Diarrhea

Also indexed as:Loose Stools
While persistent or severe cases may need special care, for common diarrhea discomfort relief just takes time and a few well-chosen remedies. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Supplement Amount Why
Lactase

(Lactose Intolerance)
6000-9000 IU tablets chewed with a lactose-containing meal or 1000 IU in liquid form added to 8 ounces of milk before drinking. 3 stars [3 stars]
If you think you may suffer from lactose intolerance, supplementing with digestive enzyme–containing lactase when drinking or eating milk products may help.
Multivitamin
Take as directed on label 3 stars [3 stars]
Diarrhea-related malabsorption can lead to deficiencies of many vitamins and minerals. For this reason, it makes sense to take a multivitamin-mineral supplement.
Bovine Colostrum
10 to 20 grams daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Colostrum appears to be useful in treating certain types of infectious diarrhea. In one study, it significantly reduced diarrhea and the amount of oral rehydration required.
Carob
15 grams daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Useful for treating diarrhea in adults, children, and infants, carob is rich in tannins that have an astringent or binding effect on the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract.
Fiber
Adults: 20 grams daily soluable fiber; for young children: 6.5 grams daily soy fiber 2 stars [2 stars]
While fiber from dietary or herbal sources is often useful for constipation, it may also play a role in alleviating diarrhea.
Glucosamine
250 mg with morning and evening meals 2 stars [2 stars]
Some autistic children suffer from chronic diarrhea. In one study, supplementing with glucosamine eliminated the diarrhea in five of six children with autism, possibly by blocking the effect of certain dietary components on the intestinal tract.
Glutamine
136 mg per pound of body weight 2 stars [2 stars]
Glutamine appears to be beneficial for diarrhea by improving the health of the intestinal lining, rather than by affecting the immune system.
Psyllium
9 to 30 grams daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Psyllium seed (an excellent source of fiber) makes stool more solid and can help resolve diarrhea symptoms.
Sangre de Drago
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner 2 stars [2 stars]
An extract from stem bark latex of Sangre de drago, has been shown to be effective in treating traveler’s diarrhea, non-specific diarrhea, and diarrhea associated with HIV and AIDS.
Sangre de Drago

(HIV and AIDS Support)
Take under medical supervision: 350 to 700 mg four times per day for seven or more days 2 stars [2 stars]
An extract from stem bark latex of Sangre de Drago, an herb from the Amazon basin of Peru, has been shown to be effective against diarrhea associated with HIV and AIDS.
Tormentil Root Extract

(Rotavirus Infection)
Take a liquid herbal extract daily: for the amount, multiply your age by three and take that number of drops 2 stars [2 stars]
Tormentil root is an herb that has been used for many years in different European folk medicines for treating diarrhea.
Barberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Berberine, a constituent of barbarry, has been shown to improve infectious diarrhea in some double-blind trials.
Bilberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Bilberry has been used traditionally in Germany for adults and children with diarrhea. Only dried berries or juice should be used—fresh berries may worsen diarrhea.
Blackberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Blackberry is an astringent herb traditionally used to treat diarrhea.
Bladderwrack
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Alginic acid, a constituent in bladderwrack, is a type of dietary fiber and as a result may help relieve diarrhea.
Blueberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Blueberry is an astringent herb traditionally used to treat diarrhea.
Chamomile
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Typically taken as a tea, chamomile may reduce intestinal cramping and ease the irritation and inflammation associated with diarrhea.
Cranesbill
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Cranesbill has been used by several North American indigenous tribes to treat diarrhea. The tannins in cranesbill likely account for the anti-diarrheal activity.
Folic Acid
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Folic acid can help repair intestinal lining damage caused by acute diarrhea.
Goldenseal
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Due to of its supposed antimicrobial activity, goldenseal has a long history of use for infectious diarrhea. Its major alkaloid, berberine, has been shown to improve infectious diarrhea.
Marshmallow
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Herbs high in mucilage, such as marshmallow, may help reduce the irritation to the walls of the intestinal tract that can occur with diarrhea.
Oak
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
A tannin in oak has been shown to inhibit intestinal secretion, which may help resolve diarrhea. In Germany oak is recommended to treat mild, acute diarrhea in children.
Oregon Grape
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Berberine, a constituent of Oregon grape, has been shown to improve infectious diarrhea in some trials.
Periwinkle
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
European herbalists have used periwinkle for conditions with a watery discharge, such as diarrhea.
Red Raspberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Red raspberry is an astringent herb traditionally used for diarrhea. Raspberry leaves are high in tannins and may relieve acute diarrhea.
Slippery Elm
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Herbs high in mucilage such as slippery elm may help reduce the irritation to the walls of the intestinal tract that can occur with diarrhea.
Sweet Annie
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Sweet annie has been used traditionally to treat infectious diarrhea and malaria.
Tylophora
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Tylophora has been used traditionally in the Ayurvedic system for diarrhea due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial actions.
Vitamin A
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Only in cases of malabsorption should vitamin A be used to treat diarrhea, as it has been shown to have no effect or to increase risk of diarrhea in well-nourished children.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

Learn more about Aisle7, the company.

Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.