6 Astringent Infusions for Diarrhea

Herbs with astringent properties have been used as adjuvants to stop diarrhea. Which are the most recommended? Discover them!
6 Astringent Infusions for Diarrhea

Last update: 04 November, 2022

The use of astringent infusions as a complement to calm diarrhea continues to be used. Even though it’s important to establish the cause of this problem in order to manage it properly, some plants help to accelerate the recovery process.

In particular, they’re useful to treat fluid and mineral loss, regulate secretions and promote good intestinal function. This is largely due to their contribution of phenolic compounds, tannins, and antimicrobial substances that contribute to the balance of the digestive function.

Which are the most recommended? Find out!

How do astringent infusions work to soothe diarrhea?

First of all, we need to know how astringent infusions work to relieve diarrhea. An astringent refers to a substance capable of toning or tightening tissue. In this particular case, plant compounds reduce irritation in the intestinal tissue, toning it and providing a protective effect against pathogens.

In turn, they slow bowel movements and decrease the frequency and volume of bowel movements. In this regard, an article published in Pharmacognosy Magazine explains that polyphenols – and especially tannins – are mainly responsible for the astringency of herbs. Thus, it’s advisable to choose ones with an abundant supply of these substances.

The role of tannins in the management of diarrhea

Tannins are water-soluble phenolic compounds characterized by their astringent, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant action. As detailed in a publication in Biomolecules, their main function is to protect plants against insect and fungal attack.

In addition, it’s the component that produces that bitter taste and that rough, dry sensation when tasting certain fruits and herbs. As far as medicinal effects are concerned, they’re known for their action against diarrhea. As they have the ability to dry and deflate mucous secretions, bowel movements tend to be reduced.

For this reason, they’re now used in the manufacture of anti-diarrhea supplements. A study shared through the Revista Española De Enfermedades Digestivas reported that gelatin tannate – a tannin-based supplement – helped reduce the consistency and number of stools in children with acute diarrhea.

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The consumption of astringent infusions can improve symptoms in cases of acute diarrhea. For severe episodes, or if accompanied by symptoms such as fever, vomiting, and weakness, it’s best to see a doctor.

The PeaceHealth health information library notes that the most commonly used herbs for diarrhea due to their tannin content and astringent action are the following:

  • Blackberry leaves and roots
  • Blueberry leaves
  • Red raspberries

It also mentions other options, such as chamomile, geranium, and carob. And what function do they exert in the body? Is there evidence about their effects? Let’s see in detail what science says and how they are prepared.

1. Blackberry leaves or roots

The blackberry, whose scientific name is Rubus fruticosus, is a plant known for its abundant content of tannins, gallic acid, vitamin C, pectin, and iron. A publication reported through Pharmacognosy Reviews details that its roots, in particular, have been used as an adjuvant against diarrhea.

In addition, through the journal Molecules, it was reported that the root bark and leaves of this plant have astringent potential, which gives it antidiarrheal properties.

Forest fruits.
Blackberries have a high concentration of antioxidant substances, including tannins.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of blackberry leaves or root (10 grams)
  • 2 cups of water (500 milliliters)

Instructions

  1. Put the leaves or blackberry root in a pot of boiling water
  2. Cover it and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes
  3. Then, filter it with a strainer and consume it
  4. Drink 2 or 3 cups a day

2. Blueberry leaves

A study shared via Frontiers in Pharmacology details that both the leaves and fruits of blueberries (V. myrtillus) are abundant in tannins. In fact, the entire Vaccinium genus is recognized for this quality.

It’s estimated that up to 10% of the leaves contain this substance. Hence its astringent and antidiarrheal properties.

Some blueberries.
The very color of blueberries denotes its composition rich in tannins.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of crushed blueberry leaves (10 grams).
  • 2 cups of water (500 milliliters).

Instructions

  1. Put the blueberry leaves in a pot with two cups of water
  2. Let it boil over a low heat for 5 minutes and remove
  3. Let the infusion rest for 10 minutes and pass it through a strainer
  4. Drink 2 cups a day until you feel an improvement

3. Red raspberry leaves

Red raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus) are used in traditional medicine to reduce abdominal bloating and diarrhea. A publication in the journal Antioxidants recognizes their potential to soothe symptoms of mild diarrhea.

Some raspberries.
Raspberries belong to the same family as blackberries.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of red raspberry leaves (10 grams).
  • 2 cups of water (500 milliliters).

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to the boil and then add the raspberry leaves.
  2. Let the infusion steep for 10 minutes and filter it through a strainer.
  3. Drink 2 or 3 cups a day until you get relief.

4. Chamomile

One of the most popular astringent teas is chamomile. A compilation of studies reported in Molecular Medicine Reports states that its high content of flavonoids and terpenoids favors the relief of gastrointestinal disorders.

A study on rats shared in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that this plant has anti-diarrheal and antioxidant properties. While human clinical trials are needed, these findings suggest that the plant has potential against this digestive problem.

Chamomile tea.
Chamomile has been used since ancient times for digestive problems.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile (10 grams).
  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).

Instructions

  1. Pour the dried chamomile into a cup of boiling water.
  2. Cover the drink and let it steep for 10 minutes.
  3. After that time, filter it through a strainer and drink it.
  4. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day if symptoms persist.

5. Geranium

In traditional medicine, geranium is a known astringent and soothing for digestive disorders. In particular, its infusion is used to stop episodes of diarrhea and counteract the loss of fluids and mineral salts.

In this regard, an animal study found that geranium leaf extract has anti-diarrheal and anti-propulsant properties, attributed to its tannin content.

Some geraniums.
Geraniums may modify peristalsis, i.e., the frequency of bowel movements.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of geranium leaves (10 grams).
  • 2 cups of water (250 milliliters).

Instructions

  1. Pour the dried geranium into a cup of boiling water.
  2. Cover the infusion and let it steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Then filter and consume.
  4. If diarrhea persists, drink up to 2 cups a day.

6. Carob

An astringent and anti-inflammatory infusion can be prepared from the bark of carob, ideal to help relieve diarrhea and inflammations in the gastrointestinal tract. A publication in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences details that ripe carob pods contain tannins, an active compound that helps calm diarrhea.

Some carob.
Carob pods have a high concentration of tannins.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon carob powder (10 grams).
  • 2 cups of water (250 milliliters).

Instructions

  1. Pour the carob powder into two cups of boiling water.
  2. Let it steep for 10 minutes until it reaches a temperature suitable for consumption.
  3. Drink the infusion once a day.

Recommendations for the safe consumption of astringent infusions

The consumption of astringent infusions for diarrhea is generally safe for most people. As a remedy taken on an ad hoc basis, in moderate amounts, it doesn’t usually produce side effects.

However, experts recommend that you avoid its use in the following cases:

  • Young children
  • During pregnancy and lactation
  • In patients with hepatic or renal diseases
  • People under treatment with anticoagulants, antidiabetics, antidepressants, among other drugs.

Since herbs can interact with drugs or supplements, it’s necessary to consult a doctor before proceeding with their consumption. Sometimes the action or potency is inhibited. Both cases carry health risks.

What to remember about astringent infusions for diarrhea?

The tannins contained in some medicinal plants can be used in infusions to accelerate the relief of diarrhea. Even so, these beverages shouldn’t be a first choice treatment against this symptom. It’s necessary to establish its cause in order to opt for more effective therapeutic measures.

The physician may suggest dietary changes, consumption of oral rehydration drinks, and rest in order to overcome this problem. If necessary, treatment may include antidiarrheal drugs.

The infusions should be merely complementary.
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