Diverticulitis Tea: Sip to Soothe Symptoms

diverticulitis tea

“Diverticulitis Tea: Sip to Soothe Symptoms” was written by Fara Kwok & edited/reviewed by Sadie Hitsky, RD. Fara is a graduate student studying Nutrition and Dietetics at Bastyr University. 

Diverticulitis develops in the digestive tract when small pouches form in the intestine. These pouches, called diverticula, can become infected, swollen, and turn into diverticulitis. Herbal remedies like diverticulitis tea can help relieve symptoms. 

Causes of Diverticulitis

The exact cause of diverticula is unknown, but it is often associated with a low-fiber diet. Fiber plays a key role in keeping bowel movements consistent to avoid constipation. 

Constipation creates an increase in pressure and stress on the colon. This extra pressure makes the weak spots in the colon bulge out. The pouches that bulge out are known as diverticula.  

Additionally, when stool or bacteria are caught in the diverticula, it can infect the area and lead to diverticulitis. Other factors such as genes, physical inactivity, high consumption of red meats, and changes in gut microbiome may also contribute.

Symptoms of Diverticula

  • Bloating
  • Changes to bowel movements (constipation or diarrhea)
  • Cramping or pain in the lower stomach

Other conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), overlap symptoms so it’s important to consult your doctor to get a correct diagnosis if you are experiencing any of the above. 

Symptoms of Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis may cause acute symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain, most often in the lower left side of the abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fevers and chills
  • Nausea or vomiting

Manage Diverticulitis With Diet 

The impacts of diverticulitis can be minimized with the right foods. Plant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains contribute to total fiber needs

Fiber also keeps things moving smoothly and prevents the pouches from worsening. Water intake is also important for helping fiber do its job effectively. 

Diverticulitis Tea

Diverticulitis tea is a herbal tea that helps alleviate symptoms associated with diverticulitis.  While there isn’t a specific “diverticulitis tea” recipe, some herbal teas are thought to offer potential benefits for managing the symptoms of diverticulitis.

Generally, diverticulitis tea is caffeine-free, even though there is no established association between caffeine and diverticulitis. 

Diverticulitis tea can be a single-ingredient herbal tea or a combination of different herbs. Here are a few types of tea that are commonly utilized:

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is known for its soothing properties, particularly for the digestive system. It may help relax the muscles in the colon. This can decrease spasms and discomfort associated with diverticulitis.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is often used to calm digestive issues. It may help reduce inflammation in the colon and alleviate abdominal pain.

Ginger Tea

Another option is ginger tea, which is commonly used to address digestive discomfort including bloating, gas, constipation, and nausea.

Fennel Tea

Fennel tea is known to reduce bloating, gas, and stomach upset. It may help alleviate symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramping associated with diverticulitis.

Marshmallow Root Tea

Lastly, marshmallow root tea is soothing to the digestive tract. It has properties that reduce inflammation and irritation along the intestines.

*Always consult with your healthcare provider before making significant dietary changes. Tea is not a treatment for diverticulitis and does not replace medication or the advice of a health professional.

Preparing Diverticulitis Tea

The preparation of diverticulitis tea is a quick and easy process. Below is a basic guide on how to brew a soothing cup.

Ingredients

  • Herbal tea blend or loose herbal tea leaves
  • Water
  • Optional: lemon slices or sweeteners like honey

Equipment:

  • Tea infuser or strainer (if using loose tea)
  • Tea kettle or pot
  • Mug or teacup

Instructions:

Boil Water

Start by bringing water to a boil in a tea kettle or pot. Use fresh, filtered water for the best flavor.

Measure Tea

If using tea bags, place one tea bag in the mug or teacup. If using loose herbal tea leaves, measure about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of water or follow the instructions listed on your tea package. Place the tea leaves in a tea infuser or strainer.

Infuse Tea

Once the water reaches a rolling boil, pour it over the tea bag or tea leaves in your mug or teapot.

Steep

Next, cover the mug or teapot with a lid or saucer to trap the heat and let the tea steep. Steeping times vary depending on the type of herbal you’re using and your personal preference.

Generally, herbal teas steep for about 5 to 10 minutes. Steep longer for a stronger flavor.

Remove the Tea Bag or Strainer

Finally, after the tea has steeped for the desired amount of time, remove the tea bag or strainer from the mug or teapot. If using loose tea leaves, simply remove the infuser or strainer.

Optional Additions

If desired, add sweeteners like honey or sugar to your herbal tea for added flavor. Lemon slices or a splash of milk can also be added, depending on personal preference.

Herbal tea is best enjoyed fresh, so enjoy it shortly after preparation. If you have leftover herbal tea, you can store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a day. 

Experiment with different herbal tea blends and flavor combinations to find your favorites.

Lifestyle Tips Beyond Diverticulitis Tea   

High-Fiber Diet

Eating a variety of high-fiber foods is essential for decreasing complications of diverticulitis. High-fiber foods help soften stool and promote regular bowel movements, reducing the risk of diverticula and preventing flare-ups.

Regular Exercise

In addition, physical activity promotes bowel regularity and overall digestive health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. Activities like walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, and strength training, are beneficial

Avoid Straining

Straining during bowel movements increases pressure in the colon and may exacerbate diverticulitis symptoms.  If you’re having difficulty passing stool, ensure your water, fiber, movement, and probiotic food intake are adequate.

Limit Ultra-Processed Foods

Low-fiber, ultra-processed foods have been linked to an increased risk of diverticulitis. Limit how often you eat fast food and packaged foods to reduce your risk. 

Manage Stress

Stress can also exacerbate digestive symptoms and trigger diverticulitis flare-ups. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature to help manage stress levels.

Quit Smoking

Finally, smoking increases your risk of diverticulitis complications. If you smoke, quitting can improve your overall digestive health and reduce the risk of flare-ups.

References: 

  • Diverticular Disease. www.hopkinsmedicine.org. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/diverticular-disease
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & Causes of Diverticular Disease | NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Published December 5, 2019. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/diverticulosis-diverticulitis/symptoms-causes
  • Peppermint oil: a medicine to treat to treat stomach cramps and bloating. NHS UK. Published July 27, 2021. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/peppermint-oil/#:~:text=Peppermint%20oil%20is%20a%20type
  • Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Rep. 2010;3(6):895-901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377
  • Slattery E. Ginger Benefits. www.hopkinsmedicine.org. Published 2023. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/ginger-benefits
  • Das B, Rabalais J, Kozan P, et al. The effect of a fennel seed extract on the STAT signaling and intestinal barrier function. PLoS One. 2022;17(7):e0271045. Published 2022 Jul 8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0271045
  • Herbal Medicine: Summary for the Public What Are the HMPC Conclusions on Its Medicinal Uses?; 2016. https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-summary/marshmallow-root-summary-public_en.pdf

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