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Teas for colitis: 5 Gut-Soothing Teas for People With Ulcerative Colitis

5 Gut-Soothing Teas for People With Ulcerative Colitis

Try sipping some of these traditional recipes to ease the inflammation that comes with ulcerative colitis.

By Ajai RajMedically Reviewed by Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDCES


Medically Reviewed

Turmeric is a spice that can be added to tea for a gut-soothing beverage with anti-inflammatory properties.Martí Sans/Stocksy

Herbal remedies have been used to treat disease for centuries, across a variety of different cultures. Turmeric fights inflammation, while ginger has anti-nausea properties. Indeed, a study published in May 2020 in the journal BMC Gastroenterology found that when patients drank green tea as part of their preparation for a colonoscopy, they had less nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

“There’s some evidence to suggest that tea may help with things like inflammation,” says Kelly Kennedy, RD, the manager of nutrition for Everyday Health. “The unfortunate thing is that a lot of that research has been done in animals, so it doesn’t necessarily translate to the same effect in humans. But if tea helps someone, then it can be an easy tool for easing symptoms related to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC).

“For one thing, tea is always hydrating, and that can help with UC symptoms like diarrhea or short bowel syndrome after surgery,” Kennedy adds. “Another benefit is that tea has a warm, soothing quality, which can help because stress can aggravate symptoms. And that’s true regardless of the type of tea you make.”

If a nice cup of tea sounds like just the thing to help ease your belly, try out one of these soothing options.

1. Turmeric and Ginger Tea

Turmeric, a relative of ginger, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for millennia to help treat inflammatory diseases. Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, “may be a safe, effective therapy for maintaining or inducing UC remission when administered with standard treatments,” according to a review published in July 2020 in Nutrients. Try this soothing concoction submitted by nascarrunner71 at AllRecipes.com: Hot or cold, this tea combines ginger, turmeric, and honey or maple syrup for a rich and flavorful tea.

2. After-Dinner Belly-Soothing Tea

Fennel seed is used for a number of digestive problems, like constipation and gassiness. Check out this recipe over at Kitchn, which combines the herb with ginger, peppermint, and chamomile for a belly-calming blend that can be taken before or after a meal to prevent or reduce painful bloating or cramping. Not to mention — ginger can potentially relieve symptoms of nausea, according to a systematic review published in November 2018 in Food Science & Nutrition.

3. Calendula Tea

Calendula, a flower with anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to the skin, has also been shown to aid digestive woes like diarrhea.

Calendula tea can be made with dried or fresh flowers. The Nerdy Farm Wife recommends heating the water in a saucepan or setting a jar of water filled with flower petals in direct sunlight.

Note that studies on the safety of calendula are still needed. Since that’s the case, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York says ingesting the flower should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women. The concern seems to stem from an older study in rats that found the flower can interfere with conception and possibly cause miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.

Also, people who are allergic to ragweed or plants in the daisy or aster family may experience an allergic reaction from calendula.

4. Slippery Elm Tea

The powdered inner bark of the slippery elm tree has been used for centuries to help relieve inflammatory conditions in traditional medicine. Consider trying this recipe from the Happy Herb Company to see if it helps with your UC symptoms.

A word of caution: Kennedy says that slippery elm can, at least according to traditional wisdom, induce abortions, and thus should be avoided by anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.

5. Green Ginger Mint Tea

You’ve probably heard that green tea contains antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, but its benefits don’t end there — green tea also contains an anti-inflammatory component that may have protective effects in people with UC. Make your next cup of green tea a little more exciting by adding ginger and mint, following this recipe from Real Simple. The mint may also help calm stomach upset and promote good digestion, according to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Kennedy notes that the amount of the main anti-inflammatory component of green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), is given during research studies in much higher amounts, and to much smaller creatures, than the amount found in a typical cup of tea. “It might be worth having a couple of cups, rather than just one,” she says.

If your UC is acting up, try experimenting with some of these tea recipes from Canadian Living to see if they help. But before you introduce any major changes to your diet, including upping your consumption of one of these remedies, Kennedy recommends talking to your doctor.

“Also, don’t have one cup of green tea and expect to be cured,” she adds. “Track what you’re taking and make note of the effects to see what might be working for you.”

Additional reporting by Jordan M. Davidson.

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Tea and Ulcerative Colitis: Does It Help?

If you have ulcerative colitis, it means that your immune system overreacts, causing the lining of your colon to become inflamed and sores (ulcers) to form. This inflammation leads to symptoms like diarrhea, bloody stools, and stomach cramps.

Biologic medications and other treatments, such as drinking tea, can help manage symptoms.

Drinking a cup of herbal or green tea each day is considered a complementary therapy for ulcerative colitis. Tea can naturally lower inflammation and possibly help with ulcerative colitis symptoms. Plus, it’s inexpensive, easy to make at home, and healthier than other beverages like soda.

A 2017 study looked at the way the polyphenols (which are found in green tea especially) reduce inflammation in bowel diseases. Another study determined that people who drink tea may be at a lower risk for ulcerative colitis. Drinking a lot of soft drinks, on the other hand, may increase the risk of ulcerative colitis.

Though tea isn’t a substitute for medication, it can be a helpful add-on while you’re going through treatment.

Biologics often have unpleasant side effects, such as headaches and nausea. This is likely why up to 60 percent of people with IBD also turn to complementary therapies to find symptom relief.

Certain types of tea may be more beneficial than others and may also help manage some side effects of biologics.

The herbs and plants used to make tea contain natural compounds called polyphenols that help them survive. Those same compounds improve our health, too.

Polyphenols are packed with antioxidants. These substances protect against the harmful effects of free radicals, oxygen-containing molecules that damage our cells and cause disease.

Green, black, and herbal teas have anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea in particular contains a potent polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

Animal and human studies have shown EGCG to be effective at reducing inflammation. It’s why green tea may be useful for preventing or treating a number of different diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.

Certain types of herbal teas may help reduce inflammation from ulcerative colitis.

People have used chamomile as a treatment for thousands of years. This medicinal herb is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and other healing properties.

Chamomile might help with ulcerative colitis in a few ways. For one thing, it works against GI issues. Chamomile is known to soothe the stomach, relieve gas, and relax intestinal muscles to ease cramps for most people.

The daisy-like plant has also been investigated as a treatment for diarrhea, which is one of the main symptoms in ulcerative colitis. In studies, children who took chamomile and a combination of other herbs got over diarrhea faster than those who didn’t.

A cup of chamomile tea might also soothe your mind. Living with a chronic illness like ulcerative colitis can be very stressful. Chamomile has a calming effect, and it may help to relieve anxiety and depression.

How green tea impacts ulcerative colitis symptoms has been the subject of multiple studies.

The tea made from unfermented leaves has polyphenols that can lower levels of chemicals like tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukins that cause inflammation in the intestines. These are the same chemicals targeted by the biologic drugs taken to treat ulcerative colitis.

In one study of mice, green tea polyphenols brought down inflammation and reduced the severity of ulcerative colitis as effectively as the drug sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), but with fewer side effects. It’s not yet clear whether polyphenols work as well in humans with ulcerative colitis.

Ginger has been a staple of Chinese food and medicine for more than 2,500 years.

This spice comes from the stem, called the rhizome, of the ginger plant. It’s rich in polyphenols like gingerol, shogaol, and zingeron, all of which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In one 2016 study of people with osteoarthritis, ginger lowered levels of the inflammatory chemicals TNF-alpha and interleukin-1.

Most of the studies on ginger for ulcerative colitis have been done in animals. But in one study with humans, people who took ginger supplements for 12 weeks had less severe symptoms and a better quality of life. This doesn’t necessarily mean that ginger tea will be helpful for ulcerative colitis, but it’s a promising sign.

Researchers are looking at how to treat ulcerative colitis with nanoparticles — tiny particles made from ginger. These nanoparticles would be delivered directly to the intestine lining. Research suggests that they would work to reduce inflammation with few side effects.

Indigenous groups have long used the red bark of the slippery elm tree as a remedy for ailments like cough and diarrhea.

Researchers are trying to learn whether this herb might soothe inflammation in the GI tract of people with IBD. So far, the evidence is promising but not conclusive.

Licorice, an herb with a medicinal root, lends a naturally sweet and salty flavor to tea. Licorice root also has anti-inflammatory properties that may be useful for treating ulcerative colitis.

Even though many of these herbs have shown promise for treating ulcerative colitis, several were tested in supplement form or not in humans. More research needs to be done to confirm whether tea helps ulcerative colitis and how much of it you’d need to drink for it to make a difference.

Herbal teas are pretty safe, but they can sometimes cause side effects. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before trying any new treatment, even a natural one like herbal tea.

Drinking tea may have a protective effect on the intestines and prevent the development of ulcerative colitis



Drinking tea may have a protective effect on the intestines and prevent the development of ulcerative colitis

Many prescription drugs are available today to treat ulcerative colitis, such as aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. These medicines may reduce the symptoms of the disease, but cannot cure it, and may also cause side effects. With this in mind, some scientists are researching how natural foods can help treat ulcerative colitis.

Scientists have done many studies that show promising results after using natural compounds in the fight against ulcerative colitis (UC). However, most of these have been conducted in animals, while human studies have had very small sample sizes.

A 2016 study in China found that drinking tea may have a protective effect on the gut and prevent UC. However, it remains unclear what type of tea is optimal.


Research in 2010 suggests that chamomile has a long history of use for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and soothing effects. However, there are limited studies that look at how substances in chamomile can help patients with UC.

A 2016 rat study investigating the possible role of chamomile in eliciting an immune response found that chamomile extract reduced markers of oxidative stress in the colon of rats.


In a 2019 study, scientists found that ginger supplementation reduced the severity of UC and improved quality of life. However, the authors state that further studies using different doses and formulations are needed for more reliable conclusions. In addition, results are pending from a randomized controlled trial that evaluated the effects of ginger in 44 people with UC.


Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric. In a small 2018 study of 20 people with mild to moderate UC, researchers looked at a combination of curcumin, green tea, and selenium for 8 weeks. The study found that this therapy, with or without mesalamine, improved symptoms and reduced disease activity.

Several other trials of curcumin in individuals with UC have shown similar beneficial effects in other small studies. A review of six randomized controlled trials showed that this substance, in combination with 5-aminosalicylic acid, is effective in maintaining remission in people with UC.

Green tea

Green tea contains plant compounds called polyphenols. A 2013 pilot study in 20 people with UC found that green tea polyphenols reduced disease activity compared to placebo.

Berries or pomegranate

Resveratrol is a compound found in berries, pomegranates and grapes. A 2016 study found that resveratrol supplementation can reduce disease activity and improve quality of life in UC.

How tea helps people with UC

The above ingredients come from plants and are available as teas. Plants contain many chemical compounds that may improve gastrointestinal symptoms, including alkaloids, phenols, and polyphenols.

These compounds affect the functioning of the immune system, as well as protect against oxidative stress and prevent cell damage. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, a warm cup of tea provides hydration by replenishing fluids that people may lose due to diarrhea. It can also soothe an upset stomach.

Diet is an environmental factor that influences the onset and progression of UC. Nutritionists have recently proposed an anti-inflammatory diet for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, including green tea.

Risks and considerations

There are some things to consider when using natural products. For example, chamomile can cause allergic reactions in rare cases, according to a previous 2010 study. Also, the side effects of ginger are usually mild and include heartburn, gas, and hot flashes.

Turmeric and curcumin can also increase bile production, so people with bile obstruction or gallstones should use them with caution. They can lower blood sugar levels, which can interfere with the effect of your diabetes medication.

There are also side effects of long-term use of green tea – it can act as a diuretic, leading to dehydration. Prolonged excessive use of it can disrupt the synthesis of bile acids.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/chamomile-tea-for-ulcerative-colitis#best-teas-to-try

Diet for chronic colitis | Sanatorium Gorny

Colitis is an inflammatory disease of the colon. Treatment of colitis is always complex. A prerequisite for successful treatment is diet.

If you have chronic colitis , you should regularly undergo preventive treatment .

General rules. duration of the diet.

Nutrition for colitis should be balanced in terms of nutrients. The main task of the diet is to reduce the load on the entire digestive tract.

  • General rules of nutrition for intestinal colitis:

  • Fractional nutrition. 5-6 times a day.

  • Give preference to mashed and semi-liquid foods.

  • Food should not be hot or cold. The optimal temperature of dishes is 30-40 C

  • Exclusion of products containing fiber

  • Reduce salt intake to 8-10 grams per day

  • Maintain drinking regimen (at least 1. 5 liters per day)

  • Food can be boiled or steamed.

Nutrition for colitis during an exacerbation.

During an exacerbation of colitis, diet is very important. The task of the diet is to stop inflammation in the intestines, restore proper digestion and eliminate the processes of fermentation and putrefaction.

To do this, it is recommended to completely exclude food products that cause fermentation or decay. With diarrhea, it is necessary to exclude foods rich in fiber, vegetables and bran. With constipation, on the contrary, you need to increase peristalsis and eat a lot of vegetables and cereals.

Dishes should be steamed or boiled. Food must be ground, chopped or pureed. It is better to boil porridges strongly or use special porridges for baby food.

Nutrition for chronic colitis.

Outside of exacerbation, dieting for colitis avoids exacerbation.

The diet is based on cereals boiled in water and semi-liquid food. You can add butter to the porridge. Soups are prepared on the second broth from lean meat. Vegetables can be added in a small amount in pureed form.

You can eat eggs in the form of steam omelettes, steamed fish or minced beef cutlets.

You can drink weak black and green teas, herbal tea. Coffee is not recommended, but can be replaced with chicory. The daily volume of water consumed should be about 1.5 liters.

Diet types:

With an exacerbation of chronic colitis or with an acute form of colitis with loose stools (diarrhea), diet No. 4 is recommended. With this diet, foods rich in fiber are not recommended. All dishes that cause rotting and fermentation are also excluded.

If the disease proceeds with constipation, then diet No. 3 is recommended. With this diet, foods that enhance intestinal motility, rich in fiber, are recommended.

In chronic colitis without exacerbation, you must adhere to diet number 2.

List of approved products:

PORRIDGE AND CEREALS: Buckwheat, semolina, oatmeal, rice.
FRUITS: Pears, apples, quinces.
BERRIES: Blueberries, black currants, dogwoods.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: Acidophilus, low-fat cottage cheese, butter.
MEAT: Boiled beef, veal, rabbit, chicken, turkey.
BREAD: White bread crackers.
VEGETABLES: Carrots, cauliflower, potatoes as an addition to soups.

List of fully or partially restricted products.

VEGETABLES: White cabbage, legumes, horseradish.
FRUITS: Melons, bananas, grapes.
MEAT: Pork, sausage, sausages, ham, duck, goose.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: Milk, kefir, sour cream, full-fat cottage cheese, cheese.
SOFT DRINKS: Kvass, grape juice, carbonated sweet drinks.
DESSERTS: Ice cream, cakes, shortcrust pastry, chocolate.

Colitis Nutrition Menu (Meal Mode)

Nutrition for colitis should be as sparing as possible.

Food should be fractional – 5-6 times a day. Last meal 3 hours before bed.

Recipes for dietary dishes with colitis.

Sample menu for a day from a diet for intestinal colitis:

Breakfast: Boiled oatmeal with butter. Apple compote.

Second breakfast: Beef steam cutlet. Kissel from blueberries.

Lunch: Rice soup with chicken meatballs. Boiled sea fish. Herb tea

Snack: Low-fat cottage cheese casserole. Apple compote.

Dinner: Meat casserole. Weak tea.

Before going to bed: Compote or jelly.

Dietitian comments:

With colitis, therapeutic nutrition is a prerequisite for successful treatment. Properly chosen diet and its observance allow you to quickly get rid of the unpleasant symptoms of the disease.

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