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Managing Irritable Bowel and GERD With Herbs

Aug 19, 2008
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.
About the Author
Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker's brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you discover more about effectively managing irritable bowel and GERD symptoms through natural means.
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