Comparison and Assessment of Flixweed and Fig Effects on Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Predominant Constipation: A Single-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial

Explore (NY). May-Jun 2019;15(3):198-205. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2018.09.003. Epub 2018 Sep 11.


Background: Irritable bowel syndrome with predominant constipation (IBS-C) is a common digestive disorder. The current therapy is inadequate and evidence regarding the effect of herbal therapies on the relief of affected individuals is insufficient. The aim of this study was to investigate the beneficial effects of flixweed and fig consumption on IBS-C symptoms.

Methods: 150 patients with IBS-C were enrolled in this randomized, controlled trial. All patients were randomly assigned to three groups and received an intervention for four months. The IBS severity score system and quality-of-life questionnaires were used for evaluating IBS-C symptoms. C-reactive protein levels, frequency of defecation and hard stool were also assessed.

Results: Consumption of flixweed or fig, compared to a control group, caused a significant improvement in IBS symptoms including frequency of pain, distention, frequency of defecation and hard stool. Also, the findings showed a significant increase in quality of life, as well as satisfaction with overall bowel habits. However, flixweed and fig intake had no significant effects on abdominal pain severity and C-reactive protein levels.

Conclusions: In conclusion, consumption of flixweed or fig for four months would be a useful therapy for alleviating IBS-C symptoms and can be a beneficial option for first-line treatment.

Keywords: Clinical trial; Descurainia sophia; Ficus carica; Herbal medicine; Irritable bowel syndrome.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / drug therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brassicaceae*
  • C-Reactive Protein / drug effects
  • Constipation / drug therapy*
  • Defecation / drug effects
  • Female
  • Ficus*
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome


  • C-Reactive Protein