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Use of Indigenous Mother Tinctures in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Homeopathic Journal :: Volume: 3, Issue: 5, Mar, 2010 (General Theme)   -   from Homeorizon.com
Author : Dr. Krishnendu Maity, BHMS, MD (Home. Repertory)
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Article Updated: Mar 24, 2010

ABSTRACT : - IBS is a functional bowel disorders; mostly affects the young women and about 20% population of our country is suffering from this. The most important responsible factors include Psycho-social problems (anxiety, stress, depression etc.), Altered GI motility, Visceral Hypersensitivity and Abnormality in gut-flora. Majority of the patients present with Abdominal distension, Altered bowel habit, Colicky / crampy lower abdominal pain, 'Not finish sensation' after stool & Rectal mucus. The routine investigations include Complete Blood Picture, ESR and Sigmoidoscopic examination.

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder in which abdominal pain is associated with defæcation or a change in bowel habit.


About 20% of the general population fulfills diagnostic criteria for IBS; but only 10% of these consult their doctors because of gastrointestinal symptoms. Young women are affected 2 to 3 times more often than men [ Male : Female = 1:3]. There is wide overlap with non-ulcer dyspepsia, chronic fatigue syndrome, dysmenorrhœa and urinary frequency. A significant proportion of these patients have a history of physical or sexual abuse.


IBS encompasses a wide range of symptoms and a single cause is unlikely. It is generally believed that most patients develop symptoms in response to psycho-social factors, altered gastrointestinal motility, altered visceral sensation and luminal factors.

  • Psycho-social Factors : Most patients seen in day-to-day practice do not have psychological problems. But about 50% of patients referred to hospital meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis. A range of disturbances are identified - including anxiety, depression, somatization and neurosis. Panic attacks are also common. Acute psychological stress and overt psychiatric disease are known to alter visceral perception and gastrointestinal motility in both IBS patients and healthy people. There is an increased prevalence of abnormal illness behaviour with frequent consultations for minor symptoms and reduced coping ability. These factors contribute to, but do not cause IBS.
  • Altered GI Motility : A range of motility disorders are found - but none is diagnostic. Patients with diarrhœa as a predominant symptom exhibit clusters of rapid jejunal contraction waves, rapid intestinal transit and an increased number of fast and propagated colonic contractions. Those who are predominantly constipated have decreased oro-cæcal transit & reduced number of high-amplitude, propagated colonic contraction waves - but there is no consistent evidence of abnormal motility.
  • Abnormal Visceral Perception / Visceral Hypersensitivity : IBS is associated with increased sensitivity to intestinal distension induced by inflation of balloons in the ileum, colon & rectum - a consequence of altered CNS processing of visceral sensation. This is more common in women and in diarrhœa-predominant IBS.
  • Luminal Factors : About 32% of patients develop IBS following an episode of gastroenteritis; more commonly young women and those with existing background psychological problems. Others may be intolerant of specific dietary components, particularly lactose & wheat. Abnormalities of gut microflora leading to increased fermentation & gas production and minimal inflammation have also been postulated.
  • Some patients have subtle, histologically undetectable mucosal inflammation, possibly leading to activation of inflammatory cells and release of Cytokines, NitricOxide and Histamine. These may trigger abnormal Secretomotor function and sensitize Enteric Sensory Nerve Endings.

Clinical features

The most common presentation is that of recurrent abdominal pain. This is usually colicky or crampy; felt in the lower abdomen and relieved after stool. Abdominal bloating worsens throughout the day; the cause is unknown, but it is not due to excessive intestinal gas. The bowel habit is variable. Most patients alternate between episodes of diarrhœa & constipation. The constipated-type tend to pass infrequent pellety stools, usually in association with abdominal pain or proctalgia. Those with diarrhœa, have frequent stool, evacuate little at a time and rarely have nocturnal symptoms. Passage of mucus is common, but rectal bleeding does not occur.

In spite of these apparently severe symptoms, patients do not lose weight and are constitutionally well. Physical examination does not reveal any abnormalities, although abdominal bloating and variable tenderness to palpation are common.

DiagnosTic criterion

  1. Abdominal distension.
  2. Altered bowel habit.
  3. Colicky abdominal pain.
  4. 'Not finish sensation' after stool.
  5. Rectal mucus.

Diagnostic criterion is based on the studies of Dr. Manning and Dr. Kruis. A positive diagnosis can confidently be made in patients under the age of 40 years without resorting to complicated tests. Complete Blood Picture, ESR and Sigmoidoscopy are usually done routinely, but Barium Enema or Colonoscopy should only be undertaken in the older patients to exclude Colo-rectal Carcinoma. Those who present atypically require investigations to exclude organic gastrointestinal disease. All patients who give a history of rectal bleeding should undergo Colonoscopy to exclude Colonic Cancer or Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD).

Indications of some Indigenous Tincture for IBS

  • Abelmoschus : -
    • Pain at the pit of stomach.
    • Excessive salivation, but feeling of dryness in the mouth. Thick, sticky saliva.
    • Desire for foods & cold drinks.
    • De Legarrete recommends a daily dose of 15 drops of 3x, for protection against mosquito bites.
  • Achyranthus Aspera : - First proved by Dr. Santosh Kumar Ghosh of Jessore (now in Bangladesh ).
    • It is an astringent, diuretic and alternative.
    • It is effacious in diarrhœa, dysentery; and also in menorrhagia, anasarca, dropsy & ascites.
    • It is sovereign remedy for burns and all kinds of ulcers & sores. It has great reputation in dog-bites and bites of snakes & other venomous reptiles - both internally & externally.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture to 3x potency.
  • Aegle folia : - First proved by Dr. Pramada Prasanna Biswas of Pabna (now in Bangladesh ).
    • Alternate diarrhœa & constipation. It acts as a laxative while constipation exists.
    • Commits mistakes in spelling.
    • Daily headache between 4 to 8 PM. Heat in vertex in the evening; > eating.
    • Flushes of heat come out from eyes & face; < afternoon, evening; > eating.
    • Stomach & abdomen distended; water-brash; passing of flatus with loud sound; < afternoon.
    • Congestive headache. Pulse full, strong & regular (characteristic).
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 3x, 6c, 30c potency.
  • Aegle marmelos : -
    • It has great reputation in the treatment of diarrhœa & dysentery (British Pharmacœpia).
    • It has very little beneficial action in acute dysentery; but in chronic cases it relieves symptoms on account of the presence of large quantities of mucilage - that acts as a demulcent.
    • 'It does not appear to have any specific effect in either amœbic or bacillary dysentery' - Dr. S. C. Ghose.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 3x, 6c, 30c potency.
  • Allium cepa : -
    • Rumbling offensive flatus. Pain in left hypochondrium. Belching with rumbling & puffing up of abdomen.
    • Violent cutting pain in left lower abdomen, with frequent desire to urinate. Colic; < sitting, moving about.
    • Diarrhœa after midnight & in morning. Thirst, canine hunger; appetite increased or diminished. Strong craving for raw onions; cannot take any other nourishment.
  • Allium sativum : -
    • Pressure in upper abdomen; > sitting, bent & pressing with both hands. Colic from flatus; twisting and pinching around navel. Everything seemed to drag downwards.
    • Weight in hypochondrium immediately after a meal. Slightest error in diet disturbs the stomach.
    • Sensation of hair on tongue or throat; < reading. Hair sensation is the keynote.
    • Complaints from bad water, from gluttony. Voracious appetite. Desire for butter.
    • Patients eat a great deal more especially meat, than they drink.
  • Atista indica / Glycosmis pentaphylla : - First proved by Dr. Kali Kumar Bhattacharjee of Gouripore , Assam.
    • Weak memory, vigourless, indifferent mood.
    • Constant spitting in the morning, occasional belching of salt water. Sour water-brash.
    • Frequent eructation after meals; heart-burn after 3 or 4 hours of taking food.
    • Throbbing at the pit of stomach; heaviness after meal; > eructation.
    • Flatulence; colicky, gripping pain around navel. Tenesmus & drawing in renal region. Burning in the region of spleen & liver; < evening.
    • Antidote - Nux vom., Camphora, Belladonna, Lime water.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 2x, 3x, 6c potency.
  • Atista radix : -
    • It posses more powerful therapeutic virtues than Atista indica.
    • < autumn.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 3x, 12c, 30c potency.
  • Carica papaya : - First proved by Dr. D. N. Ray of Calcutta , West Bengal. Active principle Papain / Papayotin.
    • Dyspepsia and indigestion with weakness. Tongue coated white.
    • Undigested stool, in small amount, passes many times a day.
    • Intolerance of milk, even a small amount; causes pain in liver & spleen region and produce indigestion.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 3x potency.
  • Chaparro amargoso : -
    • It is a gastric tonic and anti-periodic.
    • Chronic diarrhœa. Stools with little pain, but much mucus.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture to 3x attenuation.
  • Holarrhæna antidysenterica / Wrightia tinctoria : - First proved by Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar of Calcutta.
    • It is almost specific for IBS.
    • Chronic dysentery associated with weakness, emaciation, loss of appetite and aversion to food.
    • Colicky pain around navel with copious bloody, mucous stool; pain < lying on right side and > lying on left side.
    • 'Kurchi bears a close resemblance to Atista indica, Atista radix, Merc. sol. and Merc. cor.' - S. C. Ghose.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 2x, 3x, 6c potency.
  • Hydrocotyle asiatica : - First proved by Dr. Boilen.
    • Misanthrophy; gloomy thoughts. Inclination for solitude.
    • Lothing of food. Alternate anorexia & bulimia. Aversion to tobacco smoking.
    • Borborygmus. Pain at every 5 min; < transverse colon.
    • Ineffectual desire for stool; burning in anus.
    • 'Extremely useful in white and bloody dysentery of both adults and children' - Dr. S. C. Ghose.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 3x, 6x potency.
  • Justicia adhatoda : - First proved by Dr. Sarat Chandra Ghose & Bama Charan Ray of Calcutta ( May 10, 1903).
    • Despondent & anxious; has no desire to talk and in an angry mood. Irritable and sensitive to external impression.
    • Gnawing pain; excessive gurgling in abdomen; distended.
    • Loose stool, mixed with mucus. Abdominal pain > after eating.
    • Total loss of appetite; bad taste in mouth. No desire to eat anything.
  • Ocimum sanctum : - First proved by Dr. N. C. Ghosh of Calcutta and afterwards by Dr. Mure.
    • Forgetful is the keynote.
    • Distended abdomen; eructation; anorexia; hiccough.
    • Gripping in abdomen, mostly hepatic region and right iliac fossa. Gurgling and heaviness in the abdomen; not > in spite of frequent passage of stool. Diarrhœa during rainy season & in autumn.
    • Stool liquid, copious, watery, very offensive, yellowish or greenish, blood-streaked.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 2x, 3x, 6c potency.
  • Terminalia chebula : - First proved by Dr. Byomkesh Datta of Calcutta.
    • Indifferent; single-mindedness. Easily indisposed & constant yawing.
    • Profuse salivation with intense thirst for cold water and sensation of dryness of upper jaw. Halitosis. Tongue dry, flabby, brown coating on the tip.
    • Constant empty eructation in morning. Sensation of fullness in stomach with slight distention. Downward pain in stomach & epigastrium. Rumbling & gurgling sound and pain in right lower abdomen.
    • Frequent ineffectual desire for stool, but passes very little amount with great force. Stool mixed with mucus. Sweat breaks out during stool. Constipation and diarrhœa alternates.
    • Aggravation - hot days, Sun's ray, motion, hard pressure, exertion. Amelioration - cold bathing, evening, dry-cold air, during sleep, eating.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 3x, 6x, 30c potency.
  • Trichosanthes dioica : - First proved by Dr. Pramada Prasanna Biswas of Pabna (now in Bangladesh ).
    • Dryness is the keynote.
    • Slimy saliva; insipid & bad taste in mouth. Constant water-brash. Excessive thirst for cold.
    • Extreme hunger; eats with great relish; obliged to eat something in the morning.
    • Distended abdomen; uneasiness. Abdomen feels hot at 11 AM , with gurgling. Burning all over the body.
    • Copious, greenish-yellow, bilious, liquid stool; mixed with bile & mucus; becomes exhausted and weak owing to frequent passage of stool. Smarting pain in anus after evacuation.
    • 'It is a grand substitute for Ipecac and Podophyllum, or it may be employed where these two medicines fail to do any good' - Dr. S. C. Ghose.
    • Recommended doses - Mother tincture, 3x, 6x, 30c potency.
  • Zingiber officinale : - First proved by Dr. Franz.
    • Ill effects of bad food or water; food poisoning.
    • Complaints from eating melon or impure drinking water.
    • Dry mouth; much thirst. Taste of food remains long, especially bread and toast.
    • Colic; diarrhœa; extremely loose bowels. Diarrhœa with much flatulence.
    • Cutting pain and relaxation of anal sphincter.
    • A shock-like moving downwards as from a dropping fluid in left groin.
    • Heaviness in stomach on awakening, with gas and rumbling.
    • 'Zingiber Herbal Tincture (10 to 15 drops in 2 oz. water three times a day) is a preventive remedy for traveler's diarrhœa and food poisoning' - Robin Murphy, N. D.

Sources : -

  • Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine (19 th edition, 2002; Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh : 817-819).
  • Drugs of Hindoosthan by Dr. Sarat Chandra Ghose (9 th reprint edition, Dec. 1998; HAPCO, Calcutta ).
  • Homeopathic Remedy Guide by Robin Murphy (2 nd edition, Jan. 2000; IBPP, New Delhi ).
  • Oxford Textbook of Medicine (3 rd edition, 1996, vol. 2; Oxford University Press, New York : 1966).
  • Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory by Dr. William Bœricke & Dr. Oscar E. Bœricke (Reprint edition 1998; B. Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi).

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I HAVE SEEN MANY CASES OF IBS.The details given here by Dr.Krishnendu is really very interesting and detailed.b DR.Paul.V.Murugan dated 07/12/12
  Comment by: Dr.paul murugan, India.    on Dec 07, 2012 4 Agree  |  2 Disagree       Report Abuse

thank you sir,please tell us about duration of treatment n about regimen.
  Comment by: Dr.Rashmi Rasela, India.    on Nov 15, 2010 2 Agree  |  0 Disagree       Report Abuse

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