Ulcers are sores that occur in different parts of the body. Gastric ulcers or stomach ulcers come in the stomach lining or duodenum. These stomach ulcers are often referred to as peptic ulcers or duodenal ulcers, caused by acid reflux. With the amount of excessive acid production in the stomach, the damage and pain can be extremely painful.
Stomach ulcers affect 2.4 to 6.1% of the population which become common among teenage to adultery. Because of various factors irritate the intestine or stomach lining causing ulcers. The common causing factor is an infection of Helicobacter pylori bacteria or simply H.pylori.
Other factors linked with stomach ulcers are overdose on painkiller tablets such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking, often even stress and spicy foods are also linked with causes of gastric ulcers. However, stress and spicy foods can be critical factors that worsen the conditions but these do not develop ulcers.
More often stomach ulcers are treated with antibiotics and conventional treatments which come with side effects such as headache and diarrhea. Aside from these medications and treatments, there are some effective natural remedies that may be useful in treating a stomach ulcer.
Let’s see what are home remedies for stomach ulcers that anyone who affected can make use of. In this guide, we have suggested herbs, foods, and supplements that you can add to your diet for ulcer treatment.
Do not forget to consult with your doctor about adding these foods and supplements.
10 Home Remedies for Stomach Ulcers
Probiotics are the living microorganisms like bacteria and yeast that keep the digestive tract, intestines, and stomach areas healthy. They provide benefits from mental health to gut health. These are also helpful in preventing bacterias that causes ulcers.
These live bacteria may stimulate mucus production to protect the stomach lining with a protective coating or layer. However, this benefit is still under investigation.
There are some other effects of probiotics such as their ability to promote new blood vessel formation may treat ulcers as they help transport healing compounds easily to the ulcer areas and speeds up the healing.
In fact, probiotics also seem to work against H.pylori infections.
Also, this live microorganism was found to improve the positive effects of conventional treatments by 150% meanwhile prevent side effects by 47%.
These beneficiary bacterias are present in many common foods such as:
- fermented foods
Probiotics can also be found in many supplements.
The dose required to get maximum benefits from these foods is still not clear. As for as, the studies showed effects of probiotics tested with 200 million to 2 billion colony forming units for 2 to 16 weeks.
Moreover, it is claimed that probiotic-rich foods provide fewer colony-forming units per serving than probiotic supplements. Adding them to the diet is still beneficial but consider taking supplements as they have high concentration.
Flavonoids also called bioflavonoids are polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables. Research suggests these may be effective natural remedies for stomach ulcers and other digestive issues including diarrhea and spasms as they are gastroprotective.
These compounds contribute to the rich colors of some vegetables, fruits, and seeds.
These plant compounds create a layer to protect the stomach lining from ulcers. Like probiotics, flavonoids also increase mucus production which prevents infection of H.pylori. Similar to other plant compounds, flavonoids also contain antioxidant properties.
Some fruits, grains, greens, and drinks that contain flavonoids are:
- red grapes
These foods that contain flavonoids help fight off H.pylori infections and digestive tract problems.
Although there are no side effects registered for consuming flavonoids on a regular diet, overdosing can cause blood clotting. You can take flavonoids in your diet or as supplements.
Licorice is a traditional herb that is used as medicine in many ancient medicine systems. It is a spice whose root is often used for treatments and wellness. The spice is native to Asia and the Mediterranean region. In its native places, people consume dried licorice root to cure and prevent stomach ulcers.
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice has shown an effect on preventing H.pylori growth based on a study. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is nothing but a plain licorice root extracted for its sweet flavor. However, Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is only available as supplements and so most research focus on testing the effects of supplements rather than plain roots.
Also, a study in 2013 found that licorice supplements can inhibit H.pylori infections and the bacteria’s growth.
Honey is more than a sweetener. We know honey is good for coughs and colds. But do you know it can be a powerful antibacterial agent that helps cure ulcers?
Based on the plant where the honey is taken, it can hold almost 200 nutritional elements including antioxidants and polyphenols. Honey is a powerful antibacterial that showed a preventive effect on H.pylori growth.
Honey may not spike blood sugar levels like processed sugar still it should be taken carefully. Along with sweetening, this natural liquid can provide many health benefits including eye health, heart health, and even prevent certain types of cancer.
Also, honey is a natural wound healer so it may prevent the formation of wounds and ulcers.
Garlic is a powerful spice or herb with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It is one of the medicinal herbs used for ulcer treatment.
Its extract has been tested to inhibit H.pylori growth. A group of animal studies found that garlic extract may speed up healing from ulcers and prevent them from coming back. The effect of the extract on ulcer bacterias is proven in the lab, animal, and human studies.
A study shows that eating two cloves of raw garlic daily for three days helps reduce H.pylori infection and its bacterial activity.
Moreover, garlic is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial and helps ward off infections.
Some studies have shown that Cranberry help reduces urinary tract infections by inhibiting bacteria from settling on bladder walls. Both the fruit and its extract may also fight H.pylori.
Either as juice, fresh fruit, or as a supplement, cranberry can be consumed for better relief from ulcers. Though no specific dosage is prescribed for relief, having too much cranberry in any form may develop intestinal discomfort because of its high sugar content.
Avoid packaged cranberry juices as they contain artificial sweeteners and added sugar.
Mastic is a resin obtained from the Pistacia lentiscus tree also called the Mastic tree which is grown in the Mediterranean. It is also referred to as Yemen gum, Arabic gum, and tears of Chios.
The sap of the grown tree is dried and becomes a translucent resin. It has a pine-like flavor and becomes softened when chewed.
This tree resin is one of the ancient medicine used for gut disorders including stomach ulcers.
A set of animal studies report that mastic resin may work as a natural ulcer remedy.
Another study research with 38 participants who have ulcers consumed 1 gram of mastic resin. The report showed a 30% reduction in ulcer pain and symptoms compared to the placebo.
After two weeks of study, 70% of participants from the mastic group healed from ulcers but a placebo healed only 22%.
The antibacterial activity of mastic against H.pylori is also tested recently. The study observed participants who consumed 350 mg of mastic gum thrice daily for two weeks and found it reduce H.pylori infections by 7 to 15% more than conventional treatment.
Chewing mastic gum helped get rid of bacteria in 3 out of 10 people, says a study.
A South Asian spice used for medicinal and culinary purposes. Turmeric is antibacterial and is a prominent spice used in Indian cooking. Its rich yellow color and spicy aroma make it easy to recognize. Turmeric is a root of the plant which is often used fresh or dried, mostly as powder.
Curcumin is an active ingredient in turmeric that contribute to its medicinal properties. It has high anti-inflammatory properties that help treat a range of problems from improved blood vessel function to reduce inflammation and chronic diseases.
The anti-ulcer property of curcumin is studied in animals recently.
The spice seems to provide powerful therapeutic benefits, especially for H.pylori infections. It also stimulates mucus secretion and protects the stomach lining.
With limited human studies, research on 25 participants tested giving them 600 mg of turmeric five times a day for four weeks. The report says it healed 48% of participants. And after 12 weeks, the healing rate increased to 76%.
The study has not used a placebo treatment so it is difficult to conclude turmeric’s effect on ulcers. However, the initial results showed positive. They believe turmeric can offer relief from ulcer symptoms and treat sores.
9] Cabbage Juice
Cabbage has been traditionally used to cure ulcers way before antibiotics are created. It is rich in vitamin C which is one of the powerful antioxidants that helps treat and prevent H.pylori infections.
Many animal studies tested cabbage juice for ulcers and got positive results. Cabbage juice is an effective home remedy to treat and prevent many types of digestive ulcers including stomach ulcers.
Early studies in humans investigated the effect of drinking fresh cabbage juice on stomach ulcers and reported it has high healing effect than the conventional treatment used meanwhile.
In another study with 13 participants who have stomach and digestive tract, ulcers consumed one quart of fresh cabbage juice throughout the day. The participants healed from ulcers after 7 to 10 days on average. This healing rate is 3.5 to 6% faster than the average healing time reported in earlier studies with conventional treatments.
Still, the investigation is going on to find exactly which compound in the cabbage is promoting ulcer healing.
10] Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is widely used for skin healing benefits. It has antibacterial properties and cooling effects that moisturize the skin and heals it from the inside out.
Now it is found that aloe vera may be used as a home remedy for stomach ulcers also.
In an animal study, treating with aloe vera reduced acid reflux in rats that have ulcers.
Another animal study proved aloe vera has similar ulcer healing effects as omeprazole which is a common ulcer medicine.
Among a few human studies, one study successfully treated 12 stomach ulcer patients with concentrated aloe vera drink.
A study tested aloe vera’s effect on H.pylori infections where participants were given 1.4mg/pound of aloe vera antibiotics for six weeks. It shows aloe vera is as effective as the conventional treatment in ulcer healing and inhibiting H.pylori bacterial growth.
Foods to avoid for Ulcers
Like foods that prevent bacterial growth and treat ulcers, there are some foods that can stimulate ulcers. Acid reflux disease affects people with ulcers.
Certain regular habits and diet can affect the lower part of the esophagus that is the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which leads to a block of acid and stomach contents into the esophagus. It affects the esophagus and causes problems like indigestion, heartburn, and discomfort.
To avoid acid reflux and prevent ulcers, you may take action on your food intake and related habits.
Below are some of the foods that you have to avoid or minimize intake to heal from stomach ulcers.
- caffeinated beverages
- carbonated drinks
- processed foods
- peppers and chilies
- high salted foods
- oiled foods
- acidic foods and fruits
In addition to avoiding the above, you should also limit overeating or having foods within two to three hours before bed also worsen the conditions.
Eat small meals at regular times, chew well, eat slowly, and snack throughout the day, these are some food habits that help reduce ulcers and improve healing.
Not all treatments and foods work the same for everyone. You have to keep track of your body’s reaction to each treatment or food you take to find what is helpful.
It may take some time and effort to find what are home remedies for stomach ulcers that has no side effects. But remember ulcers are curable.
Make sure you get approval from your doctor to follow any of the above home treatments. We also suggest you not rely only on the treatments but also incoporate healthful foods that may promote healing, reduce pain, and prevent future comings.
Reduce alcohol intake, avoid smoking, don’t stress too much, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and take supplements with a doctor’s approval. These are simple but effective ways to control and cure stomach ulcers.
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