17 Home Remedies for Ulcerative Colitis Symptom Relief

illustration of the colorectal system

Pain and inflammation from ulcerative colitis can have you doubled over in pain and unable to continue with your daily life. Left untreated, it can cause a number of other serious complications. We’ll look at 17 home remedies for ulcerative colitis symptom relief right after we glance over what causes it.

Ulcerative colitis is characterized by its ulcers or sores affecting the innermost lining of large intestine and rectum. The ulcers cause inflammation of the bowels and block the normal absorption of nutrients to your body. Traditionally, diet and stress were seen as the most common causes of this inflammatory bowel condition, but recent studies indicate that they only aggravate it rather than cause it. The root cause seems to lie with an abnormal immune response.

The 17 remedies for ulcerative colitis symptom relief can help, but they are not all inclusive. For help with more severe cases contact your health care provider.

17 Home Remedies for Ulcerative Colitis Symptom Relief

Cut Refined Carbohydrates

Because certain foods tend to aggravate ulcerative colitis, its best to eliminate them from your diet until your condition improves. The major contributors to eliminate are refined carbohydrates.

What to do:

  • Start reading labels to know what your food contains.
  • Eliminate refined sugars, syrups, sodas and artificially sweetened drinks.
  • Stop eating foods with wheat flower, starch and corn starch.

How it works:
Refined carbohydrates create a highly acidic lower intestine, which then causes an imbalance in the bacteria flora of the colon. By eliminating them, you remove this irritation from the equation.

fermented probiotic foods

Probiotic Foods

Since immune system malfunction is one of the causes of ulcerative colitis, boosting it with probiotic foods will not only help relieve the symptoms, but begin to cure it.

What to do:

  • Include yogurt, kefir and coconut kefir in your diet.
  • Load up on fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi and natto.
  • Also add pickled vegetables like pickles and pickled beets to your diet.

How it works:
Probiotic foods help to produce the good bacteria that line your colon and assist in nutrient absorption and immune system support.

Licorice Root

The Chinese have used licorice root for intestinal and bowel problems for thousands of years. It also works on ulcerative colitis.

What to do:

  • You can take up to 6 g of licorice root extract per day for a 130 pound person for not longer than 4 weeks.
  • A safer alternative is to take DGL licorice at a dosage of 200 mg to 300 mg up to 3 times daily.

Note: Do not use licorice root if you are pregnant or have heart, liver or kidney conditions.

How it works:
Flavonoids, coumarins, triterpenoids and stilbenoids are the four active compounds in licorice root and help with inflammation and pain relief.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is another natural home remedy that can help relieve the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

What to do:

  • Take a tsp of oil once daily and increase the amount gradually to 3 or 4 tsp daily.
  • You can also mix a tsp of hemp seed oil into your yogurt.
  • In addition, its nutty flavor mixed with olive oil makes a great salad dressing.

How it works:
Hemp seed oil contains a great balance of all three of the omega fatty acids (3, 6 and 9), which help reduce inflammation and promote immune function.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is an old standby with a strong history for curing everything. Studies show that it might actually perform as billed for treating ulcerative colitis.

What to do:

  • Make certain that you choose a very pure variety in order to get the best benefits.
  • The recommended dose is up to 500 mg daily.

How it works:
Research confirms that the omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation in your colon.

Aloe Vera

Though more commonly known for its treatment of stings, bites and burns, the gel from the aloe vera plant can also help with ulcerative colitis symptom relief.

What to do:

  • Take 2 oz. of aloe vera gel 6 to 8 times daily to fight flare-ups.
  • Make a habit of drinking 2 Tbsp of fresh aloe vera juice with a glass of water 2 or three times a day.

How it works:
Aloe vera’s soothing anti-inflammatory properties can bring a great deal of relief.


It’s a rare occurrence, but even conventional health care providers approve of the use of boswellia (aka frankincense) for ulcerative colitis.

What to do:

  • Take 550 mg of boswellia 3 times a day for up to 3 weeks.

Note: Taking boswellia while pregnant can induce a miscarriage.

How it works:
Boswellic acid, found in the boswellia resin, has a non-toxic, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory effect.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a readily available home remedy for mild to moderate ulcerative colitis that might even help to prevent it.

What to do:

  • Consume 2 to 3 Tbsp on a daily basis.
  • Use olive oil as a regular part of your diet in the foods that you cook and as a base to your salad dressings.

How it works:
The monounsaturated fats of olive oil have immunomodulatory (immunity boosting) and anti-inflammatory properties.

wheat grass in a shot glass

Wheat Grass Juice

To get rid of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and diarrhea, all symptoms of ulcerative colitis, wheat grass juice comes highly recommended.

What to do:

  • Begin by consuming 4 tsp of wheat grass daily.
  • Gradually increase your intake up to 3.5 oz. daily.

How it works:
Wheat grass has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve ulcerative colitis symptoms.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm also helps to bulk up your stools and eliminate diarrhea.

What to do:

  • Place 1 tsp of slippery elm bark powder to a cup of hot water, steep for several minutes and drink it twice a day.
  • Or create a type of gruel with 1 Tbsp each of slippery elm and 1 tsp of honey in two cups of hot water and consume 2 times a day.

How it works:
Slippery elm bulks up stools and also reduces inflammation.

Psyllium Seeds

Psyllium seeds are another remedy to help reduce diarrhea is often prominent with ulcerative colitis.

What to do:

  • To begin taking psyllium seeds, mix ½ tsp of seeds in a cup of lukewarm water and consume 2 times a day.
  • Increase the amount of seeds gradually until you’re taking 2 tsp of seeds twice daily in a cup of lukewarm water.

How it works:
As a rich soluble fiber, psyllium seeds help to bulk the stools and relief the symptoms of diarrhea.


Calendula, or pot marigold, is another highly regarded remedy for ulcerative colitis because it not only sooths, but also facilitates the healing of damaged colon tissue.

What to do:

  • Heat water to just below boiling and add 2 tsp of calendula flowers.
  • Steep the flowers for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Pour steeped flowers through a tea strainer and drink 2 to 3 times daily.

How it works:
Besides its anti-inflammatory properties, calendula also aids digestion and promotes tissue restoration through the same four active compounds found in licorice root, but is much safer to consume.


Fenugreek, sometimes called methi, can help to reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis as well.

What to do:

  • Place a tsp crushed fenugreek seeds per each cup of hot water.
  • Allow the seeds to steep 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Strain and drink the tea daily.

How it works:
Besides creating a protective coating on the inner lining of the colon, fenugreek reduces inflammation and contains a number of essential nutrients for healing, like vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, and protein.

Ginger Root

Ethnopharmacological studies have determined that ginger root has profound effects on reducing and managing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

What to do:

  • Grate 2 Tbsp of ginger and add it to 1 cup of water.
  • Bring mixture to a boil and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture, add lemon juice and honey to taste and drink it several times per week.
  • Ginger supplements are available, but you should be careful with the dosage.

How it works:
Ginger root has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote healing of the colon. It also aids in relieving nausea and helps in the digestion process.


Most of us think of chamomile as a soothing drink to relax us and make us sleep. Chamomile can also help relax the effects of ulcerative colitis.

What to do:

  • Bring a cup of water close to a boil.
  • Place 3 tsp dry chamomile flowers in the water and let it steep 10 minutes.
  • Strain and drink this tea 2 to 3 times a day to relieve flare-ups.

How it works:
Chamomile’s soothing effect helps to relax the colon, easy the pain and reduce the inflammation.

Folic Acid and Iron

Iron and folate both help in the process of healing ulcerative colitis.

What to do:

  • Include iron rich foods like liver, beef, black beans, green, leafy vegetables and egg yolks in your diet.
  • Load up on folate rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beets, avocados and lentils.
  • You can take iron and folic acid supplements, but do so only under the direction of a health care provider.

How it works:
The combination of the two helps you to maintain healthy red blood cells and promote the healing of the inner walls of the colon.

fresh turmeric powder in a jar


Turmeric is one of the world’s most effective, non-pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory compounds available.

What to do:

  • Grate ½” to ¾” of turmeric root into a cup of water.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer 10 minutes.
  • Strain the tea into a mug or cup.
  • You can add lemon juice and honey to taste and drink this tea 2 to 3 times per day.

How it works:
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is so effective that many patients suffering from ulcerative colitis were able to forego taking prescription medications because of their improved condition.

Wrapping it Up

If ulcerative colitis has you doubled over in pain and is stopping you from going about your regular, daily routine, you should consider implementing one or more of the 17 home remedies that we’ve listed here. There’s just no point in allowing the pain and discomfort to continue when help is so close at hand.

Images taken from depositphotos.com.