Herbal medicine targets its efforts at relieving the symptoms of peptic ulcers and healing the walls of the digestive tract. Herbs should be combined with measures such as stress reduction and dietary changes that eliminate the causes of ulcers.
The bark of slippery elm is used for its ability to soothe the mucous membranes that line the stomach and duodenum. It's often taken in powdered form. Licorice (in particular, licorice with its glycyrrhizinic acid removed), which comes in chewable tablet form, can also soothe the membranes, and it can strengthen them (thereby preventing future ulcers). Several studies have confirmed deglycyrrhizinized licorice's ability to treat ulcers. In fact, some conventional ulcer drugs are made from derivatives of licorice.
Another treatment for an irritated digestive tract is Robert's Formula, a well-known naturopathic herbal remedy. It usually contains slippery elm, marshmallow root, comfrey, echinacea (purple coneflower), goldenseal, other herbs, and cabbage powder. Herbal therapy may also incorporate 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 pylori. Again, some common conventional drugs for ulcer are made with bismuth.