Natural remedy for stress-related digestive disorders
IBS is one of the most common “functional” syndromes seen by gastroenterologists and primary care providers with prevalence up to 15% worldwide. It is characterized by chronically recurring lower abdominal pain and discomfort associated with alterations in bowel habits, and in the absence of detectable organic causes for the symptoms, IBS remains defined by symptom criteria.
The fact that IBS like most functional pain disorders share stress-sensitivity of symptoms, show a high degree of comorbidity with psychological symptoms (primarily anxiety and somatization) and psychiatric disorders (anxiety disorder, depression), and respond to CNS directed therapies (both psychological and pharmacological) point towards the important role of the CNS in the pathophysiology of these syndromes.
The pathophysiology of IBS is most likely multifactorial involving visceral hypersensitivity, abnormal gut motility, intestinal micro biota, inflammation and immune disturbance, genetic factors, abnormal gas handling, psychosocial factors, intestinal infections, central nervous system and serotonin. But involvement of numerous factors in pathophysiology and a very significant placebo effect cause therapy of this disease to be more complex.
Due to disappointing results with conventional IBS medication treatments, the treatment of IBS is challenging and use of complementary and alternative medicines especially herbal therapies is increasing and is becoming very attractive options for many patients who gets relief after using them.
HERBAL EXTRACTS USED IN STRESS-RELATED DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS AND HOW THEY ACT
· Reduces symptomatic dysfunctions of the intestinal tract such as abdominal pain and discomfort, constipation, painful (straining) bowel movements, heartburn
· Papain, Carica’s main active component, reduces gastric acid secretion induced by histamine
· Protective action against stress-induced ulcer and gastritis
· Highly active against E.coli, Micrococcus pyogens, S. aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and S. typhi
· High content in vitamin A and E and folic acid, including 40 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C.
· A very powerful antioxidant with a potency two to three times higher than green tea or red wine
· Extremely potent free radical scavengers due to the hydroxyl groups in green tea chemical structure. The hydroxyl groups form complexes with free radicals and neutralize them, preventing the progression of the disease process
· Green tea polyphenols, particularly EGCG, may be effective in preventing cancer of the prostate, breast, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and colon
Bacopa monnieri and Withania Somnifera
· Contributes to increased adaptation to stress and helps to induce calm and relaxation.
· Reduces general fatigue, physical and mental exhaustion.
· Peppermint relaxes gastrointestinal smooth muscle by reducing calcium influx in both large intestine and jejunum
· Reduces IBS symptoms – significant improvement in abdominal pain, distention, stool frequency and consistency, and flatulence
Mechanism of action – Mentha piperita
Mentha piperita extract through its essential oils inhibits enterocyte glucose uptake via a direct action at the brush border membrane. Inhibition of secretion by peppermint is consistent with a reduced availability of calcium, acting locally to cause smooth muscle relaxation.
· Constituents of Curcuma longa exert several protective effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Sodium curcuminate inhibited intestinal spasm and p-tolymethylcarbinol, a turmeric component, increased gastrin, secretin, bicarbonate, and pancreatic enzyme secretion.
· Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit ulcer formation caused by stress, alcohol, indomethacin, pyloric ligation, and reserpine, significantly increasing gastric wall mucus
· Powerful choleretic effects by increasing biliary excretion of bile salts, cholesterol, and bilirubin, as well as increasing bile solubility, therefore preventing cholelithiasis.
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties and therapeutic benefit have been demonstrated for a variety of gastrointestinal conditions, including dyspepsia, Helicobacter pylori infection, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.