The Alternative Medicine Guide: Ayurvedic Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the digestive system that can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. While conventional medicine is the usual first line of treatment for IBS, many people also choose to explore alternative medical approaches as well. Among them is Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient system of health care with roots in India that views the body in terms of a tripartite division of biological energy, or ‘doshas.’
What Is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda holds that illness is caused by our failure to maintain a balance between the three physical Humours or doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) that make up our fundamental constitution. Ayurvedic treatments focus on restoring balance to the body’s doshic makeup by using herbs, diet, lifestyle modifications, massage, and other holistic approaches.
How Can Ayurveda Help Treat IBS?
Ayurvedic practitioners believe that IBS is caused by an imbalance in the doshic triad mentioned earlier, with Vata (which governs movement and gas flow) out of balance. An Ayurvedic treatment plan for IBS could include any of the following:
- Herbs: Ayurvedic practitioners may suggest herbs that reduce symptoms, such as flatulence and abdominal pain. Common herbs used include cumin, coriander, ginger, and turmeric.
- Diet: A personalized diet plan could be provided which involves an elimination of foods that provoke gas and bloating, such as dairy, spicy foods, and processed snacks.
- Lifestyle Modification: Advice might be given on how to reduce stress, get more sleep, and increase activity.
- Massage: Abdominal massage has been known to reduce bloating.
Speak to a Professional
Ayurveda can provide effective relief for IBS sufferers and many other health conditions, but it is best to consult with a medical professional before taking any herbs or supplements.
For more information about Ayurvedic treatments for IBS, visit the WebMD website.