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FoodMarble Health For use by physicians
  • 25 April 2022
  • Est. reading time: 3 minutes
  • Herbal Remedies for SIBO

  • When treating SIBO, the thought of conventional antibiotics may not appeal to everyone. Luckily, there is a lot of evidence to support the benefit of herbal remedies and their effectiveness to reduce symptoms.

  • Est. reading time: 3 minutes
  • Herbal Remedies for SIBO

  • When treating SIBO, the thought of conventional antibiotics may not appeal to everyone. Luckily, there is a lot of evidence to support the benefit of herbal remedies and their effectiveness to reduce symptoms.

If you are experiencing symptoms of SIBO, we highly recommend speaking to a medical professional about the route you want to take, as SIBO is often accompanied by other conditions that present with similar symptoms.

Herbal remedies have shown anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties while also allowing for the preservation of ‘good bacteria in our gut. We have put together a list of 5 natural eradication herbs that could help you to reduce the unwanted symptoms that come with SIBO! These may be an effective approach to tackling your SIBO when used on their own or in conjunction with antibiotic therapies. It is very individual; what works for one person, might not work for the next.

Herbal remedies work in specific ways. A term often used is ‘combine to kill’. There are so many different bacterial species in our gut that contribute to SIBO and not all antimicrobials can target each one. Treatment regimens combat this by using combinations to maximize the effect. It is also recommended you rotate antimicrobials to avoid resistance. Bacteria can be sneaky and they have the ability to adapt to conditions that are less favorable (in order words, trying to kill them..). To overcome this, it is best not to stick to one herbal treatment for a prolonged period of time. This way we can avoid the bacteria developing resistance and continuing to grow.

Which combinations should you try?

SIBO presents itself differently in everyone. Therefore, antimicrobials may work for some, and not for others. However, there are some combinations that have proven beneficial for the majority of patients.

Studies have shown that a combination of allicin, oregano, and neem extract can help to tackle Methane-dominant SIBO. Similarly, a combination of berberine, oregano, and neem extract may help to tackle Hydrogen-dominant SIBO.

Garlic Allicin herb on cream background

1. Allicin

Allicin is an extract from garlic. I know what you’re thinking; garlic is a ‘high FODMAP food’, so how can it also be a successful treatment? Allicin does not contain the high fructo-oligosaccharides that can trigger symptoms in people with SIBO and has been successful in treating methanogenic bacteria specifically. It is a natural antibiotic, but has antiviral and antifungal properties too!

Oregano herb on cream background

2. Oregano

Oil of oregano is a herb that has been successful in killing intestinal microbes or inhibiting their growth. For this reason, it may help treat chronic overgrowth issues, such as SIBO.

Neem herb on cream background

3. Neem

Neem seed oil contains polyphenols that can act as prebiotics, enhancing the growth of specific ‘good bacteria’ species. These gut microbiota can then increase the production of bioactive phenolic acids derived from the ingested polyphenols which benefit overall health. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Neem extract can kill many types of ‘bad’ microbes, including gram-positive Staph aureus and gram-negative E. coli.

Berberine herb on cream background

4. Berberine

Berberine is a chemical found in plants like goldenseal and turmeric. It has been successful in inhibiting the growth of human bacteria and has potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-diarrheal properties.

Fresh Peppermint leaves on cream background

5. Peppermint

Peppermint is a natural antispasmodic. It can be taken as a tea, or oil and has many health benefits. In the treatment of SIBO, enteric-coated peppermint oil has proven to inhibit the growth of 22 bacterial strains. Studies show a significant reduction in methane and hydrogen production within an hour of taking peppermint. Peppermint is also effective in relieving bloating, constipation, and abdominal discomfort.

Of course, not every treatment regime will work for everyone, and how these herbal remedies work for you will be individual. Remember, ‘natural’ does not mean risk-free so discuss any treatment options you are considering with your doctor.

Can FoodMarble help?

FoodMarbel AIRE and AIRE 2 plus app with herbs

FoodMarble’s AIRE and AIRE 2 devices can help to monitor your response to these herbal remedies by measuring your fermentation levels. You can track your symptoms and diet in our FoodMarble companion app to help get a better understanding of your digestive triggers.

Want to know more? Check out these articles on foodmarble.com:

  1. Understanding Your Hydrogen & Methane Levels
  2. SIBO: Causes, Symptoms & Long-term Effects
  3. SIBO: Diagnosis, Treatment & Management

Would you like to test your food sensitivities?

FoodMarbles FODMAP Testing Kit is a great way to find the foods that are right for your body.  If you are looking to find the root cause of your digestive issues check out our AIRE device and FODMAP Testing Kit.

Aoife Ryan

Clinical Development Intern

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FoodMarble Herbal Remedies for SIBO - FoodMarble
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