For people with Crohn’s disease, the ultimate goal is usually to achieve and maintain remission for as long as possible.

Several prescription medications are available to help people manage their symptoms. It’s important to never replace prescribed medications with herbs or supplements. However, many people with Crohn’s are adding herbs and supplements to their medication regimen to help manage their condition.

If you’re interested in adding your own complementary treatments, consider trying these options.

One Crohn’s remedy that has been researched is Boswellia serrata. Boswellia supplements are derived from trees that produce a sweet-smelling resin rich in carbohydrates, essential oils, and boswellic acids. The acid in the resin is the active ingredient. It’s believed to act as an anti-inflammatory agent.

One 2015 study found that 14 out of 20 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who received Boswellia supplements achieved remission.

Boswellia is sold in health food stores as a dietary supplement. It’s also sometimes used to treat asthma, inflammation, and depression.

Turmeric is a spice that’s related to ginger. It gives curry its bright yellow color. Research spanning the past two decades suggests that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has several medicinal properties that may be helpful to people with Crohn’s. They include:

  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • anticancer properties
  • anti-amyloid properties
  • anti-arthritic properties

It also has antioxidant characteristics and is antimicrobial. This may help fight infections in people with Crohn’s.

A newer review notes that curcumin may help treat IBD and maintain remission.

According to research, one major challenge in using turmeric to treat Crohn’s is delivering a high enough dose. This is because people with Crohn’s have trouble absorbing turmeric during digestion. Currently, researchers are developing different ways to deliver turmeric into the body for maximum absorption.

Additionally, the health risks of consuming turmeric must be considered for each person. The compound may:

  • worsen gallbladder illnesses
  • interact with blood-thinning medications
  • interfere with iron absorption

When curcumin is in the body, it may also act similarly to hormones. You should speak to your doctor before taking this supplement if you have a condition that’s sensitive to hormones.

Green tea is popular across the world. Health enthusiasts have long touted the many health benefits of green tea over the years, but its effects on the bowels and colon are still being researched.

A recent review found that green tea polyphenols may help reduce inflammation in Crohn’s and improve the disease. In older rodent studies, green tea was found to reduce colon inflammation as well as the Crohn’s medication sulfasalazine. It also reduced the rodents’ risk of colon cancer.

Further research is still needed to verify the full effects of green tea may have on Crohn’s disease in people.

There aren’t many studies looking at the impact chamomile may have on Crohn’s disease directly. However, research has long established that chamomile may help soothe various gastrointestinal symptoms, including:

  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Managing a chronic condition like Crohn’s disease can also be stressful. Meanwhile, the calming effects of chamomile have also been shown to relieve feelings of anxiety and depression.

Consider trying wormwood, a bitter herb that can be taken as a tea, tincture, or capsule to help with Crohn’s disease.

Research has found that people with Crohn’s disease who take wormwood along with their prescribed treatment plan experienced fewer symptoms and an improved quality of life compared to those who skipped out on the herb.

Marshmallow is more than just a sweet white dessert you roast over the fire. An herb called marshmallow that comes from the Althaea officinalis plant has been tapped for use in treating Crohn’s.

Some older research suggests that marshmallow can soothe tissues during healing, especially in the stomach. This reduces inflammation in people with Crohn’s. Additionally, the herb protects the lining of the stomach. This reduces stomach acids with no apparent side effects on the body.

N-acetylglucosamine is a supplement most often derived from shellfish. In some tests, it has been linked to success in treating autoimmune disorders. The supplement can stop cells that produce inflammation.

An older study found that N-acetylglucosamine supplements reduced colon inflammation in children with Crohn’s with no negative side effects. A more recent though less reputable open-label trial also found that administering N-acetylglucosamine helped with IBD symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea.

Vitamin D also helps maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, which strengthen bones.

Chronic vitamin D deficiency is common in people with Crohn’s. Some researchers have found that chronic vitamin D deficiency can lead to inflammation in the stomach and colon. By adding vitamin D back into the diet, people with Crohn’s may help minimize symptoms and increase immune system health.

Since Crohn’s is caused by a malfunction in your autoimmune system, providing a boost to your body’s immune system can be a bonus.

Vitamin B12 is important for making new cells and breaking down fats and proteins in the body. It also protects nerve cells and helps make red blood cells.

People with Crohn’s commonly have B12 deficiencies. A simple blood test can monitor your B12 levels.

You can get more B12 in your diet by eating foods such as ground beef, salmon, and milk. However, you may also need to take a B12 supplement. Some people with Crohn’s who have severe B12 deficiencies may require a B12 injection.

One 2019 study found that people with Crohn’s disease experienced improvements in their energy levels, concentration, and mood after receiving a vitamin B12 injection.

Herbs and supplements can complement your treatment plan. However, you should always consult your doctor before starting any of these treatments. They may interfere with your current medications, allergies, or existing health conditions.