Non-Drug Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis
Answered by: Susan Eagles

Is there a non-drug treatment of ulcerative colitis?

There are indeed some non-drug cures for Ulcerative Colitis. The following suggestions are used with success in herbal clinics, but as far as I know, there is no scientific data on the results. It is important that any changes that you make to your current therapy are approved and monitored by your health care specialist. Sudden changes, as in decreasing any of your medications, can lead to adverse effects possibly requiring hospitalization. In particular, if you are thinking of reducing steroid treatment, a health care specialist must advise on a schedule to wean off them very slowly. Any use of herbal medicines and fasting must be monitored by health care specialist. We offer the following information as a guide to your further study and research.

In Ulcerative Colitis, the mucous lining of the intestine is damaged. The treatment includes herbs for healing the intestine, a bland diet that will not aggravate the intestine and a fast that will speed the healing by giving the intestine a complete rest. References for this approach are found in "Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine" by Thomas Bartram (Grace Publishers, Mulberry Court, Stour Road, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1PS, England). The "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine" by Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno (Prima Publishing, 1991) suggests a similar dietary approach.

The diet: Avoid coffee, spices, which lead to an increase in peristaltic movement, high fiber foods, dairy and wheat products and fresh fruit and vegetables which can cause further intestinal aggravation and bleeding. The best diet is mushy rice and boiled root vegetables such as carrots. (Note that this diet is not forever, but only until the intestinal condition is relieved!)

The medicines (3 times a day): Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) to relieve stress and calm the intestine. Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva), Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis radix) and Psyllium seeds (Plantago psyllium) to provide a protective and soothing treatment.

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