Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome with These Seven Herbs

As well as including these herbs in your diet, to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome you must follow a balanced diet and avoid damaging foods.
Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome with These Seven Herbs
Carlos Fabián Avila

Reviewed and approved by Doctor Carlos Fabián Avila.

Last update: 11 July, 2022

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects many people and can be extremely disabling. However, there are certain healing herbs that can help relieve its symptoms when used as a supplement to any prescribed treatment.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder that leads to severe episodes of abdominal pain and noticeable changes in bowel habits. Being able to control these aspects is essential for the quality of life and well-being of those affected.

Here’s some information on how you can relieve irritable bowel syndrome with certain herbs.

Irritable bowel syndrome and its treatment

As we mentioned earlier, this is a disorder that affects the large intestine and is accompanied by symptoms such as cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and constipation. These facts are confirmed by the United States National Library of Medicine.

Its appearance is common in the adult population, although it can also manifest itself in adolescence.

Unlike other intestinal disorders, with irritable bowel syndrome, there are no alterations in intestinal morphology or metabolism, nor infectious agents that justify it.

The exact causes of this disorder are currently unknown. However, there are some influential factors. For example, muscle contractions of the intestine and the nervous system, the existence of serious infections, stress at an early age, and changes in the intestinal microbiota. Furthermore, stress and diet could play a triggering role.

As a rule, sufferers experience continuous dyspepsia, feelings of fullness, and excessive flatulence. Nevertheless, these symptoms can be kept under control, especially when daily habits, including diet, are improved.

In fact, treatment focuses on controlling the symptoms so that they don’t alter the day-to-day life of those affected. Aside from dietary changes, doctors may prescribe specific medications.

Furthermore, some healing herbs can be of great help in relieving irritable bowel syndrome. Due to their properties, they help reduce symptoms and promote better intestinal health. In this article, we’ll share seven of the best healing herbs for this purpose.

1. Thyme

Thyme is a medicinal herb that’s been used since ancient times as a natural supplement to relieve colon problems. It has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, as stated in this study conducted by the Victoria de Girón Biomedical Research Center (Cuba). Indeed, thanks to this herb, the pain and swelling caused by irritable bowel syndrome can be relieved.

In addition, its purifying properties stimulate the elimination of toxins retained in the digestive system. Furthermore, it provides a protective action against bacterial infections.


  • 1 teaspoon of thyme.
  • 1 cup of water.


  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the thyme.
  • Cover the mixture, and put on low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • When it cools down to a suitable temperature, strain and drink it.
  • Drink it twice daily.

You might also like to read:  5 Ideal Foods to Cleanse the Colon

2. Valerian

A cup of valerian infusion.

According to research conducted by the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón (Madrid), valerian has become famous for its sedative and anti-stress effects. However, its benefits go further.

In fact, it has antispasmodic, digestive, and anti-inflammatory properties that control pain, according to this study conducted by Shiraz University (Iran).


  • 1 teaspoon of valerian root (5 grams).
  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).


  • In the evening, add the valerian root to a cup of boiling water and cover.
  • The next day, pass it through a strainer and drink.
  • Continue drinking it until the symptoms of irritable bowel disorder cease.

3. Plantain leaf

Plantain tea is a good alternative remedy for patients with irritable bowel syndrome as it combats constipation and relieves pain. In fact, its anti-inflammatory compounds improve activity in the intestine, according to this study carried out by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.


  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).
  • 2 tablespoons of plantain leaves (20 grams).


  • Boil the water and add the plantain leaves.
  • Leave to rest for 10 minutes, strain, then drink.
  • Drink 2 cups a day, for at least a week.

4. Mint

Mint is one of the most widely used healing herbs for conditions that affect gastrointestinal health. Due to its antispasmodic and carminative properties, it helps to control pain and excess gas, as suggested by this study carried out by the Higher Institute of Military Medicine Dr. Luis Diaz Soto (Cuba).


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


  • Add a cup of water to a pot together with the mint. Heat until it reaches a boil.
  • Allow it to infuse for 5 minutes.
  • Leave to rest then drink.
  • Drink 2 or 3 times a day.

You might also like to read: How To Fight Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Mint

5. Anise

Anise, one of the healing herbs for irritable bowel syndrome.

Anise is another herb that helps relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It provides a sensation of relief from inflammation and pain. Furthermore, its active compounds control the swelling of the intestines and stimulate their movement to achieve a correct elimination of waste.


  • 1 tablespoon of anise seeds (10 grams).
  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).


  • Add the tablespoon of anise seeds to the water and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Allow it to rest. Drink at the first sign of discomfort.
  • Drink 2 or 3 cups a day.

6. Purple loosestrife

This plant of European origin isn’t one of the best known or commonly used herbs today. However, its active ingredients give it anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal properties that could be extremely helpful in relieving irritable bowel syndrome.


1 tablespoon of loosestrife leaves (5 grams).
1 cup of water (250 milliliter


  • Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan and add the loosestrife.
  • Turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for about 5 minutes. You can mix it with other digestive herbs if you like
  • Strain and drink after lunch.

7. Chamomile

The therapeutic effects of chamomile on the digestive system make it another ideal herb to improve many of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve intestinal spasms and abdominal pain.

In a 2015 study, the effect of chamomile extract on the incidence of irritable bowel symptoms was evaluated in 45 patients. They improved significantly between the second and fourth week of therapy. In addition, its effects lasted up to two weeks after they stopped taking it.


  • 1 tablespoon of chamomile flowers (2.5 grams).
  • 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).


  • Bring the water to a boil. Take off the heat and add the chamomile flowers.
  • Cover and let it rest.
  • Strain it and drink it at a lukewarm temperature to relieve colic.
  • Drink up to two cups a day.

Relieve irritable bowel syndrome with these herbs

With the herbal teas we’ve mentioned in this article, it’s possible to improve some of the symptoms caused by irritable bowel syndrome. In principle, they’re safe plants, although their use isn’t exempt from side effects or contraindications.

For this reason, it’s best to seek advice from an expert or consult your doctor before taking them. This is of special relevance if you’re already taking medication for the disorder or for any other illness. You must bear in mind that the active ingredients of plants can interact with those of certain drugs.

Furthermore, young children shouldn’t take them. Nor should you take them if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, if you suffer from other health problems (heart, kidney, gastritis, etc.) you should consult your doctor before taking them.

The seven herbs we’ve mentioned here are just some of the plants that can be helpful in relieving irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, there are others with the same properties. Depending on your particular condition, you can take them alongside each other, always respecting the indications and recommended doses.

  • Plants for bloating and gas: Lemon balm, fennel, and cumin.
  • For diarrhea: Blueberry, carob.
  • Relaxing infusions: Linden, passionflower, orange blossom.
  • Moisturizing and anti-inflammatory plants: Malva, marshmallow.

The importance of a healthy lifestyle

By using any of the aforementioned herbs you can promote the functioning of your colon and keep this annoying disease under control.

However, although they can be very effective, their consumption must be supported by a healthy diet, sufficient rest, a relaxed life, and adequate physical activity. By adopting these habits, you’ll soon see positive results in your digestive system. Also, don’t forget to visit your doctor so that you can use these treatments alongside any prescribed medication.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • García Bacallao M, Mercedes Rojo D, et al. Plantas con propiedades antiinflamatorias. Revista Cubana de Investigaciones Biomédicas. Julio-Septiembre 2002. 21 (3).
  • Mansor A. S, Hassan S. N, et al. Anti-inflammatory property of plantar major leaf extract rescues the inflammatory reaction in experimental acetaminophen-induced liver injury. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Agosto 2015.
  • Mayo Clinic. Síndrome de intestino irritable. Diciembre 2021.
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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.