Ulcerative colitis is an inflammation and ulceration of your bowels, particularly the large intestine. Cause of ulcerative colitis is not known. Having a family history of the disease makes you more susceptible to it. Stress is no longer thought to be a major cause, though it can worsen the symptoms. The disease is also thought to occur due to overstimulation of immune system due to a bacterial or viral infection, which leads to the inflammation. Sometimes, the immune reaction can get triggered even without an infection, so-called autoimmunity. Symptoms depend on the location of the inflammation in the large intestine. They can include abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fatigue and weight loss. Sometimes it can lead to life-threatening complications. Ulcerative colitis has no cure. However, its symptoms can be managed with appropriate therapy.
5 Herbal Remedies For Ulcerative Colitis
You may want to try your hand at one of these herbal remedies, either alone or in combination with other conventional and alternative therapies. Be sure to consult your doctor before doing so because usage of herbs can lead to harmful drug interactions.
Aloe vera gel is the extract from the leaves of the tropical plant Aloe barbadensis. Its gel has salicylic acid, which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Histological and clinical evidence has been found for the effectiveness of aloe vera in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. The dose is 100 ml twice daily. Its main side effect is allergic reaction. Safety in pregnant and nursing women has not been established. Stop taking it 2 weeks prior to any surgery.
Licorice extract is got from the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra. The active ingredient is glycyrrhizin, which is anti-inflammatory. It is available in the form of tincture, tablets, capsules, powder and candy. Its dosage is 1 cup of decoction twice or thrice daily, 1 or 2 droppersful of its tincture twice daily, or 250-500 mg thrice daily. It is contraindicated in hypertension, diabetes, kidney disorders, and pregnant and nursing women.
This herbal remedy is used in Ayurvedic medicine, and is derived from the resin of Boswellia serrata. It is effective in ulcerative colitis because it contains the active ingredient boswellic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Its effectiveness compares well with sulfasalazine. Its dose is 900 mg daily in 3 divided doses. It has very few side effects, such as rash and diarrhea. It should be avoided by pregnant and nursing women.
Slippery elm supplement is derived from the bark of the plant Ulmus fulva. It contains the gel-like substance called mucilage, which soothes the inflamed tissue. You can take it in the form of tea, tincture, supplements or logenzes. Consult the product labels for dosage. It is generally safe, though it can decrease the absorption of certain drugs.
Wheatgrass juice is extracted from Triticum aestivum. It has several antioxidants, which are anti-inflammatory. It can not only reduce the inflammation but also the rectal bleeding. It is available in the form of dietary supplements, powder, tablets and capsules.
Consult the product labels or your pharmacist for dosage. Its side effects include nausea, loss of appetite, headache and allergic reactions.