Ulcerative Colitis - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for Ulcerative Colitis. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Boswellia, Copper Chlorophyllin

Posted by Health Maven (California) on 11/25/2016

I've been experiencing a UC flare over the past month or so, starting with diarrhea and mucous and ultimately with lots of bleeding. Normally I'm able to clear things up fairly quickly with olive leaf extract. Unfortunately, this time around it did no good, even after I layered in oil of oregano as well.

After scouring Ted's recommendations, I tried a number of different things including melatonin (5 mg 3x/day plus 20mg before bed), DHEA (200 mg before bed), boswellia (500mg 2x/day), artemisinin (200mg 3x/day), and copper chlorophyllin, among other things. Nothing was working, and then I started vomiting once per day almost a week ago.

After several days of that with no relief, I decided to try a liquids only approach (eating only homemade chicken broth) plus boswellia and copper chlorophyllin per Ted's recommendations that they will kill the mycobacterium as the necessary first step to healing. So yesterday I ramped up the boswellia (standardized 65% boswellic acids) to start with 1000mg first thing in the morning and then 250mg every hour or so for about 10 hours, and then another 1000mg right before bed. On top of that, I used 18 drops of copper chlorophyllin in 8 ounces of water 4x yesterday, plus 5000 IU Vitamin D in the morning, and 20mg melatonin and 200mg DHEA right before bed.

Within 12 hours or so of starting the modified dosage of boswellia and copper chlorophyllin I noticed a significant decrease in bleeding, plus no vomiting (I started to include a small amount of chicken with the broth later in the day) for the first time in days. This morning, 24 hours after starting the revised protocol, there was no bleeding for the first time in weeks! I also haven't had to run to the bathroom within an hour of eating, which is a nice change :)

I'm going to continue with the boswellia, copper chlorophyllin, Vitamin D, melatonin, and DHEA (same dosage pattern as yesterday) for another day or two to make sure as much of the mycobacterium are cleared as possible before layering in Ted's recommendations for healing (lysine, glutamine, NAC). I'll provide another update in the next few days.

From digging around, it doesn't seem like boswellia is toxic at higher levels. "Toxicity studies of Boswellia in rats and primates showed no pathological changes in hematological, biochemical, or histological parameters at does up to 1,000mg/kg." (http://www.chiro.org//nutrition//FULL//Boswellia_serrata_Monograph.pdf)

So if you're experiencing UC bleeding and boswellia doesn't seem to be working, try playing around with the dosage to see if that helps.

Thanks Ted for your insights! Sending prayers for your own healing :)

Vitamin C Ascorbate

Posted by Kim (Mo) on 04/17/2016

Vitamin C Ascorbate for Ulcerative Colitis:

My brother in-law (40 yrs old) has UC & as a truck driver has to carry an extra set of clothes for when he is unable to make it to the bathroom in time. I have the opposite problem & have issues going & can only stay regular by taking Magnesium every morning on an empty stomach. That is until I learned about Vitamin C ascorbate acid form (Not ascorbic acid) of C.

Ascorbate Vitamin C is made from Calcium & will not cause bloating, gas or upset stomach when taken on an empty stomach within an hour or so of eating. Nothing has helped myself or my brother in-law more than Ester C formula found in any vitamin shop. I stumbled across this through a site that talked about gutsense explaining ALL the benefits of Vitamin C made from minerals. Not sure if they talk about arthritis, but is absolutely instrumental in reducing inflammation in those suffering from it. I recommend beginning w/1,000 mg of Ester C & working your way up from there to a level that works for you.

Note: I also have IC Interstitial Cystitis (thinning of the bladder lining) & Vitamin C (ascorbic acid form) always made my symptoms worse & caused terrible pain. All IC sites recommended staying away from Vitamin C. The Vitamin C (ascorbate from Calcium) has never caused pain or an IC flare up & has made my symptoms associated with IC better overall.

Activated Charcoal

Posted by Chrystal12 (England) on 02/01/2016

Hi I would like to tell people about my personal views on activated charcoal capsules.

My son was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when he was just 6 years old, when he was 12 he developed toxic mega colon which resulted in a subtotal colectomy appointmentssy, around this time he also developed a more severe allergic reaction to penicillin called acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, where in fact penicillin was not the only cause betalactums, contrast dyes etc also contributed where they never used to before. in 2014 he had a J pouch reconstruction and we was back to stage 1 ( we was informed originally that removing my sons Colon will also remove the disease) but this sadly was not the case.

From March 2014 he could not leave the house for urgency (as soon as he stood up) he also developed fistulas and chronic inflammation where the small intestine was sown to the bowel, his recovery was made difficult by this multiple drug allergies, the hospital did not no what to do with him , the doctor wouldn't even look at him and just classed him as a complex case, I decided to do a bit of research as my son was struggling and I kept coming across this activated charcoal so I decided to try him on 1 per night just to see how he would react to the capsule, at this point his fistulas was continuously opening , and he had an reaction to the contrast dye from his CT scan, nothing was working to relieve the fistulas and the gas problems and the now reaction, this now is the Gods honest truth after 1 night the rash had started easing and was completely gone within 5 days after using activated charcoal 1 capsule per night and for the first 2 days 1 capsule in the morning, his frequent visits to the bathroom became less and less, his fistulas was actually responding to the treatment of the charcoal, 2 weeks later he can now walk up the road on his own without the urgently of needing the bathroom ( bear in mind his been unable to even leave the house since 2014) apart from taxis to his appointments, this is just by taking 1 capsule per night, no other medicine has been successful even infliximab had to be stopped because it caused a reaction, so we are extremely pleased with the results so far, I would 100% recommend activated charcoal capsules for any illnesses its still early days yet but I'm actually looking forward to his next hospital appointment to show them how well he has done.

Multiple Remedies

Posted by St (Florida, US) on 01/25/2015

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis via biopsy during colonoscopy. I am allergic to the drug used to treat UC and was advised by regular MD there was nothing they could do. Dr said if I didn't find a way to get it under control on my own I only would last about 5 years. After bleeding internally for 1.5 years going a D.O., ARNP, DC & acupuncturist, helped me get it completely under control.

Here is how: Chiropractor found I was highly intolerant to wheat, that was the first I eliminated. so no wheat, no gluten.

Further food logs revealed no more dairy either. There are other foods that I found as triggers & I avoid them and the regimen I take daily is:

4 probiotics a day they also contain a yeast cleanse this is crucial. I get them from AST enzymes on line. When I tried to take less I found myself catching the colds and flu bugs everyone else was getting. At this dose I seem to never catch what everyone else is getting.

I tried every other brand of probiotics and was super sick due to the dairy. Also tried non-dairy I ordered on line but didn't work.

I drink psyllium husk this is a bulking fiber it helps sweep the intestines and keep bowels regular

I take omega 3 every day to reduce inflammation

I take Quercetin 500 mg a day this is to help with the allergic components.

I eat whole foods only and very little processed foods such as gluten free bread. Very little meat as it causes inflammation. Drs. said no pork although I do cheat and eat a small amount here and there. Eating alkaline foods and no acidic foods is very important

It is highly likely you may have a yeast problem which was confirmed for me in a stool sample. In order to get rid of it you have to eliminate sugar and take the probiotic yeast cleanse I mentioned earlier.

A food log is the best way to start. Aloe Vera juice did not help me nor did a lot of the other over the counter natural things. To a speedy recovery!

Potassium Iodide

Posted by Rjwl (Ca) on 06/18/2014

Ulcerative Colitis: I have found the best way to safely and quickly kill off gut infections (without killing off the body's friendly bacteria) is to take high dose potassium iodide for a few days. This stuff is sold for use in case of radiation exposure, but potassium iodide safely kills off yeast, bacteria, fungus, viruses, and most parasites like giardia, etc. Take 100 to 120 mg (not mcg) on an empty stomach before going to bed and let it work its way through your intestines. Do for 3 days, once each evening, then wait 8 days and do it again (to catch any eggs that have hatched out). Iodide is very healing to the gut and should not exacerbate any conditions, though you may have a "die off" reaction if you have a massive infestation. I also recommend the GAPS diet for complete healing of the gut. I practically destroyed my gut using Flagyl etc, then restored it using the GAPS diet, and iodine/iodide. Now if I get any gut infection I take one 100 mg potassium iodide pill and it takes care of it in a couple hours. I have had no intestinal problems since. You can buy high strength potassium iodide on Amazon.com. Also, google "Iodine: the Universal medicine" for other good uses of iodine/iodide.


Posted by Joe (Ballston Spa, Ny Usa) on 10/23/2012

(Ground Flaxseed) This is my wife's story. About 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with UC. After 6 months, 2 colonoscopies, and two prescriptions for the exact same drug(different brand names), I decided to try and figure this out, myself. Plus, her knee began to swell, and she was diagnosed with rhumatoid arthritis. I first looked at her diet. The one thing that she was missing from her diet was omega-3's. She hates fish. So, I looked for foods with the highest concentrations of omega-3's.

This brought me to flaxseed. When I looked closer, I found that flaxseed is a natural anti-inflammatory. Plus, the lignans, in flaxseed, are building-blocks for the lining of our intestines. This seemed like a no-brainer. The only thing that confused me, at the time, was what brought it on. The only thing that I came up with was the fact that she had her gallbladder removed two years before. I assumed that the bile acids constantly dripping into her intestines was the cause(not sure though). So I initially put her on a simple potassium and magnesium supplement(two weeks). This calmed things down a little.

Then, I had her take two tablespoons of ground flaxseed per day with a glass of water. Within two weeks, the swelling in her knee had completely disappeared. And after one month, all symptoms of UC were gone. It's been 4 years now, and no problems. She eats everything she wants, including hot wing pizza(her favorite), and has no problems, whatsoever. I wish more people knew about ground flaxseed, and how it worked so great for my wife. If anybody feels the need to ask me anything, please feel free to e-mail me direct. (jclosson3(at)nycap.rr.com)

Probiotics, Dietary Changes

Posted by Ken_sf (San Francisco, California, Usa) on 08/11/2012

I've had ulcertative colitis for over 35 years and have been on medications of one sort or the other for most of that period. For about the last two years I've been either off all meds or have taken an off-label medicine (low dose naltrexone), that apparenty has no known side effects. I no longer feel like a colitis patient; my overall health, including my lipid panel (cholesterol) have improved markedly.

My disease has been mostly limited to the distal (towards the rectum) part of the colon. My GI doc treated me with prednisone (oral hydrocortisone), hydrocortisone suppositories (when my symptoms weren't so bad) or hydrocortisone enemas (when my symptoms were not bad enough to justify prednisone and not under control enough to justify the suppositories. I'm highly allergic to sulfa (azulfadine) and asacol and asacol like drugs (which have a sulfa molecule bound to aspirin in the case of asacol).

A colonoscopy in 2009 found that my disease had spread, for the first time, throughout the colon, yet my symptoms weren't all that bad; my GI doc suggested strong immunosuppressive medications which I didn't want to take.

Since my symptoms weren't that bad I decided to look for alternative treatments, which, have completely changed my life and my overall health for the better.

After diligent research on the web I tried these treatments which each has seemed to help. In combination, I now feel like a new person.

Probiotics - more is better. The ones you buy at the health food store mostly don't cut it. Look at VSL#3 (can be special ordered with a Rx at most pharmacies) which has 250Billion colonies per packet (I find the packet more effective than the tablets for some reason). VSL#3 has been clinically proven in peer reviewed studies to help colitis.

I also take Probiotics (search google) 11 strain probiotic powder and for a year I took a probiotic (hard to get in US but is sold over the counter in Canada and is manufactured in Germany). I found an alternative medicine doc who recommended and wrote an rx; a pharmacy in the US purchases this expensive probiotic from Canada where it is sold relatively inexpensively.

I took multiprobiotic in the AM before breakfast, VSL#3 before lunch and Probiotics before dinner or before bed.

I also saw an alternative care physician who recommended I eat a diet she called an 'anti inflammatory diet' where you consciously try to avoid sugar spikes in the blood. A book called 'Beating Cancer Though Nutrition' discusses the concept and many web sites are available to discuss what to do.

Briefly: eat protein first and avoid high glycemic carbs (see www.nutritiondata.com), avoid sugar, fructose etc.

My waist size dropped from 36 to 34 on this diet and the love handles that I lived with since my 20s on prednisone disappeared. My HDL went up (the good cholesterol) and my LDL went down (the bad cholesterol) and I looked and felt great.

With diet and probiotics I was able to significantly reduce the slight symptoms I had.

After about 6 months I ran across a diet called SCD diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) which I understand has helped thousands if not hundreds of thousands with colitis problems. I incorporated some of the ideas from this diet and made the decision to eliminate wheat from my diet. I believe I was getting a sub-clinical reaction to wheat consistent with what is called Leaky Gut Syndrome.

I lost more weight and felt even better after eliminating wheat. I would cheat a little bit, once in a while, but overall was wheat free.

I ran across the work of Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who promotes a diet similar to the one I was on for people with heart disease or who want to prevent heart disease proactively. I joined his Track Your Plaque program and read his book (today he has a book you can purchase from Amazon). I also embraced what is called a Paleo diet and the advice of a blogger named Mark Sisson. I don't eat as much meat as most Paleo people or Mark Sisson seem to, but otherwise am now on a Davis/Paleo/Sisson program.

My waist went from 36 to 32; I have a six pack. I weigh the same today as when I graduated college. I am fit, healthy and I eat as much as I want, whenever I want and I don't gain weight and I had almost no colitis symptoms.

In February 2011 I started to have some mild colitis symptoms; I wasn't taking any Rx meds for any condition at this time; strickly the program described above.

I sought out a local doc (San Francisco) who has incorporated a very small (one tenth the usual dose) of naltrexone, called LDN or Low Dose Naltrexone. LDN shows tremendous promise for treating MS, Crohns, Ulcerative Colitis, several cancers and basically any autoimmune disease; search google.

I started LDN in April of 2011 and my remaining colitis symptoms simply dissapeared and have been gone ever since. LDN is not something you take by itself; you need to employ other lifestyle changes; to me it was the last boost I needed to feel completely disease free.

In February 2012 I had another colonoscopy and the doc said I had very mild inflammation in the distal part of the colon and the rest of the colon looked normal. He said the inflammation I had was no big deal and I should keep doing what I'm doing.

As they say in the automobile advertisements: your mileage may vary. Overall, low glycemic eating is helpful for any autoimmune disease, weight loss without actually counting calories.

Hope this helps someone else.


Posted by Jeff (Sacramento, California, U.s.a.) on 07/09/2012

I've had colitis/proctitis for a year now. I got hit after an over-prescription of anti-biotics (thanks doc! ). As most of us know, big-pharma has a lot of shills in the medical field and most physicians are more interested in pushing synthetic chemicals onto their patients than identifying the root cause of a problem.

After I was diagnosed, I took a lot of pro-biotics in capsule form for a few months with no positive results. I tried several brands to see if one was better than another, but nothing helped. It was only after regular use of Kefir and Fage yogurts that I had any real improvement. I now have no more bleeding, firm stools, etc. This didn't happen overnight, but I noticed an improvement after about a month.

I've made my own yogurts and suggest others give it a try. This is a good way to 'test' those expensive probiotic capsules. My experience is that a tablespoon of good yogurt will create a great new batch, but a few capsules worth of the same probiotics won't create a good yogurt under the same conditions. I suspect a lot of bacteria in capsules is either dead or so dormant that it passes out of a person before it does any good. Previously I was no fan of yogurts, but I am now.

Aloe and Slippery Elm

Posted by Cindy (Houston, Tx) on 09/12/2011

My doctor had advised that I was a candidate for having my colon removed due to the UC - I went to the health food store and told them my problem and they suggested aloe vera juice - the kind that tastes just like water - and slippery elm - I took 2 oz aloe vera water and 1 slippery elm capsule morning and night and the pain and frequency of going to the bathroom was gone in 2 days. I was so grateful that I listened to my instinct and went to the health food store for a more natural solution - I took it regularly for 3 months and I have had no more UC - it's been over 4 years - I hope this will work for you.

Sweet Whey

Posted by Greg (Media, PA) on 10/23/2008

After years of suffering on and off with inflamed colon, I have finally found something that works. The colonics people don't like to hear this and I'm starting to believe that they are trying to supress this information. We have been told that we should take pro-biotics to help re-establish our friendly bacteria. I find this to be only partially helpful. It seems that there is a way to reestablish the friendly bacteria in the colon and that's by feeding your bacteria with the ideal food and that's Sweet Whey. I didn't find this on Earth Clinic so I decided to post this. I am hoping to find others that have tried this product to hear what I have experienced confirmed.

I first read this several years ago in Acidophilus and Colon Health by David Webster. Sweet Whey cured my inflamed colon. Other positive side-effects are a floating feces and better smelling too.

I will admit that I was skeptical at first trial. I asked my colonics provider about the use of sweet whey I went so far as to loan my book to her. It took me three years to get my book back. I tried and tried to get it back but to no avail. So I stopped taking the sweet whey and my colon problems came back. Finally when I got my book back I started back on the sweet whey. After reading the book more thourughly I realized why she kept it. If it's this easy to cure some colon problems. Why would you need colonics. I know that this is not entirely true because there are other reasons to have colonics.

The ph balance talked about in regard to ACV prompted me to write this because I feel may be as essential as balancing your ph. Restoring your friendly bacteria. I'll be looking for other feedback.