The People's Perspective on Medicine

Pomegranate Juice For Chronic Diarrhea

The results of a study in rats back up our reader's claim that pomegranate juice can alleviate chronic diarrhea. Be careful not to drink too much!
Fresh half of pomegranate juice on an isolated background

Chronic diarrhea is debilitating. Even if there is no serious medical condition causing liquidity, this condition can interfere with both work and leisure activity. People tell us they can’t leave home if they don’t know when they will need to run to the restroom. Is there a good remedy for chronic diarrhea? Several readers say that pomegranate juice works.

Combating Chronic Diarrhea with Pomegranate Juice:

Q. Some of your readers have asked about chronic diarrhea. One of the best things to take is pomegranate juice, which can be found in grocery stores. You can actually get constipated if you drink too much (as I found out!)

A. Although pomegranates are mentioned in Greek myths and the Bible, researchers have only recently begun rediscovering their healing power. Studies suggest that this ancient fruit may help reduce the risk of blood clots and keep cholesterol from doing damage to arteries.

Gastrointestinal Effects of Pomegranate Juice:

Pomegranate has traditionally been used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. Tunisian scientists decided to test its effects in rats (Souli et al, Journal of Medicinal Food, Sep. 2015). They gave the rats castor oil to induce diarrhea and also measured gastrointestinal transit time. Pomegranate extracts and juice slowed transit time and mitigated diarrhea.

A review of research found a dramatic increase of interest in pomegranate’s medicinal properties (Ismail, Sestilli & Akhtar, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Sep. 28, 2012). The authors conclude that pomegranate is “useful for treating a wide range of human disorders and maladies.” They note further that pomegranate juice is safe. We don’t know whether the effects of pomegranate juice in calming chronic diarrhea are related to its ability to slow or stop bacterial growth (Voravuthikunchai & Limsuwan, Journal of Food Protection, Oct. 2006).

Is Pomegranate Juice Constipating?

We’ll take your word on the warning not to overdo with pomegranate juice. It seems only logical that a product to ease diarrhea might cause constipation. Some people who have used coconut for chronic diarrhea have found that it too can be constipating.

Revised 8/14/17

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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How much pomegranate juice should you drink per day for diarrhea. I have been eating the cocoanut macaroons for my diarrhea but they have quit making them so I now need to find something else that works

What about an 18 month old that has watery bowels almost every day (some time 2-3 times). Can she be given this and how much can we give her?

I, too, had issues with diarrhea and explosive bowel movements. My doctor recommended a colonoscopy and discovered a large tumor in my large intestine which he thought initially was malignant. After surgery to remove, it was benign. But your problem should be checked by a gastroenterologist.

I’ve had diarrhea nearly every day for the past four years. G.I. tests all negative. Drs don’t seem concerned once they order tests, and tell me to take OTC drug.

I am concerned about diarrhea. I started having looser bowels than usual in March this year. About a month ago every time I had a bowel movement it was explosive diarrhea. My diet and exercise habits have not changed. My doctor just said to use Benefiber to help stop it. My concern is why did it start in the first place? And shouldn’t we try to find the cause instead of just treating symptoms?

Your comment was posted more than two years ago. I hope you have found out your cause. If, like me, the cause is collagenous colitis, I hope you’ve had better luck finding a doctor who wants to do something besides give you steroids.

There is no cure for collagenous colitis. I use a combination of dietary changes and nutritional supplements to help control it, and it has occasionally gone into remission. There is an old standby drug I’ve heard of called Questran that helps control the diarrhea for some people with collagenous and microscopic colitis. Unfortunately, the GI specialist I saw only wanted to give me steroids. What is it about doctors’ love affair with strong, powerful drugs that can do as much harm as good?

Pomegranate juice didn’t help with the diarrhea, but it tastes good and has nutritional value so I buy it when it’s on sale.

I hope things have improved for you.

I experienced this problem in 2013. The diarrhoeal symptoms started one morning and persisted for many days. My doctor immediately referred me to my NHS general hospital to have a colonoscopy. The result was DIVERTICULAR DISEASE, in my case, DIVERTICULOSIS. A high fibre diet was advised. I am much improved now but it has taken many months. I am still troubled with intestinal gas, possibly caused by the pouches in the intestinal walls. I understand that this maybe an age related condition, and many people have this problem. I have also been tested by the NHS bowel cancer screening hospital, and thankfully, the result was normal. Have a look on GOOGLE, but I would suggest asking your doctor for a referral to your hospital for a colonoscopy. Wishing you well.

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