Crohns Disease Herbal Remedies

CROHN’S DISEASE

BENEFICIAL HERBS

  • Alfalfa aids digestion and supplies needed vitamins K, A, and D and trace minerals. It can be taken in liquid or tablet form.
  • Other herbs that are good for Crohn’s disease include echinacea, chamomile, catnip, fennel, fenugreek, goldenseal, licorice, marsh mallow root, enteric-coated peppermint (do not use any other form), and slippery elm bark. These herbs aid digestion, purify the blood, and reduce inflammation and infection. For best results, use them on an alternating basis. Caution: Do not use licorice on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row, and avoid it completely if you have high blood pressure or heart problems. Do not take goldenseal on a daily basis for more than a week at a time, and do not use during pregnancy. Do not give goldenseal to children under two. Do not use goldenseal without consulting a physician if you have had heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, a stroke, or high blood pressure.
  • Red clover improves overall health and relaxes the body.

DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Eat a diet consisting mainly of nonacidic fresh or cooked vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, garlic, kale, spinach, and turnips. Steam, broil, boil, or bake your food. Note: Some people who have crohn’s disease are sensitive to cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
  • Drink plenty of liquids, such as steam-distilled water, herbal teas, & fresh juices. Fresh cabbage juice is very beneficial.
  • Add papaya to your diet. Chew a couple of the seeds to aid digestion.
  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • During an acute attack, drink clear liquids or fast too rest the bowel or try eating organic baby foods, steamed vegetables, well-cooked brown rice, millet, or oatmeal.
  • Follow a low fat, high carbohydrate and protein diet.
  • Try eliminating all dairy foods (including cheese), fish, hard sausage, pickled cabbage, and yeast products from your diet, and see if symptoms improve. These foods are high in lactose. Many people with crohn’s disease are lactose-intolerant.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, chocolate, corn, eggs, foods with artificial additives or preservatives, fried and greasy foods, pepper, spicy foods, wheat, tomatoes, prunes, citrus fruits and tobacco.
  • Decrease your intake of concentrated sugars and fat and increase your intake of complex carbohydrates and protein.

NUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTATION

A well balanced diet is a more natural source of nutrients and it is best to get as much as possible from food. If you are not eating a varied mixture of the main food groups or foods high in a certain nutrient needed for your health situation then make up the remaining through vitamin and mineral supplementation.

  • Important nutrients include magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, iron, vitamin B6, zinc, calcium, and fat soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E

DRUG & MEDICAL INTERACTIONS

  • Drugs such as corticosteroids and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), which are prescribed for inflammatory bowel diseases, and cholestyramine (Questran), which is prescribed to lower cholesterol levels, increase the need for nutritional supplements. Corticosteroids depress protein synthesis and inhibit normal calcium absorption by increasing excretion of vitamin C in the urine. Deficiencies of other nutrients, such as zinc, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, and vitamin D, decrease bone formation and slow healing. Sulfasalazine inhibits the transport of folic acid and iron, causing anemia.

If chronic diarrhea is present, electrolyte and trace mineral deficiencies should be considered. Chronic steatorrhea may result in deficiencies.

In some cases, herbal products can interact negatively with other medications. Such interactions can be dangerous. Herbal remedies are not regulated and their quality is not controlled. Moreover, while there is an abundant supply of information circulating about herbs, not much of it has been scientifically proven. Consult your physician. Informing your doctor and pharmacist of what herbal products you are using is just as important as letting them know what drugs you are taking. Your physician and the pharmacist on duty at your pharmacy can assist you in deciding which herbs
are safe.

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