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Herbal Medicines for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
by The Free
Library by Farlex
Herbal medicine found very effective in the treatment of irritable
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is also known as irritable or spastic
colon, and there is no real understanding of why it exists, although it
seems to occur when the muscles that line the walls of the intestines and
the colon, go into spasm. The muscles contract for no apparent reason,
causing pain and diarrhea alternating with constipation.
Other symptoms include a cramping pain in the abdomen, swelling, general
malaise and lethargy, back pain, and often, excessive wind. Symptoms can
subside and even disappear for long periods of time, but many sufferers
continue to experience symptoms recurrently throughout their lives. It is a
chronic, irritating, and uncomfortable condition, but it is not
life-threatening and the symptoms can be reduced in many cases by proper
It is estimated that about 30 percent of people in the West has suffered
from IBS at some stage, and 13 percent of those do so regularly.
IBS appears to be brought on and exacerbated by anxiety, stress, and nervous
problems. Symptoms often appear worse during menstruation. Other causal
factors include food intolerance.
Orthodox medical treatment has been largely unsuccessful in the treatment of
IBS. Antispasmodic drugs are often recommended but in many cases they are
ineffective. The best way of controlling the condition is by reducing and
learning to cope with stress, and by eating a diet that does not exacerbate
Diet and Nutrition Research shows that eating more fiber, in the form of
oats, dried beans, peas, fresh fruit and vegetables, can greatly reduce the
symptoms of IBS, but improvement may take months rather than weeks. Also,
bear in mind that wheat bran, often prescribed as the standard treatment for
IBS, can actually make the condition worse for some sufferers. Eat plenty of
natural, unsweetened live yogurt or take daily supplements of Lactobacillus
acidophilus to boost the levels of healthy bacteria in the digestive
system. Good digestive enzymes will also
help your system break down fats, proteins, carbohydrates and other food
types so your body can absorb their nutrients. These types of good
bacteria and enzymes are called "Pro-Biotics"
Different food combinations can cause IBS symptoms in different individuals:
keep a detailed record of everything you eat and drink, and of all bowel
movements and their consistency.
Consult a qualified practitioner/therapist for:
Counseling and Hypnotherapy Both have been shown to be very effective in
reducing the symptoms. Hypnotherapy has a particularly good record.
Massage, Relaxation Techniques (Including Yoga, Meditation, and Biofeedback)
All these therapies are beneficial. Herbal Medicine A soothing tea of chamomile,
peppermint, and fennel is recommended. Herbalists may prescribe cramp bark, golden
seal, wild yam, and licorice.
Essential oils of peppermint or sassafras help relaxation and reduce painful
Source & References: The Free
Library by Farlex