Complementary Therapies in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2016 Dec;18(12):62. doi: 10.1007/s11894-016-0537-6.


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) often take a chronic debilitating course. Given the chronicity of IBD, the limitations of the available medications, their potential side effects, and the impact of the disease on patients' quality of life, it is not surprising IBD patients are ranked among the highest users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Since CAM has become very popular in real-life practice of Western Communities, caregivers must gain more knowledge about these therapies, their mechanism of action, benefits, and risks. This article reviews and discusses up-to-date scientific and clinical data regarding the most prevalent herbal CAM therapies.

Keywords: CAM; Cannabis; Complementary and alternative medicine; Crohn’s disease; Curcumin; Herbal medicine; Ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / physiopathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Medical Marijuana / therapeutic use
  • Phytotherapy / methods


  • Medical Marijuana
  • Curcumin