Probiotics and Herbal Therapies

  • Agnes Czibulka


This chapter discusses the evidence for use of probiotics and herbal therapies for treatment of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). An overview of the human microbiome is described. Disease-specific probiotics with specific activity to promote gastrointestinal health may have beneficial effects on symptoms of LPR. The most commonly used probiotics include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacillus, and Streptomyces species. Probiotics are ideally taken as part of the diet and are found in a variety of fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchi, natto, and sauerkraut. Demulcent herbs contain mucilaginous materials that coat the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and can soothe irritation and inflammation. They repair the mucosa by reducing irritation of the bowel and decreasing sensitivity to gastric acid. Aloe vera, licorice root, marshmallow root, and slippery elm root are commonly used demulcent herbs. Other herbs, including Iberogast, ginger, and D-limonene, have been found in clinical studies to reduce gastric acidity, improve gastric emptying, and promote gastric healing. Finally, prolonged proton-pump inhibitor therapy can result in poor absorption of essential nutrients, including calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins. Supplementation of these nutrients is necessary to prevent long-term adverse sequelae.


Microbiome Probiotic Prebiotic Symbiotic Demulcent herbs Laryngopharyngeal reflux LPR 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agnes Czibulka
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Section of OtolaryngologyENT Medical and Surgical LLCNew HavenUSA

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