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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Marshmallow root improved my IBS symptoms IMMEDIATELY – get on it!

Like many of you, I have trouble digesting about a million different foods. Aside from cutting out wheat and dairy and beans and onions and garlic and legumes and… [*she bangs her head on keyboard and passes out*], nothing I’ve tried has improved my symptoms. Unless I follow a STRICT low-FODMAP diet, I. Get. Painfully. Bloated. From. Every. F’ing. FOOD. And even when I go low-FODMAP, I often get stomach pain/bloating. For me, it’s like food=poison, and that is a major pain in my ass. 

I’ve tried every cure out there. Bone broth isn’t making any notable difference in my symptoms. I did L-Glutamine for a while ‘til I realized I was allergic to it (don’t go near that stuff if you have an MSG allergy). Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (I can’t believe I can spell that) does nothing for me. I hydrate constantly, I take probiotics, digestive enzymes, blah blah blah.

And then came the marshmallow. I’d heard that marshmallow root could also ease IBS symptoms (http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-774-marshmallow.aspx?activeingredientid=774&activeingredientname=marshmallow), but since NOTHING else worked for me I blew off the idea of trying marshmallow for a long time. Then a few weeks ago, infuriated by the chronic pain, I huffed my way to the herbalist and bought some powdered marshmallow root. She told me to mix a spoonful with a cup of water, let it sit for 5 minutes so that the powder could get all gooey, and then drink it down. And I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I experienced an IMMEDIATE difference. Each morning for the past 3 weeks I have drunk down a cup of gloppy marshmallow water (which, by the way, has very little taste at all), and each day thereafter I have had no stomach pain.

Apparently, marshmallow root helps to soothe and repair the gut lining. There haven’t been too many studies exploring this interaction, but one study recently confirmed that marshmallow eased irritated mucous membranes (http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/marshmallow).

Now, it’s not like I’m suddenly eating bread and cheese and experiencing no stomach pain. I still avoid ALL high-FODMAP foods. If I break that pattern I’m back in bed clutching my tummy. I still can’t eat broccoli and hummus and all the other high-FODMAP foods that piss off my lower gut. But before the marshmallow, even low-FODMAP foods were giving me some pain/bloating. So, for me, this is a major quality of life improvement. At least I can eat food without feeling like I’ve poisoned myself.


I’m telling you, this marshmallow root thing is AMAZING. You should try it.  

8 comments:

  1. Oh man, I hate that BLOAT! No one understands unless they've experienced watching their stomach growing (painfully) before their eyes. I'm going to look into this!

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  2. Hi Laura, thanks so much for posting this. My IBS has been progressively getting worse over the years. First gluten, than dairy, than...everything! It has been as bad lately as you are describing it above and have tried everything as well, no relief. In my 20's I had interstitial cystitis. Marshmallow root tea has literally cured this chronic illness for me. Based on your blog post, I'm going to give marshmallow root a try again, with hopes that it will help me again. Please share if anything else worked for you since you wrote this original post.

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    1. So glad you're going to try marshmallow again! I haven't used marshmallow root in over a year but you've reminded me that I want to get on it again for a while. Thanks! And good luck - I hope your symptoms improve.

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  3. Have you tried it in capsule form? I've been suffering for so long and would love to know which method works better.

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    1. I haven't used the capsules, but if you do, I'm curious whether it works for you. Let me know!

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  4. Hi, just found this thread, as I am taking the capsules, also for interstial cystitis for which it is a miracle cure. I have always had painful bloating with all brassicas, and was prepared for a painful evening after eating out last week. Nothing. Had some more offensive veg the following day. Nothing. Had no idea of the happy side effect of this amazing powder. Am now falling back in love with all the veg I had taught myself to despise for tens of years.

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  5. That's awesome! Marshmallow root worked for me for a while but then it gradually had less and less curative/healing effect. I'll be curious to hear if it works for you long-term!

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