Tapioca (cassava) Flour As a Treatment For Ulcerative ColitisI read a few weeks ago about a gentleman on another website treating his ulcerative colitis with tapioca flour (also known as cassava root). He said all he did was mix a few teaspoons of the flour with lukewarm water, some sugar and some salt (the latter two for taste), and his diarrhea and bleeding stopped in two days.
I was incredibly skeptical. Having tried just about every alternative treatment possible, I knew false hope is one's worst enemy. But the guy seemed so passionate about it, that I decided to look up the research.
In Pubmed, there were only two remotely relevant listings, one pro, and one con...
Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Nigerians
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Twenty-six Nigerians with irritable bowel syndrome are reported. Twenty-three patients (88.46%) belong either to the middle or upper socioeconomic class; 16 patients (61.5%) had predominantly constipation. Six of the patients (23.1%) had their first symptoms before the age of 15 years. No sex preference is shown by this study. The most common symptoms are flatulence and abdominal pain, which is relieved by bowel motion, belching, and/or passage of flatus. Cow's milk, stress, and a local diet of beans are the most common aggravating factors, while another local high-fiber diet of cassava was found helpful in reducing the intensity and frequency of symptoms in some patients.
PMID: 3349888 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The other saying:
An epidemiological study on the risk factors of IBS in Zhangjiang, Guangdong province
Department of Gastrology, PLA422 Hospital, Zhanjiang 524005, China.
So with the research showing SOMETHING, I went ahead and bought tapioca flour from Whole Foods (it was $3 for a sizable bag). I also bought iced tea and Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice.
I mixed 3 tablespoons of tapioca flour with half a cup of iced tea and half a cup of aloe juice. Stir briskly and chug. Did this 2x a day, one right when I woke up and one right before I went to bed. I also drank one of these drinks but withOUT the aloe right before dinner.
This is the only thing I changed in my regimen, and my bleeding has almost entirely stopped, as have the cramps and the 'unwell' feeling down below. The stools are beautifully formed-- no urgency, no diarrhea. I can't believe the turnaround.
Is it the tapioca? Is it the fiber in the tapioca? I don't know. I think it is helpful THUS FAR. As we all know, things with UC tend to change quite rapidly.
Hope this helps someone.