Irritable Bowel Syndrome Herbal Remedies

Irritable bowel syndrome is a relatively common digestive disorder that is characterized by problems with your normal bowel movements – i.e. constipation and diarrhea, bloating, gas, cramps and abdominal pain. A lot of adults and children suffer with IBS – as many as one in five adults across the Western world.

What Can I Do?

There are plenty of medications available to help treat IBS and the symptoms that you’ll be suffering from. Other than medication, you can also make changes to your diet to help with your symptoms and there are a number of herbal remedies that you can take, some of which are listed below.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is actually really widely used in treating irritable bowel syndrome. It reduces abdominal pain and bloating that you may experience in irritable bowel syndrome. It works to ease muscle contractions as well as to eliminate excess gas in the intestines.

Peppermint oil shouldn’t be taken in vast quantities as it can cause nausea, loss of appetite and heart problems, amongst a huge amount of other symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the dosage that you should take so you get something that works for you. Find peppermint oil in capsule form as taking it as oil can cause your sphincter to relax which will cause further IBS symptoms.

Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum

Partially hydrolyzed guar gum, or PHGG for short, is a non-gelling fiber that is water soluble. It’s used to reduce constipation and to reduce diarrhea and abdominal pain. It’s also thought to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in the intestines.


Probiotics are brilliant for a huge range of medical problems, and it’s thought that in irritable bowel syndrome individuals may have an imbalance in their normal intestinal bacteria, which in turn, causes an overgrowth in the gas-producing bacteria. Studies have shown that taking probiotics can reduce abdominal pain, gas, bloating and can improve bowel movements.

Food Intolerances

It’s thought that in a large number of irritable bowel syndrome sufferers, food may be to blame for their symptoms. The most common food intolerances that are reported by irritable bowel syndrome sufferers are diary and gluten. If you think that your IBS may be caused by a food intolerance, go to your doctor. They can help you to eliminate that particular food group and then introduce it gradually again. You can then know whether you’re suffering from a food intolerance and you can alter your diet accordingly. There are many products that you could use in place of diary and gluten, such as soy milk and gluten free bread.

Stress Reduction

Many medical professionals believe that flare-ups in IBS symptoms are caused by flare-ups in stress. For example, if you’re worrying about a test or something at work, you’ll be more likely to experience a flare-up in your symptoms. Therefore, you should work to reduce stressors in your life and to minimize chances of stress. With minimum stress in your life, you could find that your IBS symptoms reduce drastically.

Eat Garlic

Garlic is a natural way to fight infection and to help expel gas from your system. It also has the benefits of helping your colon to expel mucus and parasites from itself. You could either eat garlic by including more of it in your diet or you could take garlic capsules as they are less smelly!


Alfalfa is a natural colon scrubbing herb which can help a lot with constipation problems. It also helps to get rid of gasses in the colon and stomach.

All of the above natural health remedies could really help with your symptoms, but you should use all of them under the supervision of a doctor.