I know epazote is supposed to have that quality. I'm wondering what other ingredients may have anti-gas properties. I made a stew a couple of days ago that had enough onion and green bell pepper in it that it should have been a real gut bomb, but something has counteracted that. Ingredients I used that I don't usually include when I make stew were achiote(modest amount), capers(a lot), and cilantro(a lot).
I've never been all that fond of epazote, a bit too medicinal for me. I have tried using a clove studded whole onion when pressure cooking beans to counteract the winds with limited sucess.
The failsafe is a pack of gas-x on the nightstand so I don't blow my wife off the bed.
I think I rememeber reading that asafoetida is supposed to reduce gas. Personally I would just go with Beano tablets.
Soaking beans removes some of the gas causing carbohydrates.
Here's what Cook's Illustrated says on the subject:
"The creation of unwanted intestinal gas begins with the arrival of small chains of carbohydrates (called oligosaccharides) into the large intestine (...) Some sources say that presoaking or precooking beans alleviates gas production by removing these carbohydrates. Our science editor decided to put these theories to the test by measuring the amount of one of the most prevalent small carbohydrates in black beans, stachyose (...) Beans soaked overnight in water and then cooked and drained showed a 28 percent reduction in stachyose. The precooking, quick-soak, method, consisting of a one-minute boil followed by a soak for an hour, was more effective, removing 42.5 percent of the stachyose.
We tried several recommended ingredients that are purported to "neutralize" the offending compounds as beans cook: epazote, kombu (giant kelp), bay leaves, and baking soda. None of these seemed to do much in the pot, though it is possible that they act only during digestion."
For as long as I can remember, Mom has always cooked with thick slice of fresh ginger root (about 1/3 inch thick) to greatly reduce the possibility of gas production.
The one fool proof thing is... eat beans & eat them often, eat real Yogurt often to keep your intestinal creatures in balance & eat lots a fruit & vegetables to keep your intestines clean & healthy.
Personally, I can have bowls of beans & not get any gas at all... but if I have dried rosemary in my Roast Chicken... look out, Ahmadinejad has offered to purchase them!