Use of Bacopa monnieri in the management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
An indigenous preparation containing Bacopa monnieri and Aegle marmelos correa (Bilva) was clinically evaluated for its efficacy in the management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in a 6-week, double-blind randomized trial. IBS is a painful condition accompanied by a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, including gas, diarrhea, and constipation. About 169 patients with Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS) received either standard therapy with clidinium bromide, chlordiazepoxide and isaphaghulla or the ayurvedic preparation of Aegle marmelos correa and Bacopa monnieri Linn along with matching placebo. The ayurvedic preparation (57 patients) was found to be effective in 64.9% of the cases, while standard therapy (60 patients) was useful in 78.3% of the cases. Only 32.7% of the patients receiving the placebo(52 patients) showed improvement. In cases where diarrhea was predominant, the ayurvedic preparation was found to be better than conventional therapy. In contrast, conventional therapy was found to be better than the ayurvedic one in cases of predominant constipation and painful IBS. Overall, the ayurvedic preparation appeared to be effective and safe in the management of the diarrheal form of IBS for which long-term use of antidiarrheals with possible side effects is prescribed. However, neither the ayurvedic nor conventional forms of therapy were found to be better than the placebo in preventing the relapse after six months.