Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Psyllium Seed Husks
Increased fibre intake is the cornerstone of an IBS protocol. However, the right fibre
choice is important. Wheat-based products have the potential to trigger an allergic
response in the individual with IBS, so fibre from other whole grain, vegetables and
fruits are preferable. Psyllium husks aid intestinal cleansing and detoxification through
their content of both soluble and insoluble fibre. The gel-forming soluble fibre portion
of psyllium may help relieve diarrhoea due to its water-absorbing characteristics, as
well as potentially reducing the irritating effect of allergens associated with IBS.
Psyllium can also relieve constipation. IBS often presents with alternating bouts of
diarrhoea and constipation.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria
The intestinal microflora in IBS patients may be disturbed, which can have implications
for the health of the intestinal cells. Probiotic bacteria are responsible for the
production of various organic acids that are a direct source of metabolic fuel for the
cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. Research shows that supplementation with
probiotics can promote a healthy intestinal environment.
Digestive Enzymes and Betaine Hydrochloride
Insufficiencies in stomach acid and enzymes can lead to food allergies, excessive
intestinal levels of harmful organisms and improper digestion – all which can be major
factors in the development of IBS. If deficient, supplementation with these digestive
compounds at mealtime may reduce both the symptoms and possible causes of one’s
The volatile oils in oregano are smooth muscle relaxing and may help to inhibit muscle
spasms, an effect that is especially prominent in the digestive tract. Oregano could
therefore be useful in a variety of digestive conditions including IBS, flatulence,
abdominal cramping, and conditions associated with nervous tension.
IBS sufferers typically experience constipation, diarrhoea or a combination of both.
Caricol (a completely natural product made from the pulp of the tree-ripened papaya)
is used to support gastrointestinal health and has been shown to have a regulative
effect on the digestive system. In clinical trials Caricol was shown to be effective for the
relief of both constipation and loose bowel movements, and as such may offer
substantial relief to IBS patients.
Historically, cinnamon has been used to support digestion, and may be of particular
value for people with gastrointestinal problems such as IBS, candida, dysbiosis,
abdominal cramps and indigestion. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia indicates its use
for flatulent dyspepsia, flatulent colic, and diarrhoea, specifically colic or dyspepsia
with flatulent distension and nausea.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Summary
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Psyllium husk fibre 3 – 5g per day
Probiotics (broad spectrum) 2 – 15 billion organisms per day
Digestive enzymes 1 -2 tablets with main meals
Betaine Hydrochloride1 1 -2 tablets with main meals
Oregano oil2 30 – 80mg per day
Caricol (organic papaya fruit puree) 1 stick per day for diarrhoea. 2 sticks per day for
Cinnamon3 1 – 4g of raw bark per day
Common allergens (wheat and/or dairy)
Fibre (Not from wheat)
Nuts and seeds
Take regular exercise
Stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue are all major factors in the development of IBS and
need to be addressed as part of this protocol.
Avoid wheat bran and other potential allergens
1. Those with stomach or duodenal ulcers should not use betaine hydrochloride. Intake may need to
be altered based on the amount and type of food consumed.
2. Do not use in pregnancy or lactation
3. Not to be taken during pregnancy or lactation. Caution with blood thinning medication –
concomitant use under medical supervision only. Concurrent use with anti-diabetic medication
under medical supervision only.