Grandmas, Gas and Smelly Farting 101

Our Mom lived with my sister and I for the last ten years of her life. (She died at 95 in 2016.) One of the most remarkable things is that our homes never had that “old lady” smell that is very common in homes where seniors reside. After she started drinking the Tea at age 85, that bad smell was gone and our homes always smelled fresh and clean. What a blessing!

She’d inherited her bowel problems from her own mother. Now, when our family remembers Mom and how she loved and depended on the Tea, we often speak of how it would have helped her own mother, our Grandma B., who died at age 81 in 1981.

Grandma B. was widowed when she was only 60 years old and lived alone in Canada. So, early each November, Grandma would come to spend most of the winter with our family in sunny Southern California. We remember those visits very well, especially as we became teenagers.

Funny - well actually not so funny - one of our most vivid memories of her is how smelly the bathroom was while she visited and the continual conversations that centered around her painful gas. We remember Grandma sitting in the bathroom for hours it seemed, with Mom standing at the door and calling through the door to see if she could help. “Mother??? Are you all right?”

I assure you that it was not fun and quite embarrassing for a houseful of teens and their friends!

It was not fun, and certainly NOT one of the things you want your grandkids to remember about you! Though she had many other lovely qualities, we all remember this as a big part of her visits.

My siblings and I agree now. "If she'd had the tea, Grandma's whole life might have been different. Not to mention the frustrations of those who shared the bathroom with her!"

How Intestinal Gas Works:

The average healthy person will pass gas about ten to fourteen times per day, producing an average of half a liter of gas - though some people can produce a liter or more if they consume certain foods. (How this could ever be measured, I have no idea!)

When malabsorption(reduced food absorption) occurs due to certain medical conditions, excess gas in the intestines and excessive flatulence (farting) could be a symptom of these disorders:

  • Diverticulosis that leads to an overgrowth of bacteria
  • Celiac sprue
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Short bowel syndrome (where part of the bowel was removed by surgery)

Gas is caused by fiber, starch, and some complex sugars which aren't easily digested and pass through to the colon where they are fermented by bacteria which produces hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulphide gasses. Yeast tends so produce odorless carbon dioxide gas, but the farts can pick up odors from rotting vegetable material and putrefying meat stuck to the walls of the colon (mucoid plaque). The foul smell of flatus comes from various sulphur-containing compounds. The compounds in a typical smelly fart are usually hydrogen sulphide or methanethiol. The "rotten eggs" smell comes from hydrogen sulphide gas, and a "rotting vegetables" smell comes from methanethiol. Yet another sulphur compound, dimethyl sulphide, actually smells kind of "sweet".

  • Cauliflower
  • Eggs, and
  • Meat are most likely to produce the smelliest farts.
  • Beans produce a greater quantity of gas, but not particularly smelly farts. In general, foods with little fiber produce very little gas.

Giardiasis, an infection by the Giardia protozoa parasite, can produce the most nauseating farts and belches, along with extremely foul-smelling watery diarrhea. Another cause of excess gas can be a lack of the enzyme lactase which is needed to digest a simple sugar called lactose or "milk sugar". In a person who lacks this enzyme, consuming milk and dairy products which contain lactose can leave the dairy foods poorly digested and not absorbed by the small intestine. As it moves through the large intestine it becomes food for yeast and putrefactive bacteria - organisms which produce gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, or methane.

When there is a yeast overgrowth in the colon, even more gas is produced. People who cannot digest lactose are said to suffer from lactose intolerance. An hour or two after consuming milk or dairy products they can experience uncomfortable cramps and excess gas in the abdomen. This problem is compounded when the use of antibiotics kills the probiotic Lactobacteria which help digest lactose for us.

While cheese, milk, ice cream and frozen yogurt can cause the cramping, regular yogurt does not, because the live bacteria culture which fermented milk into yogurt breaks down the lactose so we can digest it.

Some foods which are considered "high flatulogenic foods" (the suffix genic means "creating" or "causing") are the ones most likely to cause excess gas in the small and large intestine, an uncomfortable or painful "gassy" feeling in the abdomen, and excessive flatus or farting: Foods which are highly flatulogenic include:

  • Milk, cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt (not regular yogurt)
  • Most beans, such as baked beans, lima beans, pinto beans, navy beans, soy bean
  • Sauerkraut, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, radishes
  • Prunes, onions, carrots, raisins, bananas
  • Bagels, pretzels, wheat germ.

Foods which are moderately flatulogenic include foods that contain:

  • Wheat and wheat products,
  • Cereals,
  • Breads,
  • Pastries, potatoes,
  • Citrus fruit, 
  • carbonated beverages and sodas.

Well, there you have it. Kind of a stinky topic (a little pun) but we know what to do! Just drink the tea regularly! For anyone who suffers with stinky bathrooms and gas, all we can say is "TRY THE TEA FOR A MONTH and see what happens!" Oh, the stories and reports we have of how simply drinking the tea freshens bowels and bathrooms.

As a little FYI -- we DO eat a lot of legumes and beans, but gas is not a problem here. We're sure it's because of the tea. After reading this, do you need tea? We're right here to help!