Diverticulitis is a condition of the intestine that results in formation of many pouches on the wall of the intestine that are called diverticula. The most common cause of the condition is low fiber diet and the symptoms include water retention, abdominal cramping, nausea and bloating.
To treat diverticulitis it is important to increase the intake of fiber in the diet but there are some excellent herbs that are very useful in improving the health of the digestive system. Let us look at some of these herbs that can be used in treating diverticulitis and the associated symptoms.
Herbs for Diverticulitis
Licorice is mainly used for relieving abdominal cramps as well as inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract caused due to the diverticula. The herb is commonly used in various dishes for adding a particular flavour and is considered safe for use. However, herbalists do not recommend using the herb as a long term treatment of diverticulitis because there are side effects associated with continuous use of the herb.
The side effects are increase in blood pressure, lethargy and paralysis. The herb is available in tea form but it is important to get medical clearance before embarking upon its use.
Slippery elm is useful in the treatment of diverticulitis because it helps heal and strengthen the irritated tissues. For this reason the herb is also used to treat conditions such as sore and dry throat. The herb promotes mucus secretion that forms a protective covering over the tissues of the digestive system.
Herbal supplements and tea prepared from slippery elm are considered safe for use but have been known to cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive health conditions. To treat diverticulitis take 3-4 cups of slippery elm tea daily.
Flaxseed is considered a rich source of fiber and is therefore, useful in treating diverticulitis and its symptoms. Consumption of flaxseed adds bulk to the waste material, which helps in easier bowel movements.
Flaxseeds promote secretion of mucus that forms a protective layer over the tissues of the intestine thereby reducing the irritation and inflammation. But it has side effects that include bloating, constipation and flatulence. To treat diverticulitis take 2-3 teaspoons of flaxseeds each day.
Wild yam was mainly used in the treatment of stomach disorders until the last century but studies have now shown that it can be successfully used in the treatment of diverticulitis as well. The herb helps treat the abdominal spasms as well as inflammation of the intestinal tissues.
It contains diosgenin that has proven to be efficient in treating the condition and its symptoms. Herbal supplements containing wild yam extracts are available in herbal stores.
Drink 3-4 cups of chamomile tea every day to reduce the irritation and inflammation caused by diverticulitis. Chamomile has soothing properties that help treat stomach upsets including pain due to presence of diverticula. The tea can efficiently reduce the symptoms of diverticulitis but to get rid of the pouches the herb should be used in combination with wild yam.