Alongside standard medical treatment, natural remedies to help relieve symptoms of Crohn’s disease include dietary changes, acupuncture, and medical cannabis. However, a person should always consult a doctor in advance.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. While there is no known cure, various medications may help ease symptoms.

Natural remedies for Crohn’s disease may also help bring relief. Some people also find that natural remedies cause fewer side effects than prescription or over-the-counter medications.

This article discusses some natural treatment options that may help alleviate Crohn’s disease symptoms.

a collage showing a person preparing food, and a person doing meditationShare on Pinterest
Design by MNT; Photography by Ana Rocio Garcia Franco/Getty Images & Mavocado/Getty Images

Every person with Crohn’s disease will experience the condition differently. That is why identifying Crohn’s triggers is important for managing symptoms.

Keeping a food diary and tracking symptoms that flare regularly with different foods can help a person identify their triggers.

During a flare

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation suggests some dietary changes may help some people with the condition.

The following table lists foods a person may want to avoid:

Foods to avoidExamples
High fiber foods• fruit with its skin or seeds
• raw green vegetables
Brussels sprouts
Lactosedairy products
Added sugars or
artificial sweeteners
• sorbitol
• candy
High fat foods• butter
• fried foods
Spicy foods• siracha
• chili powder

The table below lists some foods a person may wish to include in their diet:

Foods to includeExamples
• honeydew melon
Omega-3 fatty acidsfatty fish
chia seeds
flaxseed oil
Lean proteineggs
• chicken or turkey
Fully cooked,
skinless vegetables

However, it is important to note that every person’s triggers will differ, and people should always speak with a doctor or dietitian about dietary changes.

Between flares

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation suggests the following dietary habits may help ease symptoms:

  • drinking enough water
  • preparing meals ahead of time so safe foods are always available at home
  • boiling, grilling, steaming, or poaching food instead of frying it
  • keeping a food journal
  • avoiding restrictive diets unless a qualified healthcare professional states otherwise

Certain behavioral changes, where necessary, may prevent Crohn’s disease from worsening or help ease symptoms, including:

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation also suggests that a person with Crohn’s disease may benefit from mind-body therapies, such as:

Some people with Crohn’s disease may find it difficult to get adequate nutrition from food alone. A doctor may recommend specific nutritional supplements to redress nutritional imbalances.

Some supplements that may help alleviate Crohn’s disease symptoms include the following:


According to research, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may help reduce inflammation.

A 2022 review examined the effects of curcumin as part of treatment for IBD. The researchers suggest that curcumin has the potential to be a safe and effective treatment with few adverse reactions.

However, they note that curcumin has a complex method of action and that research is ongoing. More research, particularly large-scale, multi-center clinical trials, is necessary to understand whether curcumin is an effective treatment for Crohn’s disease.


Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that exist throughout the body. According to a 2023 systematic review, there is strong evidence to suggest probiotics can help people with ulcerative colitis.

Some evidence suggests that probiotics may benefit people with Crohn’s disease. However, this evidence is limited, and further research is necessary to examine their full effect and potential benefits.

A person can increase their intake of probiotics by incorporating foods containing probiotics into their diet, such as:


Bromelain is a mix of enzymes, mostly from fruit. People can purchase bromelain in tablet form.

A 2017 study in rats found that bromelain was effective at reducing IBD-related inflammation. However, researchers do not know exactly how or why it works.

A 2023 study in rats also suggests that bromelain may effectively decrease symptoms of and protect against intestinal inflammation.

However, further research into bromelain’s effects in humans is necessary to understand its potential benefits for people with Crohn’s disease.


Wormwood is an herb that may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antimicrobial properties. People might enjoy wormwood as an oil or tea.

A 2020 narrative review highlights limited research suggesting wormwood may help people with Crohn’s disease to achieve remission.

However, more research, including larger-scale studies, is necessary to fully understand the benefits and risks of this complementary therapy.

Thunder god vine

Thunder god vine, or Tripterygium wilfordii, is an herb that people sometimes call thunder duke vine.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, thunder god vine may offer some benefits for certain chronic inflammatory conditions, including:

However, they emphasize that there are no solid conclusions, and further research is necessary.

Essential oils may have some beneficial effects on IBD. However, the data is scant, as most existing studies are small or have included only animals.

There is no conclusive evidence that essential oils work, and there are no clear guidelines for administering them.

People who wish to try essential oils should first speak with a qualified healthcare professional and only use them as a supplement to standard care.

Patchouli oil

A 2017 study reports that patchouli oil might help with symptoms of colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel condition related to Crohn’s disease.

The researchers found that rats treated with patchouli had less colon damage and fewer colitis symptoms than rats in the control group.

Lavender oil

A few small studies suggest that lavender might help regulate gut health in people with IBD.

For example, a 2023 review highlights research suggesting lavender essential oil may benefit people with ulcerative colitis due to its probiotic qualities.

However, further research is necessary to understand the underlying mechanisms and the effect of lavender essential oils on people with Crohn’s disease.

Peppermint oil

Authors of a 2018 study in rats found that menthol, a substance present in peppermint oil, may help decrease inflammation and oxidative stress in rats with artificially induced IBD.

The rats treated with menthol also had a higher body weight, which suggests IBD was causing fewer nutritional problems.

Acupuncture, a form of treatment used in traditional Chinese medicine, may help alleviate Crohn’s symptoms.

However, more research is necessary, and due to varying results across existing studies, researchers do not know exactly how or why acupuncture may help.

A 2023 review suggests that acupuncture with moxibustion — a type of therapy that involves burning dried mugwort leaves on parts of the body — had significant effects on people with Crohn’s disease.

However, the researchers highlight the need for further research.

Apple cider vinegar is a popular traditional folk remedy for inflammation and pain.

A 2016 study in rats reports that vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, may also help prevent symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Researchers induced colitis in a group of rats. However, 28 days before doing so, they began giving the rats vinegar. This increased the rats’ levels of beneficial bacteria, reducing inflammation.

Further research is necessary to understand whether apple cider vinegar can benefit humans with Crohn’s disease.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation states that fish oil, including cod liver oil and omega-3 fatty acid supplements, may ease symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

A 2022 population-based study associates regular fish oil supplement intake with a lower risk of IBDs. The researchers conclude that fish oil may help prevent and manage IBD.

Medical cannabis may help relieve pain, support relaxation, or offer other benefits to people living with chronic or long-term medical conditions.

Cannabis for medical use is legal in some states. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved medical cannabis for the treatment of Crohn’s disease.

A 2022 study analyzing the UK Medical Cannabis Registry suggests that cannabis may provide short-term improvements in IBD symptoms and general health-related quality of life. They found that this effect was more prominent among prior cannabis users.

A 2023 study highlights that some people who use cannabis for Crohn’s disease may choose not to tell their doctor. The researchers call for more education among physicians and patients about the medical use of cannabis in IBD.

Future studies and data are necessary to understand the true effect cannabis may have on a person with Crohn’s disease.

There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, but the proper combination of treatments helps many people go into remission.

Natural therapies that may improve Crohn’s symptoms include dietary changes, supplements, essential oils, and more.

People considering natural remedies should speak with a healthcare professional about how best to incorporate them into their treatment regimen. A person can keep a log to record which treatments work best for them.