The right support group can not only help you cope with IBS, it can also provide you with plenty of information about the condition, as well as open your mind to alternative treatments you may not have considered. For instance, many IBS sufferers find that herbal remedies help them manage their symptoms.
The roots, stems, leaves, flowers and berries of plants have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes in order to treat, relieve and prevent a number of illnesses. Of course, different herbs are used to treat different ailments. As far as herbal remedies for IBS is concerned, the following are the herbs that are most effective in alleviating symptoms.
Peppermint is an effective IBS treatment because mint calms the muscles in the stomach, intestines and uterus and increases gastric juice production. Mint also acts as an effective pain killer as it helps to block pain signals to the brain and numbs the digestive tract. In addition, mint is anti-bacterial and helps relieve indigestion, gastrointestinal cramps, gas, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Peppermint can be taken in the form of tea. Peppermint is also available in enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules.
Peppermint should be taken before meals to prevent symptoms.
Fennel is highly effective at relieving and preventing bloating, gas, indigestion and stomachaches. Fennel encourages gastric juice production and has anti-spasmodic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antibacterial properties.
Fennel is light green-brown seeds and can be taken in the form of tea. You can also chew fennel seeds. Fennel can be taken daily, and making it apart of you daily diet will help prevent gas and bloating from occurring.
Ginger relieves many gastrointestinal problems including indigestion and severe cramps and nausea. It aids in digestion, improves intestinal muscle quality, and has some anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger is available in fresh and dried gingerroot, both of which are highly effective for treating IBS symptoms. Ginger is usually taken in the form of tea.
Chamomile is effective at alleviating gastrointestinal spasms and tension. It can also be useful at relieving indigestion and gas. Chamomile is also known for its sedative properties and has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-peptic properties.
Chamomile is a flower and it is usually taken in the form of tea. Chamomile is best taken at night before bed due to its natural sedative properties.
Note: Chamomile is a type of daisy, therefore, if you are allergic to daisies (ragweed included) you shouldn’t use chamomile.
Caraway is anti-microbal and has anti-spasmodic effects. It encourages gastric juice production, sooths the muscles in the digestive tract and helps relieve gas.
Caraway is a dried seed and is usually taken in the form of tea, or can be chewed hole.
Anise is anti-spasmodic and an anti-fungal that helps to settle the stomach and aids and regulates digestion which helps to relieve and prevent chronic diarrhea and constipation. It also helps to stimulate the production of gastric juices, and relieves nausea, gas, bloating, and cramps.
Anise comes in the form of small, black, seeds. It is often taken in the form of tea, but seeds can be chewed.
Oregano is an anti-spasmodic that stimulates gastric juice production and reduces and alleviates bloating, gas, stomach cramps and diarrhea. It is an effective muscle relaxant.
Oregano is plant leaves that are either fresh or dried and brewed in a tea. Oregano is also available in enteric coated oregano oil capsules.
All of the above herbs mentioned are considered safe and can be taken daily without the risk of short-term or long-term side effects. That being said, you should talk to an herb specialist about the herbs you are interested in before taking them, as well as your heath care provider.
Most herbs can be found at food and holistic stores.