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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning everyone and wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year !!

I've recently used some echinacea tablets (2 tabs every morning) for a cold I had and I noticed a positive change in my IBS-D. The "normal" watery stools were gradually replaced by formed ones and my visits to the toilet became less frequent.

Echinacea is normally used as an alternative herbal medicine for colds, but it could have some possibly helpful effects (for IBS people).

Firstly it is an anti-inflammatory, which could theoretically decrease inflammation in our gut.

Secondly, it changes the balance of gut bacteria. A study found an increase in bacteroides bacteria. From what I understand, this is under discussion, regarding the positive or negative effects, because bacteroides are normal gut bacteria which can protect against dangerous bacteria.

From my experience, the effect is a positive one. Even after I stopped using it, my gut seemed to be in better condition than before. I couldn't continue for a long time, because I've read that echinacea use should not be continuous, because it affects our immune system.

What I intend to do is use it periodically and see what happens after some months.

Are there any other people with similar experience ??

Some relevant articles are these :

https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20061220/echinacea-side-effects

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteroides
 

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Hi

In my treatment that I'm following, I'm taking echinacea for boosting up my immune system, and I've been taking it for a few months now. It's true that I've been feeling consistently better and improved but I cannot say it's because of that alone, since I'm doing more things than just that.
 

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Whether echinacea could be helpful for IBS is an interesting question, because the current discussion or debate I see among researchers is whether it could cause an imbalance. They are framing at as: a bunch of people are taking echinacea for colds and strengthening the immune system, but could it have a negative side effect on gut balance? The sites I found never even posed the question of whether it could actually be a helpful treatment for IBS. In fact, some sites seemed to pose caution about people with IBD [more so than IBS] taking it until more research is done.

I will say that as yet, the supposed risk seems to be just hypothetical, as there has been no research that really looked at changes in digestive health over time among those taking echinacea relative to a control group that wasn't taking it. Ideally, they would conduct an experiment where randomly selected individuals are divided into two groups, and one group is instructed to take echinacea and the other is instructed to abstain from echinacea and otherwise continue their same diet, activities, etc. But at least, it might be helpful to survey a group of people about their gut issues over time, comparing those who took echinacea from those who didn't. That wouldn't be as scientific, but it would be something.

At this point I am still skeptical. There have been numerous cases where researchers have found some possible effect of some herb or medication that was hyped as a big issue, but turned out to make very little difference to people's health, in reality, or it was only relevant to a small group of people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes my friend, a clinical trial would be the official and scientifically approved method.

But, I'm 49 now and I've had IBS since I was 13-14. I really don't have any more patience for clinical trials and doctors patting my back. So, I've made myself a lab rat and have been trying various meds, herbs and "magic potions", hoping for a relief.

I am skeptical like you, but my hopes rise every time I witness an improvement (as I have with echinacea).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello mellosphere

I've stopped taking the echinacea for two reasons.

Firstly, because I developed something like a mild dermatitis on my face and I couldn't tell if it was coming from the herb or from spring allergies.

Secondly, because it's use is supposed to be periodical and not continuous, so as not to destabilize our immune system.

What I can verify is that it had a positive impact on my daily IBS-D symptoms and I will start it again later on.

For the time being I'm using a combination of 4 probiotics (my post is here https://www.ibsgroup.org/forums/topic/353214-4-combined-probiotics-vs-ibs-d/)

which have an even better results on my IBS-D symptoms. Note that I've used probiotics before (VSL 3) with no effect at all.

I've also started using an extract I've made from elm tree bark. It's s very easy to make, just 4-5 strips (6-8 cm long) of external bark, boiled in water for 10-15 minutes, will produce 4 lt of rich red liquid, tasteless, with a rich earthy aroma.

I drink one glass every morning with no food. It was recommended to me from a person living in a mountain village, who remembers all traditional herbal remedies (grandmother to grandmother). It is supposed to be a cure for stomach ulcers and great for diarrhea. Since I have stomach problems along with my IBS-D, I thought I'd give it a try.
 

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I'd be careful with the echinacea. I have no proof but I took it daily for probably 4-5 years and soon afterward I developed IBS-D, IBD and what some also considered Crohn's like issues when I was 35yo. I cant say that its but its ironic that it all happened about the same time when I was taking all these kinds of supplements. I probably destroyed the lining of my gut and its never repaired itself. I've been dealing with this now for 13 years. In fact so bad I'm on disability for it. So I would be very leary of supplements that aren't regulated or tested by the FDA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd be careful with the echinacea. I have no proof but I took it daily for probably 4-5 years and soon afterward I developed IBS-D, IBD and what some also considered Crohn's like issues when I was 35yo. I cant say that its but its ironic that it all happened about the same time when I was taking all these kinds of supplements. I probably destroyed the lining of my gut and its never repaired itself. I've been dealing with this now for 13 years. In fact so bad I'm on disability for it. So I would be very leary of supplements that aren't regulated or tested by the FDA.
Echinacea for 4-5 years ? It is a bit too much probably.

What other supplements did you use ? Vitamins ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That was all from what I recall. It was many years ago. But I think it might have contributed to my current situation.
It could have, especially considering that echinacea is regarded as nature's antibiotic... Continuous use and for such a long time, could even destroy your immune system.

That's why I use it sporadically and for short periods (i.e. for 2-3 weeks, every 2-3 months).
 

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You know, whenever I get a cold I take Zinc, Echinacea, and cold medicine. I've also noticed my symptoms get better and I always assumed it was from the cold medicine. Or from the fact that I knew for the most part I wouldn't have to leave the house. :)

I am going to give it a try.
 

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There are many beneficial herbs and plants that, when used correctly, have a positive effect on our bodies. Echinacea is one of them, and nothing is surprising here. It helps a lot of people. I recently learned about the beneficial properties of medicinal mushrooms. Before, I did not trust them, but my fears disappeared when I realized that almost all mushrooms had been lab-tested. They can positively affect organ function and brain function, can improve mood and nerve cell health. I usually buy the lion's mane mushroom. I suggest you read about it on the Internet and see for yourself.
 

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I make my own tincture of Echinacea angustifolia root. Of all the herbs there are, I always found that to be my go-to for any disharmony in the body or infection/inflammation, and it always helped me tremendously.
That healed me of a venomous snakebite once, a rose thorn puncture infection which had spread to my system (terrible reaction to pharma antibiotics so used Ech. ang.) Better in 2 days! It also healed any supporating wounds very very quickly when applied topically as a poultice or lotion.
I used it to good effect during my Covid infection Spring 2020. The first three days, 5ml tincture every 3 hours. In 4 days fever broke and I began to feel very much better (though convalescent for 2 weeks) When the fever broke and I began to start to recover, I continued with the Ech ang, tincture 3 times a day for about 2-3 weeks.

And yes....I tried it for my IBS-D. With IBS I have found it is somewhat helpful, but isn't getting to whatever the core issue is. I wished it had. I have plenty of tincture! Sometimes it can help slightly with calming a flare, used with other things like Tormentil, meadowsweet, peppermint, nettle, and blackberry leaf.
I tried it for a whole 10 days but it still didn't seem to get to the root issue. i.e. no "cure".
Yet I do so believe in Echinacea for so many ailments(except the auto-immune kind.)

But I think taking it daily for years is not a good idea.
It is not a supplement. It is a powerful herbal medicine. Not intended for using daily over years.
 

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I've also started using an extract I've made from elm tree bark. It's s very easy to make, just 4-5 strips (6-8 cm long) of external bark, boiled in water for 10-15 minutes, will produce 4 lt of rich red liquid, tasteless, with a rich earthy aroma.

I drink one glass every morning with no food. It was recommended to me from a person living in a mountain village, who remembers all traditional herbal remedies (grandmother to grandmother). It is supposed to be a cure for stomach ulcers and great for diarrhea. Since I have stomach problems along with my IBS-D, I thought I'd give it a try.
I'd be interested in any updates about drinking the Elm Tree bark.I know Oak bark (inner part) is an good diarrhea remedy. But I didn't know about Elm Tree!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Silviegee

Elm tree bark had no effect on my IBS (good or bad).
You got me thinking though.... a researcher would have a great time, reading about all the stuff we have tried in this forum :)
 

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Athan, thank you for your update about Elm tree bark. I am sorry it didn't work for you.
Oak bark is a remedy for diarrhea also. (Quercus robur species of Oak.) That is young bark from branches not more than 4" thick. Dosage is 1 teaspoonful, brought to the boil in about 6oz of water in a pan, simmered for 15 minutes, and strained. Or 1-2 ml of tincture. It is the tannins which help diarrhea.

If you live in or have access to a rural place or park where lots of blackberry bushes grow, it might be worth experimenting with Blackberry leaf tea?
I collect the new green leaves that sprout at the end of those spiky "runners" . The most tender new ones. I just wash them, then chop them on a wooden board, and use a strong-ish dosage. The dose is 1 teaspoonful to one 4oz cup of boiling water then steep for 15 minutes and strain. Sometimes I make it stronger so double or treble that.
There is nothing toxic in Blackberry leaves and I can't see any contra-indications. But do your own research first so you are confident.
Blackberry leaves are known as a herbal astringent. That tea has helped me during flare ups. Not a cure for IBS, but the astringency helps symptoms. It doesn't taste bitter, just "green". Pretty mild, bland drink.
 
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