TERRY’S BOTTOM LINE:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative
colitis, and other digestive disorders can be very difficult to treat
conventionally. Prescription medicines can cause side effects that make the
“cure” almost as bad as the disease.
I recommend a specialized boswellia extract that inhibits
intestinal inflammation along with additional strong botanicals that stop
bacterial overgrowth, bloating, cramping, and digestive unpredictability. These
herbs are perfect for anyone with IBS, Crohn’s, or other gastric concerns:
- Inhibits bloating, gas, and pain
- Relieves diarrhea and urgency
- Stops bacterial overgrowth
- Promotes regularity
- Stops intestinal damage
- Equals effectiveness of drugs without side effects
Digestive diseases, especially serious conditions like
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis are
common and frustratingly difficult to treat effectively with conventional medicine.
Pharmaceutical drugs are not always very effective and often come with a host
of unwanted side effects.
Fortunately, there are strong botanical ingredients that
stop the painful inflammation and digestive unpredictability that marks these
conditions, and they do so without side effects.
Inflammation and Digestion
Microscopic inflammation through the small bowel and colon
may be one of the physical causes—and certainly one of the effects—of IBS. The
already inflamed tissue causes the body to release inflammatory mediators that
change the way the digestive system reacts to what would otherwise be normal
operating procedure. In other words, inflammation in the gut sends a signal to
the brain telling it that something is wrong. The digestive system reacts (or
overreacts) by shifting into high gear, in the case of diarrhea—or slowing
dramatically, in the case of constipation.
IBS is one of the most commonly diagnosed digestive
disorders. Its symptoms range from cramping, bloating, and general digestive discomfort
to diarrhea and alternating constipation. Flare-ups are unpredictable, so
travel plans—and sometimes daily life—can be difficult at best. In the worst
cases, individuals need to know at all times where the nearest restroom is
Aside from IBS, there are other digestive conditions that
affect millions of people. Crohn’s disease, another inflammatory
gastrointestinal condition, can cause fever, pain, bloody diarrhea, and loss of
Ulcerative colitis is inflammation of the colon that destroys
patches of mucosal lining. Aside from pain, symptoms also include bloody
diarrhea and stools that contain mucus or pus.
These conditions hinder the ability of the digestive system
to deliver and absorb nutrients, possibly causing malnutrition, anemia, and
unhealthy weight loss. So far, drugs and surgery have been the standard
treatment, particularly for colitis. Unfortunately, this approach brings with
it many major side effects. The better solution, and the one I recommend, is to
use strong botanicals that get to the heart of the problem.
Boswellia—Stopping Inflammation is Key
Boswellia is a traditional medicine in use for thousands of
years. New research finds that compounds from boswellia called boswellic acids
can treat many conditions, including asthma, arthritis, intestinal/bowel
disease, ulcers, bronchitis, and skin disorders.
Boswellia is a potent anti-inflammatory, but what makes it
unique and so valuable is the way it fights inflammation. All inflammation is
not the same. Prescription and over-the-counter medications typically act on
the COX inflammation pathway, but they also damage the intestinal tract.
Boswellia is better because it targets the 5-LOX inflammation pathway—which is
specifically associated with gastrointestinal diseases and intestinal
inflammation—without harmful effects that could ultimately make the problem
The most active of the boswellic acid compounds responsible
for boswellia’s effects is known as AKBA (Acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acids). To
make sure you get the best, look for boswellia standardized to at least 10%
naturally occurring AKBA.
In a German study, participants with Crohn’s disease were
treated with either boswellia or the drug mesalazine (a drug commonly used to
treat Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and IBS). Boswellia performed as well as the
drug, but without the dangerous side effects.
In a clinical study of individuals with colitis, patients
were given boswellia extract or the prescription drug sulfasalazine. Of the 20
patients treated with boswellia, 18 showed an improvement in one or more of the
diagnostic parameters, including stool properties and mineral excretion, and 14
of the 20 saw a remission of symptoms across the board. The authors concluded
that boswellia could be an effective treatment because of this—and noted its
lack of side effects.
Other Herbal Ingredients
In addition to boswellia, there are other safe and effective
herbal medicines that keep the intestines free of inflammation, and digestion
Coriander provides protection from intestinal pathogens
(including E. coli) and ends bacterial overgrowth that leads to IBS symptoms.
Coriander, peppermint, and other botanicals have an advantage over conventional
antibiotics in stopping bacteria. Because plants contain a variety of
beneficial compounds, with minor variations from plant to plant (a plant is
never exactly the same), bacteria have a harder time developing resistance to
them versus a single-compound, prescription antibiotic.
An Indian review mentions that fennel, among other
traditionally-recommended botanicals, has a high flavonoid content that
protects against peptic ulcer (which includes gastric and duodenal ulcers), and
keeps the mucosal lining of the stomach and small intestines safe from damage.
Fennel may also stop oxidative stress brought about by inflammation. This same
review reported that flavonoids in general have antispasmodic and antidiarrheal
A Brazilian clinical trial found that as part of a complex
of herbs, fennel helped prevent constipation, so it appears to have a
normalizing influence on digestion.
In studies, caraway is often blended with peppermint. Like
peppermint, caraway can help relax the smooth muscle cells in the intestines,
and relieve bloating, gas, or other symptoms of dyspepsia. In fact, it appears
to inhibit the digestive system’s initial reaction to gastric irritants, so it
is perfect for anyone with chronic conditions who occasionally (or
accidentally) eat triggering foods.
Caraway oil (in conjunction with peppermint oil) also
stimulates gall bladder activity, and normalizes digestive transit time,
helping the foods we eat travel through the intestines more predictably.
Not only is peppermint long recognized for everyday gastric
relief (think about after dinner mints, or the tradition of mint served with
lamb for easier post-meal digestion) but it is also being researched as an
herbal bacteria fighter. It is able to destroy harmful bacteria without harming
the beneficial bacteria we need for normal digestive function.
Make Life Predictable Again
I also believe that changing your diet is critical to
treating digestive diseases. Avoid wheat (and other grains), refined sugar, and
dairy products. Any one of these, or a combination of them, can make IBS and
other digestive disruptions more likely. To learn more, I recommend reading
Breaking the Vicious Cycle, by Elaine Gottschall and Wheat Belly, by William
Although changing your diet is very difficult, making that
commitment, along with using a boswellia and herbal extract combination as I’ve
discussed here, can get your digestion back on track again.
For IBS, Crohn’s, or other gastric concerns (gas, bloating,
cramping, etc.), I recommend taking boswellia resin extract standardized for
AKBA, along with coriander, fennel, caraway, and peppermint oils daily.