Traditionally, since ancient times, herbs have been used as medicine. Some people call herbal medicine, botanical medicine, or herbalism. The use of herbs has been used to treat illnesses and imbalances in every part of the world. At this time, the United States does not have medical licenses for those practicing herbal medicine. However, over the counter medicine in the form of teas, tablets, extracts, and oils – when used appropriately – can provide valuable support to the body. Herbs used traditionally for IBS symptoms are: rhubarb, barley, tangerine peel, cardamom, licorice, aloe vera, turmeric, ginger, artichoke, St. John’s wort, bitter candytuft, peppermint, Chinese peony, and Psyllium. Herbs work best when they are used in combination. Five is the most that should be mixed. At this time there is not much research that has been performed to determine the effectiveness of herbs on IBS symptoms. Peppermint essential oil has shown the most promise in research. Enteric coated peppermint oil was well tolerated and showed significant benefit to IBS symptoms. The amount tested was 187 – 225 mg three times daily, between meals.
Herbal teas often help reduce stress and are a delicious way to get some plant support for the body. Try different mixtures to see what you like and what works for you.
Use herbs in food. Eat your medicine.
Grow your own! Start a garden and make your own cup of peppermint tea. You control the quality and freshness of the plant medicine you are taking. Herbs are hardy, very forgiving, and easy to grow.
Be aware that herbal therapies can interact with other drugs and can be dangerous for pregnant, nursing mothers, and children. All herbal therapies should be avoided 14 days before surgery.
Look for teas and herbs that are from reputable brands and are not faded, discolored, and stored in bulk jars.
Try to find organic and wild-crafted herbs for medicinal use.
Check in with your health care professional if conditions become worse or new symptoms appear.