Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) that affects in different aspects of life and patients experienced depression and anxiety more than others. There are several herbal medicines with positive effects in these patients. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of mixture of Boswellia carterii, Zingiber officinale, and Achillea Millefolium on severity of symptoms, anxiety, and depression in IBS patients.
Materials and methods: This clinical trial study was done in sixty IBS patients (with mild-to-moderate symptoms) divided into two case and control groups. Patients were assessed at the beginning, 1 month, and 3 months after by IBS-severity scoring system (IBS-SSS) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. IBS-SSS is used for quality of life evaluation too.
Results: Sixty IBS patients (with mild to moderate symptoms) with a mean age of 38.75 ± 11.74 participated that 55.4% of cases and 72.8% of controls were men. The most prevalent type of IBS was the mixed type of IBS. The mean score of abdominal pain severity and frequency, bloating score, and depression and anxiety score were decreased in patients administered herbal medication, but changes in these variables in controls were not statistically significant. The changes in quality of life score between cases and controls were significant in men (P = 0.01) although it was not significant in women.
Conclusion: A mixture of B. Carterii, Z. officinale, and A. millefolium is effective in eliminating IBS symptoms and its related depression and anxiety and using herbal medicine in IBS treatment is suggested.
Keywords: Anxiety; depression; gastrointestinal diseases; herbal medicine; irritable bowel syndrome.