Naturopathic Medicine Remedies For Ulcerative Colitis

Table of Contents

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Are you suffering from chronic issues of bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, and notorious symptoms like false urges to have a bowel movement, followed by nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and loss of body fluids? Then you may be suffering from a condition called ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The etiology behind the disease remains unknown, and it has been suggested that a combination of genetic factors may be responsible for causing the disease.

The primary issue in IBD is inflammation. Inflammation is a process that often happens to fight off foreign invaders in the body, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. In response to these organisms, the body’s immune system generates various cells and chemicals to halt the invasion. These immune cells and chemicals directly impact the body’s tissues, leading to heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Nobody knows what begins the cycle of inflammation in IBD, but the outcome is a bloated, boggy intestine.

In the case of ulcerative colitis, the inflammation affects the lining of the large intestine and rectum. It’s thought that the inflammation typically begins in the previous section of the large intestine, which divides into the rectum (sigmoid colon). This inflammation may spread throughout the whole large Intestine, but only rarely affects the very last section of the small intestine (ileum). The remaining small intestine remains normal.

See: Natural Remedies To Improve & Restore Digestive Health

What are some problems with UC treatment?

Several medical treatments are available to handle ulcerative colitis (UC). Modern therapy aims to prevent flares and extend the time between flares (remission), at least briefly. However, these drugs can have serious side effects, especially when taken for an extended time. Corticosteroids, for example, can cause many cosmetic, emotional, and hormonal issues.

Many people just can’t tolerate these medications. Children, in particular, may have issues with standard medications. When compliance with prescribed medications is poor, treatment failure is normal. Because of this, many individuals turn to natural remedies to handle their UC.

To date, several medicines have been used in the treatment of UC, which is directed at inducing and maintaining remission of symptoms. In recent years, herbal medicines have been used in treating UC and have shown to be effective in the clinic.

See: Natural Treatments For GERD Causes Symptoms

Natural treatments for Ulcerative Colitis

Treating ulcerative colitis through the natural medicine approach has always been considered preeminent among the various healing methods. Natural supplements for Ulcerative Colitis address the whole person, including the body, genetics, mind, environmental exposures, emotions, and socio-economic status. It is now practiced extensively throughout various clinics and hospitals alongside western medicine. Some herbs found to be beneficial in treating ulcerative colitis include aloe vera gel, wheatgrass juice, Boswellia serrata, and bovine colostrum enema.

  1. Aloe vera – Aloe Vera juice has proven effective in treating various gastrointestinal disorders, including ulcerative colitis. It has been shown to produce anti-inflammatory properties and has been used extensively in patients with UC. In vitro studies have demonstrated that aloe vera gel exhibits antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory responses on human colonic mucosa by inhibiting prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis. [1]
  2. Boswellia or Indian frankincense, is an ayurvedic herb that has been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects and is effective in treating Cohn’s disease, UC, and ileitis. Since the inflammatory process in ulcerative colitis is associated with increased function of leukotriene’s, treatment with Boswellia has proven to bring positive results. Boswellia acts by directly inhibiting the intestinal motility by blocking Ca2+ channels. It also reduces inflammation in the intestine by inhibiting the synthesis of inflammatory mediators.[2]
  3. Butyrate – Butyrate is an important energy source produced by the intestinal epithelial cells via bacterial fermentation processes known to play an essential role in the maintenance of colonic homeostasis. Some studies have also shown butyrate to exert anti-inflammatory properties also promote cellular proliferation and differentiation to help repair mucosal lesions.[3]
  4. Licorice– Numerous research studies have shown the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of licorice extract that may add to beneficial effects against UC. Licorice extracts are found to promote the mucous secretion from the stomach and, therefore may lead to healing effects in UC. The antioxidant property of licorice extract inhibits the production of free radicals and produce antiulcerogenic activity. Besides its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, licorice extracts also produce its spasmolytic action, immune-modulatory, and adaptogenic property, all of which are required for UC’s pathogenesis.
  5. Slippery elm – Recent research studies have shown the efficacy of slippery elm bark in treating various symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Slippery elm produces antioxidant effects and acts as a demulcent. It produces soothing effects on the lining of the stomach and intestine, which is beneficial in treating ulcerative colitis.
  6. Wheatgrass – Wheatgrass juice is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids and possesses anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. It appears to be effective and safe as a single or adjuvant treatment of active distal UC. It reduces oxidative damage to cells, soothes the lining of the stomach and intestine, and helps prevent irritation and inflammation in the intestinal region.
  7. Curcumin – one of the active components of turmeric, has shown potent anti-inflammatory activity in ulcerative colitis, which helps reduce the secretion of acid from the stomach and protect against injuries that occur due to inflammation along the stomach (gastritis) or intestinal walls. It also suppresses ulcers arising from certain medications, stress, or alcohol.
  8. Germinated barley foodstuff (GBF) – This supplement consists mainly of dietary fiber and glutamine-rich protein and is known to act as a probiotic. Consuming GBF modulates the intestinal microflora and promotes the high water-holding capacity, thus playing an important role in treating and prolonging remission in UC.

9. Psyllium– also known as isaphgul, helps retain water within the bowel, effectively increasing stool moisture content and weight. It acts as a prebiotic where it helps reduce digestive discomfort in patients suffering from Ulcerative colitis.

See: Acupuncture Treatment For GERD

Studies in natural treatments for UC

  1. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.[5].

Eighty-nine patients were recruited in a quiescent UC clinical trial to understand the effects of curcumin in preventing relapse. The patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group with forty-five patients received curcumin plus sulfasalazine (SZ) or mesalamine; another group with 44 received placebo plus sulfasalazine (SZ) or mesalamine for 6 months. After every two months, the clinical activity index (CAI) and endoscopic index (EI) were determined. The results showed improved CAI and Endoscopic index, thus suppressing the morbidity associated with UC. Thus Curcumin seems to be a promising and safe medication in patients with quiescent UC for maintaining remission.

  1. Wheatgrass juice in the treatment of active distal ulcerative colitis: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial.[6].

Twenty-three patients were included in the study to evaluate Wheatgrass juice’s efficacy in treating active distal ulcerative colitis. The patients were diagnosed clinically and sigmoidoscopically with active distal UC. The patients were divided into two groups and were randomly allocated to receive either 100 ccs of wheatgrass juice, or a matching placebo, daily for one month. After one month of treatment, the patients reported improvement from rectal bleeding, and the number of bowel movements also decreased. Thus, the study concluded that wheatgrass juice appeared effective and safe as a single or adjuvant treatment of active distal UC.

See: Ayurveda Treatment For GERD And Acidity


Recent research studies have suggested that natural solutions for Ulcerative colitis, like herbs and plant extracts, can treat a wide range of acute and chronic GI disorders, including UC. Naturopathic therapies are safe to use with negligible side effects and provide long-term benefits. They may also eliminate the need for prescription medication or surgery, which can cause more side effects and long-term problems. So far, there is limited controlled evidence indicating the efficacy of natural medicine in treating ulcerative colitis. Further research needs to be carried out involving a large data population.

See: GERD Diet Plan To Prevent Heartburn

Schedule a free 15 minute consultation call

Subscribe To Our Blog!


Have a Question?