Q. Q. Where can I find the Flatulence Activator? I saw something on TV about a cushion you can sit on that will trap odors from intestinal gas. My sister suffers terribly with this problem and I would love to help her.
A. We can’t imagine anyone wanting a flatulence “activator.” Most of us have more than enough gas already and certainly don’t need to activate it more than usual. Goodness knows, friends and family would probably prefer we had a flatulence suppressor rather than an activator.
You might be referring to the Flatulence Filter, a portable seat cushion that contains activated charcoal in polyurethane foam. The charcoal traps most offensive odors.
The cushion is quite ordinary-looking, so it would not call attention to itself. But you might have to be brave to give it to your sister as a gift. Not everyone would welcome such a present.
Those who are brave or would like a unique stocking stuffer this holiday season, you can learn more about flatulence filters and undergarments with activated charcoal to trap offensive odors at GasBGon or call 1-877-427-2466.
Other approaches to flatulence include tea made with fennel, anise, ginger or peppermint. Beano can be helpful if taken with gas-producing foods such as broccoli, beans or brussels sprouts.
Here is a question about how to prepare anti-flatulence tea.
Q. I recently read that fennel seed tea possibly helps to control gas. Unfortunately, I have not seen how to make or buy it. Please tell me how to make this tea. I will have to move out of the bedroom if I don’t get something, other than a gas mask, so that I can survive my husband’s bouts with gas!

A. We were inundated with questions about how to make fennel seed tea for fighting flatulence. Here’s the recipe:
Take one teaspoon of fennel seeds. (You can buy them in the grocery, with the spices.) Rub them between your fingers or mash them with the back of a spoon to crush them slightly. A mortar and pestle certainly works, but is not necessary.
Cover the “bruised” seeds with eight to ten ounces of boiling water and allow the brew to steep for about five minutes. Discard the seeds, sweeten the beverage if you wish, and drink it. You can have up to three cups a day.
Some readers worried about the smell of licorice:
“I made the tea and noticed a licorice smell. Does fennel have licorice in it? I was warned to avoid licorice because it is bad for high blood pressure and would conflict with my medicine.”
Despite the pleasant licorice-like smell, fennel is different and should not raise blood pressure or interact with medicine.
If you would like to learn more about fighting off flatulence, we offer our Guide to Digestive Disorders.
You will find lots of tips for preventing or fighting off flatulence as well as dealing with heartburn. You may also want to take advantage of our very special holiday offer. Buy a copy of The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies with hundreds of fabulous cost effective treatments for common ailments (including gas and heartburn) and you can get 50% off our wonderful book, Recipes and Remedies From The People’s Pharmacy. This would make a fantastic holiday present…without the embarrassment of giving a flatulence filter!
Another terrific stocking stuffer present is our Winter Skin Survival Kit. Get our natural lip balm and Extra Care 20 with 20% urea. Winterize your skin and lips or give it as a gift. Now’s the time to complete you holiday shopping with affordable healthy stocking stuffers that will last and last!

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  1. Richard W.
    Reply

    Phazyme simethicone should stop a flatulence attack once it starts. I carry a three softgel blister pack in my pocket at all times when I am away from home and Phyazyme always stops the attack whether I am out or at home. Take a softgel at the first sign of bloating.

  2. harry
    Reply

    I had a real flatulence problem all of my adult life. Twelve years ago, I went low carb to lose weight (it worked), and found that my gas and persistent heartburn went away. After the desired weight loss, I started adding back carbs and the gas and heartburn came roaring back. After months of trial and error, I found that grains were causing the problems. No, I don’t think it is celiac as corn is the worst offender!
    Long story short: No grain, no gas!

  3. KO
    Reply

    I had terrible gas for 6 mths, my Doctor finally diagnosed Gluten Intolerance (high IGg) I immediately quit eating Gluten and the gas completely disappeared, also Oats (Gluten free Oats) cause me to have gas.

  4. TM
    Reply

    I had terrible gas. When my daughter was diagnosed with food intolerance, I agreed not to eat the foods she should not eat. Within 2 weeks I felt better than I ever had and my gas problem was gone.
    What foods? Milk, citrus, peanuts, corn and peas. Also as was mentioned broccoli and cauliflower. Milk was the big one but no problem with small amounts of cheese and yogurt.
    That was more than 20 years ago. Still have a little gas now and then but nothing like I had. Now I’m on the no white stuff way of eating and there’s not a problem with beans or onions.
    I’m a Southern boy without grits.

  5. MR
    Reply

    I’ve had very good results by taking digestive enzymes at the start of a meal (remember not to destroy them with high heat). There are a lot of blends and formulas, and some of these contain the enzyme in Beano, alpha-galactosidase, so they’d be helpful with a meal containing beans.
    I’ve also taken fennel capsules at the end of a meal, with good results at preventing gas.

  6. phyllis o.
    Reply

    All who have persistent and excessive flatulence should ask their doctor about H.Pylori. This ‘bad bug’ affects many children and adults and may lead to serious complications. The bacteria thrives in the digestive tract but can be detected with a blood test. Doctors may not always check for H. Pylori, so don’t hesitate to ask.
    I had the problem 9 years ago. My 10 year old godchild became very ill this year, unable to attend school. After repeated medical exams and hospitalization, an ER doctor at last tested her for H. Pylori. Both she and I were treated with antibiotics.

  7. mike
    Reply

    Well theres an opportunity here for your sister. Many foods such as garlic, beans, sour kraut and proteins of many sorces create flatulence, gas or just good ole fartin.
    If she is up to the challenge, there will be am imternational contest this year, with a prize of 10k. Contestants will be judged on duration, loudness and smell. Check the web for details.
    Meanwhile, there are some remedies that may help the bashful non-entrant. The book, art of fermentation by Sandor Katz, gives many recipes for fermented foods and beveages. Some of these will help your sister change the biotic environment of her digestive tract. She could have a lactose intolerance. Some Asians have such an intolerance and in Japan they have farting contests well attended by thousands.
    The foods of choice that create the fuel are aged salami and whole milk. Passing gas is something that we all do and how it is viewed or tolerated is cultural. The Japanese have books that are written for 4-6 yr olds that discuss this.

  8. Cindy B.
    Reply

    I just had a big bowl of steamed veggies, including broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, edamame, cauliflower, carrots, onions…. and MAN, I can only say I could sure use one of those cushions tonight! Should have taken Beano but I forgot.

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