Background: Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common gastrointestinal disordersCharacterized by chronic abdominal pain, altered bowel habits or changesin stool consistency. Unfortunately, no specific treatments for relieving IBSsymptoms have been suggested yet. This pilot study was conducted to evaluatethe efficacy of the Cumin extract, a kind of herbal used in the treatment of gastrointestinaldisorders like bloating, and other symptoms of IBS.
Methods: Fifty seven patients with IBS (according to the ROME II diagnostic criteria)with no nay other accompanying illness enrolled in study. Patients wereadvised to discontinue their other treatments during the study course, then 20drops per day of Cumin essential oil was administered for included patients.IBS-associated symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, painful defection,presence of mucosa in stool, changes in stool consistency and defecationfrequency were evaluated using a questionnairebefore treatment, 2 and4 weeks after beginning treatment and 2 and 4 weeks after stopping treatment.
Results: Abdominal pain, bloating, incomplete defecation, fecal urgency and presenceof mucus discharge in stool were statistically significant decreased duringand after treatment with Cumin extract. Stool consistency and defecation frequencywere also both statistically significant improved in patients with constipationdominant pattern of IBS.
Conclusion: Cumin extract can be effective in improving all IBS symptoms. Consideringits low cost and easy availability Cumin administration in patients with IBSmay have economic benefits.
Keywords: Cumin; Cumin Cyminum; Herbal medicins; Irritable Bowel Syndrome.