2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Herbal Digestive Formula

What Is It?

Naturopathic doctors have long recommended a classic herbal digestive combination (variously known as Robert’s or Bastyr’s Formula) for controlling the intestinal pain and inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, both inflammatory bowel diseases.

According to lore, the “Robert” of the original Robert’s Formula was a sailor with a sensitive stomach who combined the most effective of the natural remedies recommended by herbalists he visited during his travels. He was so impressed by the results of his personal combination that he began to recommend his “formula” to others.

Each of the herbs in Robert’s Formula has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Several of them (including marshmallow and slippery elm) are famed for their high concentration of mucilage, a sticky substance that can soothe and protect inflamed linings of the gastrointestinal tract.

Other herbs within the formula provide additional medicinal benefits: Echinacea is an immune-system stimulant; goldenseal and wild indigo (Baptisia) are natural antibacterials. Geranium helps control gastrointestinal bleeding, while poke root (Phytolacca) and cabbage powder help heal ulcers.

A variation of this formula, called Bastyr’s Formula, was created and named for pioneering naturopath John Bastyr (1912-1995). It includes the addition of the B vitamin niacinamide (an anti-inflammatory), pancreatin (a digestive enzyme), and duodenal substance (an animal extract to promote tissue healing).

Because of its purported ability to heal and protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, an herbal digestive formula is also recommended by naturopaths to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In addition, some arthritis sufferers looking for an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)–which can cause notable stomach irritation–have reportedly found relief with this traditional blend. By switching (or supplementing) the NSAID regimen with an herbal digestive formula, the user benefits from the pain- and inflammation-reducing properties of the herbs at the same time that their natural mucilage works to coat, soothe, and protect the stomach.

The revised (Bastyr) formula contains the following combination (and proportion) of healing herbs:

Eight parts of the following herbs:

Althea officinalis (marshmallow root), which soothes, coats, and protects mucous membranes

Echinacea angustifolia, famed for its ability to boost the immune system and even fight bacteria

Ulmus fulva, (slippery elm), with widely recognized soothing and coating properties

Geranium maculatum (American cranesbill), traditionally used to stop gastrointestinal bleeding

Phytolacca americana (poke root), which helps heal sores and ulcers along the smooth mucous surfaces of the intestinal tract

Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal), which has antibacterial properties

Cabbage powder, included because of its apparent power to heal ulcers along the gastrointestinal tract

Four parts of the following:

Baptista tinctora, for its reported ability to fight infections in the intestines

Two parts of the following:

Pancreatine, to promote healthy digestion

Duodenal substance, which is a small amount of actual dehydrated duodenum (usually from a sheep’s intestine). In naturopathic theory, taking a small amount of healthy tissue will promote the healing of a diseased one.

One part of the following:

Niacinamide, an anti-inflammatory compound related to the B vitamin niacin

During a flare-up, take two capsules of Robert’s (or Bastyr’s) Formula three times a day, between meals. After a remission occurs, the dose can be reduced to one capsule twice a day.

General Interaction

There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with this traditional herbal blend.

Cautions

Given the many ingredients in the blend, it’s important to read the label carefully and discuss taking the product with your doctor if you have any questions.

A number of the herbs in this formula (slippery elm, goldenseal, echinacea) are discussed elsewhere on the WholeHealth Chicago Reference Library web site; for more detailed information, see the separate listings.

Because of the presence of duodenal tissue, Bastyr Formula is not vegetarian.

Ailments-Dosage

Crohn’s Disease 3 capsules with each meal till flare-up subsides; after a remission, reduce to 1 capsule twice a day. Often sold as Robert’s Formula or Bastyr Formula.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.

DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • We Are Fighting For Our Lives: Covid-19 Update

    This Health Tip might contain more about Covid-19 than you’ve read online or heard on a news program. It might even be more than you really care to know. Obviously we Americans we have some real challenges, far greater than many countries smaller and less “powerful” than the US. We’re running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our healthcare workers and first responders. There Read More

  • DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

    Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis. Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm. ALLERGIES • Runny nose • Sneezing • Red, swollen eyes • Itchy eyes and nose • Tickly throat • No fever COLD • Runny nose • Sneezing • Sore throat • Mild muscle aches • Mild dry cough Read More

  • Immune Superstar #3: Vitamin C

    –Take 3,000 mg daily in tablet form (three 1,000-mg tablets) OR –2,235 mg powder (one scoop of this powder) OR –1,000 mg liquid (one teaspoon of this ultra-absorbable liquid) **Our staff works tirelessly to source the highest quality products, and because of high demand, specific brands and sizes sell out almost daily. Call our Natural Apothecary at 773-296-6700 for the most up-to-date stock or click Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!