See more very helpful information under the general
category of auto-immune
bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the colon in
over 50 million Americans. It is more prevalent among women
than men. Symptoms include chronic constipation, cramping,
bloating, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort or pain. The cause
is not fully understood but some suggest that nerves that
control the contractions of the bowels that move food
through the intestinal tract send incorrect signals to the
colon or rectum. These contractions, that are normally
regular, may then increase in frequency or become spasmodic
leading to the symptoms often experienced.
IBS not a disease but rather a syndrome (a combinations
of symptoms) and although the discomforts are real there is
no evidence that any damage is done to the intestinal tract.
3 Problems with similar symptoms
IBS (irritated bowel syndrome), IBD
(inflammatory bowel disease), and celiac disease. What
is the difference?
All three conditions can have similar symptoms hence
sometimes leading to confusion. Further complicating
this is the fact that IBS is very common, occurring in as
many as twenty percent of Americans while IBD and Celiac are
less frequent. Therefore, since the symptoms may be
similar, there is often a quick diagnostic conclusion of the
more common IBS. Here is a summary of differences:
IBS – Irritable bowel syndrome
Technically this is a
disorder rather than a disease because the bowels are not
damaged. Some believe that nerves that control the
contractions of the bowels that move food through the
intestinal tract send incorrect signals to the colon or
rectum. These contractions, that are normally regular,
may then increase in frequency or become spasmodic leading
to the symptoms often experienced.
include chronic constipation, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort
or pain. It can be triggered by stress, insufficient
fluids, inadequate nutrition, allergic reaction to certain
foods, or just not eating properly (gulping a meal down,
eating on the run, etc.).
IBD – Inflammatory
This term refers to a
number of different diseases of the bowels. They are
typically chronic conditions with inflammation of different
areas of the intestine and may cause eventual damage.
Often they are associated with or are themselves autoimmune
in nature. The two most common forms are ulcerative
colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms may include
diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, bloody stools, and/or
a fullness and pain in the lower right abdomen. Blood
tests will show unique markers that are not present in IBD.
Celiac disease is
genetic and an autoimmune disease wherein the body
mistakenly attacks gluten and other proteins found in grains
that are in the digestive tract. As with IBD and
unlike IBS, this is a disease causes damage to the
intestinal system. With celiac the damage is done to
the lining of the small intestines but IBD can be anywhere
in the intestinal tract.
Some of the symptoms
include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence with
a bad odor, fatty stools (pale, large, bad odor, floating),
weight loss and others. Celiac has been reported to be
triggered by trauma after surgery, childbirth, stress, and
even viral infection.
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends:
DigestZenC, Ginger, Frankincense, PeppermintC
Essential oils based
products: GX Assist, PB Assist, Life Long
Clove, Fennel, GeraniumC, Oregano, Thyme
Research studies show that fiber with Peppermint
essential oil is more effective for IBS than modern
the Science & Research tab above.
3 times per day before meals take a
- 5 drops Peppermint
use fiber such as Metamucil)
The following protocol is reported to have helped others:
Cleanse (detoxify) and rebuild the gut using GX Assist
and PB Assist
Build nutritional strength with Life Long Vitality
Daily take a capsule with:
· 5 drops DigestZen
· 2 drops Ginger
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Karen - My husband
has many digestive problems, very IBS like, and is finally
ready to make a change in his life. My plan is to put
him on the GX assist first, followed by PB and LLW.
I'm sure he is very toxic and I have warned him about the
detoxification process, so my plan was to start him out slow
at 1 pill a day and work him up to three. My question
is this: should he be taking the Lemon, Peppermint
oils also or would that be too much for his system? I
also have the DigestZen. Should he have that also?
Julie Ann - The DigestZen will possibly
be a life saver along with the GX Assist for him. I
tell everybody who has the GX Assist and PB Assist that the
DigestZen goes along with it. Have him take the GX in
the middle of his biggest meal of the day and just start
with one if you are hesitant to overload him.... and keep
the DigestZen handy for him.... put it on the stomach, or
under the tongue, or in a small amount of water to take it
with. Citrus Bliss blend is what you want to use
in water to drink also...it is delicious and will help
gently purge the body of heavy metals. Hope this
Debbie - Would anyone have a
good regiment for IBS and/or colitis? (my ideas are PB
Assist, Wellness trio, Thyme, Oregano, Peppermint, Clove).
I put 5-6 drops of Oregano in a capsule with a few drops of
each of the other oils. Would love any other suggestions.
Pat - For the IBS and/or Colitis I would personally would
get on the Life Long Wellness supplements, take the PB
assist, and use DigestZen in a capsule with these oils: 5
drops DigestZen, 2 drops Ginger, 4 drops Frankincense.
Your ideas are great also, each person is different.
I would try either of these protocols.
What Science & Research are saying
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Treat IBS
Study Shows Older Treatments Work Well for
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
By Salynn Boyles, WebMD Health News, Reviewed By Louise
Nov. 13, 2008 -- Largely overlooked, older remedies like
Peppermint oil and fiber are effective treatments for
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a review of the research
The analysis shows that these remedies and some
antispasmodic drugs that are no longer widely prescribed
work well, researcher Alexander C. Ford, MD, tells WebMD.
Newer drugs that once held great promise for the
treatment of the poorly understood bowel disorder have
largely proven disappointing, either because serious side
effects emerged or they were not very effective.
So there is currently no clear first-line treatment for
patients with irritable bowel syndrome, Ford says.
"Most of the treatments we examined have fallen out of
clinical favor," he says. "But they work, they are cheap,
and they're far less toxic than some of the newer drugs."
Some IBS Drugs Pulled From the Market
Surveys suggest that anywhere from 5% to 20% of people
suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, a disorder with a wide
range of symptoms that may include crampy abdominal pain,
gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation.
In February 2000, Lotronex became the first drug approved
in the U.S. specifically to treat IBS, but it was withdrawn
from the market later that year because of potentially
life-threatening gastrointestinal side effects.
The drug was later reintroduced, but its use is now
restricted to women with severe diarrhea-predominant IBS who
have failed other treatments.
In March 2007, another IBS drug, Zelnorm, was also
withdrawn from the market by its maker, Novartis, at the
request of the FDA because of an increased risk for heart
attack and stroke.
"These new-generation drugs were going to be the magic
bullets for IBS, but it didn't turn out that way," King's
College London professor of general practice Roger Jones,
DM, FRCP, tells WebMD. "I think this new paper is important
because it shows patients and their physicians that these
older treatments can be effective."
Peppermint Oil and Fiber
Ford and colleagues combined the results from 12 studies
comparing fiber with placebo or no treatment, 22 studies
comparing different antispasmodic drugs to placebo, and four
studies examining treatment with Peppermint oil.
Although there were fewer Peppermint oil studies, the
trials were well designed and all showed Peppermint oil to
Other highlights of the analysis include:
Based on the combined data, the researchers estimated
that one in 2.5 patients would get significant relief of
symptoms if treated with Peppermint oil, compared to one in
five patients taking antispasmodics and one in 11 patients
taking fiber. Peppermint oil is sold in capsules, and the
study participants took about 200 milligrams two or three
times a day.
Insoluble bran-based fibers were not very effective, but
soluble psyllium-based fiber treatments like Metamucil were.
When psyllium therapies were considered on their own, one in
six treated patients had significant improvement in
When the 22 antispasmodic studies were combined, the drug
scopolamine was among the most effective. The researchers
recommend scopolamine, which is extracted from the corkwood
tree, as the first-line antispasmodic treatment for IBS.
Ford and colleagues concluded that psyllium-fiber therapy
is a good first-line treatment for constipation-predominant
IBS, while Peppermint oil and scopolamine are good choices
for diarrhea-predominant IBS.
The analysis appears in the latest issue of BMJ Online
first. In an accompanying editorial, Jones writes that the
findings should reawaken interest in these treatments and
spur research into their use for IBS.
"We really don't know which patients benefit most from
which type of treatment," he tells WebMD.
SOURCES: Ford, A.C. BMJ Online first. Alexander C.
Ford, MD, gastroenterology division, McMaster University,
Ontario, Canada. Roger J. Jones, DM, FRCP, professor,
department of general practice and primary care, King's
©2008 WebMD, LLC.
From PubMed February 2006
A combination of Peppermint oil and caraway oil
attenuates the post-inflammatory visceral hyperalgesia in a
Adam B, Liebregts T, Best J, Bechmann L, Lackner C,
Neumann J, Koehler S, Holtmann G. Department of
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and General Medicine,
University of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide,
South Australia, Australia.
OBJECTIVE: Visceral hyperalgesia plays a
pivotal role in manifestation of symptoms in patients with
functional gastrointestinal disorders. In clinical studies
combined treatment of Peppermint- and caraway oil
significantly reduced symptoms. Thus, the aim of this study
was to characterize the effects of Peppermint- and caraway
oil, individually and in combination, on visceral
nociception in a rat model of post-inflammatory visceral
CONCLUSIONS: These data show that
combined treatment with Peppermint- and caraway oil
modulates post-inflammatory visceral hyperalgesia
synergistically. The exact mechanisms have to be further
Herbal remedies for dyspepsia:
Peppermint seems effective.
Prescrire Int. 2008 Jun;17(95):121-3. [No authors listed]
(1) Functional dyspepsia is extremely common, yet few if
any treatments have been shown to be effective. This review
examines the potential benefits and risks of using herbal
products in treating symptoms of dyspepsia. (2) About forty
plants have been approved in France in the composition of
products traditionally used for dyspepsia. (3) The clinical
efficacy of most of these plants has not been assessed. Some
essential oils can cause severe adverse effects, including
seizures. Herbal teas appear to be safe when used
appropriately. (4) A few randomised controlled clinical
trials suggest that Peppermint essential oil is
effective in reducing abdominal pain, flatulence and
diarrhea in patients with "irritable bowel syndrome".
Peppermint tea, containing essential oil, has no known
adverse effects. (5) There is no sound reason to discourage
patients from using herbal teas made from plants
such as Lemon balm, German Chamomile or star anise.
capsules in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a
prospective, randomized trial.
J Gastroenterol. 1997 Dec;32(6):765-8; Liu
JH, Chen GH, Yeh HZ, Huang CK, Poon SK.;
Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Veterans General
To determine the efficacy and tolerability of an
enteric-coated Peppermint-oil formulation (Colpermin), we
conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled clinical study in 110 outpatients (66
men/44 women; 18-70 years of age) with symptoms of irritable
bowel syndrome. Patients took one capsule (Colpermin or
placebo) three to four times daily, 15-30 min before meals,
for 1 month. Fifty-two patients on Colpermin and 49 on
placebo completed the study. Forty-one patients on Colpermin
(79%) experienced an alleviation of the severity of
abdominal pain (29 were pain-free); 43 (83%) had less
abdominal distension, 43 (83%) had reduced stool frequency,
38 (73%) had fewer borborygmi, and 41 (79%) less flatulence.
Corresponding figures for the placebo group were: 21
patients (43%) with reduced pain (4 were pain-free), 14
(29%) with reduced distension, 16 (32%) with reduced stool
frequency, 15 (31%) with fewer borborygmi, and 11 (22%) with
less flatulence. Symptom improvements after Colpermin were
significantly better than after placebo (P < 0.05;
Mann-Whitney U-test). One patient on Colpermin experienced
heartburn (because of chewing the capsules) and one
developed a mild transient skin rash. There were no
significant changes in liver function test results. Thus, in
this trial, Colpermin was effective and well tolerated.
Editorial summary: 52 patients took a
Peppermint capsule before meals for a month and 79% experienced
lesspain. 49 patients took a placebo and 43% had less