Study examines the potential of Shirazi thyme for naturally reducing symptoms of IBS

People seeking relief from irritable bowel syndrome could try taking Shirazi thyme, a species of thyme found the Middle East. According to Mohaddese Mahboubi, a researcher from Medicinal Plants Research Center of Barij in Iran, studies have shown that this variant can effectively relieve most symptoms of IBS without any harmful side effects. This validates the traditional use of the plant for treating stomach upset and other types of gastrointestinal disorders.

For the study, Mahboubi collated data from all available references regarding the efficacy of Shirazi thyme in treating IBS and other disorders in the digestive tract. He found that the essential oil of Shirazi thyme contained carvacrol and thymol.

These active ingredients are known for its many health benefits. Carvacrol, for instance, is widely studied for its ability to protect against a wide range of diseases, thanks to its potent antioxidant properties. In a study published in Phytomedicine, scientists found that carvacrol can induce cell death (apoptosis) in cancerous cells, including those of breast cancer and lung cancer. Experiments have also confirmed that the compound can inhibit the growth of pathogens. This includes bacteria such as E. coli and Listeria, as well as fungi like Candida albicans — the primary cause of candidiasis.

Thymol, on the other hand, is a derivative of thyme and has been used as a supplement to boost overall health. A study led by the University of Michigan Health System found that thymol has expectorant properties which help break down mucus, making it easier to expel. When added with cumin, thymol becomes more potent, as it becomes able to treat multiple minor health ailments. It can even promote lactation, which can help birthing mothers who have difficulties in producing breastmilk.

In addition, Mahboubi found that a daily oral dose of the essential oil of Shirazi thyme can be used to safely treat IBS, given its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Aside from IBS, Shirazi thyme can also be used for muscle spasms and ulcer. (Related: Ease irritable bowel syndrome the natural way.)

Natural relief from IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that is rarely talked about — despite a lot of people having it. It’s also a condition that can be difficult to control once it occurs, with some turning to prescription drugs for quick relief. However, not only are prescription drugs burdened with the risk of adverse effects, but there are also natural treatments available that do the work of these drugs without the side effects.

  • Peppermint oil — The analgesic properties of peppermint oil are so potent, that the American College of Gastroenterology has approved its use for managing abdominal pain. However, it’s worth noting that taking more than the recommended dosage set by your healthcare professional could worsen IBS symptoms.
  • Slippery elm — Taking slippery elm calms the intestines by coating it and loosening stools. This is particularly effective for those suffering from IBS and constipation. This makes it a widely used herbal medicine, especially among Native Americans.
  • Artichoke leaf — A 2016 study concluded that artichokes help in regulating bowel movements and constipation. Experts believe it’s because of a compound called cynaropicrin, which has antispasmodic properties.
  • Amalaki — The herb has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a laxative to improve digestion.
  • Triphala — The decoction — a mixture of Amalaki, bibhataki, and haritaki extracts — is widely used for treating conditions such as abdominal pain, bloating, and even IBS.

Learn the other health benefits of using essential oils at

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