Emma Relief is a dietary supplement marketed specifically for women’s digestive health. It claims to provide relief from common GI issues like bloating, constipation, and irregularity.
The supplement was developed by Dr. Gina Sam, a gastroenterologist, and contains several herbal ingredients like berberine, licorice root, and star anise.
But does Emma Relief actually work as advertised? In this in-depth review, we’ll take a close look at the ingredients, side effects, customer reviews, and other key factors to determine if Emma Relief is worth trying.
Our Favorite Alternative To Emma Relief
A Closer Look at Emma Relief’s Ingredients
According to the manufacturer, Emma Relief works through a “3 step process” to improve gut function:
- Speeding up intestinal transit time to prevent food from fermenting
- Eliminating bad bacteria while feeding good bacteria
- Relaxing intestinal muscles and nerves for easier elimination
To accomplish this, Emma Relief contains the following active ingredients:
Berberine is a compound found in several plants such as barberry, goldenseal, and Oregon grape. It has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine.
Some research shows berberine can benefit diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D). One study had 131 participants take 500 mg of berberine 2-3 times per day. After 8 weeks, those taking berberine had significant improvements in diarrhea frequency and urgency compared to placebo.
Additional studies found taking berberine supplements containing other antimicrobial herbs worked as well as the antibiotic rifaximin for treating SIBO.
So, there is evidence berberine may help with aspects of gut health like diarrhea and SIBO when taken in larger therapeutic dosages. Emma Relief contains just 50 mg berberine per serving, far below what was used in the studies.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
Licorice root has traditionally been used to treat stomach ulcers. DGL is a form of licorice that has had the glycyrrhizin component removed to reduce potential side effects.
Some research shows DGL supplements can help improve symptoms of dyspepsia like abdominal pain and discomfort. The suggested dosage used in studies ranges from 380 mg to 1g per day. Emma Relief contains just 22 mg DGL.
So while licorice root can be beneficial for certain GI issues, the amount of DGL in this formula is likely too low to have a significant therapeutic effect.
Star anise is a spice commonly used in cooking. It provides antioxidants and may have antibacterial properties .
There is limited evidence showing star anise helps with digestion when used in supplement form. One study in rats found a star anise extract improved markers of lipid digestion compared to a control group.
But overall, there have been very few studies in humans on star anise for digestion. Emma Relief contains 75 mg per serving, so it’s unclear if this amount would have any measurable effect.
Quercetin is an antioxidant compound in foods like onions, apples, and berries.
Some research shows it can help maintain intestinal barrier integrity and therefore, support gut health. But studies use dosages of at least 500 mg per day. The 25 mg in Emma Relief is likely too low to provide much benefit.
Resveratrol is another antioxidant compound found in foods like grapes, peanuts, and red wine.
There is some evidence that resveratrol may have anti-inflammatory effects in the GI tract . But the research is limited, and Emma Relief only contains 20 mg per serving.
Emma Relief also contains B vitamins, vitamin D, minerals like magnesium and zinc, and prebiotics and probiotics. These can provide general health benefits but are unlikely to directly improve gut function or digestive issues in the amounts found in the formula.
Emma Relief Side Effects
Based on the ingredients, Emma Relief is unlikely to cause severe side effects in most people. However, some users have reported:
- Bloating, gas, diarrhea – Common side effects of supplements containing prebiotics and probiotics
- Stomach pain, and cramps – Potentially from ingredients like star anise or laxative herbs
- Anxiety, trouble sleeping – From high doses of B vitamins like vitamin B12
- Allergic reactions – Berberine, licorice root, and star anise can cause reactions in sensitive individuals
To reduce risk of side effects, follow dosage recommendations and monitor how you feel when first starting Emma Relief. Stop use if any worrisome reactions occur.
Pregnant or nursing women should consult their doctor before taking Emma Relief.
Emma Relief Customer Reviews
Customer experiences with Emma Relief appear to be mixed:
- On Amazon, Emma Relief currently has 3.4 out of 5 stars based on 94 reviews. Positive reviews mention it provides regularity and relieves bloating. Negative reviews state it either did nothing or caused side effects.
- Reviews on consumer sites like HighYa rate the product poorly, with users complaining it is ineffective and the company’s autoship program is difficult to cancel.
- Many reviews online appear fake or planted by affiliate marketers, so it’s hard to gauge real customer experiences.
- On the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Emma Relief’s parent company has an F rating with multiple complaints about billing, refunds, and product quality.
The bottom line: Reviews suggest this supplement provides relief for some users, but results can vary widely. There are also concerns about the company’s business practices.
Is Emma Relief a Scam?
While Emma Relief is not an outright scam, there are some questionable aspects to consider:
- Misleading marketing – The website and videos make several unsupported claims about Emma Relief treating the root causes of gut issues. There is little evidence to back this up.
- Weak refund policy – Emma Relief offers a 90 day money back guarantee. But many customers complain the company makes refunds very difficult to obtain.
- Fake reviews – Numerous reviews appear falsified, making it hard to gauge real customer experiences. The BBB has flagged reviews on their site as potentially fabricated.
While not enough to call it an outright scam, buyers should be very cautious when ordering directly from the EmmaRelief.com website.
Emma Relief Alternatives to Consider
Emma Relief is far from the only supplement aimed at improving digestive health. Here are some alternatives to consider:
1. Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes like bromelain, papain, lipase, and proteases can help improve digestion by breaking down proteins, carbs, fats, and other compounds . Quality enzyme supplements may provide more robust digestive benefits compared to Emma Relief.
Taking probiotic supplements with strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium has been shown effective for treating constipation, diarrhea, IBS, and other GI issues . High quality probiotics may be more beneficial than the probiotic strains in Emma Relief.
Magnesium supplements are commonly used as a natural laxative. One analysis found daily magnesium was effective for improving bowel movement frequency and consistency . Magnesium may provide relief with fewer potential side effects compared to Emma Relief.
4. Psyllium Fiber
Psyllium is a type of soluble fiber supplement often used to treat constipation . It also has prebiotic effects. As a standalone fiber supplement, psyllium may provide more targeted symptom relief compared to Emma Relief.
Is Emma Relief Worth Trying?
Emma Relief may relieve bloating, constipation, and other gut issues for some women. However, the weak formula, quality concerns, high cost, and billing practices make it hard to recommend over other supplements for digestive health.
Women suffering from chronic GI problems are better off speaking to their doctor to identify the underlying cause. More effective prescription and over the counter treatments are likely available.
But those who still want to try an herbal supplement should look for high-quality products with robust dosages of proven ingredients like probiotics, enzymes, magnesium, and psyllium fiber.
Overall, Emma Relief is not a scam, but it seems unlikely to live up to its claims for most women. Before trying Emma Relief, speak to your physician and explore other evidence-based supplements and treatments.