Irritable Bowel Syndrome treated with herbal medicine
Natural Herbal Remedy for Problems of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
for helping to improve symptoms of IBS
calms and relaxes the nervous system
regulates bowel action
Abdominal bloating and cramps
Diarrhoea - esp. after eating or first thing in the morning
Feeling a strong urge ot have a bowel motion
Abdominal pain and cramping, which may be relieved after bowel motion
Clear or white mucus in stools
Poor sleep pattern
Dry skin, spots
Stress, worry, anxiety - stress and nervous system involvement can be the major cause of IBS. It impaires digestive function, upsets the normal smooth muscle function of the digestive tract, causes an imbalance in the right function of the calming neurotransmitters such as serotonin and thus can inhibit bile flow from the gall bladder so necessary for hassel-free digestive processes. Avoid the temptation to take anti-depressants or other drugs to assist digestion; long term they will do you a disfavour. Instead you need such herbal relaxants like hops, valerian, passiflora, wood betony, as found in the IBS-Less Tonic.
Food intolerance eg dairy produce (try soya instead), eggs, wheat and gluten grains, sugar (use Stevia instead of sugar) and yeast
Maldigestion - digestive inadequacy, inadequate stomach acid, imbalaced digestive enzymes (mostly made by the pancreas - ie improve your pancreas function [there are herbs for this function in our IBS-Less Herbal Medicine], poor fat digestion due to the liver malfunction)
Dysbiosis - imbalance in natural bacteria. Usual symptom is excess wind. Take probiotics like yoghurt, kombucha (we supply) and ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus (we supply)
Compromised gut lining (Leaky Gut Syndrome) due to chronic intestinal inflammation and frequent bombardment by drugs for years. It allows toxins into the system and is the cause of gastric pains (smooth muscle spasms) and bloating. Try our LGS-Less Tonic to help with this specific problem.
Parasites - also yeasts and the wrong type of bacteria (pathogenic). Parasitic worms which range in size from microscopic to the size of cucumbers or long and thin like cotton or string up to 20 feet long, others like blastocystis hominis, enterobacter cloacae, citrobacter freundii, entamoeba histolytica, klebsiella pneumonia, candida albicans are just a few that can invade and upset your whole harmonious physiological function. I have a well tried and effective antiparasitic herbal medicine to clear these for good. For more about prasite treatment go to WormLess Tonic.
Skin problems - eczema, spots, allergic reactions on the skin, dry skin and scalp, dandruff can result from IBS. See SpotLess Tonic and Lotion or SkinClear Tonic.
Insomnia - this results from the symptoms of IBS and causes a viscious cycle because instead of the restorative action of dreams, dreamless sleep and the feeling of waking refreshed ready for another day of fulfilled action, enjoyed meals and happy relationships, regular poor sleep patterns results in tiredness, irritability, digestive upsets and ill health. Use my SleepMore Herbal Tonic to help restore your sleep - both its length and depth.
"I am glad to say that the herbal mixture IBS-Less Tonic recommended by yourself has improved my condition in a major way enabling me to lead a normal life.
It has had a very positive impact on my life enabling me to take part in my interests such as travelling and cycling."
- Arvind Maniar, London
There is no specific medical test for IBS. It is diagnosed from your symptoms. If you repeatedly have a pattern of symptoms, then you can readily be diagnosed with IBS. Here are the most common symptoms: Stress, anxiety, worry; Abdominal bloating; Gas and flatulance; Constipation/difficult bowel movements; Diarrhoea, especially after eating or first thing in the morning; Feeling that you need to have a bowel movement just after having had one; Feeling a strong urge to have a bowel motion; Abdominal pain and cramping, which may be relieved after bowel motion.
Treatment for IBS
One of the best ways to handle IBS is to eat a healthy diet, avoid foods that seem to make you feel worse and find ways to handle your stress. However, many with IBS do not know which foods trigger symptoms and by no means is it straightforward to reduce stress levels. Medical advice tends to lean on antispasmodics, anti-depressants and medications that alter bowel habit, depending on the need. Conventional advice is relatively limited and does not include many of the true imbalances that underpin this prevalent condition.
However, there is a lot more to IBS than simply eating the right foods and reducing stress. For example, a healthier food such as whole vegetables can trigger symptoms when a Big Mac may not. It may have little to do with healthiness of the meal. The following causes of IBS are treated in the herbal medicine IBS-Less Tonic prescribed by Alan Hopking, medical herbalist at Herbactive Clinic.
Causes of IBS
1. Food Intolerance
As long ago as 1982, The Lancet published a study which showed that food intolerance affects the symptoms of IBS. At least 50% and possibly as much as 90% of IBS sufferers could have food intolerances as the cause of their symptoms. The typical culprit foods include dairy products, eggs, wheat and gluten grains, sugar and yeast. Clearly, the most sensible approach to food intolerance is to identify the culprit foods and avoid them. But this is usually due to a low immune system rather than a systemic intolerance of these foods, so IBS-Less Tonic includes immune enhancing herbs to improve the immune system at the same time as avoiding the said foods for a time.
2. Poor Digestion
If you do not digest food properly, then this can result in a variety of symptoms including those within the IBS group. Low levels of stomach acid are very common and can be measured by an elegant test called the Gastro-Test. There is often a need for digestive enzymes which are predominantly made by the pancreas. In some with poor fat digestion, lipase supplementation can be an effective treatment. IBS-Less Tonic helps digestion by helping to control hyperacidity; also recommended is ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus.
3. Compromised Intestinal Lining
This includes the somewhat dramatic condition referred to as Leaky Gut Syndrome, but can also refer to low levels of secretory immunoglobulin A, intestinal inflammation and so on. When food comes into contact with a sensitive gut lining, it can trigger smooth muscle constriction and bloating is what you get. There are some very effective remedies for this kind of imbalance, and probiotics can also help with supporting the health and integrity of the gut lining. To treat this cause it is best to take both IBS-Less and Slippery Elm and Marshmallow Powder; LGS-Less Tonic may also be useful to take at the same time. See Leaky Gut Syndrome
4. Imbalance in Bacteria
This is also referred to as ‘dysbiosis' and can be measured by stool analysis, but symptoms such as excess wind will provide good evidence that this exists. Whilst testing may be the best way forward, there are many different probiotics, some of which have been studied and proven effective. Take IBS-Less with the ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus.
5. Unwelcome Guests
Parasites, yeasts and bacteria could well be a contributory factor in IBS symptoms, and include such wonderfully named bugs a Blastocystis Hominis, Enterobacter Cloacae, Citrobacter Freundii, Entamoeba Histolytica, Klebsiella Pneumonia, Candida Albicans and so on. Stool analysis will prove their presence and each bug may usually be vanquished by antimicrobial or anti-biotic, although I recommend a safer and healthier treatment using my WormLess Tonic. Anti-biotics and antimicrobials lower the body's resistance and may have been the cause of your IBS, they can lead you into another dark tunnel; best to keep to natural, health-enhancing methods.
6. Stress and Nervous System Involvement
This is often the case, and in itself stress can impair digestive function, upset smooth muscle function, create an imbalance in calming neurotransmitters such as serotonin and inhibit bile flow. Anti-depressants can be effective, it is true, but natural remedies to help counteract stress include preparations to improve alpha wave activity, extracts like Valerian root, Hops and Passiflora, and the mineral magnesium which as been referred to a Nature's Tranquillizer, since it helps to relax muscles and nerves - take the natural vitamin and mineral supplement, our ABC Daily Herbal NutriPowder Plus. IBS-Less has herbs to help reduce stress and improve relaxation and a calm outlook. For a stronger anti-stress action you could also take WorryLess Tonic.
Find out about herbal medicine for treatment of this condition or telephone Alan for free advice 0800 0834436 (free call in UK)
Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH FINEH.
Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.
Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.
HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436
General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.
Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.
A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.
A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.
Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.
The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.
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