There are several natural herbs and herbal remedies which can be used to treat diarrhea.

The herbs that are most effective usually contain one or more of three natural ingredients which are also found in most over the counter remedies.

  • 1. Tannins are responsible for the astringent or bitter taste of many herbs. Astringents reduce intestinal inflammation. They bind with the protein layer of inflamed mucus membranes and thicken them. This slows the absorption of toxic materials and also slows the production of secretions.

  • 2. Pectin is the primary active ingredient in the popular over the counter anti diarrhetic Kaopectate. Pectin is a soluble fiber that adds bulk to the stool and soothes intestinal distress.

  • 3. Mucilage also soothes intestinal distress and adds bulk to the stool by absorbing water and swelling.
  • Natural Herbs for Diarrhea

    Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)

    Because of the astragalus anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties it is considered a good natural remedy for diarrhea. It contains polysaccharides which provide support for the immune system and stimulate the activity of phagocytes (white blood cells). It also raises the level of natural antibodies found in the blood stream.

    Picrorhiza Kurroa (Picrorhiza kurroa)

    This medicinal herb for diarrhea should be given only in low dosages. Higher doses can actually exacerbate diarrhea and cause flatulence in some people. As a bitter herb, it stimulates the digestive process. Picrorhiza stimulates the immune system including B and T cell activity and white blood cell activity. It can be used in the treatment of liver ailments and has anti malarial properties.

    Goldenseal (Hydrasis Canadensis)

    Goldenseal has an intestinal antibiotic action and helps to reduce adhesive E.coli while it stimulates the immune system. One of the active ingredients in goldenseal is berberine. Berberine has been proven to increase the activity of macrophages which digest bacteria and viruses.

    Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris)

    Barberry also contains berberine, which has anti protozoic properties. Protozoic diseases which cause diarrhea include giardia, dysentery, candida and cholera vibrio. Both berberine and palmatine are active ingredients in barberry and have anti bacterial properties. Another component of barberry is berbamine. Berberine and berbamine are alkaloids and strong antibacterials which are believed to increase the production of white blood cells and platelets.

    Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia)

    Echinacea is well-known as an immune stimulant. It’s active ingredients are polysaccharides and alkamides, which stimulate the body’s immune responses. It also contains polyaceytlenes which have anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Echinacea appears to interfere with the activity of the enzyme hyalurnidase. This enzyme breaks down the connective tissue and allows bacteria and other microbes to travel throughout the body.

    Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)

    Agrimony has been used as an herbal remedy for treating diarrhea due to its high tannin content. Several clinical trials confirm this use and Commission E endorses agrimony for common diarrhea.

    Carob (Ceratonia siliqua)

    Carob is very rich in tannins, which are astringent substances found in many plants, that have a binding effect on the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract. This makes its effectiveness high in adults with diarrhea, but even more so when used for children and infants experiencing diarrhea. The primary chemical constituents are largely sugars and tannins found in the carob pods. When these pods are eaten the gum like stability acts as a thickening agent to aid the body in retaining water and fastening together watery stools.

    Psyllium (Plantago ovata)

    Psyllium is used as an herbal remedy for diarrhea and relieving constipation due to its high mucilage and fiber content. The husks of the seeds swell by absorbing water, thus adding bulk to stool.

    Other natural herbs that have been used for diarrhea.

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    The Use of Herbal Remedies and Herbs for Diarrhea