Herbs to Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Try these herbs to help irritable bowel syndrome, includes Q and A with leading natural health experts.

| September/October 2006

Herbs to help irritable bowel syndrome include calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis) that help calm the irritation and inflammation caused by IBS.

Read more about how to elevate testosterone levels naturally: Herbs to Help Elevate Testosterone Levels.

Herbs to Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome

After a period of intense digestive discomfort (constipation, nausea and abdominal pain), I recently was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. Are there any foods and herbs that can help?
Tempe, Arizona

Keville responds: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) generally is a catch-all term for a series of related disorders that produce similar symptoms. There are both foods and herbs that will help. That’s good news for many people who have discovered that Western medicine has little to offer people who suffer from this disorder.

Soothing herbs, such as calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis), marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), hops (Humulus lupulus) and licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), help calm the irritation and inflammation caused by IBS. (Do not use licorice root if you have high blood pressure.) These herbs also relax the nervous constriction of digestive muscles that promotes bowel problems.

Psyllium seed (Plantago spp.), which also is popular as a gentle, bulk laxative, is useful for IBS, especially when it is associated with constipation. Several studies conducted back in the 1980s tested psyllium in people who had IBS or similar disorders. Eighty percent of the participants reported less pain, constipation and diarrhea.

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