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Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition causing irritation, swelling and ulceration on the inner lining of the colon (large intestine) and rectum (last part of the bowel). The ulcers can lead to bleeding and pus formation. The most frequently encountered symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

The uncommon symptoms of ulcerative colitis include eye irritation, rashes and joint pain or soreness. A majority of individuals with this condition experience mild to moderate symptoms, but about 10% experience severe symptoms such as fever, severe abdominal cramps and recurring diarrhoea containing blood, pus or mucus. 

Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune condition. It occurs when body’s immune system misfires and attacks healthy cells of the intestinal lining. The exact cause of this immune reaction is still unknown. However, researchers believe that it may be due to genetic and environmental factors.

Conventionally, ulcerative colitis is treated with medicines for symptomatic management and lifestyle modifications. Surgery is needed in some cases.

Several homeopathic remedies are available to manage the symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis and treat the condition. Some of these remedies include veratrum album, podophyllum, aloe socotrina, antimonium crudum, pulsatilla pratensis, baptisia tinctoria, bryonia alba, belladonna, ipecacuanha, aconitum napellus, carbo vegetabilis, arsenicum album, mercurius corrosivus, antimonium tartaricum, hydrastis canadensis and kalium bichromicum. Homeopathic doctors consider both the physical and mental aspects of a patient's personality before prescribing a medicine. So, not every medicine works equally well for everyone.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for ulcerative colitis
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a ulcerative colitis patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for ulcerative colitis
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for ulcerative colitis
  5. Takeaway
  • Pulsatilla Pratensis 
    Common Name:
    Wind flower
    Symptoms: Pulsatilla pratensis is an effective remedy for the management of fever that occurs due to underlying gastric disorders. It can also be employed in the treatment of the following symptoms:
    • Bitter or greasy taste in the mouth
    • Abdominal pain
    • Watery stool
    • Dysentery; the patient has mucus and blood in their stool
    • A feeling of chilliness, even in a warm room

Symptoms worsen in the evening, after eating fatty meals, and with warmth. Symptoms get better with cold applications, on moving about in open air, or having cold food or drinks.

  • Veratrum Album 
    Common Name:
    White hellebore
    Symptoms: Veratrum Album is primarily recommended for treating weakness. It can also be used in the management of symptoms like:
    • Painful, profuse and watery diarrhoea
    • Pain and cramps in the abdomen
    • Fever with chills; the patient feels extremely cold
    • Sinking and empty feeling in the abdomen
    • Profuse nausea and vomiting 
    • Infection in the intestine

The patient complaints of aggravated symptoms during night and in cold or rainy weather. Symptoms get better in warm conditions and on taking a walk.

  • Arsenicum Album
    Common Name:
    Arsenious acid
    Symptoms: This remedy is used for treating septic infections and burning pains in the body. It also helps treat the following symptoms:
    • Anxiety in stomach
    • Presence of bile, mucus and blood in vomit
    • Swelling and burning pain in the abdomen
    • Dark, bloody and offensive dysentery
    • High fever and exhaustion
    • Enterocolitis, i.e., inflammation of the small and large intestine

The symptoms worsen in cold and rainy weather, after midnight, and on consuming cold food or drinks. Symptoms get better on consuming warm drinks.

  • Hydrastis Canadensis 
    Common Name:
    Golden seal
    Symptoms: Hydrastis canadensis primarily acts on the mucous membranes (inner lining of some organs like the alimentary canal) and helps in the management of the following symptoms:
    • Constant stomach pain
    • Stomach ulcers or inflammation of the stomach
    • Pain in the rectum while defecating
    • Persistent pain after defecation
    • Constipation
  • Podophyllinum 
    Common Name:
    May-apple
    Symptoms: Podophyllinum is a highly effective remedy for inflammation and pain in the digestive tract. Though, it mainly acts on the rectum, small intestine, and liver. This remedy also helps in treating the following symptoms:
    • Burps with a sour aftertaste (Read more: Sour burps causes)
    • A sinking feeling in the abdomen
    • Long-term diarrhoea
    • Dysentery
    • Chills early in the morning (at around 7 am) 

All symptoms worsen in hot weather and early in the morning.

  • Aloe Socotrina 
    Common Name: Socotrine aloes
    Symptoms: Aloe socotrina can be used in the management of dysentery. It also helps manage the following symptoms:
    • Abdominal pain
    • A feeling of fullness in the abdomen
    • Presence of mucus in the stool
    • Burning in the anus and rectum
    • Lumpy and watery stool
    • Pain in the rectum after defecation

All the symptoms aggravate in hot and dry weather, in the morning and after eating or drinking. Symptoms improve in cold weather and in open air.

  • Antimonium Crudum 
    Common Name:
    Black sulphide of antimony
    Symptoms: It is an effective remedy for gastric complaints and is used to treat the following:
    • Fever associated with gastric disorders
    • Loss of appetite
    • Bloating after eating
    • Diarrhoea that alternates with constipation
    • Watery discharge in stools with the presence of lumps
    • Intermittent fever with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
    • Stool composed entirely of mucus
    • Constant burping
    • Gastric and intestinal complaints that occur due to hot climate, bathing in cold water, and consuming sour wine or acidic foods.

Symptoms worsen in the evening and after consuming wine or water. The patient gets some relief when he rests or spends time in open air.

  • Baptisia Tinctoria 
    Common Name:
    Wild indigo
    Symptoms: Baptisia tinctoria is primarily given to children who have foul-smelling stools and constant belching due to chronic bacterial infections of the intestine. It is also beneficial for treating other symptoms such as:
    • Abdominal pain with a sinking feeling in the stomach
    • Thin and dark stools with the presence of blood
    • Dysentery, especially in aged individuals
    • Fever associated with gastrointestinal diseases
    • Ulcers and inflammation in intestines and stomach

The symptoms worsen in hot and humid weather and in foggy weather.

  • Bryonia Alba 
    Common Name:
    Wild hops
    Symptoms: This medicine can be used in treating the following symptoms:
    • Fever due to gastric and inflammatory diseases
    • Nausea with faintness on getting up from sitting or lying down position
    • Stitching and burning pain in the abdomen that worsens on coughing or putting pressure

Symptoms worsen in hot weather and on applying warmth to the affected region, with exertion and on touching the painful area. Symptoms get better in cold weather, on lying on the painful side and after taking some rest.

  • Belladonna 
    Common Name: Deadly nightshade
    Symptoms: This medicine is primarily used for treating throbbing and burning sensations in the body. It can also be used to treat the following symptoms:
    • Loss of appetite
    • Swelling and tenderness in the abdomen
    • Nausea with vomiting
    • Dysentery with green lumpy stools
    • Pain in the abdomen and rectum
    • High fever

All the complaints get worse in the afternoon, on lying down and on touching the affected area. The symptoms get better on sitting in a semi-erect position.

  • Ipecacuanha 
    Common Name:
    Ipecac-root
    Symptoms: Ipecac-root is an effective remedy for persistent nausea and vomiting. It is also useful in managing the following symptoms:
    • Dysentery with slimy and grass-green stool
    • Presence of mucus, bile and blood along with food in vomit
    • Intermittent fever, especially due to some underlying gastrointestinal disease

Symptoms aggravate when the patient lies down or gets exposed to hot and humid wind.

  • Aconitum Napellus
    Common Name:
    Monkshood
    Symptoms: Aconitum napellus is useful for treating fever and restlessness. A few other symptoms that can be managed using this remedy are:
    • Presence of mucus and blood in vomit
    • Great thirst, especially for cold water; everything tastes bitter except water
    • Pain in the abdomen
    • Watery diarrhoea in children
    • Enterocolitis

Symptoms get worse in the evening and night, on smoking tobacco and on lying on the affected side. Symptoms get better in the open air.

  • Carbo Vegetabilis
    Common Name:
    Vegetable charcoal
    Symptoms: This remedy is helpful in the management of the following symptoms:
    • A feeling of heaviness and fullness in the stomach
    • Nausea, especially in the morning
    • Frequent diarrhoea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Enterocolitis (inflammation of the large bowels)
    • Fever

Symptoms worsen in cold climate, during the evening and at night, on consuming fatty foods, milk and coffee. Symptoms get better when the patient fans themselves or burps.

  • Mercurius Corrosivus 
    Common Name:
    Corrosive sublimate
    Symptoms: Mercurius corrosivus is primarily recommended to those who have a continuous and frequent urge to empty their bowel. Other symptoms that can be managed using this remedy are:
    • Bloody and slimy stools
    • Presence Green coloured vomit
    • A sensation of bruising along with pain in the abdomen
    • Fever and chills
    • Enterocolitis
    • Ulceration in the lining of the digestive tract

Symptoms worsen in the evening and night, whereas they get better while resting.

  • Antimonium Tartaricum 
    Common Name: Tartar emetic
    Symptoms: This medicine is useful for treating the following symptoms:
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Diarrhoea along with skin eruptions

Symptoms worsen in cold and humid weather, especially in the evening and on consuming milk. Symptoms improve on burping and on sitting upright.

  • Kalium Bichromicum 
    Common Name:
    Bichromate of potash
    Symptoms: Kalium bichromicum is useful for treating symptoms of the gastric tract and migrating pains. It can also be used to treat symptoms such as:
    • Ulceration and inflammation of the intestines and stomach
    • Jelly-like stool
    • Bright yellow vomit
    • Cutting pain in the abdomen
    • Dysentery 

Symptoms worsen in the morning and on drinking beer. Symptoms get better from heat.

Appropriate dietary and lifestyle modifications, when incorporated in the homeopathic treatment for ulcerative colitis, promote healing and help improve the overall health of the patient. Moreover, certain lifestyle and food habits interfere with the action of the homeopathic remedies and hence need to be altered. Therefore, homeopathic physicians advise their patient to make the following changes in their routine:

Do’s: 

  • Eat nutritious foods.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene and keep your surroundings clean.
  • Include adequate exercise in your daily routine.

Don’ts: 

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, such as tea and coffee.
  • Do not use perfumes that have a strong odour.
  • Avoid foods that have medicinal properties.
  • Reduce your intake of salt, sugar and spices.
  • Avoid activities that may cause physical or mental exertion.
  • Avoid staying in places that are wet and marshy.

Many homeopathic medicines are available for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. These medicines are prepared by repeated dilutions of natural substances. They are available in varying potencies and are prescribed based on the individual's health status.

There isn't much scientific evidence to confirm the efficiency of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

However, in a case study done in India, hydrastis was found to be effective in the treatment of idiopathic ulcerative colitis. The patient was a 40-year-old man who had been experiencing frequent passage of stool with the presence of blood in stool, cramp-like pain in the abdomen, severe pain and burning during defecation and excessive flatulence for 10 years. The patient reported sustained relief from all the symptoms after taking hydratis for about 6 months.

Homeopathic medicines are composed of natural substances such as herbs, animal products and minerals. These medicines are given in an extensively diluted form, which renders them safe for a vast population.

Homeopathy is found to be safe and effective in people of all ages, including pregnant women, children and elderly individuals.

However, it is recommended to consult an experienced homeopathic physician before initiating any medication, as he/she is well aware of the composition of these medications and will prescribe the most suitable medicine for the individual's clinical condition.

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory condition of the bowel, with symptoms that cause severe uneasiness and restlessness. Since it is an autoimmune condition, it is usually treated with lifestyle management and medications to control the symptoms. Homeopathy describes many medicines for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. There aren't many scientific studies to prove the efficiency of homeopathic medicines but since these medicines are made from natural substances, they are considered to be safe. Make sure you check in with an experienced physician before taking a homeopathic remedy for ulcerative colitis. 

References

  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Ulcerative Colitis
  2. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Ulcerative colitis
  3. Partha Pratim Pal, Madhu Sudhan Ghosh, Abhijit Chakma. Homoeopathic treatment of ulcerative Colitis: A case report. Year : 2017 Volume : 11 Issue : 1 Page : 74-78
  4. Oscar E. Boericke. Repertory. Médi-T; [lnternet]
  5. Wenda Brewster O’Reilly. Organon of the Medical art by Wenda Brewster O’Reilly. B jain; New Delhi
  6. The European Comittee for Homeopathy. Benefits of Homeopathy. Belgium; [Internet]
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