Diverticulae are small pouches that can form on the lining of the colon. Up to 40 per cent of people have diverticulosis, which is the medical term for the presence of diverticulae. If these pouches become infected, you have diverticulitis. There are some herbs that can help manage and treat diverticulitis.
Caraway is effective for easing cramping and colon spasms that can occur with diverticulitis. You can buy caraway seeds as a spice for cooking, or prepare it as an infusion from the seeds of the plants. Caraway is also available as a capsule from any health food store.
Chamomile has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the intestinal tract and ease the pain from infected diverticulae. German chamomile is most often used medicinally, while Roman chamomile is used for cooking. You can buy chamomile tea leaves or bags and capsules at a health food store, or you can brew a tea from the flowers of the chamomile plant.
Slippery elm is a good herb for most gastric disorders. Slippery elm gets its name because it has a slimy, slick make-up that coats the stomach and the G.I. tract. Slippery elm is available as a capsule or in powdered form. A popular way to ingest the powdered form of slippery elm is to mix it into a bowl of oatmeal.
Other herbs that have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects that can benefit sufferers of diverticulitis include liquorice, marigold, wild yam and cramp bark. You can find all these at any health food store. They can be combined to be more effective. Marigold and liquorice make a good tea, but wild yam and cramp bark can both be unpleasant and are better taken as a capsule.
A modification in diet can alleviate diverticulitis. You should strive to eat as few processed foods as possible. Concentrate on lean protein sources and plenty of vegetables. Increase your daily intake of fibre, because it can help reduce instances of diverticulae and prevent them from becoming infected by keeping your digestive tract healthy and moving waste through more rapidly. Flax seed is also beneficial. Cook any grains and soften seeds and nuts if you have diverticulae to prevent the foods from catching in the pouches and causing infections.