Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease causing inflammation of the colon and rectum. It is considered an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues, causing it to become inflamed.
The exact cause of this chronic condition is still not known. It is believed that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to the problem. Stress tends to make the symptoms worse.
Ulcerative colitis gives rise to symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, rectal bleeding and production of pus due to the sores or ulcers in the inner lining of the large intestine. The symptoms usually come and go, but five to 10 percent of people suffering from this disease have symptoms all the time.
Though there is no known cure for this condition, you can try some natural and easy home remedies to get relief from the debilitating symptoms.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for ulcerative colitis.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the most effective home remedies for mild to moderate ulcerative colitis. It is rich in monounsaturated fats and has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that olive oil may also protect against this problem.
Simply consume two or three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil daily.
2. Aloe Vera
Studies have found that aloe vera can help treat mild to moderate ulcerative colitis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Consume two ounces (one-quarter cup) of aloe vera gel six to eight times daily when you experience flare-ups.
- Alternatively, drink two tablespoons of fresh aloe vera juice, followed by a glass of water, two or three times a day for several weeks.
You can also add a little turmeric powder to the aloe vera juice or gel. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that works as a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
3. Wheat Grass Juice
Wheat grass juice has been found to be beneficial for those suffering from ulcerative colitis due to its antioxidant properties. It can reduce abdominal pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding caused by this chronic condition.
You can start by drinking about four teaspoons of wheat grass juice daily, and gradually increase the dosage to up to 3.5 ounces per day.
4. Fish Oil
The omega-3 fatty acid content and anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil help relieve the symptoms of active ulcerative colitis. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation.
Researchers at the Boston University Medical Center suggest that patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders tend to have abnormal essential fatty acid profiles.
As a remedy for ulcerative colitis, start by taking one gram of fish oil supplement daily and gradually increase the dosage to two to four grams.
5. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm provides relief from inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis as it forms a gel coating on the bowel lining due to its mucilage content. Moreover, it adds bulk to the stool to reduce diarrhea.
- Add one tablespoon of powdered slippery elm bark to one cup of hot water and let it steep for a few minutes. Drink it twice daily.
- You can also mix one teaspoon each of slippery elm and sugar in two cups of hot water to make a gruel. Consume it twice daily.
6. Psyllium Seeds
Being rich in soluble fiber, psyllium husk works as a bulk-forming agent and improves gut mobility, thereby relieving mild to moderate diarrhea caused by ulcerative colitis.
Add one-half to two teaspoons of ground psyllium seeds to one cup of warm water and drink it before it becomes too thick. Do this once daily until your condition improves.
Those who are not accustomed to this remedy should begin with one-half teaspoon and gradually increase the dosage. When using this remedy, drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent constipation.
Note: Before beginning this remedy, consult your doctor as it may worsen symptoms in some cases. Do not take psyllium if you have bowel obstructions or spasms.