It is estimated that approximately 45 million Americans have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) ? that’s a whopping 20% of the population! IBS is a general term for a variety of inflammatory disorders of the intestinal tract. There are many things thought to cause IBS, including: a poor diet, genes, bacteria, parasites, environmental toxins, and allergies. Normally, the muscular contractions of your digestive tract are coordinated and regular. IBS can disrupt this coordination and cause painful symptoms.
If you suffer from IBS, consider taking aloe vera and peppermint oil. Aloe vera is a versatile herb often used to treat burns on the skin. It can also be taken internally to heal the digestive tract, however. Aloe vera could help to keep the walls of your digestive tract clean of excess mucous ? a problem for IBS sufferers. Aloe vera could also help slow down food ! reactions that can cause painful symptoms. Try taking a cup of aloe vera juice three times a day on an empty stomach.
Peppermint is an excellent digestion aid. It could relieve an upset stomach and gas. It could also help when you have that “too full” feeling. Peppermint increases stomach acidity, which helps with digestion. Take peppermint in enteric-coated capsule form. This will prevent the natural oil from being released before it gets to the colon.
In a clinical trial involving enteric-coated peppermint oil, researchers tested the effectiveness of this herb in the treatment of IBS. Fifty-seven patients with IBS were treated with either two enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules twice per day for four weeks or a placebo. IBS symptoms were assessed before therapy, after the first four weeks of therapy, and four weeks after the end of therapy.
The researchers evaluated abdominal bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, feeling of incomplete evacuation, pain at defecation, passage of gas or mucus and urgency at defecation.
At the end of the treatment, 75% of the patients in the peppermint oil group showed a 50% reduction of total IBS symptoms, compared with 38% in the placebo group.
Aloe vera was used in a U.K. study to determine if it helped with the symptoms of IBS, but the results were inconclusive. In another study, researchers aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of aloe vera. Thirty-six rats were used for the trial. The rats were divided into three groups: the control, an H.-pylori-infected group, and an aloe-vera-treated group. Blood tests and the stomach were examined after administration of the aloe vera. The researchers concluded that aloe vera had a marked improvement on inflammatory symptoms in the rats.