Pancreatitis is a condition that causes the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that constitutes part of the digestive system, and which is located just behind the stomach. The purpose of the pancreas is to release enzymes that aid in food digestion.
The pancreas also produces two hormones that help the body manage sugar levels in circulation: both insulin and glucagon hormones. As such, the organ’s inflammation may range from a mild condition with minimal symptoms to a life-threatening condition.
It is believed that the inflammation is the result of excessive alcohol consumption and the presence of gallstones in the body. Some of the symptoms associated with pancreatitis include abdominal pain (especially that which occurs after eating a high-fat diet), tenderness and swelling in the abdominal region, nausea and/or vomiting as well as fever. Some affected persons will experience an increase in their heart rate alongside any of the aforementioned symptoms. In cases where the inflammation is chronic, that is pancreatitis that spans a long period of time, one of the most common symptoms is weight loss that usually occurs due to poor food absorption as a result of poor food digestion.
The treatment of pancreatitis typically revolves around providing relief from the inflammation while supporting the body’s functions. Depending on the extent of the condition, however, patients with pancreatitis may require hospitalization as the disease may affect other vital organs such as the lungs and kidneys. Natural remedies for the condition are available, but these should only be used as adjunct treatment. Listed below are some of the remedies which have been shown to be effective in providing relief from the inflammation of the pancreas.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of dandelion (ground dandelion), 1 glass of warm water, strainer and 1 tablespoon of honey (optional).
Dandelion is on of the most popular home remedies for the natural treatment of pancreatitis. When the herb is exposed to an inflamed pancreas, the presence of taraxacin (one of the herb’s active ingredients) helps improve pancreas function by improving the digestion process. It is also a key ingredient as it increases bile production in the liver, and therefore helps reduce the pressure typically exerted on the pancreas. With this decreased pressure, inflammation of the pancreas is reduced significantly, and this provides relief from pancreatitis. In addition to this, studies show that dandelion infused in tea as a herbal remedy actually improves the function of the pancreas by stimulating optimal activity. Prepare dandelion tea using the simple remedies included below.
NOTE: The presence of taraxacin in the herb is responsible for the characteristic bitter taste that the tea exhibits.
- Use ground dandelion powder for easy preparation of this remedy.
- Simply add 1 tablespoon of the herb to a glass of warm water.
- Transfer the mixture to a pan and boil it for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep for a few minutes.
- Strain it and allow to cool.
- You may add honey as a natural sweetener.
- Drink this tea thrice daily.
2. Turmeric Powder:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1 glass of milk and 1 tablespoon of honey.
Turmeric has long been regarded as one of the most effective home remedies for the natural treatment of pancreatitis. In fact, the herb is an iconic part of Ayurveda treatment, thanks to the key role it plays in Indian delicacies. The herb is an excellent natural remedy because it is rich in an active compound known as curcumin. This is a volatile oil whose mode of action closely resembles the function of anti-inflammatory medicines. When administered to someone suffering from pancreatitis, the turmeric provides relief from the inflammation. Studies indicate that when used regularly over a period of time, the turmeric may prevent the condition from escalating.
An additional benefit of using turmeric powder is that it prevents damage to the lungs and other vital organs as a result of pancreatitis. The presence of Vitamin C in the turmeric boosts the immune system and assists the body to make a full recovery from the effects of pancreatitis. This is a simple remedy to prepare’, and is easily available in many homes, making it an accessible choice for anyone suffering from an inflamed pancreas.
- Put the ground turmeric in a glass and pour in the milk.
- Stir in the honey and drink the turmeric milk at least twice daily.
3. Virgin Olive Oil:
Time Required: Varies depending on the specific remedy to be used.
What You Need: Virgin olive oil (edible) used for cooking.
Olive oil is a versatile home remedy for many different conditions, among them pancreatitis. It is preferred because it is rich in antioxidants and flavanoids that help fight against inflammation of the pancreas. When used regularly, the olive oil is effective in reducing the pain in the abdominal region, and this provides relief from the symptoms associated with the condition. Olive oil is also packed with analgesic properties that work towards a faster recovery for pancreatitis patients.
- Simply use olive oil to prepare your food.
- You may also take 1 tablespoon of the edible oil twice daily to help with the condition.
NOTE: When purchasing the olive oil, always ensure that it is edible to avoid complications and prevent the symptoms from worsening.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 3 Cloves of garlic, a pestle and mortar and a pinch of salt.
Fresh garlic is a renowned remedy for the natural treatment of pancreatitis. The cloves contain a compound known as allicin, a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that provides excellent relief from the symptoms of an inflamed pancreas. As mentioned above, one of the roles of the pancreas is to produce the glucose-regulating hormones, insulin and glucagon.
When allicin enters into blood circulation, it triggers increased production of the insulin hormone, which in turn regulates the amount of blood sugar. This is especially important for a person suffering from diabetes. Garlic also has other nutrients that help nourish the body. These include selenium, sulfur and flavonoids, all of which impact the pancreas positively and help heal the inflamed organ faster.
- Chop 3 garlic cloves and crush well using a pestle and mortar.
- Eat the crushed garlic at least twice daily.
- You may use garlic supplements in place of the fresh garlic, but remember to consult with your doctor especially if you suffer from blood or heart conditions.
5. Fresh Spinach:
Time Required: Varies depending on the specific mode of preparation
What You Need: A handful of spinach leaves.
Spinach is recommended for the natural treatment of pancreatitis because it is rich in Vitamin B and iron, both of which are a prerequisite for the optimal functioning of the pancreas. When inflammation is reduced, the swelling and tenderness of the pancreas eases, and this reduces the chances of more complications. Spinach is also an excellent source of fiber which helps with the process of digestion. Research studies show that spinach also works for the pancreas through the regulation of blood sugar levels. Since the pancreas is involved in the production of insulin and glucagon, an increased spinach intake helps pancreatitis patients make a quick recovery.
- You will need a handful of fresh spinach leaves for this remedy.
- Prepare the spinach as you wish – soups, smoothies or fresh salads for a healthier pancreas.
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 3 Heads of broccoli (or as many as you would love to prepare).
Broccoli is one of the vegetables that has immense health benefits for the pancreas. The most important element of broccoli is their high content of sulfur-based compounds that help detoxify the pancreas. Additionally, broccoli is also rich in antioxidants that help eliminate oxidative stress in the pancreatic cells. This reduces inflammation and allows the pancreas to heal. Other benefits of eating broccoli include enhanced satiety (which is vital to the regulation of blood glucose levels in the blood) as well as prevention of further damage to the pancreas.
- To get the most of the nutrients present in broccoli, it is important not to overcook the vegetable.
- As a general guide, wash the broccoli before preparation.
- You may eat the broccoli raw, or steam just lightly to give the broccoli a tasty twist to it.
- Make broccoli a regular part of your diet for quick recovery from pancreatitis.
7. Take Adequate Time to Rest:
Time Required: Varies depending on the severity of the symptoms.
What You Need: A quiet and comfortable place to rest.
The symptoms of pancreatitis often make it difficult to keep up with everyday chores, and this is what makes it important to take a break and rest. The rest not only eases these symptoms, it also helps the body recover faster. The other reason why you should take adequate rest is because this allows the body to spend energy on recuperating as opposed to a host of other activities.
- Make sure you spend a couple of hours resting on a comfortable place with minimal distraction.
8. Licorice Root:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Licorice root tea.
Licorice root has been used since ancient civilizations to treat different conditions thanks to its amazing healing properties. Perhaps the herb is best known for its function as a flavoring agent in the candy industry, but it helps to know that the root is also beneficial for pancreatitis treatment. Licorice root has potent anti-inflammatory properties that go a long way in reducing inflammation in the affected pancreas. These healing properties also reduce the likelihood of getting pancreatic cancer as is the case when the inflammation becomes severe. Other benefits of using licorice tea include the fact that it is a reliable antidiabetic, and therefore aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
- Enjoy at least 2 cups of licorice root tea everyday. You may opt for a supplement but ensure that you consult your doctor before adding the supplements to your diet.
9. Quit Smoking and Stop Drinking Alcohol:
Time Required: Varies among individuals
What You Need: A deliberate effort to make these lifestyle changes.
Different studies show a direct correlation between the occurrence of pancreatitis and smoking and/or alcohol consumption. The more one smokes, and the greater the alcohol consumption, the higher the risk of getting an inflamed pancreas. In fact, in some cases, the latter is the causative agent of pancreatitis. So serious is the risk posed by alcohol, that quitting shows significant improvement over a short period of time in the case of acute pancreatitis.
Since it is impossible to attach a time frame to this remedy, it helps if pancreatitis patients seek help from support groups that exist. These include alcohol anonymous groups as well as those structured specifically for cigarette addicts. Professional helps also works well for many, and is worth giving a try. The bottom line is to remember the end goal of the remedy, which is to provide relief from pain as well as help the pancreas recover quickly.
- Get into a positive frame of mind that lets you understand it is possible to quit smoking and alcohol.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help, both from support groups as well as from professionals in the field.
10. Milk Thistle:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Tender leaves from the milk thistle plant and some olive oil.
Milk thistle has long been used for the treatment of disorders affecting the digestive system in the herbal world. The herb is popular for its high concentration of flavonoids which help restore liver function and optimize the function of the pancreas too. Silymarin is the most prominent of these flavanoids, and is what is harnessed in the herb’s healing powers. In addition to this, as a liver tonic, the herb’s extracts help get rid of toxins in circulation so that damage to the pancreas is reduced significantly. Milk thistle is also rich in Vitamin E which is key to proper cell regeneration. For individuals struggling with alcohol consumption, milk thistle is helpful because it helps reverse the alcohol’s harmful effects, and this improves the liver’s detoxifying ability.
- Wash the young tender leaves from the milk thistle plant to get rid of dirt and debris.
- Chop the leaves as you would spinach.
- Saute the leaves in olive oil for about 10 minutes or until they are soft.
- Eat 2 servings of the milk thistle leaves daily to treat pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis can easily be treated by combining conventional remedies with the aforementioned herbal remedies. If symptoms become more severe, however, make sure you see a doctor to prevent further complication.