Turmeric For IBSDo you experience upset stomach? Does it bother you all the time? What you are experiencing may be just another stomach pain or what we call irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder that affects the large intestine which includes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. It is a chronic condition that you’ll need to manage long term. The exact cause is unknown, but it may be linked to things like food passing through your gut too quickly or too slowly, oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress, and a family history of IBS (1). In this article, we examine the effects of Turmeric For IBS.

Some people can experience severe signs and symptoms of IBS while others manage the symptoms through proper diet, lifestyle and stress (2). IBS, however, doesn’t cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer (3). This could only turn out to be a lifelong problem which can make every day lie frustrating and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, IBS may be incurable but diet changes and medicines can often help control the symptoms.

There is a growing number of cases of IBS where patients turn to natural therapies. All are hoping to eradicate the severity of symptoms of IBS and avoid any possible chances of relapse. Most importantly, patients are looking for a safer and more natural alternative to address the adverse effects of IBS. A not so very uncommon herb whose reputation precedes itself is the turmeric. We already know what turmeric is. Just a quick background information of turmeric. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an herb popularly used as a main spice in the Indian dish curry and inarguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. The fact is turmeric has incredibly and amazingly vast benefits which are supported by credible researches. Curcumin is a potent property of turmeric which is a bioactive chemical. It is a powerful therapy for IBS because of its active anti-inflammatory properties. Paired with a reliable high-bioavailability delivery system, patients with IBS may be able to control its symptoms and more effectively than is possible with conventional treatment alone (4).

Turmeric for IBS, How Does It Work?

The turmeric root and rhizome contain nutrients and bioactive compounds that support optimal health. The main component of turmeric root is a volatile oil, containing turmerone, in addition to nutritional pigments called curcuminoids, according to Herbal Medicine (5).

Curcumin as the most bioactive type of curcuminoid contains antioxidant properties. It is also polyphenols – the active substances found in many medicinal plants. Their antioxidant properties play a role in helping to prevent various diseases associated with oxidative stress by supporting the activity of enzymes and cell receptors (6). Turmeric is an essential herb that reduces soft tissue inflammation.

Since our bodies require sufficient amounts of digestive enzymes to break down food as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract, turmeric curcumin extracts help to enhance the production of these digestive enzymes. Otherwise, stress and other factors, food stagnates in the gut causing the building up of toxins which inflame the gut. Constipation is also a problem as food is unable to move quickly. That is to say, turmeric for IBS help to calm down the inflammation in the gut and makes sure that the food is broken down efficiently so that it prevents constipation as well as the buildup of toxins.

Turmeric can also be used with black pepper to help with bloating and lethargy after meals by decreasing inflammation, strengthening intestinal walls and reducing abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and diarrhea by destroying fungi and bacteria (7).

Studies on Turmeric For IBS

Several studies reveal that extracts from the root act as an anti-inflammatory in the gut, increasing bile flow and preventing fermentation processes of undigested fats in the intestine which can lead to typical symptoms (8). Some researches also show that IBS patients appear to have low level inflammation and it is believed that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties might be helpful of this.

The University of Reading in 2004, focused at the effects of turmeric on IBS symptoms, finds that participants who take two turmeric tablets daily for eight weeks have improvements in their bowel movements and stomach pain (9). In addition, a study on rats reveal that the herb has mucosal protective effects in rat models of colitis (10). One small pilot study investigates the benefit of curcumin supplementation for patients with ulcerative colitis and patients with Crohn’s disease where all of the ulcerative colitis patients and four out of five Crohn’s patients show improvements over two months. It shows a promising result for irritable bowel syndrome and other inflammatory bowel disease symptoms (11). Current evidence suggests that curcumin has a positive effect on IBS symptoms compared to placebo, alleviating pain and improving quality-of-life scores in patients with at least moderate symptom severity (12). With its unique anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities and ability to modulate gut microbiota, it is a very much powerful additive to managing IBS. Curcumin is also safe and well-tolerated with no reported serious effects in all trials (13).

A 2004 pilot study tested the effects of turmeric for IBS on 500 IBS patients for 8 weeks and two thirds of the subjects are feeling better and experience improvement in their symptoms. Turmeric has also antibacterial and spasmolytic effects which make it more an effective alternative for IBS. Turmeric show that curcumin in the turmeric could be beneficial in curbing stomach disorders such as diarrhea, cramps and IBS, according to a 2010 study conducted on animals (14). Yet another study suggests that a standardized extract of this spice reduced IBS symptoms by 50 percent or more, according to a pilot study published in 2004 (15). It further shows that turmeric may help by reducing inflammation and abnormal muscle contractions in the bowel (16).

Final Thoughts

Turmeric may have shown a remarkable effect to people with irritable bowel syndrome. Although studies mentioned show the amazing benefits of turmeric, you should not attempt to administer it on your own without getting a go ahead from your gastroenterologist. Refer to a certified naturopath for assistance. And if you have chronic and recurrent abdominal pain and bowel problems that has affected your daily schedule because of your intestinal discomfort, it is also advised that you must get help. Talk to your doctor.