Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Gastritis
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Brenda Sharp
Posted on: September 8, 2003

What herbs will help my husband’s stomach? He has irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis, so he has a lot of stomach pain and a lot of extra stomach acid.

I recommend that your husband works with a competent clinical herbalist or naturopath, who can take a complete medical history and help with diet and lifestyle changes in his particular case.

Information on herbs and diet for irritable bowel syndrome is included on our website at http://www.richters.com. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, and enter "irritable" for the search.

Cinnamon is particularly helpful in gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome. It inhibits the growth of bacteria and other disease causing micro-organisms, expels gas, tones the digestive system and is anti-spasmodic. The normal dose is 1/4 teaspoon of the bark or powdered bark in a cup of boiling water, covered and steeped for 15 minutes. Slippery elm bark powder is another particularly helpful herb. It is soothing and pain relieving to the entire digestive tract, protecting it from the effects of too much acid. One half teaspoon of the powder is mixed with water to form a paste, then water added to make a drink. It is more palatable mixed with applesauce. It can be taken freely - there are no negative side effects or contraindications - and is recommended especially at night to suppress acid production formed during the nighttime. When you buy slippery elm bark powder, check that it is pure, and not mixed with other ingredients. It is sometimes diluted with flour.

Some foods that are helpful include: apples, apricots, kiwi, pineapple, cooked broccoli and cabbage, carrot, parsley, cooked spinach, tomato and freshly ground flax seeds.

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