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4 natural remedies for Crohn’s disease

These four herbal remedies can help in reducing the symptoms or increasing remission time among patients suffering from Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder.

Crohn s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that has no cure and mainly afflicts the patient s digestive tract. The symptoms of this disease include severe stomach aches, stools with blood, diarrhea, weight loss and most commonly affects the patient s small bowel and beginning of the colon. In some severe cases, Crohn s disease patients could also suffer from malnutrition.

Crohn s disease patients are also more prone to fevers, fatigue and night sweats, however, despite these severe symptoms doctors still haven t been able to figure out what causes this disease. However, recently researchers identified specific bacteria involved in Crohn s disease that abnormally increase or decrease.While patients have to rely on life-long medications, these four natural remedies can also be used for prolonging remission from the symptoms of this chronic disease.

1. Vitamin D supplements

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Studies have found that patients living with Crohn s disease are vitamin D deficient and that low levels are associated with increased symptoms of this inflammatory bowel disease [1]. Researchers have concluded in a study published in the United European Gastroenterology journal that short-term treatment with 2000 IU/day of vitamin D supplements can prolong remission from the symptoms of Crohn s disease.

2. Slippery elm

Slippery elm is a supplement that is commonly used by native Americans to treat different ailments including gastrointestinal tract diseases like Crohn s disease and ulcerative colitis [2]. It is made from the powdered bark of the slippery elm tree. While studies have found that its antioxidant properties can help in reducing symptoms of Crohn s disease, you should avoid using it without first consulting a doctor and pregnant women shouldn t use this herbal remedy. Slippery elm comes in the form of a powder, capsule, and even tea.

3. Mastic Gum

Mastic gum is a sticky resin or substance that is extracted from the Pistacia lentiscus tree which grows more commonly in North Africa and Greece. It is available in the form of capsules and has been found to consist of antioxidants that could be helpful in tackling the symptoms of Crohn s disease [3]. In a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in 2007, patients reported decreases in the symptoms of Crohn s disease. However, don t consume this herbal remedy without first consulting your doctor.

4. Indian Frankincense

Boswellia serrate or Indian Frankincense is a tree commonly found in India and is used often in traditional Ayurveda for various ailments due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is a gum resin extracted from the tree and has been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn s disease and even ulcerative colitis [4]. It is commonly sold in the form of oils and even capsules. Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before consuming this herbal remedy for the correct dosage.

References

[1] Ham M, Longhi MS, Lahiff C, Cheifetz A, Robson S, Moss AC. Vitamin D Levels in Adults with Crohn s Disease Are Responsive to Disease Activity and Treatment. Inflammatory bowel diseases. 2014;

[2] Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Feb;16(2):197-205. Antioxidant effects of herbal therapies used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an in vitro study. Langmead L(1), Dawson C, Hawkins C, Banna N, Loo S, Rampton DS.

[3] World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb 7;13(5):748-53. Chios mastic treatment of patients with active Crohn's disease. Kaliora AC(1), Stathopoulou MG, Triantafillidis JK, Dedoussis GV, Andrikopoulos NK.

[4] Triantafyllidi A, Xanthos T, Papalois A, Triantafillidis JK. Herbal and plant therapy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Annals of Gastroenterology : Quarterly Publication of the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology. 2015;28(2):210-220.

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