Ulcerative Colitis Natural Treatment: 4 Herbal Remedies to Try

Try these herbs for ulcerative colitis natural treatment and get started finding relief today.

Aloe vera is one natural Ulcerative Colitis treatment

Ulcerative colitis has been shown to respond well to aloe vera treatment.

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While there may be no known cure for inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis, there are many natural strategies that can help you to control your symptoms, such as making dietary changes, taking probiotics, getting regular exercise, and addressing a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), to name a few. Supplementing with herbal remedies can also make a big difference; try these herbs for ulcerative colitis natural treatment and get started finding relief today. 

Herbs for ulcerative colitis treatment

  1. Aloe vera is best known for treating sunburns, but helping to heal the skin is only one of the many health benefits of this plant. The gel from the aloe vera plant has remarkable anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. Ulcerative colitis has been shown to respond well to aloe vera treatment. Laboratory studies show that aloe vera has antioxidant effects, and it inhibits the production of prostaglanins and interleukins, compounds associated with colitis symptoms.[1] In one study, patients with active ulcerative colitis who took 100 mL of aloe vera gel twice daily for four weeks found significant improvements in symptoms. Specifically , 30% of patients taking aloe vera achieved clinical remission after four weeks, compared to only 7% of those taking placebo.[2] Making this one of the best natural remedies for colitis.
  2. Andrographis paniculata. Native to India and Sri Lanka, this herb has been traditionally used to treat conditions like the common cold. It is also particularly effective in relieving symptoms of ulcerative colitis. In one study, patients with active ulcerative colitis were given either 1,200 mg or 1,800 mg of andrographis or placebo. Andrographis was more effective than placebo, with those patients taking 1,800 mg the most likely show clinical improvement in their symptoms.[3] This herb is an one of the most effective natural remedies for ulcerative colitis.
  3. Boswellia is a potent anti-inflammatory herb that is useful in treating inflammatory conditions such as asthma. Laboratory studies have shown that boswellia can protect against colitis in animals.[4] In humans, boswellia has been compared to sulfasalazine, a conventional drug treatment for ulcerative colitis. The results of the study favored boswellia over pharmaceutical treatment, as it was better at reducing symptoms and inducing remission. The recommended dose for ulcerative colitis is 300 to 400 mg three times daily.[5]
  4. Curcumin is the active compound found in the common spice turmeric. It has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory capabilities in the gastrointestinal tract and its abilities to decrease cytokines and interleukins associated with inflammatory bowel disease.[6] Studies have shown that adding curcumin to drug therapy can help improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis.[7,8] In one study, patients who failed to improve after drug therapy were given either 3 g per day of curcumin capsules or placebo for one month, in addition to their current drug treatment. Improvement was seen in 65% of the curcumin group, compared to only 12% of the placebo group. The study found that 43% of the curcumin group experience remission, while none of the placebo-treated patients went into remission.[7] Try 2 to 3 g daily.

Don’t let your ulcerative colitis get the better of you; these herbs can help you to feel better and keep your symptoms under control. To read about natural remedies for Crohn’s disease, such as fish oil and probiotic therapy, learn more in 4 Natural Options for Crohn’s Treatment.To get started, choose one herb and take it for several weeks to see if it works for you. You may then want to add additional herbs if needed.

Share your experience

Do you have ulcerative colitis? What ulcerative colitis natural treatment strategies have you tried? Have any of these herbal remedies worked for you? Share your experience in the comments section below.

Originally published in 2015, this post has been updated.

[1] Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Mar 1;19(5):521-7.

[2] Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Apr 1;19(7):739-47.

[3] Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 Jan;108(1):90-8.

[4] Phytother Res. 2014 Sep;28(9):1392-8.

[5] Altern Med Rev. 2008 Jun;13(2):165-7.

[6] Altern Med Rev. 2011 Jun;16(2):152-6.

[7] J Crohns Colitis. 2015 Feb;9 Suppl 1:S300.

[8] Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Feb 24. pii: S1542-3565(15)00158-5.

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UHN Staff

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