Herbal Remedies I Take For IBS-D

For a long time, I knew nothing about herbal medicine and believed that teas were just meant to taste good. But as I discovered, herbs can do so much more. While I don’t love taking medication, I use herbal remedies for various symptoms like congestion, difficulty falling asleep, and of course digestive discomfort.

Occasionally using herbal remedies

Personally, I do not use any herb daily. Instead, I reach for specific remedies whenever I feel like I need them and keep switching up the combinations depending on how I’m feeling. It’s not a scientific approach by any means. Most of the time, I’m just trying to listen to what my body needs support with right now.

I’m absolutely not an expert in herbs, but I’ve been researching them online for a while and have come across several that work for me, and that I wanted to share.

Tips for using herbs

As always, please remember to do your own research if you’re interested in taking herbs, and start with small doses to avoid a negative reaction. I like to then increase doses as needed while staying within the recommended limits.

Another essential tip: always check potential side effects. Since I have IBS-D, I always check if an herb can potentially cause diarrhea because that’s something I do not want to risk. Similarly, if an herb is used for constipation, I won’t take it. Or, if I really want to, I’ll at least be extra careful and start with tiny amounts to see how my body reacts.

Gentian (Liver support herbal blend)

Gentian was recommended to me by a lovely community member, as it can help with lots of digestive issues. Since I was only able to find it as part of a liver support herbal blend, this is what I bought, and I’ve been using it ever since.

For me, this herbal blend (also containing dandelion, milk thistle, and other herbs) acts much like a digestive bitter. I take it whenever I experience symptoms of low stomach acid, such as difficulty digesting my food, heartburn, bloating, and discomfort in the upper digestive tract.

Marshmallow root

Marshmallow root has a calming effect on my digestive system. It feels soothing and thus helps me regain a little bit of comfort after flares or after being sick. I don’t usually use it during flares though, as I don’t see a big effect on acute symptoms.

Lemon balm tincture and infusion

I often write about the correlation between my anxiety and IBS, and lemon balm helps a lot with that. Not only does it feel calming for my nervous system, but it also helps me ease flares that are brought on by stress and anxiety.

Whenever I feel my digestive system acting up in a stressful situation, I start taking lemon balm tincture multiple times a day and drinking lemon balm tea, which often helps me feel a lot better.

Chamomile infusion

Just like lemon balm, chamomile has a very calming effect on me. It’s a well-known remedy for IBS, so I won’t say too much about it. But if you haven’t tried chamomile for your IBS, it might be worth a shot!

Calendula tincture

I originally bought calendula tincture to use on the skin, as it is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory effects. However, it can also be taken internally to calm inflammation, and it has been working so well for me. The tincture is very thick, and it almost feels like it’s providing a protective coating for my insides.

Yarrow infusion

Yarrow is a bitter herb, so it can be taken before meals to improve digestion. It’s also said to have antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which makes it perfect to take during flares or even after stomach bugs. I personally love taking yarrow during a flare. However, I do have to say that yarrow infusions taste very, very bad. Maybe a tincture would be a better option?

Throat coat tea (with slippery elm)

I love drinking throat coat tea, preferably a version with slippery elm in it, to soothe my digestive system during or after flares. In the autumn and winter, I also drink this type of tea in the morning because it feels very comforting to me. It’s almost as if the tea not only coated my throat but also my intestines as well.

Turmeric and oregano

Lastly, I often use turmeric and oregano for cooking. Turmeric is supposed to be anti-inflammatory, while oregano has antimicrobial effects. I’m not quite sure if these properties subsist in the dried, store-bought form I use them in, but they don’t upset my gut even during a flare and I do feel like they help me recover from IBS episodes.

Do you like to use herbs for your IBS? If yes, I’d love to know more about your experience!

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