For some, home remedies using natural herbs and household items can greatly reduce the pain caused by ulcers. From candy (yes, candy) to fruit, you might find your next ulcer remedy right in your own kitchen. The following are ulcer home remedies that may work for you.
Home Remedies from the Counter
Buy bananas. These fruits contain an antibacterial substance that may inhibit the growth of ulcer-causing H. pylori. And studies show that animals fed bananas have a thicker stomach wall and greater mucus production in the stomach, which helps build a better barrier between digestive acids and the lining of the stomach. Eating plantains is also helpful.
Get some garlic. Garlic's antibacterial properties include fighting H. pylori. Take two small crushed cloves a day.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Cut up some cabbage. Researchers have found that ulcer patients who drink 1 quart of raw cabbage juice a day can often heal their ulcers in five days. If chugging a quart of cabbage juice turns your stomach inside out, researchers also found that those who eat plain cabbage have quicker healing times as well. Time for some coleslaw!
Pick plums. Red- and purple-colored foods inhibit the growth of H. pylori. Like plums, berries too can help you fight the good fight.
Kitchen Remedies from the Spice Rack
Add a shake of cayenne pepper. Used moderately, a little cayenne pepper can go a long way in helping ulcers. The pepper stimulates blood flow to bring nutrients to the stomach. To make a cup of peppered tea, mix 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 1 cup hot water. Drink a cup a day. A dash of cayenne pepper can also be added to soups, meats, and other savory dishes.
Love that licorice. Several modern studies have demonstrated the ulcer-healing abilities of licorice. Licorice does its part not by reducing stomach acid but rather by reducing the ability of stomach acid to damage stomach lining. Properties in licorice encourage digestive mucosal tissues to protect themselves from acid. Licorice can be used in encapsulated form, but for a quick cup of licorice tea, cut 1 ounce licorice root into slices and cover with 1 quart boiling water. Steep, cool, and strain. (If licorice root is unavailable, cut 1 ounce licorice sticks into slices.) You can also try licorice candy if it's made with real licorice (the label will say "licorice mass") and not just flavored with anise. Don't eat more than 1 ounce per day, because, surprisingly for a candy, an overdose can cause serious medical side effects.
Better get some bark. The bark of slippery elm is used for its ability to soothe the mucous membranes that line the stomach and duodenumm. It's often taken in powdered form. Some herbalists recommend taking about one teaspoon of powdered slippery elm bark (added to one cup of warm water to form a gruel-like substance) three times a day.
Mind your minerals. For example, bismuth salts, such as bismuth subcitrate, have antibacterial properties and can be effective in treating ulcers that are attributed to the Helicobacter plylori. Again, some common conventional drugs are made with bismuth.
Sometimes ulcers have no noticeable symptoms, and sometimes they can cause gnawing abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. If ulcers perforate, they can cause severe bleeding and even death. But with the home remedies mentioned in this article, you can change your diet, de-stress your lifestyle and make other changes to ease the pain.
For more information on ulcer-causing stress and its harmful effects, visit the following:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Among the many digestive problems that herbal remedies can relieve, herbs can also go a long way toward healing gastric ulcers. Find out how in Herbal Remedies for Ulcers.
- Curious about what causes stress? Visit How Stress Works.
- You can relieve some of stress' negative effects simply. For more information, read Home Remedies for Stress.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
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