Ulcerative Colitis: Inflammatory Bowel Disease Home Remedies

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract that affects the lining of the colon and rectum. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells. The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can range from mild to severe, and can have a huge impact on quality of life. In this post, we’ll explore the causes and symptoms of ulcerative colitis, as well as treatment options and lifestyle modifications that can help manage the condition. We’ll also look at how to cope with the emotional and social effects of living with ulcerative colitis.

What is Ulcerative Colitis – Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Colitis is an inflammation of the colon or large intestine. Colitis (irritable bowel) is a chronic inflammation of the colon that manifests as alternating constipation and diarrhea and abdominal pain. There are two types of colitis: mucus and ulceratie. Both forms of colitis are the results of prolonged irritation of the delicate membrane which lines the walls of the colon. Normally, it is the function of the colon to store waste material until most of the fluids have been removed to enable well formed soft stools, consisting of non absorb-able food materials to be passed. Persons who suffer from an irritable colon have irregular and erratic contractions which are specially noticeable on the left side.

Different Types

  • Mucus: Mucus colitis is a common disorder of the large bowel, producing discomfort and irregular bowel habits. It occurs when there is inflammation in the mucosa of the colon. Proliferation of unfriendly microorganisms due to overuse of antibiotics and food allergens can also be contributing factors.
  • Ulceratie: Chronic ulcerative colitis is a severe prolonged inflammation of the colon or large bowel in which ulcers form on the walls of the colon, resulting in the passing of blood stools with pus and mucus.

Common Symptoms

Ulcerative colitis causes sores on the lining of the colon and rectum. Chronic ulcerative colitis usually begins in the lower part of the bowels and spreads upwards.

Early Signs

  • Urgency to Move Bowel: The first symptom of the trouble is an increased urgency to move the bowel, followed by cramping pains in the abdomen and bloody mucus in the stools.
  • Weakness: As the disease spreads upwards, the stools become watery and more frequent and are characterized by rectal straining. All this loss of blood and fluid from the bowels results in weakness, fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and anemia.
  • Bloating: This may develop a bloated feeling because the gas is not absorbed or expelled normally.
  • Constipation or Diarrhea: Some patients suffer from constipation alternating with period of loose bowel movements. Still others may suffer from a persistent diarrhea for years together.
  • Underweight: The patient is usually malnourished and may be severely underweight.
  • Insomnia: He may suffer from frequent insomnia.
  • Nutritional Problems: Ulcerative colitis in its severe form may also lead to nutritional problems. The improper assimilation of the ingested foods due to inflammatory conditions may cause deficiency diseases. This may gradually result in nervous irritability, exhaustion and depression.

Root Causes

The main cause of colitis is chronic constipation and the use of purgatives. Constipation causes an accumulation of the hard faecal matter which is never properly evacuated. Purgatives used as a ‘cure’ only increase irritation. Often, colitis is caused by a poorly digested roughage, especially of cereals and carbohydrates, which causes bowel irritation. The disease may also result from an allergic sensitivity to certain foods especially milk, wheat and eggs. Often, the intake of antibiotics may upset the bacterial flora in the intestines and interfere with proper digestion.

Common Triggers

  • Food: Common food triggers for colitis can include fatty foods, spicy foods, dairy products, processed foods, and caffeine. Other possible food triggers include alcohol, artificial sweeteners, certain vegetables (such as cauliflower, and broccoli), and certain fruits (such as oranges, apples, and bananas). It is important to note that different people may have different food triggers, so it is best to keep a food diary to identify any potential triggers.
  • Stress: Severe stress may also produce ulcerative colitis. During any form of severe stress, outpouring of adrenal hormones causes such destruction of body protein that at times parts of the walls lining the intestines are literally eaten away. Such stress also depletes the body of pantothenic acid. Experiments on animals have shown that they can develop ulcerative colitis when they are kept on diets deficient in pantothenic acid.

Ulcerative colitis vs Crohn’s disease

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have similar symptoms, including chronic (possibly bloody) diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fatigue, weight loss and sometimes fever. But they have somewhat different origins. Simply put, colitis is inflammation of the colon, while the inflammation of Crohn’s can occur anywhere in the intestinal tract.

Ulcerative Colitis Home Remedies

1. Indian Ayurveda Herbal Formula

According to Indian Ayurveda, colitis is caused when vata pushes pitta into the colon and inflammation occurs. The basic line of treatment is to pacify pitta. An excellent herbal remedy for colitis is to mix together shatavari 4 parts, shanka bhasma 1/8 part, kama dudha 1/8 part and sanjivani 2 parts. Take 1/4 teaspoon of this mixture with warm water 2 or 3 times a day for 1 or 2 months. You can also take aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon twice a day. Aloe vera is cooling and good for reducing pitta. Preliminary research has shown that Aloe vera gel taken by mouth improved ulcerative colitis.

2. Banana

Banana is an easy home remedy. Ripe bananas are highly beneficial in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, being bland, smooth, easily digested and slightly laxative. They relieve acute symptoms and promote the healing process.

3. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is also popular as Hamamelis Virginiana. Taken internally, an infusion of the leaves is effective for treating colitis. To make the infusion add 1 teaspoon of chopped leaves to a cup of water.

4. Enema

Ulcerative colitis is shows symptoms like diarrhea, mucus, and blood from the rectum. For that condition, Ayurveda suggests a basti that is enema using a tea made from an astringent herb such as bilva, ashoka, sandalwood, or licorice root. This is how to prepare the enema: Boil 1 tablespoon of the herb (such as licorice powder) in 1 pint of water for 5 minutes. Strain, and add about 2 tablespoons of ghee while the tea is still warm. Let the liquid cool to room temperature, and use it for an enema. Retain the liquid inside for 5 minutes if you can. Do this procedure once or twice a week. Licorice contains food precursors of natural steroids, which will help heal the ulcer. This is a safe, simple way to correct colitis or ulcerative colitis.

5. Comfrey

Comfrey (Knitbone) has high levels of allantoin which is a healing chemical that stimulates cell growth. This makes it wonderful for internal and external use. Works well for gastric ailments including duodenal ulcers and colitis.

6. Calendula

Calendula is very effective to heal intestinal ulcers and colitis. It is valuable in healing duodenal ulcers, inflammation of both the stomach and duodenum and intestinal colitis. In case of chronic colitis, try strong tea made with calendula with other herbs. Here is how to make this effective tea. Take 1 tsp. of each herb – dandelion root, St. Johnswort, lemon balm, calendula and fennel seed. Bring 1-1/2 qtrs. of water to boil. Add herbs and steep for 1 hour. Take 1 cup, thrice a day. It will take at least 15 days, from the start of treatment, to show results.

7. Oil Enema

Oil enema give soothing effect. The colon is the seat of vata. This vata dosha is pulling or pushing pitta into the colon, which then causes the colitis. To combat the excess pitta and at the same time pacify vata, Ayurveda suggests injecting a cooling oil such as coconut oil into the rectum. Use about 1 cup of slightly warmed oil as a enema, and try to retain it for 5 minutes, but don’t worry if it comes out more quickly.

8. Demulcent Herbs

Using demulcent (soothing to inflammation) herbs such as marshmallow root, licorice root, plantain leaf, and slippery elm bark in tea form is an excellent way to soothe the digestive system. Drink 2 to 3 cups a day.

9. Butter Milk

An effective remedy for ulcerative colitis is the use of butter milk. It is the residual milk left after the fat has been removed from yogurt by churning. Buttermilk enema twice a week is also soothing and helps in reinstalling a healthy flora in the colon.

10. Aloe Vera

A shot glass of aloe vera juice taken 10 minutes before each meal is also soothing to irritated intestines. Also try taking juices of carrot, cabbage, and celery diluted with water for their soothing alkalinizing properties.

11. Apples

Apples relieve burning sensation. A simple and beneficial remedy for colitis is to eat cooked apples with a pinch of nutmeg. Peel a couple of apples, remove the seeds, and cook. Make them into a pulp, by using potato masher. Add 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter) and a pinch of nutmeg. This will help to pacify the irritation of colitis and ulcerative colitis. Apple juice will also help relieve the burning sensation.

12. Coconut Water

Another valuable remedy for colitis is tender coconut water, it is soothing to the soft mucosa of the colon. Cooked apple also aids the healing of ulcerative conditions because of its ample concentration of iron and phosphorous.

13. Tapioca

Tapioca helps to heal stomach ulcers. In Sao Paulo, Brazil some doctors and local folk healers employ cooked tapioca for helping to heal peptic ulcers and colitis. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, adding 2 tbsp. of unflavored gelatin until thoroughly dissolved by vigorous stirring. Then add 4 – 6 average sized ice cubes to the solution. When cool, slowly add this mixture to 8 stiffly beaten egg whites. Then add 1 cup pure maple syrup, a pinch of cardamom and 4 tbsp. of granulated, quick-cooking tapioca. Stir until the mixture becomes firm, then eat a dish of it. Refrigerate the rest for consumption later on in the evening. Consume this simple pudding regularly. This will engender healing of the entire intestinal tract within a short time.

14. Umeboshi Plum Paste

Umeboshi plum paste acts as a digestive aid for quick relief. Incomplete digestion can lead to colitis, here is a remedy to ease digestion. Try ume concentrate or umeboshi plum paste. Both can be found in Asian markets or health food stores and are very alkalinizing and have antimicrobial properties. Stir 1 teaspoon (5 g) of the paste or 1/8 teaspoon of the concentrate into 1 cup (235 ml) of warm water and drink it slowly, up to 3 times daily.

15. Exercises

Exercises are useful to strengthen the colon. When a person has ulcerative colitis, the colon is very weak. To strengthen the wall of the colon, lie at on your back and gradually lift both your legs, keeping the knees as straight as you can, until the legs are at a 45 degree angle to the floor. This exercise is called a Leg Lift. If you find it difficult to lift both legs together, you can lift one leg and then the other. Hold your legs in the raised position for just a few seconds at first, up to 1 minute after several weeks of practice.

16. Turmeric

Turmeric is very useful to relieve indigestion naturally. It protects the liver, relieves indigestion, and helps to prevent ulcers or relieves existing ones. It also shows promise for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases. Try using turmeric in everyday cooking to reduce frequent gastrointestinal complaints.


Q. Is there any permanent cure for ulcerative colitis?
No, unfortunately there is no permanent cure for ulcerative colitis. However, there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of flare-ups. These treatments include medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

Q. Why is ulcerative colitis painful?
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the lining of the large intestine. The inflammation and ulcers can cause pain, cramping, diarrhea and other symptoms. In some cases, the inflammation can be severe and cause complications such as malnutrition and anemia.

Q. Is ulcerative colitis spread from one person to another?
No, ulcerative colitis is not spread from one person to another. It is an inflammatory bowel disease that is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Q. Is there a natural way to heal ulcerative colitis?

It depends on the cause of your ulcerative colitis. Generally, lifestyle changes such as avoiding foods that are triggers for you, reducing stress, and getting regular exercise may help to reduce symptoms and improve overall health. Additionally, some evidence suggests that probiotics, certain herbal remedies, and dietary changes may help to reduce symptoms. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider to discuss your options.

Q. Does cabbage juice really help with ulcerative colitis?

There is some evidence that cabbage juice may help reduce inflammation in people with ulcerative colitis. It is thought that the high levels of vitamin U in cabbage juice may help reduce inflammation of the digestive tract. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of cabbage juice in treating ulcerative colitis.

Q. How effective is Ayurveda treatment for ulcerative colitis?

Research suggests that Ayurveda treatment may be effective in reducing symptoms of ulcerative colitis, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bleeding. Studies have shown that Ayurvedic treatment protocols can help reduce the activity of the disease and improve the quality of life of patients. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Q. What foods help heal colitis?
  1. Probiotics: Foods that contain probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha, can help reduce inflammation and promote gut health.
  2. High-Fiber Foods: Eating high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, can help reduce inflammation and promote regular bowel movements.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, such as fatty fish, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and leafy greens, into your diet can help reduce inflammation and promote gut health.
  4. Fermented Foods: Incorporating fermented foods, such as tempeh, miso, and pickles, into your diet can help restore beneficial bacteria in the gut and reduce inflammation.
  5. Bone Broth: Consuming bone broth can help reduce inflammation and promote gut health.
Q. How can I heal ulcerative colitis fast?

There is no known cure for ulcerative colitis, so treatment focuses on controlling and managing symptoms. Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatments may include lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.

  • Lifestyle changes:
    • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet that is low in fat and high in fiber may help reduce symptoms. 
    • Avoid trigger foods: Common trigger foods include dairy, caffeine, and alcohol.
    • Exercise regularly: Exercise can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health.
    • Reduce stress: Stress can worsen symptoms of ulcerative colitis, so it’s important to manage stress levels through yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques. 
  • Medications (Please consult your doctor for prescription)
    • Anti-inflammatory medications: These medications help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
    • Immunosuppressants: These medications help to reduce the body’s immune response, which can help reduce inflammation.
    • Antibiotics: These medications help to reduce inflammation and balance the bacteria in the gut.
Q. What are the warning signs of ulcerative colitis?
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea, often with blood or pus
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Night sweats
  • Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas
Q. What are the best nutritional diets recommended for people with ulcerative colitis?
  1. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD): This is a dietary approach that eliminates complex carbohydrates, such as grains, dairy, and processed sugars, in order to reduce inflammation and symptoms of UC. 
  2. The Low Residue Diet: This diet is designed to reduce the amount of fiber and bulk in the diet, which can help reduce the number of stools and the amount of gas and bloating.
  3. The Low FODMAP Diet: This diet eliminates certain carbohydrates and sugars that can exacerbate symptoms of UC, such as bloating and abdominal pain.
  4. The Anti-Inflammatory Diet: This diet focuses on incorporating a variety of anti-inflammatory foods, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and avoiding foods known to increase inflammation, such as processed foods and red meat.
  5. The Paleo Diet: This diet focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, which may help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of UC. 
  6. The Mediterranean Diet: This diet is based on the traditional eating habits of people from the Mediterranean region and emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats.
Q. What is the best way to control ulcerative colitis naturally?
  • Eat a nutritious diet: Eating a diet that is rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables, and low in processed foods can help reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
  • Get enough rest: Stress can exacerbate ulcerative colitis symptoms, so getting enough rest can help reduce symptoms.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help reduce stress and improve overall health.
  • Take probiotics: Probiotics may help reduce inflammation in the gut and improve digestive health.
  • Avoid triggers: Pay attention to which foods or activities may trigger symptoms and avoid them.
  • Avoid smoking: Smoking can worsen ulcerative colitis symptoms.
  • Reduce stress: Stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce symptoms.
Q. How can you prevent ulcerative colitis?

There is no known way to prevent ulcerative colitis, however, there are lifestyle changes and treatments that can help manage the condition. These include avoiding certain foods and drinks, quitting smoking, managing stress levels, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking medications as prescribed.

Q. I’m trying to recover from an active bout with ulcerative colitis. What are some foods that will help?
  • Fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
  • High-fiber foods such as beans, nuts, and whole grains.
  • Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts.
  • Fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens.
  • Probiotic supplements.
  • Low-fat dairy products such as plain yogurt.
  • Foods high in Vitamin D, such as fortified milk, mushrooms, and salmon.
  • Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
  • Spices such as ginger, turmeric, and garlic.
  • Bone broth for its healing properties and minerals.
Q. What Indian food should eat with ulcerative colitis?

For people with ulcerative colitis, it is important to choose meals that are low in fat and fiber. Some good Indian food options include:

  • Dal or lentil soup.
  • Vegetable curry or pulao made with mild spices.
  • Boiled vegetables with yogurt and mild spices.
  • Plain rice with mild curries.
  • Tandoori chicken without the crispy skin.
  • Soft chapati or naan.
  • Plain yogurt or lassi.
  • Fruit custard or kheer for dessert.

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