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4 natural remedies for ulcerative colitis

These remedies, along with your medication, can be very effective in providing you relief.

Written by Anuradha Varanasi |Updated : December 31, 2015 10:13 AM IST

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the colon. People suffering from this condition need to take medication throughout their lives to prevent relapse, reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and improve the quality of their lives.

Dealing with this form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be painful and at some point, might also require surgical intervention if the symptoms don t subside despite treatment. Did you know that four in one lakh Indian children suffer from some form of IBD? If you are suffering from mild to moderate UC, try these four herbal remedies.

1. Aloe vera

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Aloe vera is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and as a digestive aid. However, it has been found to be effective in dealing with a chronic condition like UC as well. Researchers from Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, administered 100ml of aloe vera to patients suffering from mild to moderate UC for four weeks. It was found that 70% of these patients responded to this form of treatment and also showed signs of improvement [1]. Here are 10 amazing health benefits of aloe vera.

2. Wheat grass juice

Wheat grass juice has been used for treating various gastrointestinal and other ailments for over 30 years now. In 2002, doctors found that fresh wheat grass juice is effective in drastically reducing the symptoms of UC and can also reduce the severity of rectal bleeding [2]. Start by having 20 ml of fresh wheat grass juice a day and you can gradually increase it over a period of one month. However, remember not to have more than 100 ml of wheat grass juice a day. These are the 10 reasons why you should add wheat grass to your diet.

3. Turmeric

Curcumin is a compound in turmeric with anti-inflammatory properties. This compound can reduce the acid secretion from the stomach and protect against injuries such as inflammation along the stomach or intestinal walls and ulcers. A study conducted by Japanese researchers found that having 1g of turmeric after breakfast and also after dinner for six months can help in preventing a relapse of UC [3]. You could either add this quantity of turmeric to your meal or mix it in a glass of water.

4. Pineapple juice

Pineapples contains a component called bromelain, which acts as a digestive aid and also has anti inflammatory properties. Research has found that this component can also be effective in fighting against inflammation caused by UC [4]. Have two glasses of pineapple juice a day to get some relief. Also, remember to follow these 6 diet tips to beat IBD.

References:

[1] Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Mar 1;19(5):521-7. Anti-inflammatory effects of aloe vera gel in human colorectal mucosa in vitro. Langmead L(1), Makins RJ, Rampton DS.

[2] Scand J Gastroenterol. 2002 Apr;37(4):444-9. Wheat grass juice in the treatment of active distal ulcerative colitis: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Ben-Arye E(1), Goldin E, Wengrower D, Stamper A, Kohn R, Berry E.

[3] Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Dec;4(12):1502-6. Epub 2006 Nov 13. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Hanai H(1), Iida T, Takeuchi K, Watanabe F, Maruyama Y, Andoh A, Tsujikawa T, Fujiyama Y, Mitsuyama K, Sata M, Yamada M, Iwaoka Y, Kanke K, Hiraishi H, Hirayama K, Arai H, Yoshii S, Uchijima M, Nagata T, Koide Y.

[4] Hale LP, Chichlowski M, Trinh CT, Greer PK. Dietary Supplementation with Fresh Pineapple Juice Decreases Inflammation and Colonic Neoplasia in IL-10-deficient Mice with Colitis. Inflammatory bowel diseases. 2010;16(12):2012-2021. doi:10.1002/ibd.21320.

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