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Herbs For Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis, which is also popularly referred to simply as “colitis” is a common chronic large intestine illness that is usually characterized by the presence of inflammation and ulcers in the colon.
This disorder, which is also a form of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), can be easily managed by maintaining a proper nutrition.
As well as avoiding foods that have the potential to aggravate its symptoms.
Although the condition can be easily maintained and treated using conventional prescription drugs.
Ulcerative colitis has been found to respond well to a variety of natural herbal medicine among other types of alternative drugs.
7 Best Herbs For Ulcerative Colitis
Table of Contents
Below are some of the common herbs for colitis that can be used to alleviate the medical disorder in totality as well as manage some of its early symptoms including anemia, joint pain, and bloody diarrhea, the urgency to move bowels, cramping, abdominal pains, fever, malnutrition, and nausea.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera which is a beneficial plant commonly associated with beauty products can also be used to alleviate ulcerative colitis. The plant has a unique ability to clean the mucus found in the large intestine as well as acting as a potent laxative that assists in improving all types of bowel functions.
The Aloe Vera herb can also quell diarrhea, which is a common symptom of colitis. It is important to differentiate between Aloe Vera gel and its extract or juice. Aloe Vera gel is normally considered to be safer than Aloe Vera extract/ juice.
This is mainly because the aloe Vera extract contains highly toxic anthraquinones that give the remedy its powerful laxative properties.
In order to prove the natural herb’s effectiveness in treating colitis, a scientific study involving 35 men and women was carried out. These people were given a randomized treatment containing both psyllium (a popular laxative) and Aloe Vera. Those who had consumed the Aloe Vera combination experienced a softer stool with increased bowel movements proving that the herb is an effective laxative.
2. Indian Frankincense
The Indian Frankincense herb whose botanical name is “Boswellia serrata” is a beneficial herbal tree that is native to India, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. The tree’s bark when peeled away, exposes a gummy resin which has been widely used in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine system.
Boswellia Serrata which can be used for treating ulcerative colitis has also been found beneficial as both an antiseptic and astringent as well as in combating arthritis. Some of the active ingredients found in the beneficial herb include sugars, terpenoids, and volatile oils.
Test tube studies that have been carried out on B-boswellic acid which is the main constituent of the Indian Frankincense herb have revealed that the compound has the ability to block numerous pro-inflammatory products that are commonly associated with colitis. Boswellia serrata does not result in serious side effects although it has been occasionally reported to cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.
Turmeric whose botanical name is “Curcuma longa” is a popular food spice that is widely used in cooking. Apart from that, the beneficial herb can also help in alleviating ulcerative colitis. Curcumin which is a beneficial compound found in Turmeric is the one responsible for the natural herb’s vast medicinal properties. By functioning as an antioxidant. Turmeric inhibits various pathways that are crucial to the development of colitis.
The natural remedy can be readily found in most health and food stores in its capsule form as a standardized supplement. A majority of credible herbal monitoring sources recommend the administration of a 400-600 mg dose about 3 times daily.
Turmeric has been found to result in stomach upset, particularly when taken continuously. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and individuals suffering from bile obstruction are advised to avoid taking the herb.
Psyllium whose botanical name is “Plantago ovata” is a beneficial natural herb that is mostly found in India. Each plant can produce up to 15,000 seeds with unique husks that contain a highly beneficial fiber. When the husks come into contact with water they swell instantly turning into a beneficial mass that can aid in transporting waste using the intestinal tract. The soluble fiber obtained from the Psyllium husks has various uses, including being a potent laxative.
This fiber can also be used as a reliable herbal remedy for treating various intestinal problems like colitis and in lowering blood cholesterol levels. There are very few side effects such as cramping and occasional gas that have been reported.
This beneficial herb can easily enhance gut motility, improve waste elimination and alleviate all manner of constipation symptoms.
Barley whose botanical name is “Hordeum vulgare” is a common cereal plant that is eaten as a staple food in many countries. The cereal is widely used as a key ingredient in a wide variety of baked products and even soup. In the recent years, there has been a widespread interest in the use of GBF (germinated barley foodstuff) as a reliable medicinal herb for treating various diseases specifically ulcerative colitis. T. Bamba who is an MD at the “Shiga University of Medical Science” in Japan carried out a study to prove this.1
T. Bamba administered 20-30 grams of GBF daily to people suffering from mild to moderate cases of the disorder for a period of 4 weeks. There was a significant endoscopic and clinical improvement in the patients’ overall condition at the end of the period, indicating that germinated barley foodstuff plays an important role in treating colitis as well as moderating gut bacteria. There have been no documented side effects of using the medicinal herb up to date.
6. Slippery Elm
Slippery Elm which is a medicinal supplement derived from the Ulmus fulva plant’s bark contains mucilage (a gel-like substance) which it uses to soothe the inflamed tissue.
By using its mucilage content to form a protective gel coating on the bowel lining Slippery Elm provides immediate relief from the colitis induced inflammation.
You can easily find the herbal remedy in various conventional forms, including tinctures, tea, lozenges and herbal supplements.
Slippery Elm is considered to be a safe herbal remedy, although it has been found to decrease the absorption of various drugs. The natural herb also adds bulk to a person’s stool hence reducing diarrhea.
7. Wheatgrass Juice
Wheatgrass Juice is a beneficial herbal remedy obtained from “Triticum aestivum.” The juice has various antioxidant properties which provide it with its powerful anti-inflammatory functions. Apart from reducing inflammation, Wheatgrass juice also has the ability to stop rectal bleeding, which is also caused by ulcerative colitis.
Wheatgrass juice is readily available in various forms, including capsules, powder, tablets and dietary supplements. It is recommended to start drinking approximately 4 teaspoons of the herbal remedy daily at first while increasing your dosage gradually as recommended by a health practitioner.
Some of the common side effects of using the natural herbal remedy include the loss of appetite and nausea.
All the herbs for ulcerative colitis that have been mentioned above are highly beneficial in treating the condition as well as managing some common symptoms associated with the disorder.
However, each and every herb has its own benefits and side effects, hence it is important to consult a medical practitioner or licensed herbalist before using any herb whatsoever.