The constant flipflop between constipation and diarrhea often associated with IBS makes planning anything difficult. However, between these herbs and your doctor, things can be done to calm the problem and ease the pain.
Peppermint Oil: Fifteen studies have been done on peppermint oil in relationship to irritable bowel disease. Patients who used the oil were statistically better off by a wide margin. While you can drink a tea, the capsules of oil are probably the better bet. It needs to get through the stomach in order to be useful in the intestines. The enteric coating helps assure that happens.
Chamomile: The soothing qualities of these flowers is well known to those who are anxious or suffer from mild insomnia. However, it is just as soothing to the intestines. Chamomile can help stop the painful spasms in they body, which can reduce the impact of IBS on your life. It may also make you sleepy, so be careful driving or operating machinery after taking it. I find a tea the best method for this plant, but you may need the convenience of tablets or capsules.
Acidophilus: While this isn’t an herb, it does seem to offer help to those suffering from IBS. Bad bacteria can cause flare ups, so adding more good bacteria is often helpful. You can get it in liquid form as well as in yogurt. You’ll want the live kind, so read the labels carefully.
Wormwood: While some websites encourage the use of wormwood, I do not. There are two reasons. One, the wrong dosage can have really bad side effects. The other is that it contains a chemical that can cause brain damage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t wear off, it accumulates. That means the more you take it, the more of your brain will be damaged, and it causes irreversible insanity.
Sage: I’ve used sage the most for IBS, in part because I know it works on me. It has a drying effect, so if you are suffering from a constipation episode, don’t take it. However, for diarrhea, it can be quite useful.