Irritable is a sign commonly seen in many and at times can go undetected. Herbs are a great mode of healing that can be employed to help to heal the linings and the integrity of the bowel.
Irritable bowel is commonly known as IBS and it is completely different from another condition that sounds very similar, namely inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Irritable bowel disease can actually show no signs or physical symptoms. This can made it hard to diagnose that you have an irritable bowel.
So how can you tell your bowel is irritable?
There are common signs and symptoms that are found with IBS and these include:
- Abdominal discomfort and/or pain
- Spastic colon (spastic contractions of the colon)
Can this be treated effectively with herbs?
Treating this condition with antispasmodics, antibiotics, steroids and antidepressants may help with the symptoms, though they will not help to soothe and heal the bowel.
Herbs that can help to heal IBS include :
Aloe vera – this is best taken as a juice before eating. be mindful to buy good Aloe Vera that is not laced with sugar and additives
Marshmallow Root – this can be taken as a powder or as a tea to help soother and heal the irritated gut linings.
Chamomile – this acts to soothe and reduce inflammation
Valerian – this is best taken in small doses throughout the day. It could be combined with the marshmallow and chamomile and tea drunk throughout the day.
Turmeric – this is great to help the inflammation of the gut and it is easily absorbed.
Devils Claw – this acts as a bitter to tone and stimulate the digestive system and to act as an anti0inflammatory.
Wild Yam – this is indicated where there are cramping and spasmodic symptoms.
Agrimony – this is useful where there is diarrhoea and to tone the linings of the bowel.
Calendula – this helps to heal and can act as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
Ribwort – this helps to support the mucous membrane linings.
Eat more fibre – Taking additional fiber can also be very helpful to control IBS symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea. Fibre such as psyllium and slippery elm is very helpful and it works to soothe and heal an inflamed gut lining.
Psyllium is adaptogenic fiber, meaning if you’re constipated it will soften your stool and help increase your bowel frequency, and if you have loose stools and frequent bowel movements, it will help with stool formation and decrease the frequency of bowel movements.
Another good fiber is whole, organic flax seed. You can take a few table spoons of freshly ground flax seed per day. Another benefit of flax is that it’s also a high quality source of plant-based omega-3 fats, which nearly everyone needs on a regular basis.
Avoid all sources of gluten – This condition responds well on a gluten free diet. Most people understand this means avoiding all forms of wheat, but you also need to be aware that there are many other hidden sources of gluten in your diet. Gluten will be best avoided until the gut has repaired and this could take between 3 to 18 months.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, but it’s also found in other grains such as:
Aim to eat a diet that is suitable for you, if not you are likely to suffer health challenges such as a spastic colon. Eat high quality foods, such as unprocessed food. We eat so much fast foods and processed foods and these are the foods that are likely to cause complications in your digestive tract. Especially foods loaded with chemicals, additives, preservatives, deep fried, sugar loaded and pre-cooked and processed foods
Get checked for parasites — Another thing to consider is that there could be an intestinal infestation. E.coli, Guardia or klebsiella over growth can be contributing factors.
Boost healthy bacteria in your gut — It’s also important to make sure you have enough healthy bacteria in your gut. This can be found in pro-biotic supplements or in fermented foods such as miso or sauerkraut.
Address emotional challenges – Many people with IBS have an unresolved emotional component that contributes to their physical problem. This is also one of the reasons why antidepressants are frequently prescribed. Meditation, prayer, and psychological techniques and tools like EFT are all strategies you can use to effectively address your emotional challenges.
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Most of all remember to accept life, enjoy life, live life and love life—Louise Plant