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, genetics, 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. People who suffer from IBS are at risk of malnutrition. Nutrients are often not absorbed properly into the digestive system. Someone with IBS could need as much as 30% more protein than normal, as well as extra minerals and trace elements.
Here are six herbs that could help soothe and heal the symptoms of IBS:
Alfalfa herb is rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K is needed by your body to build intestinal flora for proper digestion. Intestinal flora is just a fancy phrase for the friendly bacteria and micro-organisms that your body uses for digestion purposes. Alfalfa also contains chlorophyll for healing and cleansing of the bloodstream. You can take alfalfa in tablet or liquid form.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a versatile herb that can also be taken internally to heal the digestive tract. 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, which can cause painful symptoms. Try taking a cup of aloe vera juice three times a day on an empty stomach.
3. Skullcap and valerian root
Skullcap and valerian root could be helpful herbal remedy for IBS attack. They both help with the nerves that regulate muscle function of the intestines. Take either of these at bedtime, too, so that they can soothe muscular function while you are sleeping.
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.
5. Milk thistle
When you have IBS, it is important to treat not only your digestive system but also your liver. Milk thistle protects the liver from toxins and pollutants. It also stimulates the production of new liver cells. It is best to take milk thistle in concentrated capsule or extract form.
6. Pau d’arco
Pau d’arco could fight bacterial and viral infections. It could cleanse the blood. It could be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.