Herbal Medicine for Gut Motility

Hey folks my name is Todd Mansfield. I’m a clinical herbalist here in Byron Bay, Australia and today I wanted to share some of the top herbal medicine I use for gut motility.

Gut motility dysfunction is such an important subject that I put together a video on the four top causes of poor gut motility that you can check out here.

Today we’re going to keep it simple and talk about the herbs that I commonly use.

Gut Motility Herb #1 – Ginger

I am using bucket loads of ginger in the clinic each month. It is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-microbial, it’s a circulatory stimulant and it is a herb that stimulates gut motility. We’ve got some data showing that it improves stomach emptying or gastric emptying. I think if we had better studies on it, remember herbs are pretty poorly studied, we would see that ginger can increase the small bowel’s motility as well.

Gut Motility Herb #2 – globe artichoke

Globe artichoke is best known as a cholagogue. It increases bile flow from the gallbladder to the small bowel and can help with things like fat malabsorption and steatorrhea. I use globe artichoke as a prokinetic stimulating gut motility. The research that we have on this herb shows that it acts on the small bowel.

Gut Motility Herb #3 – Iberogast

Number three I wanted to talk about iberogast. I love iberogast and use it extensively in my clinical practice. It is a combination of herbal medicines that you can buy over the counter in most countries. Iberogast is a helpful prokinetic in some patients but is also anti-inflammatory, it protects that mucosal lining, it can work on the lower oesophageal sphincter and it can normalise gut motility. A big headline here is that iberogast can help to decrease visceral hypersensitivity which is a huge issue in a lot of patients with long-term SIBO or irritable bowel syndrome.

Gut Motility Herbs from Chinese Medicine

The next herbs that I want to share with you come from the Chinese medicine materia medica. Turkey rhubarb is generally used as a laxative but it’s also a strong prokinetic herbal medicine. I use this one a lot for my methane dominant SIBO patients. They’re constipated, they’ve got slow gut motility, they’re bloated, they’re distended and they’re gassy. Turkey rhubarb can work wonders kicking that whole process into gear. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Some other useful herbs from the Chinese medicine modality are immature bitter orange and also magnolia bark. There is one big caveat with magnolia bark. Sometimes you need big doses of this herb so with that in mind what I like to do is keep this herb in the wings. If we need a strong prokinetic and patients are failing the first level and the second level of herbs that I would prescribe I will start with a moderate amount of magnolia bark and increase it to a large amount short term to see if we can kick your gut transit and motility into gear.

So there you have it those are the top herbs that I use for gut motility. If you got something out of this and enjoyed the video then be sure to like the video below and leave me a comment.

If you live in Australia or New Zealand and you’re looking for support with your digestive health then consider reaching out below.

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