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|13 Natural Treatments For Ulcerative Colitis|
Posted On 2012-05-30 , 12:33 PM
Ulcerative colitis is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and a form of colitis treated as an autoimmune disease; which can be a localized inflammation of the lower part of the large intestine or colon.
Ulcerative colitis is continuous inflammation with bleeding sores on the lining of the colon all the way to the anus causing bouts of abdominal cramps or pain, bloating, bloody diarrhea, fever, gas and sometimes hard stools.
The causes of most cases of colitis are unknown, but possible contributing factors include food allergies, poor eating habits, heredity, infection, stress and antibiotic use. Although dietary inadequacies play a role, it has been established that anxiety and emotional stress can precipitate an attack and that the degree of stress influences the severity of colitis by causing the brain to generate a substance that attacks intestinal cells and activates defensive inflammation and pain.
Individuals with IBD often have dietary deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12, vitamin B9 (folic acid), magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, zinc and sometimes low levels of vitamin K, copper, vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.
Colitis forces nutrients through the intestinal tract before they can be properly absorbed. Supplements may help prevent nutritional deficiencies and encourage healing. A high potency multivitamin-mineral supplement is recommended as part of any treatment program.
Colitis instigated by antibiotic treatment, infections or nutritional deficiencies usually respond to home remedies.
1. Acidophilus helps digestion and helps maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the digestive tract. Take 1 teaspoon powder or liquid in water twice daily.
2. Alfalfa supplies vitamin K and chlorophyll needed for healing and is useful for gas pains. It improves digestion and cleanses the blood. Take 1 tablet or 1 tablespoon liquid three times daily.
3. Aloe vera juice for ulcerative colitis will aid in healing the colon. Drinking 1 teaspoon of pure aloe juice after meals can have a lasting effect. WARNING: At higher dosages, aloe vera juice can have a laxative effect.
4. Chamomile soothes and tones the digestive tract and helps ease alternating constipation and diarrhea. Drink 2 to 3 cups of tea daily. Do not use on an ongoing basis and avoid completely if you are allergic to ragweed.
5. Licorice root has soothing and healing properties that help counter intestinal inflammation. Chew two wafers (usually 380 milligrams) of deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) licorice after each meal during a flare up of symptoms. Plain licorice can raise blood pressure and its long term use should be avoided. The DGL form does not pose this risk.
6. Nicotine; a drug you hardly hear of positive things about, has shown to be beneficial for individuals with ulcerative colitis. A study showed when nicotine patches were placed on those for weeks at a time, the colitis conditions improved noticeably. Follow your physicians directions. I do not recommend to start smoking.
7. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation. Follow package directions.
8. Pectin soothes inflamed membranes and speeds healing by nourishing cells in the lining of the colon. It is available as a supplement, follow package directions.
9. Peppermint tea and peppermint oil have long been used to calm intestinal spasms. Peppermint oil capsules should be enteric coated to prevent the oil from being released in the stomach to be most effective. With the coating, the peppermint oil travels to the intestines where it relaxes the intestinal muscles and promotes the elimination of excess gas. Follow package directions.
10. Slippery elm bark may help ease some symptoms during flare ups. It may also sooth the digestive tract during remission. Take this remedy in decoction form by combining 2 to 3 teaspoons of powered bark with 1 cup of water. Boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add some cinnamon or sugar to help the taste and drink 2 to 3 cups daily.
11. Vitamin B complex restores possible nutritional deficits and helps to repair intestinal walls. Take one dose daily.
12. Vitamin C and vitamin E are antioxidants that prevent damage to the intestinal wall and promote tissue healing. Take 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C and 200 to 400 IU of vitamin E daily.
13. Zinc can be used to help repair intestinal walls. Take 30 milligrams of zinc picolinate daily. Avoid zinc sulfate, which may not be absorbed and utilized properly. Zinc hinders the absorption of copper; to compensate, add 2 milligram of copper to the daily program.
Other herbs that may offer health benefits for individuals with ulcerative colitis include dandelion, feverfew, papaya, red clover and yarrow extract or tea.