Win a copy of Straw Bale Building Details this week in the Straw Bale House forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Mike Barkley
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton

Advice for Crohn's symptoms  RSS feed

 
Posts: 15
Location: NB, Canada
bee chicken forest garden
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am a complete newbie when it comes to medicinal herbs.  My wife suffers from Chrons disease and she recently asked me what would be good herbs to help aid in digestion. I would love to be able to grow something she could make tea from that would help.
 
master steward
Posts: 8498
Location: Pacific Northwest
3078
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My husband also has Crohn's. He's on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which means no starches (potatoes, wheat, other grains, etc) or sugars other than those in fruit and honey. This means that some of the commonly prescribed herbs like marshmallow and plantain that have mucilagens (which are a type of polysaccaride/starch) aren't allowed.

BUT, mint seems to really help! Not only does it sooth the stomach (it acts as a carminative, reducing gas), but mint has also been shown in some studies to reduce stomach ulcers in mice (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2999094/). So far, it really seems to be helping!

I've also heard lots of good things about oregano, which is also in the mint family.

Another in the mint family of plants is Self-Heal. I recently ran accross this infromation from Baker Creek Seeds (https://www.rareseeds.com/self-heal/)

A photogenic, unobtrusive, mild-tasting perennial mint that is loved by pollinators and herbal tea drinkers alike! In clinical studies, it was found to have a very high antioxidant activity and contained active compounds such as rosmarinic acid, rutin and quercetin. The highest amount of compounds were extracted by water, but this plant also makes a great infused vinegar! Known for a high mineral content and high antiviral activity in several studies, it is considered by the Chinese to “change the course of a chronic disease”.

 

I couldn't find any information about it in Dr. Tilgner's book, and would love to know if the info listed at Baker Creek seeds is accurate, or inflated to sell seeds. Regardless, I've got the stuff growing around my garden, so I've begun adding it to my husband's daily tea.

I especially like that self-heal is supposed to have quercetin in it. A few months back, my husband started supplementing with quercetin, as it was shown to heal ulcers. He had some horrible Crohn's-caused ulcers on his feet. He'd been battling them for months, without any respite. He started taking quercetin daily, and the ulcers were gone in a week, and haven't been back since. If the healed the Crohn's ulcers on his feet, we can only hope they are also healing the ulcers in his gut!


I read in Dr. Tilgner's book that bitter herbs--like dandelion leaves and chamomile--which work in various ways upon the digestive system to help it digest food better. I.e. those--like my husband--who have a lot of undigested food in their stools, can really benefit from adding some bitter herbs before dinner. My husband was having a bit of a flare-up, and I'd read this in Dr. Tilgner's book, and so went out and started adding dandelion leaves to my husband's tea. Every day since we started adding in the dandelion, his stools have gotten progressively more formed, with less undigested food in them. I'm hoping it's the dandelion helping, and will continue to add dandelion to his tea!

=============

Two other things that we use, that aren't necessarily herbal, but seem to really help are

  • Saccharomyces Boulardii: This is a probiotic yeast, that has been used for many years to treat C.Diff, as it outcompetes the C. diff bacteria. Since Crohn's is thought to be caused in part by the immune system overreacting to an overgrowth of bad gut bacteria and yeasts.
  • Low-dose Naltrexone: My husband was on a differnt medication (sulfasalazine), but it started causing his kidneys to have labs that indicated kidney failure. We quit taking that, and the labs improved. We visited a naturopath and were able to get a prescription of Low-dose natrexone, which has little-to-no side effects. So far, his crohn's is as stable as it was on Sulfasalzine, and he has no side effects.

  •  
    Posts: 12
    Location: Alaska
    3
    cat dog cooking
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I would like to share my experience as I was diagnosed with a similar disease in the mid 1980's.  My predicament was ulcerative colititis.  The doctor actually laughed when he told me there was no cure and laid out a grim time line of what was going to happen to me as the disease progressed.  He prescribed three drugs for my immediate care.  Fortunately, I was horribly allergic to one of them and had a bad histemic reaction.  I threw all the drugs away and started looking for better solutions.  

    I used a lot of aloe vera gel/juice in the early stages.  I also use oregano oil in gel caps daily.  I never used a special diet of any kind like the doctor recommended as food didn't seem to affect me as much as stress (NOTE: I don't include "fast food" in the category of food as eating at "Mickey D's" can throw me for a loop on a good day.)  I also use bone broth and collagen powder to strengthen my gut.  I make sure to get enough vit. D, C, and magnesium as these are areas where I noticed when my body is crying out for something.  I eat according to the instructions given to us in Scripture (OT).

    {My mom has a similar problem with a diagnosis of diverticulitis.  The oregano helps her to stay healed also.}

    The problem I've found with these diseases is that the solution is individual-based.  Not everyone reacts to everything in the same way.  You've got to be willing to try some things and adjust yourself to what works and what doesn't.  I've been completely symptom free of this disease since 1997.  During that time, I lived in Thailand for 11 years in remote areas with compromised food and water sources without a problem and traveled around the world and throughout the U.S.  I've shared my story more as a message of encouragement that healing is possible.  I don't know what will work for anyone else, but I do know that our bodies are designed to heal and be healthy.  Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

    I've included my pic here just so you can see I'm a real person.  <Enjoy!>
    Jelly-Roll-Weave.jpg
    [Thumbnail for Jelly-Roll-Weave.jpg]
    Life is Quilting!
     
    Posts: 75
    Location: NRW/Germany
    10
    food preservation forest garden cooking
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Plantago indica seeds, one teespoon stirred in one glass of water and taken before every meal, is really good for stool regulation. It forms a gel that binds a surplus of liquid and creates a favourable consistency.
     
    Rob Clinch
    Posts: 15
    Location: NB, Canada
    bee chicken forest garden
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Thank you for the advice guys!

    Nicole, do you you dry the dandelion leaves or use them fresh? My lawn is currently glowing yellow with dandelions, so I really like the thought of that helping.
     
    Nicole Alderman
    master steward
    Posts: 8498
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    3078
    cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    We use the dandelions fresh! We walk outside just before making tea, and pick some dandelion leaves and chop them directly into the pot. Sometimes we send our four-year old out, and he picks a bunch :).

    Drying them would be an extra step, and we probably would never get around to drying them. But, we have dandelion leaves all year round, so it's just easier to go out and grab some to chop and throw in the pot.
     
    Posts: 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Since my climate has a killing winter that we must prepare for, right now is a great time to be picking leaves and freezing them. Ice cube trays help if you are mashing the leaves and freeze in either water or more tea. Ad to smoothies or soups or?

    Blanching a bunch like spinach, cooling quickly and freezing in zip locks is also a great way to put up greens.
    I like to add a variety when freezing greens. Since Red Beat leaves are good for us plus lambs quarter,and mustards, turnip greens, fresh dill or more herbs all together is a taste of summer in the middle of the winter! Do not forget to add good for us oils or fats since the vitamins absorb best with their help.  
     
    Posts: 102
    Location: Youngstown, Ohio
    17
    bike forest garden urban
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    My son has Ulcerative Colitis (or had since he is now sans colon).  He still has difficulty with loose/ watery stools.  Oatmeal daily for breakfast and Chia seeds have helped tremendously.  Still anemic related to poor iron absorption...the doc said eat more red meat (yuck) but it is helping.  Nettles are one of the highest iron content plants, started him on infusions (1 oz dried herb in quart jar covered with boiling water, covered, allowed to steep overnight then strained).  Drink throughout day or over two days, rinse, repeat.  Pic is nettles.  You can also order it dried easy peasy.
    20180318_114931.jpg
    [Thumbnail for 20180318_114931.jpg]
     
    Posts: 2
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I have had Crohns 21 years. I just discovered last year that CBD from hemp stops bleeding for me but makes my chronic fatigue worse. It may be something that works for others though. It is supposed to be legal in all 50, but opinions differ. I use aloe vera and charcoal in lieu of CBD for the bleeding and normalizing of bowel function. Still challenged with fatigue though.
     
    Posts: 86
    23
    bee books dog food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rocket stoves trees wood heat
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Slippery elm - soothing to all mucus membranes.

    L-Glutamine - amino acid aids in leaky gut and healing of the lining of the intestines in general.

    Curcumin/Bioflavinoids/buffered form of vitamin c - antiinflammatory and aid in healing

    Avoid common allergens - wheat, DAIRY, eggs, any white carbs, usually cruciferous high fiber veggies which is a shame because if you ferment them they are teeming with beneficial bacteria, artificial sweeteners

    Toxicity and stress are probably playing a role in more than one way - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually - Think about how you are irritated/irritating

    Red Clover tea is a blood cleanser

    Frankincense/Boswellia - antiinflammatory
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 320
    29
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    This is not herb, but clay:
    "A man with ulcerative colitis so bad that he was considering having part of his colon removed drank one to two quarts of Redmond Clay water every day for a month. He felt so much better than he had been when he was taking up to 30 pills a day (including some steroids which had some nasty side effects) that he quit taking all medications and just continued to drink the bentonite clay water. After 6 months of being symptom free, he had a colonoscopy and they found his colon looked better than it had for ten years. The doctor said, “It is as if you had never had the disease”.

    I had (mostly anyway had, once in  while I still get some)IBS symptoms after particularly nasty stomach flu, and what I feel helped me the most was slippery elm powder and prebiotics taken with probiotics together. Slippery elm is tasty, so I  just add it to the yogurt and my other herbal powders.
    Raw vegetables have lots of fiber, which is prebiotic, however as we cook them they are converted into digestable starches, and loose their probiotic fiber.  Eating raw vegetables, especially root is great, but it is a good idea to use 3-4 tablespoons of prebiotic fiber additionally to them to increase food for good bacteria.
    Good powders to use -potato starch, inulin (usually from sunchoke), acacia fiber, dandelion root, burdock root, chicory root, apple peel, asparagus, green banana, orange peel, baobab fruit, Larch bark fiber -arabinogalactan, tigernut, flaxseed, psylium husk.
    Now do not start with tons of raw vegetables and full amount of prebiotic powder, because you would suffer with severe bloating and gas. Start slowly with small amounts and increase gradually. But either way, expect battle in your tummy as good bacteria kills out the bad, and dead bacteria releases ammonia and other not so nice stuff. I used activated charcoal before bed (as to not reduce nutrient intake) to help with that. Then even if gas is there, at least it doesn't stink. But it helps to reduce it and takes in not good stuff dead bacteria emits.
    Good probiotic strains are boulardii and reuteri.
     
    Posts: 126
    Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
    28
    chicken forest garden goat
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    SueJean Heinz wrote: I would like to share my experience as I was diagnosed with a similar disease in the mid 1980's.  My predicament was ulcerative colititis.  The doctor actually laughed when he told me there was no cure and laid out a grim time line of what was going to happen to me as the disease progressed.  He prescribed three drugs for my immediate care. [snip]
    The problem I've found with these diseases is that the solution is individual-based.  Not everyone reacts to everything in the same way.  You've got to be willing to try some things and adjust yourself to what works and what doesn't.  I've been completely symptom free of this disease since 1997.  During that time, I lived in Thailand for 11 years in remote areas with compromised food and water sources without a problem and traveled around the world and throughout the U.S.  I've shared my story more as a message of encouragement that healing is possible.  I don't know what will work for anyone else, but I do know that our bodies are designed to heal and be healthy.  Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.



    SueJean, thank you for sharing this. Our son, 21, has been dealing with ulcerative colitis for five years. We've gone the medical route (his dad/my husband is a doctor), and it just isn't doing any good. Doctors say he would be worse if it weren't for the meds, and from a fear-based place, we don't test the theory. But I'm tired of seeing him suffer and limit his activities so that he's not far from a toilet or embarrassed or something. I went to a permaculture presentation around functional medicine and am encouraging him to investigate this and other healing paths that are outside of the medical route.
     
    Joy Oasis
    pollinator
    Posts: 320
    29
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Take a look at Yummy Mummy Emporium youtube channel. She is Canadian naturopathic doctor, that extensively researches, and I found amazing info there, that I didn't know despite being interested in natural health for a while. She covers many topics on digestion. so very likely you will find something useful. In Gerd video she described person in a very bad condition, who was close to death, and just in a week he started turning around with diet and supplements such as aloe vera juice.
     
    You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because
    177 hours of video: the 2017 Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course
    https://permies.com/wiki/65386/hours-video-Permaculture-Design-Technology
    • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic
    Boost this thread!