10 Home Remedies for Ulcers

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10 Home Remedies for Ulcers

About 10% of people develop a peptic ulcer at some point in their life. Most ulcers are caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria which penetrate the stomach’s protective mucous lining, making it more vulnerable to damage from gastric acids. Ulcers are usually treated with prescription antibiotics and medications to reduce stomach acid. However, there are a number of alternative natural remedies which can combat the H. pylori bacteria, soothe pain and reduce healing time.

1. Cranberry juice

Compounds in cranberry juice called proanthocyanidins are thought to keep H. pylori from adhering to the lining of the stomach. One study of 189 adults found that drinking one cup of cranberry juice a day eliminated H. pylori in three times as many subjects as a daily placebo beverage. Have a daily glass of cranberry juice to help fight the primary cause of ulcers and prevent them from returning.

2. Licorice

Licorice has been found to be as effective as the drugs cimetidine and pirenzapine in healing peptic ulcers. It works by promoting mucous secretion in the stomach and producing new cells in the stomach lining. Eating an ounce of licorice sticks daily will improve ulcer symptoms, but read the ingredients to make sure they’re made with real licorice rather than anise flavoring.

3. Cabbage

Studies going back to the 1950s have shown that drinking cabbage juice accelerates the healing of peptic ulcers. Cabbage juice is high in glutamine which improves the integrity of the stomach lining. The recommended dose is one quart of juice a day. If you can’t stomach that much cabbage, you can purchase glutamine powder from a health products supplier and mix it into your favorite beverage.

4. Raw garlic

Garlic contains the antibacterial sulfur compounds diallyl sulfide and diallyl disulfide. Laboratory studies have shown that these compounds can kill H. pylori cultures. Unfortunately, the sulfur compounds are degraded when garlic is cooked. To get the most benefit you should eat nine raw, crushed garlic cloves a day. You can add a little olive oil and spread them on bread or add raw garlic to a juicer along with other vegetables.

5. Slippery elm

Slippery elm bark is a traditional herbal remedy for ulcers. It contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. Mucilage coats the stomach and soothes the mucous membranes. It also promotes mucus secretion to help protect the stomach lining. Slippery elm powder can be purchased from health product retailers. Take one tablespoon a day mixed into oatmeal or added to a banana smoothie.

6. Bananas

Bananas contain a compound called leucocyanidin which increases mucus production in the stomach, helping to create a barrier between digestive acids and the stomach wall. They also contain an antibacterial substance which may inhibit the growth of the H.pylori bacteria. To get more of the fruit into your diet try banana and honey sandwiches, banana smoothies, banana bread or banana fruit salads.

7. Ginger

Studies have shown that ginger extract inhibits the growth of H. pylori, reduces inflammation in the stomach mucosa and helps to protect cells in the stomach lining. To make an ulcer-fighting tea, thinly slice three ounces of fresh ginger root. Add it to three cups of water in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain out the ginger, sweeten with honey and drink hot or iced.

8. Okra

Okra, also known as lady’s finger, is a beneficial vegetable for ulcer sufferers. It contains polysaccharides that inhibit the adhesion of H. pylori to the stomach tissue. It also is high in mucilage to coat the digestive lining and shield it from stomach acid. Boiled okra has a slimy, gooey texture that many people find unpleasant. Try eating it stir-fried, grilled or roasted.

9. Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin which promotes the healing of peptic ulcers by increasing blood flow to the gastric mucosa. To make a healing tea, put 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and two teaspoons of honey into a mug. Fill with hot water and stir. Use cayenne pepper to flavor soups, sauces, mashed potatoes and savory dishes.

10. Mastic gum

Mastic gum is a natural resin produced by the Pistacia lentiscus tree. Research has shown that mastic gum kills the H. pylori bacteria and accelerates the healing of ulcers. In one study, ulcer patients were given one gram of mastic or a placebo daily for two weeks. Endoscopic examination showed that 70% of patients in the mastic group had healing changes in their gastric mucosa. Mastic gum is available in supplement capsules.