(NaturalNews) Irritable Bowel Syndrome (otherwise known as spastic colon, IBS or mucous colitis) affects many people. The good news though is that one does not have to resort to chemical medications to remedy the problem. There are many wonderful natural and herbal remedies available.
Those who suffer from it know that symptoms can range from complete constipation one minute to full-blown diarrhoea the next, often accompanied by bouts of severe bloating and cramping. Other symptoms sufferers may experience include fatigue, nausea (especially after eating), anxiety, depression, headaches and the urge to have another bowel movement right after initially having one. Many times IBS is directly related to stress or a heightened emotional status. Symptoms are twice as common in women as they are in men, and they usually appear around the mid-20`s. Therefore, learning to cope with stress can often help to alleviate the symptoms substantially.
Peppermint is often used for upset stomachs, relieving pain and reducing inflammation. A few drops of this oil blended into some carrier oil can be rubbed over the area of discomfort.
Slippery Elm can be used to ease the symptoms of diarrhoea, as it soothes and coats the intestinal area. This needs to be consumed with a lot of water. Garlic also plays an important part in helping to expel gas from the body and helps the colon to rid itself of mucous and unwelcome intestinal parasites. Alfalfa and chlorophyll are also beneficial when it comes to fighting constipation problems. It is important to remember though to ensure that the alfalfa is not a GMO product.
Valerian tea can be used to aid relaxation and anxiety, therefore assisting with easing some of the symptoms. Chamomile possesses antispasmodic properties. Use a few drops in an aromatherapy burner, or dilute with carrier oil and massage into the abdominal area to relieve cramping. Ginger tea is wonderful for relieving almost all forms of digestive problems such as nausea, colic, indigestion and flatulence. This is best consumed around 15 minutes before meal times. Vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex and lecithin can be used in conjunction with a good antioxidant formulation to supplement the nervous system, which can help to alleviate stress.
Foods high on the list for causing IBS symptoms include chocolate, citrus fruits, wheat (gluten), spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugar-free gum and candy.
Consuming plenty of fresh foods, particularly fruit and vegetables, can assist with the intake of fibre and reduce the symptoms of constipation. Bananas are excellent for IBS sufferers, as they help to alleviate both diarrhoea and constipation. Be sure to keep a food diary, and note which foods were consumed before an attack took place, as many folk are both lactose and gluten intolerant. These two ingredients often play a huge role in causing IBS symptoms. Eating smaller meals can also be beneficial in preventing IBS symptoms from occurring. Drinking sufficient water is also extremely important.
Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography. Her blog may be viewed here Some of her photography work may be viewed here Other articles written by her may be viewed here