SIBO Treatment with Herbs Is as Effective as Antibiotics

What is SIBO? It stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth and causes gas and bloating after eating. Best SIBO treatment: Combine herbal remedies with a SIBO diet.

SIBO treatment

Natural SIBO treatment is available that is just as effective (or more) than a conventional SIBO cure with antibiotics

SIBO treatment (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is often needed for many people with chronic gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. (Find a full discussion of SIBO symptoms by clicking here.)

An increasingly recognized problem, SIBO occurs when bacteria that normally occupy the colon migrate to the small intestine, feast on carbohydrates, and multiply. This causes inflammation in the gut as well as a diverse range of symptoms all over the body, most commonly in the digestive tract. This article focuses on how to cure SIBO and natural treatment for SIBO.

Treatment for SIBO

Fortunately, natural SIBO treatment is available that is just as effective (or more) than a conventional SIBO cure with antibiotics, according to the results of a new study.[1] Physicians at John’s Hopkins and the University of Pittsburgh showed that natural treatment for SIBO using herbal antimicrobial supplements was as effective as rifaximin, one of the conventional SIBO antibiotics.[1]

A group of 104 patients who tested positive for newly diagnosed SIBO took either a standard, high dose of rifaximin (1200 mg daily) or two capsules twice daily of each of the two supplements in one of the two following herbal protocols:

The products were specifically chosen because they contained antimicrobial herbs, such as oil of oregano, thyme, berberine extracts, and wormwood, shown to provide broad-spectrum coverage against the types of bacteria most commonly involved in SIBO.

How To Treat SIBO Naturally

Of the patients who received herbal therapy, 46 percent showed no evidence of SIBO on follow up testing compared to 34 percent of rifaximin users. Those using a natural SIBO treatment were significantly more likely to test negative for SIBO at follow up than those taking rifaximin.

The participants who did not improve on the rifaximin were then prescribed either one of the herbal protocols or triple antibiotics (clindamycin, metronidazole, neomycin) for four additional weeks. Of the 31.8 percent of rifaximin non-responders that then took the herbal therapy, 57.1 percent tested negative for SIBO compared to 60% of those taking the triple antibiotic therapy.

Adverse effects reported among those taking rifaximin included anaphylaxis, hives, diarrhea, and Clostridium difficile, while only one case of diarrhea and no other side effects were reported in the herbal therapy group.

“Herbal therapies are at least as effective as rifaximin for resolution of SIBO …” concluded the study authors.

Combining the SIBO Diet with Herbal Antimicrobials

Naturopathic doctors and integrative physicians often advise that patients follow a SIBO diet along with antimicrobial therapy for best results. A SIBO diet is primarily a low-carbohydrate diet, since bacteria use carbohydrates as their energy source and ferment them to gas. The SIBO diet can directly reduce symptoms by decreasing the amount of gas produced and possibly by reducing the overall bacterial load as the food supply shrinks.[2]

The SIBO diet is a combination of either the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) or the gut and psychology syndrome diet (GAPS) with parts of the low FODMAP diet (the FODMAP fruit and vegetable recommendations). With both the SCD and GAPS diets, all grains, starchy vegetables, lactose, sweeteners other than honey, and beans are eliminated. Eliminating these normally well-absorbed carbohydrates is essential in SIBO because these polysaccharide and disaccharide sources feed the inappropriate bacteria in the small intestine, creating symptoms and worsening the problem. The exact protocols for the SCD and GAPS diets can be found in the links above.

By further eliminating the highly fermentable fruits and vegetables recommended in the low FODMAP diet, even more of the bacteria’s food source is reduced. The low FODMAP diet is an irritable bowel syndrome treatment diet and was not specifically designed for SIBO; therefore, it does not eliminate all polysaccharide and disaccharide sources such as grains, starch, starchy vegetables, and sucrose unless combined with either the SCD or the GAPS diet.  Use the FODMAP link above to find the list of fruits and vegetables to avoid.

The Best Way to Cure SIBO

For the best results, follow the SIBO diet for three to four months. Most of the bacterial overgrowth is eliminated by week four, but practitioners have found that following the diet for another three months is usually necessary for more permanent eradication.[2] Combine the diet with a natural SIBO treatment of either the Metagenics or Biotics Research supplements for SIBO for a wonderful natural option.

Share Your Experience on How to Cure SIBO

What natural SIBO treatment worked for you? Have you tried a SIBO diet? To help your fellow readers with treating SIBO, please share your experience in the “Comments” section below.

Originally published in 2014, this blog is regularly updated.

[1] Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 May;3(3):16-24.
[2] Townsend Ltr. 2013 Feb/Mar;355(56):85-91.


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Comments Comments Policy
  • What happened to the 54% of original herbal patients who didn’t clear their SIBO with herbs? What was their next treatment?

  • I have takenRefximin twice (30 days at a time) and have been on the Fodmap diet ever since. I’m still having problems. I am not taking anything at this time. I didhave the breath test which confirmed I haveSIBO. What natural remedy would help and what diet helps the best

  • P.S. Is there a fee for this help? If so I’m not interested and will find a different way to get help. Thank you. gw

  • All these post about HERBAL MEDICINE and spell casters are scammers and fake trying to collect money all in the name of HERPES cure and when you contact them, they will be asking for your name, pictures, country, phone number, occupation and when you have given them all the information, they will be asking for money. I was once suffering from GENETIC HERPES and i spent a lot of money going from one herbal doctor to another but they all scam and take my money away until i came in contact with this powerful one called Dr.Oboh who cured me from Herpes with his herbal medication , after doctor Oboh has finished preparing the herbal medicine, he asked me to send him my residential address, so that he will send the herbal medicine to via D.H.L so i did. 2days later, i receiveed the herbal medicine and i had to follow the instructions he gave to me on how i will apply it. 2weeks later i went to hospital for test and according to the test done by the Medical doctor philip it stated that i was cured.
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  • Awesome article. Herbal antibiotics are definitely a great option for people with SIBO as I myself have had success with them. It also really just depends on the bacteria that is specific in each persons gut. I’m excited that there is now a few studies showing that herbal antibiotics are just as effective as normal antibiotics. If anyone wants to check out a resource I created for the top information on SIBO check out my site which is called SIBO Survivor.

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  • Around age 60 I noticed that my handwriting was getting smaller and I was writing faster. I also noticed a small tremor in my right hand. The doctor went over my different symptoms and he suspected I’d either had a small stroke or the beginnings of Parkinson ‘s disease. After finding a neurologist and some testing I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease. That was 4 years ago. I take Sinimet four times a day to control my symptoms, which include falling, imbalance, gait problems, swallowing difficulties, and slurring of speech,This year, our family doctor started me on Mbeki Herbal Clinic Parkinson’s Disease Herbal mixture, 5 weeks into treatment I improved dramatically. At the end of the full treatment course, the disease is totally under control. No case of dementia, hallucination, weakness, muscle pain or tremors.

  • I cured my SIBO by following The Whole 30 diet and taking Candibactin-AR and Candibactin-BR for 4 weeks. I am still following The Whole 30. I had a negative SIBO breath test 4 weeks after stopping the herbal remedies. The dosage I took was slightly different than the Johns Hopkins study. I took 1 Candibactin-AR twice a day and 2 Candibactin-BR twice a day.

  • I had been hospitalized for 4 years in a row all in the same month march, for shortness of breath. They thought it was asthma. The last time which was this year, they hospitalized me for a week. Which they ran lots of test and determined I have COPD. The symptoms I had were shortness of breath, tired, and coughing.There has been little if any progress in finding a cure or reliable treatment. April this year my brother In law who’s an M.D suggested I started on Natural Herbal Gardens COPD Herbal formula which eased my anxiety a bit,We ordered their COPD herbal treatment after reading alot of positive reviews, i started on natural alternative COPD DISEASE treatment from ( www. naturalherbalgardens .com ) the treatment worked very effectively, i am happy to report with the help of Natural Herbal Garden natural herbs my severe symptoms simply vanished, i feel better now, this alternative COPD disease treatment is a breakthrough.Visit Natural Herbal Gardens official website This Herbal Protocol is Incredible!!

  • Which herbal protocol is most recommended?
    Dysbiocide and FC Cidal (by Biotics Research) or the
    Candibactin-AR and Candibactin-BR (by Metagenics)

  • My 18 yo daughter came back from Peru with what appears to be post infection INS but also tested positive for SIBO (methane, not hydrogen) .. sever constipation and bloating almost immediately after eating
    MRI shows no blockage, stool
    samples and blood work do not point to parasites … which of these herbal remedies from the Hopkins study is recommended for her particular version of SIBO? One of the protocols calls for a supplement that CAUSES conscription
    We don’t need more of that. Advice?? She is miserable fatigued and loosing so much weight

  • I am 79 years, female and have been diagnosed with POTS. Have plaque in arteries, very high BP and rapid pulse from time to time. Is there an herbal protocol that will help me?

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