Herbs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

IBS covers a whole range of bowel-related symptoms that have no clear alternative cause – the most recognised ones are:

    • constipation
    • diarrhoea
    • bloating
    • flatulence
    • cramps
    • nausea
    • tenderness
    • headaches
    • fatigue
    • depression

  • anxiety

Food intolerance is a main cause of IBS, with common ones being gluten, dairy, eggs, red meat, caffeine and alcohol. If you suspect this to be the case, start by keeping a food diary and noting when any ‘flare-ups’ occur. This way, you can select the food type you think may be the culprit and try eliminating it from your diet. When trying to narrow it down, eliminate one food group at any time so you can be sure what’s really causing it.

Which herbs can help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

  • To help relieve some of the symptoms of IBS, look for ‘soothing’ herbs for the digestive tract, such as Marshmallow and Meadowsweet.
  • If you need a little help with getting things moving, look for digestive tonics, such as Peppermint or Fennel tea.
  • Astringent herbs, such as Agrimony, can be added to digestive tonics to ease symptoms of diarrhoea.
  • Finally, if cramps are a problem, try ‘relaxing’ herbs such as Chamomile, Lemon Balm and Passion Flower.

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