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Managing Irritable Bowel and GERD With Herbs | Stop Acid Reflux Now

Managing Irritable Bowel and GERD With Herbs


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If there’s anything more frustrating than suffering from GERD, it’s suffering from irritable bowel and GERD at the same time.  If you do suffer from both conditions, you are likely very aware of how important it is to eat properly with your conditions in mind.  However, you may not yet know how to treat your conditions with herbs that will benefit them both.

This being said, before you begin treatment for any condition with herbal remedies, you should always talk to your doctor, first.  Though irritable bowel and GERD do cause a great deal of discomfort, and natural herbal remedies are very tempting, you need to remember that they are serious medicines and may cause reactions or medication conflicts that you weren’t expecting. 

As irritable bowel and GERD are both forms of digestive upset, it means that many herbs that help one will also help the other.  Consider discussing the following herbs with your doctor the next time you’re in for a checkup, or if you are headed there to discover new ways to keep your irritable bowel and GERD in check. 

• Ginger – for thousands of years, ginger root has been used for treating stomach distress and as a digestive aid.  It is also one of the most effective GERD herbal treatments.  It is easy to obtain in many forms and can be used in its purest varieties.  Ginger works well for treating acid reflux due to its natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and analgesic properties.  You can use fresh ginger in your cooking, as a garnish to a meal, in powdered form in recipes, or even in teas.  You can safely ingest moderate amounts of ginger on a daily basis without any undesirable side effects.  However, be aware that large amounts can lead to heartburn.

Similarly, ginger is very effective for treating IBS, including its symptoms of diarrhea, cramping, and nausea (even at its most severe).  In fact, its effect can be equally or more effective for treating these symptoms than some IBS drugs.

• Slippery Elm – elm bark is an herb that is considered both gentle and nourishing.  It works to coat and soothe the stomach’s mucus membranes as well as those of the gastrointestinal tract.  This effectively absorbs excess stomach acids and assists in the mixing of foods with stomach acids while minimizing irritation throughout the length of the digestive tract. 

For IBS sufferers, the benefits go one step further as slippery elm is also a very mild fiber supplement which can help to reduce cramping, gas, and pain.

• Fennel – fennel is well recognized as an herb that settles the stomach and eases digestive discomforts.  By choosing a fennel tea instead of coffee after dinner, its carminative properties should help to minimize any potential GERD symptoms that would arise from the meal.

Fennel is also good for reducing the bloating and gas associated with IBS. 

Of course, to make sure that these herbs can work their very best, you’ll want to make sure you watch your diet and eat foods that are friendly to both irritable bowel and GERD.


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13 Responses

  1. indika
    August 8th, 2008 | 6:41 am

    good information thank you very much

  2. Kavita
    August 8th, 2008 | 8:35 am

    In India, we use ginger and fennel routinely in our daily diet. Unflavoured Yogurt is good, especially whipped up with water like a milkshake.

  3. Saundria Davis
    August 8th, 2008 | 2:42 pm

    i was reading a few websites on acid reflux / gerd and the y list the commom food triggers which include “tea” i assume they meant all kinds of tea. if they meant all kinds of tea / tea in general, why are you encouriging sufferers with reflux / gerd to drink tea.

    some sites also say to stay off acidic fruit juices and acidic fruits. isn’t ginger acidic and will irriate reflux / gerd? please reply soon.

  4. August 8th, 2008 | 3:20 pm

    Saundria -

    “tea” in the context of this article means infusing a plant or herb in hot water to make a drink.

    Traditional tea (made from Camellia Sinensis a.k.a. the Tea Plant) can cause problems for acid reflux sufferers due as the caffeine in it can relax the LES.

    Again, you are right that citric fruits and juices relax the LES, but ginger is quite different.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine has used ginger for centuries as a stomach settler, and there are many who swear by ginger as an acid reflux reliever.

  5. alita
    August 8th, 2008 | 7:38 pm

    very useful information these ideas i`ve tried and it actually works.Thank you

  6. Saundria
    August 9th, 2008 | 12:00 am

    Thank you for your response Kathyrn. I was getting confused where the contex of “tea” is ok or not for reflux sufferers.
    I was drinking ginger tea in the form of tea bags and it did nothing for my reflux and i sorted mis-interpret as acidic and thought it was making my reflux worse so i stop drinking.
    Now that i know nothing is wrong with drinking ginger as tea as a reflux sufferer and fully understand it’s purposes as it related to my body, i will continue drinking it because i like it even though it does nothing to relieve my reflux.

  7. father john
    August 9th, 2008 | 2:51 am

    Ginger & slippery elm work wonders as does cider vinegar.
    Thanks excellent back up

  8. ahmed
    August 9th, 2008 | 11:30 pm

    great staff its really an eye opener. its good way of helping ibs i really tried and it works. thanks

  9. Kokila Amin
    August 11th, 2008 | 12:12 am

    I use fresh ginger almost everyday, i also take my “protonix ‘ in the morning and “renitidine”
    before dinner yet i get heart-burn bet. 1 a.m- 4.a.m. almost everynight.I use wedge pillow. I don’n know what to do? Pl. advise. Thanks.
    kokila amin

  10. sandi
    August 12th, 2008 | 1:26 am

    Trying to adjust my diet will sugar coated dry ginger just make it worse? I get alot off your website. thank you

  11. satish
    August 12th, 2008 | 3:59 am

    How much ginger is OK?

  12. Roberet Saliba
    August 13th, 2008 | 1:26 am

    Yes i would also like to know about the teas if they all cause heart burn.

  13. August 15th, 2008 | 11:39 am

    Crystallized ginger does help some people. Although it is usually better to steer clear of additional sugar in the diet if you can.

    As for how much ginger to make ginger tea. A simple recipe that is often used it:

    + peel the ginger root and add 3 thin slices of ginger to the bottom of a cup.
    + boil the water and pour it over the ginger.
    + Leave the ginger to sit in the cup for at least 5 mins (although adjust this for taste)
    + sit, sip and enjoy.

    You could add a small amount of honey to sweaten, or of course just buy ginger tea bags.

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