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Can Herbs Help Heal Stomach Problems & Diverticulitis?

| By Martin Hughes
Can Herbs Help Heal Stomach Problems & Diverticulitis?
Gut problems can significantly reduce your quality of life. Photo Credit stomach image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

Gastrointestinal disorders are common health complaints among Americans. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse reports that 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases. Examples of digestive diseases include diverticular disease, chronic constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and peptic ulcer disease. Some herbs may help to heal your stomach problems and diverticulitis, although you should avoid using herbs until you talk with your doctor.

Stomach Problems and Diverticulitis

Stomach problems, or disorders, may be caused by numerous conditions, and both stomach problems and diverticulitis can significantly reduce your quality of life. FamilyDoctor.org lists several possible causes of stomach problems, including heartburn, ulcers, dyspepsia and stomach cancer. Other stomach problems include upset stomach, GERD and chemical poisoning. Diverticulitis, notes PubMed Health, involves the swelling, or inflammation, of abnormal pouches in the walls of your intestines, especially your large intestines. Abdominal pain is the most common shared symptom of these conditions.

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Herbs for Stomach Problems

In her book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch states that numerous herbs may effectively treat your stomach problems. Herbs used in treating peptic ulcers include marshmallow root, licorice and rhubarb. Herbs commonly used in treating heartburn and GERD include catnip, fennel and ginger. Herbs that help reduce inflammation in your stomach, soothe your mucus membranes and protect your gastrointestinal tract include fennel, lemon balm and chamomile, slippery elm, geranium and goldenseal.

Herbs for Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis may respond to herbal therapies. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that several herbal remedies may be used in treating diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal illnesses. They include flax seed, slippery elm, cat's claw, wild yam, marshmallow, chamomile and licorice. These herbs may help reduce inflammation and spasms in your gastrointestinal tract and soothe mucus membranes by forming a protective coating over your inflamed areas. The Center notes that herbs can be used as dried extracts, tinctures or in teas.

Additional Information

Stomach problems and diverticulitis, if not treated in a timely and appropriate manner, may lead to serious health problems. Possible complications associated with diverticulitis include abscess formation, narrowing of your colon and perforation of your colon that can lead to peritonitis, or inflammation of the tissue that lines the inner wall of your abdomen. Before using herbal remedies to heal your gastrointestinal problems, discuss the safe use of herbs with your primary care provider.

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References

author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
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