Your doctor or dietitian may have suggested you trial Iberogast to help with your IBS symptoms. But what is this and will it actually work?
In this article, I am going to look at the science behind Iberogast in IBS to find out if it will help your IBS symptoms. Or is it just another herbal gimmick?
I will also look at the mechanism behind how this supplement works.
Table of Contents
What is Iberogast?
You may be interested to hear that Ibergast® is actually an herbal supplement (1).
It is claimed that taking this supplement will help with a multitude of digestive symptoms.
Symptoms Claimed to Help With
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal cramps
Iberogast is made from a mixture of several different plant extracts: Bitter candytuft, Angelica, Chamomile, Caraway, St Mary’s thistle, Lemon balm, Peppermint, Greater celandine and Liquorice.
Will Iberogast Help My IBS Symptoms?
Unlike most herbal ‘remedies’ on the market, Iberogast help IBS symptoms.
In a trial of 203 IBS patients, the supplement was shown to significantly improve symptoms of pain (2).
Interestingly, the study also looked at using other supplements. One was similar to Iberogast but did not contain Celandine herbs, Angelica root or milk thistle. It still helped to reduce IBS pain.
The other supplement used was just bitter candytuft. This supplement on its own did not improve IBS symptoms. This suggests that the affect of Iberogast is due either to the combination of herbs or other herbs in the supplement.
There was, of course, a placebo used in addition to ensure reactions were not just down to placebo.
What Dose Shall I Take For My IBS?
I would advise that you take the dose which was proven to help in the research trial – 20 drops, 3 x a day.
Please do not get frustrated if this supplement doesn’t work for you straight away. The research went on for 4 weeks. So, it may be that you need to keep taking this supplement for 4 weeks.
How It Work?
You will be frustrated to find that we don’t really know how Iberogast works in IBS.
Researchers have suggested it may be due to affects on motility and gut sensitivity (3, 4). But this is based on in vitro studies and not on human IBS studies.
Is Iberogast low FODMAP?
You may have noticed that the supplement contains chamomile which is high FODMAP. It is unclear if the amount contained is enough to push it into the high FODMAP category.
I would probably advise that you avoid taking this supplement whilst doing the low FODMAP diet just to be on the safe side.
When you come off the diet, if fructans are not a trigger for you, then this supplement will be safe to have.
Iberogast is an herbal supplement which has been scientifically prove to help your IBS pain symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support it’s use for other IBS symptoms just yet. And, we are not quite sure how this supplement works.
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Kirsten Jackson is a UK registered Consultant Gastroenterology Dietitian and founder of The Food Treatment Clinic. She has undergone many qualifications to get where she is today, including a UK BSc Honours Degree in Dietetics and Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Dietetics. In addition to this, she has FODMAP Training from Kings College London University. Kirsten set up The Food Treatment Clinic in 2015 after first experiencing digestive problems herself. She felt that the NHS was unable to provide the support individuals needed and went on to specialise in this area before opening a bespoke IBS service. Kirsten also participates in charity work as an Expert Advisor for the IBS Network. In addition, she can be seen in publications such as Cosmopolitan and The Telegraph discussing IBS as an Official Media Spokesperson to the IBS Network.
Mary-jane Baxter says
I am getting so frustrated as soon as I have eaten a meal, not huge at all , my tummy starts rumbling and I get explosive diarrhoea with wind.
I had had corn for lunch and within 3 to 4 hours it’s in the stool. Heavy mucus yellows liquid in stools.
I am nervous to go out all the time.
I have had colon cancer but 37 years ago I was 46. I had an APR and a permanent colostomy for 13 years until I had a Dynamic Graciloplasty which I control with daily irrigation.
I cope with it but these long bouts of diarrhoea are difficult.
I have started a Fodmap diet but I am still having problems.
I would be so grateful for some help.
Kirsten Jackson Specialist Dietitian says
Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you are going through this.
Sadly I can not give out medical advice over this format but I do work with people on a 1:1 basis. Please have a look at my ‘VIP’ package and contact me should you be interested in this.