with a gentle floral fragrance and notes of honey. These flowers make for a beautiful tea experience!

Harney & Sons Organic Peppermint Tea

Aromatic and relaxing, peppermint is one of our favorite herbal teas. It also aids in digestion.

Traditional Medicinals Organic Raspberry Leaf Herbal Tea

Cold brew or hot, this red raspberry leaf tea is delicious both ways. It’s a caffeine-free alternative to black and green tea!

Heather’s Tummy Teas Organic Fennel Tea

Made with organic, whole-seed fennel, this high-strength, IBS-specific tea is a convenient way to access daily digestive support and support discomfort during your period.

Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile & Lavender Herbal Tea

Enjoy a calming cup of lavender tea—infused with chamomile—to reduce stress and tension associated with menstrual cramps. We enjoy this most with a splash of milk and raw honey.

Need to Lower Your Cortisol? A Nutritionist Shares the 10 Best Teas for Anxiety and Stress Relief

Sift through the tea box at your favorite spa, and you’re bound to find options like chamomile, lemon balm, rose, and peppermint. No surprise, as these herbal teas are one of life’s most simple and soothing pleasures. Creating a tea ritual is comforting, relaxing, and instantly grounding. Despite their modern-day wellness allure, calming teas are nothing new. For centuries, communities across the globe have celebrated the relaxing and tranquil qualities of tea. Tea is central in family gatherings, entertaining guests, and formal ceremonies. Ready to unwind? Read on to get your steep on. These are the best teas for anxiety, stress relief, and whenever you need to find

Featured image by Riley Blanks Reed.

The Skinny on Herbal Tea

Believe it or not, all tea comes from the same plant. From oolong to black tea or green tea, all caffeinated varieties hail from the Camellia sinensis plant. There are two main kinds: The Camellia sinensis sinensis and Camellia sinensis assamica. The former grows in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. The latter grows more frequently in India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. A small evergreen shrub or tree, the Camellia sinensis—also known as the ‘tea plant’—is what eventually becomes your piping hot cup of infused water.

What this means for herbal teas: They don’t stem from the Camellia sinensis. Instead, they’re typically a blend of spices, leaves, roots, dried flowers, fruit, bark, etc. Herbal teas are delicious, complex, and healing. There’s an expanse of flavors and options. However, they don’t technically come from the tea plant itself.

Image by Michelle Nash

What is herbal tea?

Herbal tea is a beverage made from an infusion or decoction. A decoction is a method of extraction. Think boiling herbal or plant material. These infusions contain herbs, spices, or other plant materials. The more the merrier: Dried herbs, fruits, seeds, and roots are fair game. Steeped together, they make up deeply complex flavors and hues. Some herbal blends contain actual tea, although those aren’t as common. Varieties include ginger, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rose hip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea. Depending on the plant(s) used, they all have varying chemical compositions. You’ll find many of these ingredients in the best teas for stress relief.

Using Medicinal Herbs for Traditional Healthcare Needs

Throughout history—particularly in Eastern medicine—herbal teas have been applied therapeutically. They’ve always been an important component of traditional medicine. Centuries later, the evidence speaks for itself. Research confirms they contain antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. If you’ve ever tasted a vibrant pink hibiscus tea (hot or iced!), you can practically feel its powerful antioxidants running through your veins.

In many ways, it’s no longer folklore that herbal teas can provide a variety of health benefits. In fact, studies show that 60-80% of the world’s population depends on medicinal herbs for their healthcare needs. As always, speak with your healthcare provider before implementing a new supplement or herbal infusion routine.

Image by Michelle Nash

Benefits of Herbal Tea

More than just a wellness trend, herbal teas have been studied for their ability to boost immunity, energy, mitigate stress, and aid in sleep. Studies are ongoing, of course, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we already know the following:

  • Chamomile tea has moderate antimicrobial activity.
  • Peppermint tea has been found to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and anti-tumor actions, and some antiallergenic potential.
  • Based on a human clinical trial, it’s been found that drinking hibiscus tea “lowered blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive adults.”

6 Herbs to Drink for Relaxation

While some brews provide more health advantages than others, there’s plenty of evidence to support drinking tea regularly. Just be mindful of additives, like refined sugar. However, if you want more bang for your buck, take a look at these nutritious ways to upgrade your afternoon cup. They may have a lasting impact on your wellness.


Peppermint tea contains menthol, which is a naturally occurring muscle relaxant. Mint tea can help encourage full-body relaxation after a stressful day.


Rose petals can be added to many different kinds of tea, and impart a floral, slightly sweet flavor to whatever tea they mix with. Rose helps to reduce stress and anxiety and promotes calm and relaxation. While roses that are grown specifically for consumption often have a more concentrated flavor and beneficial properties, even traditional garden roses may have similar effects when dried and infused in water.


Like the rose, lavender is another common floral addition to teas. Lavender has been shown to have a positive effect on anxiety disorders by promoting healthy sleep patterns and relaxation. Lavender can be found in a wide range of different teas, from floral black teas to specially concocted “sleepy time” blends.


Chamomile tea is another popular tea, known for its ability to soothe and calm. A study at the University of Pennsylvania found it could help in treating generalized anxiety disorder. It’s also a popular sleep aid—the perfect bedtime tea.

Lemon Balm 

Lemon balm tea works to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and doesn’t cause drowsiness. It can also boost alertness and concentration. Of all herbal varieties, it’s a great choice if you need to reset (without caffeine) halfway through the day.


Passionflower tea contains the flavone chrysin, which aids against anxiety. It may help you sleep more peacefully.

Image by Michelle Nash

Why drink tea for anxiety?

Beyond what’s actually in your kettle, the elaborate ritual of brewing tea is stress-relieving. It requires intention, focus, and meditation. The simple act of making (and sipping) a cup of tea can be both introspective and clarifying—a welcome interlude on an otherwise stressful day. Whether you brew a pot in the morning to set intentions at the beginning of the day or prepare a soothing cup to unwind before bed, preparing and drinking tea is self-care. Herbal tea is an oasis of calm and clarity.

The 10 Best Teas for Anxiety

Look no further than the best teas for anxiety. Some subtle, some potent, they’re all comforting and delicious.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Blossom Vanilla Lavender Sleep Latte

Sip on this for a bit of calm. Whether you need a moment of bliss or some help with sleep, this herbal tea is for you. This caffeine-free blend is soothing, classic lavender accented with notes of perfectly-sweet vanilla. Blossom incorporates valerian root, l-theanine, and gaba to help you slow down, tune in, and experience restorative rest.

Harney and Sons Organic Peppermint

Packed with organic peppermint leaves from Oregon, this tea is refreshing in flavor and can help calm an overly-active stomach. This tea is all things soothing and lovely. It also has the best aroma when it’s brewing. You won’t want another peppermint variety!

Pukka Night Time Berry

Peace in a teacup, this tea features a blend of soothing ingredients, including rosehip, hibiscus, lavender, and valerian root. It’s the perfect cup before bedtime (and anytime you’re craving tea for anxiety relief). Naturally caffeine-free and ethically sourced, with 100% organically grown ingredients.

Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night

When we don’t feel like counting sheep all night, we love this calming blend of valerian root, passionflower, and lemon balm for its relaxing effect and pleasant taste.

Traditional Medicinals Cup of Calm

Another gem from Traditional Medicinals, this relaxing tea is like a quiet meditation—each sip is a step along an herbal journey around the world. Their blend includes passionflower, chamomile, lavender, and catnip, all known as nervines because they support the nervous system.

Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea

With a sweet blend of florals and light citrus, this stress relief tea is popular for good reason. It tastes delicious and is packed with a soothing blend of lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm. All of these herbs are traditionally used to support relaxation.

Good & Gather Organic Chamomile Lavender Tea

Blended with calming chamomile and soothing lavender, this fair trade-certified tea is a gentle infusion perfect for stressful and chaotic days.

The Republic of Tea Calm Relax

Find stillness with a cup or two of this relaxing tea. It’s the perfect companion to your midday meditation. A grounding mix of earthy red rooibos and dandelion root, balanced with warm, sweet spices and sunny citrus, it’s heavenly.

Alvita Valerian Root

Valerian root has been used to support restful sleep since ancient times. Today, valerian remains one of the most popular herbs used to support a good night’s rest. This tea is made with premium-quality, organic valerian root, and possesses a distinctly penetrating aroma. Its flavor is initially sweet, with a faint bitter finish. It’s not for the faint of heart!

Blume Blue Lavender Blend

Lavender, coconut milk, and blue spirulina make this blend balanced, calming, and smooth. Formulated to soothe inflammation and settle restlessness, take a sip, turn your brain off, and relish in doing nothing. Anti-inflammatory, this blend helps boost your immune system while supporting your body’s natural sleep cycle. We can’t get enough.

This post was originally published on December 8, 2021, and has since been updated.