What is a carminative?

According to theMedical Dictionary of Clínica Universidad de Navarra, a carminative is a “substance that prevents the formation of gases in the digestive tract and facilitates its expulsion, relieving distention of the abdomen and flatulence.” (1)

Note: The effect refers to anantispasmodic impacton smooth stomach muscles and a decreased fermentation effect on the intestinal flora.

In medicine, this word says ofany drug or medicationthat favors theelimination of gases that develops in the digestive tract. The theory stated that these drugs acted by diluting and relaxing the dense moods where the air or gas came from and the abdominal discomfort they cause.

Etymologically the word comes from the Latincarminativus, which meansto cleanse, purify or expel gases. Carminative is an ancient medical-pharmacological term inspired by the old theories of humors.

What is a carminative for?

Acarminative drug, it has anantispasmodic effect on smooth stomach musclesand a decreased fermentation effect on the intestinal flora that causes the formation of gases. Below we describe them to you:

Remove gas from the digestive tract

Flatulence or meteorismconsists of an excess of gases in the intestine, mainly by nitrogen or methane, which cause the sensation of bloatingin the abdomen.

Most cases are due to the affected personswallowing air when swallowing, calledaerophagia. It can also occur from thebreakdown of certain foodsor also be a consequence ofintestinal bacteria.

Note: Flatulence can also be caused by certain drugs or moderate or severe digestive diseases, such as gastric and duodenal ulcers and intestinal dyspepsia.

Relieve bloating

Bloating is a condition in which the abdomen feels full and tight. The abdomen can look swollenand is often the result of the accumulation of gas in the intestines and can be due to many causes, such as eating too much, lactose intolerance or constipation, among others.

Generally with theuse of drugs with carminative properties, when exerting their function of expelling gases from the digestive tract, the feeling of distension disappears.

Eliminate colic and flatulence

Colic in the lower abdomen can be caused bymuscle spasms of the stomachor large intestine due tometeorism. This usually causes abdominal pain, bloating, belching and excessive expulsion of gas through the anus.

This accumulation of gases causes the dilation of the gastric, intestinal and abdominal walls , causing colic or stomach crampstag. This effect is called antispasmodic and occurs on stomach and smooth muscles.

Note: The decrease in gases contributes to the reduction of colic and flatulence.

types of carminatives

There are two types of carminativesdue to their origin. Here we explain them to you:


Pharmacological carminative drugs are those synthesized inPharmaceutical Laboratories. Here we mention the most used:


Simethicone is a mixture of polydimethylsiloxane and silicon oxide , which in the body decreases the surface tension of gas bubbles and acts in the stomach and intestine, decreasing the surface tension of mucogas bubbles responsible for gas retention.

The released gas is eliminated with belching, expulsion of flatus, or increased absorption of gas into the bloodstream.


It is indicated for flatulence, bloating, abdominal distension, dyspepsia, slow intestinal transit and postpartum or post-surgical flatulence.

Important: Dimethicone is an inert silicone, a linear polymer of methylated siloxanes, with a surfactant property that decreases the tension of mucogaseous bubbles, responsible for the retention of gases in the digestive tract.

It is also useful in treating the symptoms of flatulencesuch as pain or discomfort caused by pressure, a feeling of fullness, and abdominal swelling. It is aDefoaming agent.


Nature provides us with many Medicinal Options for the treatment of bloating, Bloating and colictag. Here we present the best known:


It acts in the intestinal tract, stimulating the intestinal mucosa, combating intestinal atony, an action that favors the elimination of gases from flatulence or aerophagia. It is also used in dyspepsia and against intestinal spasms.

Important: The essential oil contains anethole , a carminative that is recommended to facilitate the expulsion of gases accumulated in the stomach and calm the symptoms of aerophagia.

An article on “Contribution to the ethnobotanical use of fennel in the province of Toledo” , makes reference to the use of the essential oil as a carminative. (2)

An infusion obtained from Fennel Seeds placed in boiling water has an antispasmodic effect.


A degree project talks about the therapeutic use of this plant and makes reference to its antispasmodic property. (3)


The essential oil of green anise ( Pimpinella anisum L. ), has throughout history a solid Use as a carminative , increases Digestive tube peristalsis and possesses antispasmodic properties that make it very useful for combating fermentative dyspeptic disorders and flatulence . . . .

Note: Among its components is anethole, a carminative that is recommended to facilitate the expulsion of gases accumulated in the stomach and calm the symptoms of aerophagia. (4)


It is considered an excellent carminative, for those who suffer from colic and dyspepsia respond particularly well to the benefits of ginger .

The phenolscontained in ginger help with digestive tract problems such as irritation. They stimulate the production of saliva and bile that improve the digestive process.

The rhizome of this plant also has a carminative action, which is why it helps to eliminate accumulated gases and abdominal distension.

Lower leg

Cinnamon has many benefits , having in its inner bark, in pieces or ground, Carminative Properties , that is, it helps to expel gas from the stomach, thus facilitating digestion and other stomach problems.

This combination excites the contractility of the muscular coat of the digestive system, increases the secretion of the digestive tract, hence it favors digestion.

Important: An article on the effects of cinnamon describes the property that this bark has on the body’s digestive processes. (5)


Its composition is based on essential oils such as cineole, eucalyptol and ascaridiol, as well as Flavonoids and tanninstag. The last two of these oils are anti-inflammatory and carminative, that is, they reduce gases present in the digestive tract.

Note: An infusion obtained from the leaves of this plant in boiling water, drunk in sips, has a powerful carminative effect.


The coriander plant,Whose Scientific Name Iscoriandrum sativum,YouAntispasmodic Medicinal Properties , making it very useful in cases of diarrhea, both in children and adults.

As a digestive it is very useful to treat painful digestions and disorders of the digestive system in general.

It favors the elimination of gases accumulated in the digestive tract, which is why it is very useful to treat flatulence and meteorism, thanks to its carminative property.


Note: An article on the chemical compounds of parsley, describes the medicinal use of this plant, including its carminative property. (6)


Peppermint has many benefits, it is a herb well known for being used in case of stomach problems. It is known for itscarminative and antispasmodic properties, which help reduce digestive disorders such as gas, bloating, colic, among others.

It is also effective in relieving irritable bowel symptoms and relaxes the smooth muscles in the digestive tract.

An article where he describes several aromatic plants, describes the use of this plant in cases of gas accumulation in the digestive tract due to aerophagy. (7)

Key Findings

  • Carminatives are used mainly for the expulsion of gases accumulated in the digestive tract.
  • They also have antispasmodic effects.
  • They help digestive processes.
  • They can be found in synthetic form, just like in nature.
  • There are pharmacological and natural carminatives such as fennel, anise, mint, ginger and cinnamon.

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