Tapioca (cassava) Flour As a Treatment For Ulcerative Colitis

I 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
Atoba MA

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
Ma H

Department of Gastrology, PLA422 Hospital, Zhanjiang 524005, China.

objectIVE: To assess the risk factors in the pathogenicity of irritable bouel syndrome(IBS) in Zhanjiang city. METHODS: Two hundred and seven IBS patients were randomly selected and compared with "healthy" people diagnosed in the same hospital during the same period. Roles of major risk factors to IBS were studied through using a case-control study. RESULTS: Family history of hysteria or mental disease and vegetorsis was closely related to IBS, with ORs 3 and 4 respectively. There was alse close relationship between IBS and psychic trauma, often taking antibiotics, tension at work and eating sweet potato or cassava, with ORs between 1 and 2. CONCLUSION: Our investigation suggested that the six major risk factors mentioned above played important roles in the progression of IBS in Zhanjiang city.

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.
uceric uceric
36-40, M
8 Responses Jun 7, 2007

I've had uc for 2&1/2 years and with a baby it's hard looking after her while dashing to the loo every few minutes so definitely gonna try this. Hopefully it works as the 'flare up' hasn't ceased since it started. Thanks for the tip

I'm on my fifth day of that regimen, and it's helped a bit. I'm going to give it another week.

How is the taste with this tapioca flour mixture? I've had colitis for 7 years and right now I'm in the middle of the worst flare-up of my life, put me in the hospital for a week even. It's 3:21 in the morning and I've already gotten up to use the bathroom at least 7 times. The sleeplessness more than anything is killing me so I'm willing to try just about anything to stop the urgencies.<br />
I'm starting back up on Remicade in a week. As expensive as it is, it's been the only really effective thing. I ask about the taste of the flour mix because I just had a colonoscopy last week and that mixture you have to drink has left an imprint in my brain and things that remind me of it make me feel like puking.<br />
Any help would be great!

This cruddy disease CAN be beat! I'm on my way. Please follow me @<br />

Just to let the poster know ...ulcerative colitis is a condition that is systemic (effects the entire body) and is related to the immune system....although there is no consensus as to the cause of UC, the destruction of the lining of the COLON is where the main symptoms come from...blood in stool, watery stool, cramps etc. No evidence shows that diet has anything to do with controlling or eliminating UC ....there is NO CURE for the disease yet except the removal of the COLON.<br />
<br />
<br />
As to the poster with concerns on cyanide poisoning...most all commercial preparations of tapioca are free of any cyanide; the fresh plant should be carefully prepared though...search the internet for the best way to do that.

i've read about some concerns with cyanide poisoning from ingesting tapioca flour. is this something i should be worried about?

Hi,<br />
<br />
I've UC too.<br />
Now I'm in remission and I can do my job and manage my own bussines on http://www.posvideo.net<br />
<br />
You can read my experience in http://www.colitisfoundation.com/dcforum/DCForumID13/2530.html.<br />
<br />
I've also write some new entry on it.<br />
Please read all of my story there :)

tried the tapioca flour 2 days ago and the " unwell " feeling has subsided considerably which is a great relief, all syptoms are not gone though, maybe it will take longer ... i shall keep <br />
you posted