Recently I came across a misguided study conducted by scientists at the Mayo Clinic. They tried to treat their IBS patients with St. John’s Wort.
Of course, the herb didn’t make the patients’ IBS symptoms any better. And it didn’t work for the same reason why you don’t use tomato sauce to paint your house: It’s really great on pasta, but not so good on your walls. St. John’s Wort works great for mild depression, but not for IBS.
Now, I would have been the first one to rejoice if the scientists had discovered that St. John’s Wort could work for IBS. But it didn’t. And I have a sneaking feeling that this study was designed from the beginning to fail.
Plus, what happens as a result of a study like this is that "Middle America" hears that another herb hasn’t lived up to expectations. They don’t know that we’ve used St. John’s Wort with great success for roughly 2,400 years to treat mild depression, but it’s never been considered a real treatment for IBS.
In any case, keep your St. John’s Wort in the kitchen cabinet for slight bouts of depression we all run into from time to time. But if you suffer from IBS, you’ll need more than one pill to fix the problem. And that’s because IBS is a direct result of a SAD diet (SAD stands for Standard American Diet). The good news? It’s nearly always curable. If you suffer from IBS, here’s a quick crash course on how you can improve your symptoms:
1. Cut out white flour.
2. Cut out sugar and fried foods.
3. Cut out caffeine.
4. Cut out milk (and milk products). Go for rice or almond milk instead.
5. Cut out processed foods.
6. Add more whole grains to your diet (100 percent whole wheat, brown rice, barley, oats, etc.).
7. Drink more water.
8. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
Dr. Allan Spreen
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