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.