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Gastrointestinal - Irritable Bowel Syndrome protocol

by Paul Bergner

Medical Herbalism 07-31-94 6(2): 11

The June 1994 ATOMS, the newsletter of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society contains a monograph by herbalist Cheryl Du Mee on the natural treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Du Mee suggests that herbal strategy should include both treatment of the bowel and treatment of symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Rebalance the bowel flora, first eliminating pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and protozoa. Use garlic or propolis for bacteria, and Euphorbia or ipecac for protozoa. Second, dally enemas may be taken, first an enema of lukewarm water and a few drops of tea tree oil, and next an enema with yoghurt seeded with Bifido bacterium. Yoghurt can be seeded by putting two tablespoons or more of Acidophilus and/or Bifidus powder into pure natural yoghurt and letting it ferment for twenty-four hours. Only put into an enema that which can be taken orally. A mixture of Bifidus and Acidophilus powders should also be taken orally. Finally 2-3 tablespoons of Ulmus fulva (slippery elm powder) can be taken per day. These treatments should last two to three weeks.

Second, if there is habitual constipation, the bowel must be retrained. Du Mee suggests a formula of one-fourth part chamomile and three-fourth parts slippery elm, 1 tsp to 1 dessert spoon two to three times a day for up to three months, adding Dioscorea villosa (wild yam) if there is flatus. She also notes that patient compliance at swollowing so much demuclent material can be a problem

For herbal treatment, Du Mee suggests selecting appropriate herbs from the following groups:


Matricaria (chamomile), Mentha piperita (peppermint), Dioscorea (wild yam), Viburnum opulus (cramp bark), Viburnum prunifolium (black haw), Valeriana (valerian), Glycyrrhiza (licorice), and Coleus.


Echinacea spp, Picorrhiza, Astragalus, and Hypericum (St Johnswort).

Gastrointestinal anti-inflammatories

Matricaria (chamomile) and Dioscorea (wild yam).
Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner    114


    Medical Herbalism: Clinical Articles and Case Studies    

Gastrointestinal anitmicrobials

Propolis and Hydrastis (goldenseal)

Carminative formula

Matricaria (chamomile), Melissa (lemon balm), or

Mentha piperita (peppermint) together with Carum (caroway seed). three times daily for as long as desired.

Other carminatives

Zingiber (ginger), Mentha piperita (peppermint)


Avena (oats), Turnera (damiana), Hypericum (St Johnswort) (especially if depressed), Bacopa, Polygonum multiflorum, Schisandra, Verbena, Scutellaria lateriflora, (scullcap).


Gentiana (gentian), Hydrastis (goldenseal)


Silybum (milk thistle seed), Cynara (artichoke), Taraxacum (dandelion root).


Glycyrrhiza (licorice),Plantago (plantain),Aloe, Althea (marshmallow), Ulmus fulva (slippery elm)

She also suggests the following formula:

Avena sativa (oat)         60 ml

Dioscorea (wild yam)          60 ml

Glycyrrhiza (licorice)         40 ml

Zingiber (ginger)             10 ml

Hydrastis (goldenseal)         30 m

The dosage is 5 ml before meals in a little warm water.

ATOMS Newsletter, P.O. Box 442, RYDE NSW 2112, Australia
Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner    115