GarlicThis one is a bit of a trouble, because many IBS sufferers cannot digest it. Otherwise, its properties are quite incredible. Garlic is a very powerful antibiotic and antibacterial agent. In fact it is so good, that research shows it is better than lots of broad-spectrum antibiotics that your doctor prescribes! More incredible, bacteria seem to become resistant to antibiotics with time, that is not the case with garlic. If the theory that states that IBS is caused by harmful bacteria is true, it sure can help.
This property of garlic comes from a component called Allicin. It is released when the garlic clove is crushed or cut. It is destroyed by cooking. So do the following: before starting cooking your meal, cut one clove in thin pieces, and let rest while you cook. Once your meal is ready, just add the garlic to it. That way it is quite easy to eat it. Otherwise, swallowing or eating bits of raw garlic alone is ...an interesting experience.
In a comment written by Qing on this blog, he recommended doing this three times a day. Some people even go up to 6 cloves a day.
The garlic you eat must still be "alive", meaning there must be some green on the inside, its sprout.
One last word of advice: Garlic makes the blood thinner, so do not try this if you have some kind of blood condition!
Here is an example of how garlic can help you with IBS.
Coconut oilThis one is becoming quite popular on the net. There are lot of "infomercial" sites telling you everything about it... and selling it to you. But it is proven that coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is an excellent anti bacterial and anti fungi.
It may be a little hard to find, try some natural shops. Be sure to buy non refined oil. I've seen some sites advocate a coconut oil cleanse, eating nothing more than it for a few days. I personally went up to 15 teaspoons a day.It didn't help much for me. But it's cheap, and worth a try. If you do not live in the tropics, it will probably be solid. That's okay, just warm it a bit in hot water. You can use it for cooking too.
In fact there are a lot of success stories involving coconut and IBS, even one with "magical cookies"!
Ginger contains lots of digestive enzymes. You can find ginger root quite easily, and make ginger tea with it, and drink it shortly after a meal.Or you can add a slice of ginger root cut in bits to your meal.
For ginger tea, simply put a slice of fresh ginger root in hot water, and wait for a few minutes. You can add a bit of lemon juice in it too (see next item).
lemon juice and lemon water
You may have heard about the alkaline diet: the food that we eat on a standard diet create an imbalance in our gut, making it more acidic than it should be. Alkaline foods provide a way to return the acidity to normal (keep in mind, however, that this is just a theory for now. Lots of sites about the alkaline diet try to sell you stuff you don't need, so be careful!) This may seem surprising, as lemon is quite acid, but it actually is one of the most alkaline foods out there. Why is it important for IBS? Bad bacteria tends to thrive in a more acidic environment. So by restoring the acidity levels, we can fight a bacteria overgrowth.
Moreover, lemon prevents the appearance of harmful bacteria, and helps the body flush toxins. The acid it contains also helps for digestion.
Lemon water is the most popular way: just press a fresh lemon in hot water, and drink. Some advocate to do this every morning before anything else.
Here is a success story using lemon to help with IBS.
Now, please keep in mind that as IBS sufferers, we have our own trigger foods, so maybe one of these will actually make things worse. Still, they're cheap, and the easiest medicine you can get. Remember to give them time to work too!
If you have another type of food that helps you, I'd love to hear about it!