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Herbal Remedies for Ulcers


More Herbal Remedies for Ulcers

A number of additional herbal remedies exist for ulcers. In addition to the ones previously discussed, the following herbal remedies may help relieve or heal your ulcer.

Chamomile is a popular ulcer treatment. It is known to decreases inflammation, thus speeding up the healing process. Apigenin, a flavonoid contained in chamomile, helps to combat H. pylori bacteria. Several strong cups of tea per day may be helpful.

Licorice mimics the action of chamomile, but is even more effective. It soothes inflammation and encourages the stomach to protect itself from acid. This herb helps improve and maintain the integrity of stomach and small intestine linings by stimulating the production of a substance called mucin. When the lining of the stomach and duodenum, the upper portion of the small intestine, are well coated with mucin, ulcers are less likely to start. Use deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) to avoid raising blood pressure. Take chewable tablets shortly before meals and several hours before bedtime. Typically 250-500 mg are recommended.

Marshmallow is also a soothing agent. Its mucilage calms inflammation and helps heal ulcers. Slippery elm, with its mucilaginous gel, also soothes the lining of the stomach and small intestine. (It's best to stir powder into water that's at room temperature.)

Peppermint is another good herb for reducing the inflammation associated with peptic ulcers. Its main active ingredient, menthol, is antibacterial, so it may help get rid of H. pylori. In some cases it stimulates digestion and may increase acidity, so use with care if this happens.

Yarrow has been clinically seen to make blood clot faster and stop bleeding. If you have bleeding ulcers, yarrow tea or tincture may help control the unwanted bleeding. Yarrow is also excellent at reducing inflammation.

Ulcers, especially those that bleed (sometimes noted as black stools), need medical attention. Discuss the combination of conventional and herbal treatment with a physician. Do not use chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed, aster, or chrysanthemum.

No matter which herbal remedy you try, you may find taking herbs at the onset of an ulcer will help ease its pain or even expediate healing. They are worth a try!

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Eric Yarnell, N.D., R.H. (A.H.G.) is a naturopathic physician and registered herbalist in private practice specializing in men's health and urology.  He is an assistant professor in the botanical medicine department at Bastyr University in Seattle and is president or the Botanical Medicine Academy.  He is the author of several textbooks including Naturopathic Gastroenterology, Naturopathic Urology and Men's Health, and Clinical Botanical Medicine; He writes a regular column on herbal medicine for Alternative and Complementary Therapies.  This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.

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