Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a term used for a variety of disorders causing discomfort in the gastro-intestinal tract. It is a functional bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain, bloating, discomfort, alteration of bowel habits. Diarrhoea or constipation may predominate or they may alternate which may be classified as IBS – D, IBS – C or IBS – A.
Ayurveda is based entirely on different basic principles. In Ayurveda, it may be co-related with Atisara, Grahani or Pravahika. The concept of psychosomatic disorders has been widely discussed in Ayurvedic system of medicine. According to Master Charak, Sharira and Mansik Doshas are interdependent on each other. Hence, while understanding the pathogenesis of IBS, one must give importance to Purishava, Rasavaha, Annavaha and Manovaha Srotodushti.
What is the Ayurvedic treatment of IBS?
The current suffering population is looking towards herbal remedies which can provide relief without manifesting any inconveniency. Ayurvedic line of treatment of IBS includes medicines having properties such as: Deepana (carminative), Sangrahi (intestinal restorative, which increases the absorption capacity of the intestines), Pachana (digestive) and laghu (light).
Some of the Home Remedies for IBS are:
- Cumin Seeds: ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds along with few tender guava leaves are taken and make a fine paste. 20 grams of this paste should be taken with fresh buttermilk once or twice a day. This helps in reducing the frequency of bowel habits.
- Pomegranate: The fruit pomegranate is quite beneficial in the treatment of IBS as it helps in restoring the capacity of the small intestine. 30-60 ml fresh pomegranate juice should be taken twice a day.
- Fennel Seeds: Another important home remedy for IBS is fennel seeds as these seeds have wound healing property which have soothing action on the intestines.
- Soak fennel seeds in warm water overnight and strain the water in the morning. Drink this strained water to get instant relief. You can also take it in powdered or decoction form.
- Ginger: Fresh ginger slices is an excellent remedy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome as ginger is the best remedy for excessive bloating and gas formation associated with IBS.
- It also helps in reducing inflammation in the intestine and relaxes the intestinal muscles.
- Eat 1-2 fresh ginger slices with rock salt before taking meals. Use in curries as well.
- Peppermint: Peppermint has antispasmodic property which is very effective in reducing the symptoms of IBS – C such as constipation, cramping, bloating etc.
- The menthol in peppermint provides a relaxing effect on the smooth muscles of the intestine.
- Add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil in 1/4th cup of water and drink this water twice a day.
- Psyllium Husk (Isabgol): For IBS – C, take 1 teaspoon of isabgol with ½ cup of fresh yogurt 1 hour after taking breakfast.
- Bael Fruit (Aegle marmelos): According to Ayurvedic texts, bael fruit is absorbent in nature, improves digestion and astringent in nature.
- The juice of fresh bael fruit can be taken once or twice a day for IBS –C Or D. Bael can be taken in powder form too. It’s a miracle home remedy for IBS.
Wholesome Diet and Habits:
- Fruits such as pomegranate, apple, pear and bananas should be consumed.
- Foods that are easy to digest should be taken like namkeen daliya, khichadi Or chilla.
- Spices such as cumin seeds, coriander seeds should be included in the diet.
- For IBS – C, take fiber rich foods.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Proper sleep and moderate exercise should be the part of lifestyle.
- Fresh curd can be taken with meals.
- Pranayam and Meditation should be the part of lifestyle.
Unwholesome Diet and Lifestyle:
- Intake of alcohol, tea and coffee should be avoided.
- Junk food, non-vegetarian food must be strictly avoided.
- Foods that cause excess gas production and bloating such as egg-plant, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli should be completely avoided.
Various Herbs that are useful in the treatment of IBS are:
- Kutaja (Holarrhena antidysentrica)
- Chavya (Piper chaba)
- Dhataki (Woodfordia fruticosa)
- Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa)
- Lajjalu (Mimosa pudica)
- Patha (Cissampelos pareira)
- Daruharidra (Berberis aristata)
- Musta (Cyperus rotundus)
- Shalmali (Shalmalia malabarica)
Various Ayurvedic Classical Formulations for IBS are:
- Kutajghan Vati
- Sanjeevani Vati
- Kamdudha Ras
- Praval Panchamrit Ras
- Bilvadi Gutika
Rasaushadhis that useful in chronic IBS are:
- Panchamrit Parpati
- Grahani Kapata Ras
- Svarna Parpati
- Rasa Parpati
These Ayurvedic formulations must be taken as per the guidance of an Ayurvedic physician.
Thus, Ayurvedic treatment along with changes in diet and lifestyle offer promising results in IBS of different etiologies.
This article is not a substitute to the standard Medical Diagnosis or personalized Ayurvedic Treatment! It is intended only for Information!
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