Herbs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most difficult conditions to deal with. It’s hard to diagnose. It’s inconsistent. It’s annoying as heck for doctors to try to figure out.

Lab tests and other diagnostics rarely give a clear-cut picture. So it’s often viewed as a problem with physiological adaptation. The small intestine sends the message to slow things down because it needs more time to absorb nutrients.  This temporarily causes problems with elimination and transit time.

However, once toxicity accumulates to a certain point, the body tries to get rid of these things very quickly. And this cycle repeats.

IBS may be due to insufficient digestion, insufficient acid as an example, or it may be due to the consumption of damaging foods. Foods that hurt the small intestine.

So what can be done from a herbal medicine perspective?

Digestive support should be both bitter (from an action perspective) and warming. Demulcents are useful to soothe irritation and inflammation. Slippery elm, marshmallow, and aloe juice have been used traditionally for this purpose.

Nervines support the body in moving forward and being more relaxed. Laxatives, adaptogens, and alteratives may all be indicated, depending on the IBS case.

Here’s an example formula to consider:

Gentian 40mL

Archangelica 30mL

Meadowsweet 20mL

Ginger 10mL

Tincture: 1 tablespoon (15mL), ideally in a cup of warm water, taken after meals, especially lunch and dinner or larger meals.

If you have any questions about your particular IBS case, or just need digestive support in any capacity, please get in touch.