Supporting your colon’s health is important to maintaining peak physical condition, and a variety of good lifestyle habits such as exercise, adequate water and a good diet contribute to this. As an addition to these habits, dietary supplements can help you treat specific colon conditions and promote a healthy colon. As with any form of complementary or alternative medicine, check with your health care provider to make sure these supplements are safe for you to take.
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Psyllium husk is a foundational dietary supplement that supports digestive health. Obtained by removing the seed husks from the plant Plantago ovate, psyllium promotes a healthy colon by providing fiber and acting as a laxative and bulking agent according to the National Library of Medicine. Psyllium husks are most commonly taken in a powder form, mixed with water or juice. It can also be found in some high-fiber cereals designed to help lower high blood cholesterol levels. Popular supplement brands of psyllium include Metamucil and Serutan.
When taking psyllium, it is important to drink adequate amounts of water to avoid possible bowel and throat obstructions. Additionally, psyllium may affect blood sugar levels and should be used with caution in diabetic patients.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, chamomile has been used to treat a variety of health conditions for thousands of years. Chamomile is currently used for digestive disorders such as colic, gas and an irritated gastrointestinal tract. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends the use of chamomile for diverticular diseases. Chamomile is most popularly available as a tea, however it is also available in tincture or capsule forms. The effectiveness of chamomile in treating these conditions is currently being researched by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Peppermint may have a positive effect on a number of digestive conditions. Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome may benefit from using peppermint, according to the National Library of Medicine. Peppermint oil may also be used to help address the muscular spasms produced in the colon by endoscopic procedures. Indigestion and abdominal distention may be reduced by using peppermint. Peppermint is available as a tea, as well as in an oil form. The oil can also be found sold in capsules.
Flaxseed is a bulking laxative, and helps to support the colon by encouraging the healthy, timely elimination of fecal matter. Flaxseed contains soluble fiber, and works by combining with water to create a softer stool. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a dosage of 15 grams of ground flaxseed per day.