Against colitis comes a new, powerful remedy given by a blend of herbs that we can easily find in shops. This is what emerges from a research published a few weeks ago in the journal Frontiers in Immunology by a Japanese team (Shi et al, Frontiers in Immunology, Jun 2022).
Colitis, what it is
Colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon, characterized by abdominal pain, cramps, constipation or diarrhea and abdominal swelling. In the case of colitis, there is an alteration of the intestinal microbiota, which is the set of bacteria that populate our intestine, and of the immune response. The cases of colitis are constantly growing, it is estimated to have even doubled in the last 20 years, and mainly affect countries such as Europe and America. The treatments currently available are often ineffective, which is why research is now focusing on natural remedies resulting from ancient traditions and studies developed over the centuries. Today we are talking about the effectiveness of a Japanese remedy, called Daikenchuto.
The remedy that counteracts colitis
Daikenchuto is a mixture of herbs and spices, in particular ginger, ginseng and Japanese or Sichuan pepper, similar to our pink pepper. Well, taking this remedy in rats with colitis has made it possible to reduce the symptoms of colitis and the damages to the cells that line the colon. Therefore, the scientists were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the remedy in case of colitis. But the researchers didn't stop there and tried to understand the mechanisms of action of the herbal blend. To understand the results of the study, it should be noted that colitis causes a decrease in some good bacteria, such as Lactobacilli. Not only that, in colitis there is also a reduction of a short-chain fatty acid produced by these bacteria, propionate, with an anti-inflammatory action. The treatment with the mixture of herbs instead allowed to restore the microbiota, increasing the Lactobacilli, and returning the levels of propionate to the normal range. Not only that, colitis is also characterized by an alteration of the immune response that determines the characteristic intestinal inflammation. In fact, in mice with colitis that had not taken the remedy, scientists observed a decrease in some types of immune system cells characterized by a protective action on the colon. These cells, on the other hand, were increased following treatment with the herbal remedy, indicating that Daikenchuto is able to restore a correct immune response in the gut.
Daikenchuto, the recipe
Daikenchuto, despite being a very famous and commonly used remedy in Japan, is not easily available in other parts of the world. Given the promising results and effectiveness of this remedy, we believe that it will probably be easy to find this mixture in pharmacies and herbalists in the near future. While waiting for this moment, we can certainly also make a remedy based on these herbs, which instead individually are very easy to find. Bring a cup of water to a boil, remove from heat and add half a tablespoon of ginseng root, 2 cm of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into pieces, and a couple of crushed Japanese peppercorns. Japanese pepper, Zanthoxylum piperitum, can be found in herbal shops and online. Close with the lid and leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter and drink.