Treating Peptic Ulcers Naturally
To eliminate a peptic ulcer, one must treat the underlying cause of the ulcer. Ulcers are caused by destruction of the stomach lining and in 80% of all cases this is due to the Helicobacter Pylori (H.Pylori) bacteria. This is contrary to popular belief that stress and spicy foods are to blame. If you want to be free from stomach ulcers, then you have to get rid of H. pylori.
The first step to curing your ulcer is to determine the cause. H.Pylori can be diagnosed by a doctor using a variety of testing methods, including blood, stool and breath tests. The other most common cause of ulcers include the overuse of NSAIDs such as Aspirin and IB Profen. If it is suspected that an ulcer is present, patients should undergo an EGD, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, whereby an endoscopic camera is used to inspect the stomach lining. Upon a positive diagnosis, doctors may prescribe a variety of prescription drugs, some of which may work but can be costly and associated with certain risks and side effects. Below are the simple at-home steps we have taken to effectively cure peptic ulcers, and they might be worth trying as a first line of defense.
Ulcers Resulting from the H.Pylori bacteria
This bacterium is very common, at least half of the world’s population are infected, making it the most widespread infection in the world. For most it is asymptomatic but in an unlucky minority, the bacteria digs holes in the stomach lining causing an ulcer. The bacteria is found in well water but is transmitted between human to human contact, making prevention difficult. Avoiding well water could help prevent reoccurring infection. The following antibacterial foods and remedies may be helpful in eliminating H.Pylori. Eliminating this bacteria is the first step towards successful recovery.
- Drink hot water with lemon every morning on an empty stomach and throughout the day (brush teeth after so the acidity from the lemons doesn’t wear down tooth enamel)
- Chew these deglycyrrhizinated licorice tablets (DGL) throughout the day as much as possible, preferably on an empty stomach. Take until symptoms disappear. Garlic and licorice have been shown to kill H. Pylori in test tubes
- Liquid oil of oregano is a powerful anti-bacterial (in addition to anti-viral and anti-fungal). We recommend the Oreganol brand which can be purchased here. For a cheaper option, get the 8 ml travel size bottle. Take 3x/day on an empty stomach if possible. Place 5-10 drops under the tongue or in water or juice
- Eat lots of raw garlic, an easy way to do this is crush a few extra cloves into dips such as hummus and tzatziki, aim for 8 crushed cloves each day
- Take probiotics first thing in the morning on an empty stomach at before bed, we recommend Ultra Flora Plus Dairy Free Capsules by Metagenics
- Eat kimchi, or fermented cabbage, as it contains a bacterial strain “showing strong antagonistic activity against H. pylori” according to a 2008 study published in the Korean Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Eating raw broccoli sprouts daily (about 2.5 ounces) was found to reduce H.Pylori by 40% in humans according to a 2009 Japanese study in Cancer Prevention Research. Alternatively, to obtain the same compound sulforaphane that is found in raw broccoli sprouts, try taking Broccoli Sprouts capsules.
- Drinking green tea can prevent h.pylori related inflammation, according to this Korean study
- Hydrogen Peroxide, 3 drops in a glass of water taken 3 times each day, can work at killing H.Pylori
- Manuka honey has been proven to be more effective than hydrogen peroxide at killing H.Pylori. Available at Whole Foods, look for “Active Manuka Honey” that clearly states a “UMF Factor” of 10+ or higher.
According to the University of Waikato in New Zealand, ”Active Manuka Honey, with its non-peroxide, antibacterial activity, is more effective than honey with hydrogen peroxide against some types of bacteria. For example, it is about twice as effective as other honey againstEschericihia coli and Enterococci, common causes of infection in wounds. It is much more effective than other honey against Helicobacter pylori, a common cause of peptic ulcers.”
General Remedies for All Ulcers
- Chewable deglycemized licorice tablets coat the stomach lining, protecting ulcers from destructive stomach acids and allowing the ulcer to heal, providing the same relief of antacids such as Tums and Pepto Bismol. DGL does not have the side effects of ant-acids (such as constipation and the fact that they contain aluminum) and therefor DGL is more suitable as a long-term treatment option. Brush teeth regularly to prevent the DGL tablets from staining teeth.
- If you can not find DGL, antacids such as Tums and Pepto Bismol can provide relief (recommended as a last resort due to side effects)
- Kimchi (see above) or raw cabbage juice has been widely claimed to cure ulcers and other stomach ailments. Blend raw cabbage with a small amount of water and drink immediately while fresh (do not store). Not recommended for those with thyroid disorders.
- DO NOT take NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibprofen, these medications can literally burn holes in your stomach lining and cause ulcers to form
- Avoid inflammatory and acidic foods such as dairy, sugar, coffee, alcohol, meat
- Do not smoke
- Eat a bland diet of steamed vegetables, sweet potatoes, and plant-based proteins such as lentils and quinoa and be sure to avoid spicy foods
- Substitute unsweetened oat milk, almond or rice milk instead of dairy
- Take a multivitamin, and extra vitamin C , D, B12, magnesium, iron, fish oil, zinc and glutamine to promote healing and prevent malnutrition
- Minimize stress, practice meditation, deep breathing, and yoga
- Reintroduce proteins slowly and only after all symptoms dissipate, slowly reintroduce your normal diet
Photo Credit: Natural Remedies
Sources: The Lancet, Discovery Fit & Health, Earth Clinic, The University of Waikato, Department of Internal Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, Cancer Prevention Research, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, University Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, Korean Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Department of Human Exposure Research and Epidemiology
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