Home remedies and natural alternatives for IBS sufferers

Josie Rushin By Josie Rushin, 11th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Home Remedies

A list of helpful tips and hints for natural, inexpensive, non-prescription, effective methods of coping with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Written by someone who has suffered from the condition for nearly 2 decades and has overcome the need for prescription drugs on a daily basis.

Herbal remedies

1. Fennel tea - very soothing for digestive upsets, popular for using on colicky infants. Also good for the aftermath of a stomach bug.

2. Charcoal - can be purchased from most natural health stores and some pharmacists. Has been popular in the treatment of poisoning in emergency rooms. It works by absorbing any toxins left in the gut, it passes through the body leaving nothing behind. Particularly good to take after a meal that contains a lot of your triggers.

3. Peppermint capsules - these are designed not to dissolve until they reach the bowel meaning that the anti-spasmodic effect of peppermint is delivered directly to the affected part of the body - a bonus is that they are available on prescription in the UK making it more cost effective if you are on a low budget. Check the ingredients however, as many of these contain peanut oil.

4. Probiotics supplements - in layman's terms friendly bacteria. These friendly bugs are good for putting your body back in balance after a course of antibiotics (renowned for upsetting the digestive system) and are also good for helping reduce bloating. You can also find these micro-organisms added to bio yoghurts at your local supermarket.

5. Natural toothpastes - this may sound strange but the early morning and late night stomach pains you get may not just be tiredness but also the toothpaste you are using. Some people are sensitive to flouride and a lot of IBS sufferers find sweeteners such as saccharin a trigger for nasty cramps. Simply opting for a flouride-free more natural toothpaste based on tea-tree or aloe vera. The same goes for the artificially sweet mouthwashes.

6. Echinacea - although not directly linked with digestive problems, it is worth considering this herbal supplement. Feeling run-down or recovering from an illness is often a time when IBS will flare up - echinacea is believed to speed up recovery from illness. I believe a knock-on effect from this is a happier tummy!

Homemade remedies and foods

1. Peppermint tea - has a cooling antispasmodic effect on the stomach and bowel, peppermint grows in the wild and can be found in most British gardens, just pluck a few leaves and wash them under the tap, simply tear the leaves roughly and pour on boiling water. Leave for a few minutes and then either drink as it comes or add some sugar or honey.

2. Licorice - has a gentle laxative effect on the body and helps provide gentle (and tasty!) relief from constipation. Careful you do not overeat the stuff however as it can make you loose too. Brush your teeth thoroughly afterwards!

3. Ginger - in all its forms works a dream for getting rid of nausea - some think this is due to its high zinc content. Try gingernut biscuits, ginger beer, or stem ginger for a soothing snack when nausea attacks - or try pouring boiling water over some stem ginger, add some honey and a dash of lemon juice as a warming winter drink.

4. High-fat dairy - if you are someone who cannot always tolerate lactose/dairy products, it is worth noting that lactose is released into your body slower the higher the fat content of the product. So, if you fancy treating yourself to that oh-so-naughty cappucino whilst out with friends, you may be safer opting for wholefat milk or cream rather than skimmed/diet options.

5. Soda water - I am talking about the bottled mixer that contains a tiny amount of sodium bicarbonate, not the carbonated tap water that comes for free at the pub. This stuff is perfect for an acid stomach and may help you avoid the antacids that are so easy to become dependant on. Also a great option for making homemade sparkling orange or lemon, as the bicarbonate can help reduce the impact of the acidic citrus juice.

6. Eggs - if you have been a little of the loose side for a few days, eggs are ideal for firming up the stools. Be careful not to overdo it as they can cause constipation.


Alternative Health Care, Charcoal, Digestive Problem, Herbal Remedies, Hints, Homemade, Ibs, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, List, Natural Curatives, Natural Remedies, Non-Prescription, Pain, Stomach Discomfort, Tips

Meet the author

author avatar Josie Rushin
A full-time carer to an epileptic, lone parent, part-time student with a passion for reading. I follow Paganism and like to keep my spirituality alive on a daily basis. I also love cooking and baking and being generally creative. I have a good kno...(more)

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author avatar stuart747
25th Sep 2010 (#)

The information in this article is very useful, Thank you for sharing

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author avatar Josie Rushin
25th Sep 2010 (#)

No worries, glad to be of assistance. It is often a case of trial and error with these chronic conditions!

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