Simple, Cheap Remedies Effective for IBS
Some of the simplest, cheapest, and most readily available remedies are also some of the most effective treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A placebo-controlled trial of Ontario, Canada’s McMaster University found that peppermint oil, soluble fiber, and some over-the-counter treatments were considerably more effective than placebo.
Although expensive prescription drugs are often prescribed by physicians, the researchers found that simple inexpensive remedies, although often overlooked, were very effective. “The systematic review and meta-analysis shows that ispaghula husk, anti-spasmodic drugs (particularly hysocine) and peppermint oil are all effective treatments for irritable bowel syndrome,” they wrote.
McMaster researchers studied data from four controlled trials of peppermint oil, 12 studies of different kinds of fiber, and 22 trials of antispasmodic agents that spanned a 60-year period. Although they found that wheat bran, an insoluble type of fiber, was no better than placebo at relieving symptoms of IBS, soluble ispaghula husk was significantly effective.
The most effective remedy of all of the simple remedies was peppermint oil. Studies found that peppermint oil substantially improved the symptoms of 40 percent of IBS sufferers while those who took drugs reported only a 20 percent improvement.
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