Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for IBS Relief: A Holistic Approach to Gut Health

| Modified on Jan 30, 2024
Baking Soda
Posted by Dana (Oklahoma) on 03/30/2017

I wish I had known baking soda in water could stop an IBS attack 30 years ago. So many doctors, so much money wasted, so many days of my life in misery.... And a few cents worth of baking soda was all I needed.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Malati Mukherjee (Coonoor, India) on 12/18/2021

My friend had been on blood pressure medicines and was unsure of what to do when her doctor went out of town and she couldn't consult him for continuation of the dosage.

I suggested that she take a tablespoon of ACV in water or fruit juice once a day till the doc was back and she could consult him again.

2 weeks later, the doc was back and after testing her told her she needn't go back to the medication again:)

When the mother of a 20-year old told me he's been having IBS ever since he was a child and that they've tried everything including holistic treatments, we decided to try the ACV. Same dosage of 1 tablespoon with water or fruit juice once a day. By the end of the first bottle his IBS was gone. It hasn't come back in the 5 years since then:)

Dietary Changes
Posted by Art (California ) on 04/17/2017 2089 posts

In reply to Elizabeth (Ny),

You might give some consideration to discussing melatonin, probiotics and vitamin d with your doctor to see if they can help calm things down and help you get to sleep also. Lack of sleep is stressful on the whole body and has the potential to exacerbate IBS. Melatonin has shown the ability to help IBS and it has a very good safety profile and is naturally produced in the body suggesting a lower chance for allergic reactions to it. Melatonin was originally thought to only be produced in the pineal gland in dark hours of the day in very small amounts, but more recent studies confirm that melatonin is produced in the gut in much larger amounts and a disturbance in gut melatonin production may be a problem. Melatonin research, like vitamin d research, has shown that melatonin receptors are found throughout the body. Melatonin is readilly available, cheap, easy to take and has the potential to help IBS based on studies as well as improve sleeping patterns. Here is a study that mentions as much:


Melatonin is a highly potent antioxidant and helps increase the bodies own very potent antioxidant system to heavilly quench multiple types of radicals throughout the body. Melatonin has many health benefits and is protective of the organs also. Certain probiotics have also been shown to increase gut melatonin levels and this may be one potential way that probiotics work their magic on some people, so potent probiotics may be helpful also. Melatonin seems to be effective at relatively low dosing and there are timed release versions available also. The studies for melatonin are pretty impressive and plentiful.

There are not a lot of studies, but the following abstract below, from PubMed, suggests that vitamin D may be helpful also so those are three easy ones you can discuss with your doctor. After the abstract is a link to a full study that discusses vitamin D and IBS. The very bottom link is to an abstract that discusses a specific probiotic and IBS.


Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2016 Oct;28(10):1533-44. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12851. Epub 2016 May 7.

Effect of vitamin D on gastrointestinal symptoms and health-related quality of life in irritable bowel syndrome patients: a randomized double-blind clinical trial.

Abbasnezhad A1, Amani R2, Hajiani E3, Alavinejad P3, Cheraghian B4, Ghadiri A5.

Author information



Low-grade mucosal inflammation and immune activation are involved in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Furthermore, IBS symptoms are associated with a significantly higher prevalence of psychological distress, which in itself results into an impaired quality of life (QoL). Vitamin D could ameliorate the symptoms of patients suffering from IBS through its beneficial effects on psychological factors and inflammation.


A total of 90 IBS patients participated in this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Participants were randomly selected to receive either 50 000 IU vitamin D3 or a placebo fortnightly for a period of 6 months. Patients reported their IBS symptoms at the baseline and monthly during intervention periods. The IBS severity score system (IBSSS) and IBS-specific QoL questionnaires were used at the baseline and postintervention.


Over the 6-month intervention period, a significantly greater improvement in IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain and distention, flatulence, rumbling, and overall gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (except dissatisfaction with bowel habits) was observed in the patients receiving vitamin D as compared to the placebo group. The IBSSS and the IBS-QoL scores in the vitamin D group significantly improved compared to the placebo group postintervention (mean IBSSS score change: -53.82 ± 23.3 vs -16.85 ± 25.01, p < 0.001, respectively; mean IBS-QoL score change: 14.26 ± 3 vs 11 ± 2.34, p < 0.001, respectively).


Vitamin D seems to be an effective and safe option to improve QoL and symptoms of IBS. ClinicalTrials.gov




Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Diane (Columbia, Missouri) on 10/24/2011

This is a follow-up to my original post back in April 2010. I'm still symptom free from my IBS because of the ACV. I haven't had any problems with it whatsoever since I started drinking the ACV. The good news is that now, I only drink it once in awhile for "maintenance". If you have IBS, you must give it a try.

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Juliette (USA ) on 08/16/2019

My husband has basically dealt with ibs-d for decades. He knows Ice cream and raw veggies will get him bad but diarrhea is present most of the time for him.

For the last two weeks, he has been taking 2 charcoal tablets before bed every night. This has helped him very much. He is even eating salad without difficulty.

My gut was out of whack after travel and a stomach bug. Just one dose of charcoal finally got me back to normal. It's cheap and effective but shouldn't be taken within 2 hours of medications.


Purified Water
Posted by Xox_care_xoz (Montréal ) on 10/19/2017

Ever since I was a child I used to get abdominal cramps followed by Diarrhea 1-2 times a week and I was never able to find the source of what was causing it and I finally accept the fact that I had IBS. I am now 31 Years old and I found the source to my problem and I no longer have abdominal cramps with Diarrhea it's been a year and it has changed my life. The source of the problem was tap water... Chlorinated water. I stopped drinking tap water and a month later I had no more issues. Please try this and see if you also have chlorine intolerance. Definitely worth trying :)

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Diane (Columbia, Missouri, Usa) on 04/22/2010

I'm a 48 yr old, post menopausal female. I was diagnosed with IBS about 14 yrs ago. I've had flare ups off and on over the years. It got much worse after going through menopause. No prescription meds seems to work. About a yr ago, I tried acupuncture and in less than 3 sessions I was basically "cured"...until I developed a hiatal hernia. the doc gave me omeprazole for the pain. I'm pretty sure that the medicine got rid of ALL the acid in my stomach, therefore my IBS flared up big time because my stomach was unable to digest food properly. The gas, bloating, cramping and irregular stools all came back with a vengence. thanks to this website, I decided to try ACV. After the first dose, I noticed improvement. After that, I've had no symptoms AT ALL. I've been drinking it for a week now. For myself, 1tbsp in about 8oz of water 3 times a day works for me. And it's unfiltered organic ACV with the 'mother'. I also noticed an immediate increase in energy which was a huge welcome! I did have some constipation for about 3 days, but I stuck it out and now I'm regular and "normal". I also feel like I am able to breath deeper now, which I was having trouble with before.I don't use the baking soda with the ACV because I just love the taste of vinegar anyway. I wouldn't drink it straight up though, because I think it would burn like the devil. I'm sure the vinegar is why I no longer have the symptoms from the hiatal hernia too, acid reflux, etc. Trying to pass this amazing "fix" on to friends and family..Mostly I just get funny looks. Oh well, their loss. I won't be without my ACV again. ps..haven't changed my diet in the least either. Thank you EC!

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Annabell (Bakersfield, California) on 08/04/2008

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: I am 33 years old female with a sensitive stomach..Almost everything I consume always result in heavy gas and bloating. A friend recommended to take Charcoal pills..I have tried almost every prescription medications there is and was excited that charcoal is an old asian alternative medications. I take 1-2 capsule 1-2hours prior to eating..I make sure to have water intake at least 8 glasses a day. Within 1wk I felt immediate results, less bloating, irrability and back to having a regular bowel movement.

Happy stomach.

EC: Read more about Activated Charcoal here: https://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/charcoal.html

Aloe Vera Juice
Posted by Eleonora (Athens, Greece) on 09/25/2010

Hello alex! Did you stop taking aloe vera juice after 3 months and you still have no symptoms? I know two people who cured from cancer just by drinking aloe vera juice every day! I just diagnosed with ibs! I will try aloe vera juice as you did and I hope to be cured too because I cant live with this for my whole life! I strongly believe that if it can cure cancer then it can cure something far more simple like ibs!.

Parasite Cleanse
Posted by Blue Star (Tennessee) on 05/25/2017


Blessings... this is also symptoms of intestinal parasites. Always good to do a parasite cleanse twice a year...

Chromium Picolinate
Posted by Bill (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) on 10/05/2011

Chromium Picolinate has improved my digestion by 90%. I take 200 mcg 15-30 minutes before every meal. The results have been miraculous. And I was one of those people who tried all the typical cures, probiotics, fiber, etc with no success and I was getting frustrated. But the chromium picolinate has saved my digestion. My bowel movements are like the ones I had in high school!

I also found it helps for frequent urination but I made a different post for that. I hope this helps somebody!

Posted by Art (California) on 05/04/2023 2089 posts

This new RCT human study shows that melatonin can be very beneficial in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as discussed here :


Here are a few relevant quotes from the randomized, double blind, placebo controlled human study :

' Melatonin can be considered an effective treatment for improving IBS score, GI symptoms, and quality of life in IBS patients with and without sleep disorders. It is also effective to improve sleep parameters in IBS patients with sleep disorders. '

' The results of our trial showed that in both groups of patients with and without sleep disorders, receiving melatonin leads to a significant improvement in IBS score and GI symptoms, including the severity and the frequency of abdominal pain, the severity of abdominal bloating, satisfaction with bowel habits, disease's impact on patient's life, and stool consistency'

' In patients with sleep disorders, significant improvement in sleep parameters, including subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and daytime dysfunction, was observed, while in patients without sleep disorders, there was no significant improvement in sleep parameters. In addition, quality-of-life improvement was observed in a significant number of melatonin recipients compared to placebo in both groups of patients. '

Of interest in this study is the fact that they only used a total of 6 mg of melatonin per day in two divided doses of 3 mg each. A fairly simple plan for significant alleviation of IBS. Also of interest in this study was the number of participants, 136, a very good size study.

This is a very significant and important study, given that IBS is one of the world's most common gastrointestinal disorders and current medical treatments are often ineffective.


Peppermint Oil
Posted by lady liza (Los Angeles) on 09/11/2021 32 posts

My daughter suffered from IBS in high school. And on my way to London, I stopped at the Boots pharmacy in the airport. They handed me 6 boxes of Colpermin (Peppermint oil capsules) and I am thankful to this day. It not only worked, but after I year or so of taking it, her symptoms stopped. It's 15 years later and it has never come back.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Janet (In) on 05/17/2017

Eleanor I take 50 mg of dhea in the morning and 5 mg of melatonin at night. I only take the dhea for 3 days to stop the ibs d. Then 1 more time the following month for 3 days.

You and I are nearly the same age. I am 60. To further help Ted advises a few other things for hormone balancing. I did them 5 years ago. My husband who works 3rd shift is on the same regime. It resets his body clock and improves his ability to stay well and heal if he gets hurt. My Mom did these things also. She had 2 surgeries and had been given cipro. She then had a cascade of side effects from that deadly antibiotic.

Her issues seemed insurmountable but we fixed her up and she is fine.

Really these are the basic defenses to any wellness you wish to achieve. You may already know much of this, bear with me.

First is fluoride. The elimination of this one toxin will change everything. Even if your water is fluoride free. If you eat out, or buy foods, water your garden, brush your teeth this poison is in you. You do not eliminate it in any way. It goes to your bones and pinal gland and shuts it down. It disrupts sleep. Causes bone pain. It causes your body to hang on to any aluminum which can penetrate the brain. It disrupts hormonal balance which in turn invites bad health.

You can remove it from your body. Teds borax remedy. 1/8 tsp of 20 Mule Team Borax in 1 liter of water. Use this water in beverages throughout the day. It does not taste great. Palatable cold. I just use some in coffee water as I make it through the day. Or tea or with some lemon. This will remove the excess estrogen from foods, soil, and plastics and our water. It is so over used in farming we are awash in it.

This one thing in 24 hours our family experienced miracles. Or daughter had pcos and narcolepsy. She got a period that night and slept a normal sleep. She had not had for 5 years. It helped my husband with his bloodclot. I was able to think clearly for the first time in several years. My Mom had her bone pain reduced. Her RLS calmed somewhat. There is more.

The point is fluoride is a toxin. It poisons us slowly and deliberately. It steals life and health. When it was tested for use in water, 60% of the test subjects had no reaction. 40% had bad reactions. Dental fluorosis, teeth browning, enamel worn away. Our daughter had those white stains on her teeth from tetracycline, at least that is what the dentist said. That faded away in a few weeks. My dentist cleaning appts gave me browner teeth. Every six months they got worse. That is why I made that borax water in the first place. I was trying to improve it. We were shocked at the results.

3x a week Ken and I take a hormone balancing set of supps that Ted recommends. This corrects the lower amounts our bodies produce as we age. Those balanced hormones provide the foundation of wellness every human needs to live to a ripe old age and pass quietly in our sleep. It keeps the prescriptions away. Anti aging therapy if you will.

25 mg of pregnenolone AM

12.5 mg dhea AM...this is for hormone balance not part of the ibs d regime. You can skip this amount the 3 days you take the higher dose.

Sea kelp for iodine, 2 ..900mg capsules AM

Magnesium malate for loose stool people. 250 mg 2x a day Am and bedtime. It is needed in every system in your body. From digestion bones connective tissue and brain.

1 activated b from Swanson as this has all the correct forms of the bs to give excellent energy digestion and liver health. AM. My second choice would be organic dessicated liver capsules from Swanson. Liver is high in Bs and has is rich in niacinamide which our bodies need throughout digestion and in our livers.

We buy extra B3 as niacinamide. Not niacin and take 500mg at bedtime to improve sleep. I cannot express how critical this one nutrient is.

B1 as thiamine mononitrate. AM Cheap thiamine has no nutrient value. It is what gives multi bs their distinctive smell. This pathway to absorb thiamine is often broken and it is so important to human health. 2 things to look up to understand this. Beri beri a very old illness that is cropping up everywhere unidentified and treated with drugs. Dr. Lonsdale has written extensively on it. His articles can be found on a blog called Hormones Matter. By Chandler Mars phd.

PM melatonin this is part of ibs d treatment but will improve your sleep everyday. It works with the dhea in your intestine to create the correct brain chemicals to sleep.your brain is driven by your gut health.

PM 2.5 mg of lithium orate this is a mineral used again to improve sleep and brain function.

PM Gaba 250 to 500mg try 250 first. Promotes correct stages of sleep. They, all the PM supps let you sleep and stay asleep.

At first this should be more than enough. If not you can add tryptophan to your regime.

The first week we took every day. I find that 3 days a week works for me. Ken's 3rd shift demands more so he takes them 5 days out of 7 even though he works 7 days a week.

Ted here on EC says you should take a break from supplements. Take two days off from everything. To absorb the good and dump the garbage.

So our schedule is 5 days supplements out of 7. Monday through Friday.

Borax monday through Thursday

Magnesium 5 days a week

Multi b, thiamine 3 mornings a week niacinamide bedtime.

Pregnenolone, dhea, kelp, 3 mornings a week.

Bedtime magnesium, melatonin, lithium, gaba, niacinamide. The first week 5 days..Monday through Friday following weeks you may not need them all 5 days. You will determine as you go along.

There are very few things he recommends for everyday use. We have found his therapies accurate every time.

Again I will mention that your ibs d regime is 3 days in a row. Dhea in the morning and melatonin at night.

To further improve your gut health I recommend the alkalinity chapter here on earth clinic. Acv or lime and baking soda with water 1/2 hour after food 2x a day 5 days out of seven. I highly recommend Ted and Bill Thompsons book on alkalinity. I keep giving away my copies. It is such basic health and nutritional information.

I also recommend on you tube Dr Michael Holicks video regarding vitamin d and how foundational it is to everyone. You would think equatorial countries that the population gets much sun would be rich in this foundational supplement but they are struggling much like the rest of the world. If you were to build a human from scratch vitamin d and magnesium would be the mortar.

Things that disrupt your efforts to get well...





Vegetable oils..eat only butter and coconut oil



Try to eat your biggest meal midday. Keep dinner lighter. Try to be done with food for the day by 5pm this and alkalinity drinks keep cortisol from jumping all over the place during sleep and waking you up.

To get full trace minerals in the morning I drink a full glass of water with 1/4 tsp of sea salt in the morning. I sat down with a one month planner page wrote each thing down by splitting the days in half. It became an easy habit by the second week no more planner. I do this for all 6 of us easily. It becomes a pleasure to see real results within 1 to 3 days. It is very exciting to see our health return.


Bentonite Clay
Posted by Revonda (O H, WV) on 02/10/2009

Bentonite Clay for IBS, Ulcerative Colitis & Gastroenteritis: Bentonite Clay is a miracle!! I have suffered w/ these conditions since I was a child (I am almost 42). As no meds would help & doctor's couldn't do anything. These conditions had left me pretty much, home bound. I was desperate and would have tried just about anything.

For the past several months, I have been taking just a small amount (no more than 1 T a day, in purified water) & I have went from 10-15 loose bowel movements a day, to two normal bm's. I saw the results immediately. I do not take fiber.

I had forgotten what normal was. It was so bad that I could eat, almost nothing w/o getting extremely sick. On occasion, I still take Prilosec for acid reflux, but no other stomach meds!!

I hope this info helps others, as it has given me my life back. ;)

Posted by Terry (Solomons, Md) on 10/31/2017

I have had chronic diarrhea off and on for years. I have tried most of the suggestions posted here but none comes close to what I recently discovered. I bought a jar of raw, fermented, and unpasteurized sauerkraut from my local health food store (in the refrigerated section). I tried in that same afternoon (probably eating more than I should--more about that later). The next morning I was in "stool heaven"... no diarreah in sight, and I went about 3 times that day and really cleaned myself out.

Here's what I learned: you don't need to eat a whole lot of the sauerkraut, just a nice forkful...I am trying it out once a day, but I think as I go along, maybe just 3 forkfuls a week would be OK because you don't want to upset the balance of the good and bad bacteria in your gut. I am thrilled with this finding. Several weeks before my "gastro doc" prescribed Cholesdtyramine for oral suspension. It's a powder that you mix with water or juice. That did work for about 3 days and it was back to diarreah. Anyway, it messes up your cholesterol and bile and who wants that? Please try this natural, easy to eat sauerkraut and let everyone know who you do. Thanks for reading.

Posted by Lisa T (Fl) on 09/02/2015

I am 53 y/o and tried Turmeric to loose weight and found it has many AMAZING side effects. I have had horrible irritable bowel since I was 7 y/o. I mean horrible. It will bring me to my knees and make me throw up, forcing me to choose which end should be aimed at toilet. The Turmeric not only assisted in losing weight but stopped my irritable bowel/spastic colitis DEAD IN ITS TRACKS - NONE. I had never experienced a day without pain in my colon. OMG it was amazing.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kelly (Wisconsin, US) on 06/30/2014

Recently started taking Apple Cider Vinegar for other health benefits and noticed a positive effect on my IBS problems. I don't even take it everyday but I take about 4 tablespoons at a time in juice to help with the taste. Before that I had luck in managing the symptoms with Slippery Elm Bark pills. Which I took when I felt an episode coming on.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Elaine (Nashville, Tennessee) on 01/25/2012

Coconut oil has significantly reduced my IBS symptoms. As long as I take four pills each day I don't have symptoms. I also have long nails for the first time in my life and my hair is thicker too. I suspect coconut oil helps IBS sufferers that have had their gall bladder removed.... just a personal hunch.