Ulcers refer to a condition where open sores develop on the skin or any part of the body that features a mucous membrane. One of the most common types of ulcers, and which will be the focus of this post, is stomach ulcers. Also known as gastric ulcers, these are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, and may sometimes extend to the small intestine. These ulcers are formed when the protective layer of mucous that lines the stomach is sloughed off, thus leading to the digestion of the stomach’s tissues. The purpose of the mucus in the stomach is to prevent this very act by creating a buffer region between the digestive juices and the stomach tissue.
There are several causes of stomach ulcers, ranging from the excessive use of NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to excessive alcohol intake and the proliferation of the Helicobacter pylori (abbreviated H. pylori). The ulcers are identified by the presence of a sharp burning sensation in the region just below the chest and above the navel. The extent of pain is directly proportional to the severity of the ulceration, and may therefore last anywhere between just a short while to a couple of hours. Additional symptoms that characterize stomach ulcers include feeling bloated, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and inexplicable loss of weight.
Stomach ulcers must be treated urgently as failure to do this only worsens the condition and increases the pain. There are a number of home remedies that you can use to manage the condition, but it is imperative that you see a doctor to ensure that the ulcers improve and offer you relief in the long run. Most of the remedies indicated below work by shielding the stomach tissue from the action of the acidic digestive juices.
Time Required: 10 Min Consumption & 6 Hrs for the bananas to dry prior to grinding.
What You Need: 3 Ripe bananas. Optional: ripe bananas, a grinder and honey.
Bananas are a popular home remedy for the treatment of stomach ulcers, especially that which is caused by the H. pylori bacteria. This is because bananas are a natural antibacterial that helps fight the causative agent of the ulcers, thus reducing their proliferation. Bananas also help get rid of excessive acidity in the digestive juices, in effect helping reduce the pain at the site of the sores, while improving the integrity of the stomach tissue. This is an easy remedy to use even for those on the go.
Depending on your preferences, you may eat the ripe bananas on their own, add them to smoothies/milkshakes or even dry and powder them before consumption. The choice of remedy revolves around one’s personal choice and convenience.
Using the Fresh Ripe Bananas
- Eat at least 3 ripe bananas daily to help keep the effects of ulcers at bay.
- You may also mash and blend the bananas to get delicious banana smoothies.
Preparing Banana Powder
- Wash 3 bananas before peeling them and cutting them in super thin slices.
- You will then sun-dry these banana pieces to allow for proper grinding.
- Once completely dried, place the pieces in a grinder to get fine banana powder.
- Take 4 teaspoons of the banana powder and mix with 2 teaspoons of honey.
- Eat this mixture thrice daily to get relief from the ulcers.
2. Fenugreek Seeds:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of fenugreek seeds, 2 cups of water, strainer and 1 tablespoon of honey. Fenugreek leaves (optional).
Fenugreek is one of the most powerful remedies available for the natural treatment of ulcers. This is attributed to its high mucus content which, when exposed to the sores in the stomach, increase protection of the internal lining. Used over a considerable period of time, fenugreek speeds up the healing process, and has no side effects. You may opt for the fenugreek seeds or choose to use the leaves both of which have the same healing effects on the stomach ulcers.
- Place the fenugreek seeds in a pan and pour over the water.
- Bring the mixture to boil for about 20 minutes.
- Once boiled, pass the mixture through the strainer.
- Add the honey to the water, stir and drink this thrice daily.
- Alternatively, boil the fenugreek leaves, strain and add the honey prior to drinking.
- Use this mixture twice daily for best results.
3. Cayenne Pepper:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder and a cup of warm water. Cayenne pepper capsules (optional).
Contrary to the popular belief that pepper can actually aggravate stomach ulcers, research studies by different scientific bodies indicate that this is actually a remedy recommended for the treatment of the condition. This is made possible by the presence of the pepper’s main active ingredient, capsaicin. Capsaicin is not only an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce the pain, it also inhibits the H. pylori bacterial population ensuring that the sores heal faster.
Other effects that capsaicin has on stomach ulcers include increasing the production of alkaline solutions in the stomach (to counter the acidity) as well as stimulating the production of mucous secretions. For people who get heartburn alongside the ulcers, pepper also helps helps relieve the effects of the same. You may prepare a drink using the powder or simply add the pepper to your foods in place of other spices that are thought to worsen the ulcers. In the absence of cayenne pepper powder, you may use cayenne pepper capsules.
- Prepare red pepper tea by adding the cayenne pepper to the warm water.
- Stir and drink this tea at least thrice daily.
- Alternatively, take cayenne pepper capsules, preferably after your meals.
- These capsules are available at your local chemist or food store.
4. Licorice Root.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of licorice root powder, 2 cups of water and 1 cup of cooked plain white rice (preferably broken).
Licorice root has numerous healing benefits for different conditions. When used in the treatment of stomach ulcers, the root increases the production of protective mucus. These mucous secretions line the stomach tissue to create a coating that helps cover and protect the sores. The addition of plain rice helps soothe the irritated stomach lining, in effect enhancing the healing process. The key to this remedy is to use it consistently.
NOTE: This specific white rice is a specific grade of rice that is broken during milling.
- Place the licorice root powder n the water and cover.
- Let the mixture soak overnight to allow you get the most benefits of the root.
- The next day, add the cooked rice to the root mixture and mix well.
- Enjoy this mixture at least twice daily for about 2 weeks for quick healing of the ulcers.
5. Coconut Milk/Oil:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Fresh coconut milk and kernel. Coconut oil (optional).
Coconut milk is extremely ideal for the treatment of stomach ulcers. Coconut is rich in medium-chain fatty acids and is a potent antibacterial. The combination of these properties helps address the healing process of ulcers. The fatty acids are easily digestible, making them gentle on the stomach. The antibacterial properties on the other hand help kill the H. pylori thus providing relief from the condition.
- Drink a cup of fresh coconut milk at least thrice daily. If you can, make sure to follow this up with the ingestion of the coconut kernel too.
- The other option is to take 2 teaspoons of coconut oil twice daily until the pain of the ulcers subsides.
6. Slippery Elm:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: The inner bark of the slippery elm, a grinder and 1 glass of warm water.
Slippery elm is a tree that is native to North America, and whose healing properties can be traced back to its excellent mucilaginous traits. This mucilage, when used for the treatment of stomach ulcers, adds to the protective layer of the mucous secretions, thus calming the stomach and reducing the pain. For this remedy, you need to dry the inner bark of the tree, one which is slightly aromatic and easy to get from the tree.
- Scrap the inner bark of the slippery elm and collect in a bowl.
- Transfer the bark scrapings to the grinder and grind to get the powder.
- Take 1 tablespoon of the powder and add to the glass of warm water.
- Stir the mixture and drink thrice daily for relief from the ulcers.
7. Raw Organic Honey:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: 2 Tablespoons of raw organic honey.
Raw organic honey is not only extremely sweet, it also has excellent healing properties, thanks to its anti-bacterial properties. The honey contains an enzyme called Glucose Oxidase whose action results in the production of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is toxic to H. pylori, and therefore destroys the bacteria that causes the ulcers. In addition, honey also has a soothing effect on the inner stomach lining, thus speeding up the healing process.
- Take 2 tablespoons of honey twice daily to treat stomach ulcers naturally.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Cranberries. Cranberry supplements (optional).
Cranberries are best known for their ability to fight off infections by destroying bacteria in different parts of the body. Due to this action, the berries are effective in getting rid of H. pylori, thus addressing the causative bacteria of ulcers. Note, however, that while cranberries are a choice remedy, too much of these berries can cause stomach upsets. Consequently, it is important to start off with a small amount and gradually work your way upwards until you find the amount that eases the pain for you.
- Eat cranberries in moderation at least once daily until you get relief from the stomach ulcers.
9. Garlic Cloves:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Garlic cloves, pestle and mortar, a glass of warm water and lemon juice (optional).
It is impossible to talk about natural remedies for the treatment of stomach ulcers and not mention garlic cloves. Loved for its healing properties, garlic is used because it has excellent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help deal with the proliferation of the H. pylori bacteria. Since this bacteria is one of the causative agents of stomach ulcers, the use of garlic cloves help promote the healing process. Lemon juice is used in this remedy to get rid of the garlic’s pungent smell. If this bothers you to a great extent, you can always opt for garlic capsules.
NOTE: One of the side effects of garlic is thinning blood, so make sure you consult your doctor prior to starting on this natural remedy and especially if you are using other medication.
- Peel and clean the garlic cloves.
- Cut the garlic into sizable pieces and crush using the pestle and mortar.
- Chew on the garlic and follow this through with a glass of water.
- Gargle some lemon juice to keep the smell at bay.
- Repeat this remedy at least twice daily to ease the pain associated with stomach ulcers.
In addition to the use of these remedies, there are preventive measures that you are advised to take. Some of the lifestyle changes that you may introduce include avoiding cigarette smoking and alcohol intake, the use of NSAIDs as well as avoiding foods that worsen the ulcers – hot spicy foods.Stress has also been shown to aggravate the condition, so whenever you notice stress creeping in, take action to keep it at bay. Make regular exercising a regular part of your life and make positive dietary changes to ease the pain of ulcers.