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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20 comments

  1. Hi Todd,

    what in your opinion should be adressed first for a patient with confirmed Klebsiella pneumoniae and Ascaris’ eggs in a stool? The main symptoms are bloating and chronis UTI’s.

      1. Hope this find you well my name is Peter macharia murugu I live in Nairobi Kenya I would wish to get health assistance from you. I am finding very hard to clear bowel is like I have fecal brocade and I don’t want to result going for operations. Please respond agemtry tell me what to use. My cell phone is +254705161616.

  2. Hey Todd, first of all I wanted to say thank you for all the information you share here and on your Youtube channel. Your content has been very educative and helpful for me amidst my research on healing myself. As you know, there’s a lot of information out there – not all of it either accurate or well-intentioned – and you’ve been a breath of fresh air (plus, your style and finesse are unmatched in this space..).

    I do have a question for you and I know you can’t provide medical advice on here, so I will keep it very general and related to simply the proper ingestion of tunctures/extracts. I have some liquid extracts on the way – Ginger, Artichoke, Turkey Rhubarb, and Burdock, to be exact (constipation-heavy) – and I’d like to know if you think it’s best to take them all at once, or split up at different times of day (I will be staggering their introductions at first anyway, but this is something I wanted your opinion on)? And are any of them usually more effective at different times, say morning or evening, or does it not really matter?

    Hopefully you’re able to get back to me. Thank you either way. Take care.

    1. Hi Liam, thanks for the comment. For tinctures I mix everything in one bottle and generally dose am and pm away from food if tolerated, after food if it sits poorly. That looks like a good strong mix!

  3. Hello Todd, after an oesophogectomy my husband found Iberogast very helpful; however, we understand that it has now been discontinued. I am trying to find something similar; would you be able to point me in the direction of a product.

  4. Todd, what form of ginger do you recommend? I’ve got methane sibo and have been doing ginger shots daily. I’m wondering if you find the extract to be more powerful? Thanks a ton for taking the time to share all that you’ve learned. It’s incredibly supportive and has been a solid resource for me and I’m constantly referring others to your website.

  5. Hello,
    After developing SMA and gastroparisis following a surgery, I am looking into different herbs for gut motility and was wondering if licorice root or some of the other herbs for leaky gut (like marshmallow and slippery elm) could also be helpful.
    Thank you,
    Chelsie

  6. I am taking a dao histamine blocker and a histamine probiotic I am also taking a digestive enzyme the pygenol pine bark for antihistamine plus and acid reflux cimidine depletes the dao so l have to take famotidine to then dandelion tea to move the motility then chamomile at night for sleeping with a sleeping pill and mastic gum the doctors ruled out sibo ,parasites. I think the dandelion is causing heartburn and acid issues what would you recommend it feeling like something is causing the acid reflux to go up

  7. Hi! I was tested positive for giardia in mid November. I would up taking 2 antibiotics. I took one that’s supposed to take care of this in one dose but that did not work. Then wound up taking flagyl for 3 weeks. The last 2 tests I took for giardia were negative but my gut is a mess. I still have bloating, gas, and diarhea. You mentioned in one of your videos on how important it is to care for your gut after you have this. Do you have any info or articles that you can guide me to read up on this? I am in the US and it seems you do not take patients internationally but any consults over the phone? All my gastroenterologist has recommended is to take Florastor (which didn’t do anything), now taking Seed probiotic with some improvement, now going to switch to a probiotic called Visbiome. Can you direct where I might find some info on a situation like this? Love your videos. So happy to find you and learn about some natural alternatives!

  8. Good morning,
    Is it convenient to use prokinetics (ginger) during the treatment of herbal antibiotics for sibo methane? or is it better to finish the treatment to use it.
    thanks for your posts

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