Antispasmodic Herbs

Natural products with antispasmodic activity have been used in traditional medicine to alleviate different illnesses since the remote past. We searched the literature and compiled the antispasmodic activity of 248 natural compounds isolated from terrestrial plants. In this review, we summarized all the natural products reported with antispasmodic activity until the end of 2017. We also provided chemical information about their extraction as well as the model used to test their activities. Results showed that members of the Lamiaceae and Asteraceae families had the highest number of isolated compounds with antispasmodic activity. Moreover, monotonousness, flavonoids, triterpenes, and alkaloids were the chemical groups with the highest number of antispasmodic compounds. Lastly, a structural comparison of natural versus synthetic compounds was discussed.

In the study of chronic idiopathic large bowel–type diarrhea in 37 dogs, most had an excellent or very good response to supplementation of soluble fiber (psyllium) in a highly digestible diet.4 The median initial dose of psyllium was 2 tablespoons per day, with a median of 1.33 g of psyllium per kilogram of body weight per day. Fiber has multiple effects on gastrointestinal function, including increasing the fecal water content, decreasing the intestinal transit time, and increasing the frequency of defecation. Short-chain fatty acids (acetate, butyrate, propitiate) derived from fiber fermentation have been shown to act as metabolic fuel for the colon, and to directly stimulate colonic motility.

Antidiarrheal Agents

Antidiarrheal agents (e.g., prostaglandin syntheses inhibitors, µ,δ-opioid agonists, 5-HT3 serotonergic antagonists, and α2-noradrenergic agonists; see Chapter 34) may be useful in the treatment of diarrhea-predominant IBS. Of these four drug classifications, loperamide may be the most effective in restoring smooth muscle segmentation, prolonging intestinal transit time, and improving fecal consistency.

Laxative Agents

The bulk, emollient, lubricant, hyper-osmotic, and stimulant laxative agents (see Chapter 50) are generally safe, well tolerated, and effective in the treatment of constipation-predominant IBS.

Antispasmodic Agents

The antispasmodic agents include the musculotropic antispasmodics (mebeverine and pinaverine) and muscarinic cholinergic antagonists (dicyclomine and hyoscyamine). Safe and effective doses have not been established for any of these drugs in any of the companion animals. Aminopentamide, a non-selective muscarinic cholinergic antagonist, has been used in dogs at a dose of 0.01 to 0.03 mg/kg BID-TID, and may be useful as an antispasmodic agent.

Alosetron and cilansetron are selective 5-HT3 serotonergic antagonists that were developed for treatment of human diarrhea-predominant IBS. Because of severe side effects, specifically ischemic colitis and severe constipation, they are no longer available or recommended for the treatment of IBS. Ondansetron, granisetron, tropisetron, and dolasetron are members of the same classification that have been used for their antisemitic and antidiarrheal properties in companion animals.

Tegaserod was approved by the FDA for the treatment of constipation-predominant IBS in women. Following reports of untoward cardiac effects, it, like cisapride, was removed from most international markets. Mosapride and prucalopride are the two most effective currently available 5-HT4 agonists. They accelerate transit through binding of presynaptic 5-HT4 receptors and depolarization of cholinergic neurons. Their role in reducing visceral sensation is less well understood.


Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) has been theorized to play a role in some IBS patients. Bacterial overgrowth has long been known to disrupt epithelial absorption and secretion, but recent data also suggest that SIBO may be an important activator of mucous-based immunity.31 Activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines by bacteria may alter epithelial cellular function, enhance nociceptive pain signaling, and alter intestinal motility—all purported pathological mechanisms in IBS. Antibiotics most effective in the treatment of SIBO include tylosin, metronidazole, and tetracycline.


Probiotics are hypothesized to work IBS by several different mechanisms. These include a shift from a pro-inflammatory cytokine profile to an anti inflammatory cytokine profile, reduction of bile acid delivery to the colon, and restoration of GI motility.2,30 Treatment with Lactobacillus sp. or Bifidobacterium spp. is associated with a reduction in abdominal pain and discomfort.2,30

The 7 Best Natural Muscle Relaxers

Have you ever felt an involuntary tightness, hardness, or bulging in a muscle? That’s called a muscle spasm. This type of cramping can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons and in many areas of your body.

Spasms are common in the abdomen, arms, hands, and feet. You can also feel them in your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps, and along the rib cage. Many cases of simple muscle spasms are caused by heavy exercise and vigorous sport. Patience, rest, gentle stretching, and massaging the muscle can help alleviate the pain.

People with acute neck and back pain Trusted Source often suffer from muscle spasms. Pregnant women are also prone to muscle spasms because of the sudden increase in weight. Menstruating women experience muscle cramps due to uterine contractions, though the severity of the pain varies by person. Muscle spasms are a common side effect of chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Beardless disease.

While muscle spasms can be painful, relief is available with these seven natural muscle relaxers.

1. Chamomile

Chamomile Trusted Source is an ancient herb that’s used to treat a variety of ailments, including muscle spasms. It contains 36 flavonoids, which are compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. You can massage chamomile essential oil onto affected muscles to provide relief from spasms. Chamomile tea can also help relax sore muscles.

2. Cherry juice

People who sign up for marathons train vigorously, often causing a lot of stress on their muscles. Cherry juice can help combat the inflammation and muscle pain that is so common in runners. Studies Trusted Source reveal that drinking tart cherry juice can minimize post-run pain. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities in the fruit help to relax muscles naturally.

3. Blueberry smoothies

Another sweet and natural way to relax your muscles is by eating blueberries. A recent study Trusted Source suggests that having a blueberry smoothie before and after exercise can help accelerate recovery from muscle damage. Blueberries have antioxidant powers and have been shown to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation.

4. Cayenne pepper

Capsaicin, a substance found in cayenne pepper, is a natural muscle relaxant that’s often recommended to people who live with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. It can be added to food, like in this grilled shrimp with lime cream recipe, or you can find cayenne pepper in capsule form and as a cream. When used as a cream, you can apply it to areas affected by muscle spasms.

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5. Vitamin D

People who have regular muscle pain or spasms might be deficient in vitamin D. This vitamin comes in many forms, including liquids, tablets, and capsules. You can also get it in foods like eggs, fish, and fortified milk. Getting regular exposure to sunlight is another way to get vitamin D!

6. Magnesium

Magnesium is vital for human nutrition, as it maintains normal muscle and nerve function. Although it’s rare, early symptoms in people who are deficient in this mineral include muscle pain. This mineral is mostly found in foods such as bananas, almonds, legumes, and brown rice. It’s also available as a supplement.

7. Rest

Perhaps the best and most natural way to relax your muscles is to rest. Make sure to get lots of sleep, drink plenty of fluids, and try not to overwork the affected muscle. Using heat pads or ice packs on the muscle can provide immediate relief. Sometimes muscle spasms are due to over-stimulated muscles, and ice can help calm down the transmission of impulses from the brain to the overactive muscle.

An antispasmodic herb suppresses spasms, and reduce muscular tension. Smooth muscles like those that line the stomach contract without conscious control, and cause spasms, cramps and abdominal pain. Some herbal antispasmodics ease muscle cramps throughout the body, others are specific to specific organs and muscle types. Many of these herbs also act on the central nervous system as well and can help relax psychological tension.

Antispasmodic Herbs

Antispasmodic herbs are used to prevent spasms and cramps of the back, stomach, intestine and bladder by helping to suppress or smooth muscle contraction.

Drug and chemical type of antispasmodics are used for smooth muscle contraction, especially in tubular organs of the gastrointestinal tract. The effect is to prevent spasms of the stomach, intestine or urinary bladder. Two of these, dicyclomine and hyoscyamine, are antispasmodic due to their interscholastic action, yet booth of these drugs have general side effects and can worsen gastrointestinal reflex disease. One solution is long used natural herbal remedies.

Antiseptics help to prevent and counteract infection and the formation of pus by inhibiting the growth of the infectious organisms.

One example is Peppermint Oil. Peppermint oil has been traditionally used as an antispasmodic and a number of studies on the topic have concluded that it “could be efficacious for symptom relief” in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and showed it is an effective antispasmodic. Most forms of Cannabis Indica are considered a highly effective antispasmodic as well as the flower Liatris, (blazing star).

Antispasmodic herbs that act on the respiratory system may be useful to treat asthma. Many herbs with sedative or hypnotic effects are also antispasmodic.
Some Antispasmodic Herbs used are

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