Irritable bowel syndrome, also termed as Spastic colon refers to a medical condition that negatively affects the functioning of the gastrointestinal system.It is typically characterized by a cluster of specific symptoms, such as abdominal pain and discomfort of a chronic nature, coupled with atypical, irregular intestinal contractions, flatulence and constipation or diarrhea.
Till date the medical field has failed to confirm the exact cure for irritable bowel syndrome.
Fortunately, there are a handful of herbs which must be used by all the people dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, so that they are well prepared to manage their symptoms. Let’s take a look at them.
Herbal Remedies For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
According to the studies and research conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginger is an excellent herbal alternative for soothing many gastrointestinal problems, Irritable bowel syndrome being one of them. The anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic activity of ginger root is due to the abundance of compounds called oleoresins.
Other than these two roles, ginger works well as a natural pain killer too. One of the easiest and recommended ways of controlling irritable bowel syndrome flare ups is to sip a cup of ginger root tea every day.
While patients with mild Irritable bowel syndrome may find relief from bloating and painful spasms with only one cup of herbal tea daily, severe cases may need to increase intake, up to two or three cups in a day. If you are not a tea drinker, you can simply increase the amount of ginger while cooking, baking or pop in a ginger capsule also.
Although ginger is safe for most people, those on diabetes or anti-hypertensive drugs must use this herb under the supervision of a physician. Few side effects related with ginger root are stomach ache or indigestion.
Red clover plant carries out the role of an expectorant as well as an anti-inflammatory Chinese herb. Its use is, thus, justified in treating the inflamed intestinal tract, and inevitably brings down the abdominal pain and discomfort.
Steep, a few red clover leaves, in a vessel containing water to make tea. It is believed that regular intake of red clover tea (at least two to three times in a day) aids in cell regeneration, and removes toxins accumulating in the bloodstream.
The natural presence of Coumarin may interfere with the action of certain drugs, such as contraceptive or blood thinning drugs, resulting in increased chances of internal blood clot formation.
A perennial plant called Medicago sativa may be beneficial for controlling the trouble stirred by Irritable bowel syndrome. Each part of the alfalfa plant, from seeds to leaves is packed full of several nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, Vitamin A, D, E, K and potassium.
Such nutrients (mainly vitamin K) promote the dominance of intestinal flora that ensures adequate digestion of food. Being a source of chlorophyll, alfalfa also aids in removing toxins from affected intestines.
Prepare alfalfa tea or take its capsule form to reduce the formation of gas in the colon, stomach as well as for treatment of constipation. However, long term intake of alfalfa seeds may lead to adverse reactions, which closely resemble autoimmune disorders. Also, pregnant and lactating females must not take Alfalfa therapeutically.
The clear, thick gel obtained from splitting the leaf portion of the Aloe Vera plant is used for various medical issues, mainly because of its immunity enhancing and inflammation fighting power. By assisting in cleansing and renewing the mucus laden, inflamed lining of the intestinal tract, aloe Vera successfully restores the digestion process.
As a result, digestion improves, and the body is able to assimilate the nourishment provided. Oral intake of Aloe Vera eliminates constipation, courtesy, inherent laxative properties. However, one needs to exercise caution while taking Aloe Vera juice.
Its intake sometimes may lead to episodes of diarrhea and intestinal cramping. To prevent the chances of uterine cramps or miscarriage, expectant mothers must refrain from the use of aloe vera in any form, whatsoever.
Slippery elm provides relief from uncomfortable bloating, gas formation, pain in the abdominal area as well as constipation. On coming in contact with water, the fiber content of slippery elm form lenitive mucilage, which smears the intestinal lining, thereby alleviates discomfort and hastens the recovery process.
This coating also encourages the bowel to produce more of its own mucus for better protection. There are many forms in which this herbal supplement can be purchased; for example, powder, tincture or capsule.
Another herb that works wonders for signs and symptoms linked with Irritable bowel syndrome is Valerian root. Although this herb has long been used as a tranquilizer, it does minimize the problems experienced in this condition.
Presence of biochemicals, such as valepotriates not only helps in dealing with anxiety and stress, but also soothes a spasmodic digestive system. Such spasmodic contractions cause abdominal pain, uneasiness and impedance of proper food digestion.
According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, consumption of Valerian root in doses of 300-1800 mg (as pill) is considered safe. It’s use is, however, contraindicated in case of children.
Licorice is by far, one of the most trusted Chinese herbs that are frequently used for several types of infections, inflammatory afflictions like arthritis or digestive disorders. It serves the role of an analgesic, regulates the contractions of the intestinal tract and calms the irritated lining.
Due to the high level of a chemical substance, Glycrrhetenic acid, Licorice root has the power of killing harmful intestinal microorganisms that may exacerbate the clinical picture of Irritable bowel syndrome. However, you must consult your physician before using this herb as the latter has a tendency to step-up blood pressure.
The aromatic fennel plant works as a natural anti-spasmodic by inducing smooth muscle relaxation.
Other than that, the presence of three distinct oils in the herb, known as anethole, fenchone and estragole increase the formation and secretion of digestive enzymes in the stomach. Start with a few cups of fennel tea (after meals) or chew it in raw form. Although uncommon, some of the minor side effects include nausea and skin reactions.