Home Remedies for Stomach Ulcers
Published on Mar 25, 2020
By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience
Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric or peptic ulcers, are a fairly common gastrointestinal problem. Stomach ulcers are open sores or lesions that develop in the stomach lining, very often connected to hyperacidity, which is why they are also described as peptic ulcers. The condition can extremely painful as the presence of digestive acids in the stomach causes further irritation of the ulcers.
Stomach ulcers most commonly develop as a result of Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection. They can also form or be aggravated by factors like high stress levels, smoking, high alcohol intake, heavy or prolonged use of anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers. While dietary modifications should be at the center of your treatment plan, herbal medications and home remedies for stomach ulcers can also be extremely effective at relieving and treating the condition. Here are some of the best home remedies for gastric ulcers.
Top 10 Home Remedies For Stomach Ulcers:
1. Moringa for Stomach Ulcers
The seed pods of moringa, which are known as drumsticks, are commonly used in Indian cuisine. However, the plant is increasingly recognized not just as a source of nutrition, but also for its therapeutic properties. Ayurvedic physicians long recognized moringa’s benefits and it is often used in medications to treat digestive disorders like constipation, diarrhoea, and gastritis. Extracts from moringa have been found to exhibit antibacterial effects that can help fight gastrointestinal infections like helicobacter pylori and coliform, which are known to cause or aggravate stomach ulcers. The herb also has anti-ulcerative effects and is recommended in the management of conditions like ulcerative colitis.
2. Neem for Ulcer Attack
Neem is still widely used in India and has a rich tradition in Ayurvedic medicine. Although best known for its skin and hair care benefits, the herb is not just useful for topical treatments. It is used in ayurvedic medicine to help control blood sugar levels and also to manage conditions that originate from indigestion. Neem is believed to strengthen agni and lower levels of ama or toxicity in the body. Studies show that the herb has gastro-protective properties that can help cope with stomach ulcers by lowering stomach acid production and strengthening the stomach’s lining.
3. Garlic as Food for Ulcer Relief
Garlic may stink up your breath, but it’s well worth it if you suffer from or are at risk of developing gastric ulcers. Garlic is known for its antimicrobial properties, but clinical trials show that it is particularly effective at inhibiting the growth of H. pylori, making it a potent remedy for stomach ulcers. In addition to inhibiting the activity of H. pylori in human studies, animal studies suggest that garlic can improve recovery from stomach ulcers, even protecting against the risk of recurrence.
4. Turmeric as Home Remedy for Ulcer Attack
Turmeric or haldi remains the most popular home remedy in India for a variety of inflammatory conditions, from sore throats and coughs to skin rashes and wounds. The herb is so effective because of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that are linked to the presence of its main bioactive compound curcumin. This also makes it a potent home remedy for gastric ulcers, as it may help fight H. pylori infections and reduce inflammation. Studies show that turmeric supplementation can help heal stomach ulcers, with 48% of the test subjects cured within the first 4 weeks and 76% within 12 weeks.
5.Saunf as Stomach Ulcer Home Treatment
Saunf or fennel is a staple in India, perhaps not so much as a food, but certainly as a palate cleanser and digestive aid following meals. Fennel seeds are known to strengthen digestion, relieving common problems like gas, bloating, and constipation. As a digestive aid, saunf can improve the efficiency of digestion, lowering the risk of acidity, which can exacerbate stomach ulcers. Studies also suggest that fennel may offer a protective effect specifically against peptic ulcers.
6. Ginger as Food for Ulcer Relief
Ginger, popular as sunth in Ayurved, is another herb that is highly valued for its strengthening effect on digestion. While this alone is helpful, ginger also has significant anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and stomach, providing relief from stomach ulcers. The herb is often used one of the main ingredients in natural anti-acidity formulations, with research also highlighting its gastroprotective effect.
Better known as licorice to the rest of the world, jyesthimadhu has been a staple ingredient in a number of Ayurvedic formulations since ancient times. It is often included as an important ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines for acidity and could therefore help in the management of gastric ulcers. There is some evidence that the herb has a protective effect on the stomach’s mucosal lining, shielding it from acid-induced inflammation and damage.
8. Cabbage Juice
One of the most widely consume foods in India, cabbage is often avoided when suffering from gastrointestinal discomfort, especially if it involves gas and bloating. Cabbage juice however, may be an effective treatment for stomach ulcers and it has been used as such in Ayurved traditionally. Although the precise mechanism of action is still not understood, some studies have confirmed the efficacy of cabbage juice for ulcers, finding that healing and symptom relief was achieved within a week with the daily consumption of close to a liter of the juice.
In the last decade, probiotics gained what can only be described as ‘celebrity’ status in the world of food. Although the benefits of probiotics are often overstated by marketers, there is plenty of research to show that it plays an important role in gut health and consequently other aspects of health too. Some studies show that it may help prevent H. pylori infections, also improving recovery rates from stomach ulcers.
Honey has been used to promote wound healing and fight infections throughout history, by Ayurvedic physicians in ancient India and to treat wounds in Roman gladiatorial fights. While most sweet foods would cause further festering of wounds, honey is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants and also has powerful antibacterial properties that can help fight H. pylori growth. Animal studies suggest that the natural ingredient could also hasten ulcer healing and reduce the risk of ulceration.
Foods to Avoid for Stomach Ulcers:
Alcohol: All alcohol is an irritant to the stomach and will delay healing. Avoid beer, wine, and liquor.
Caffeine: You should drink less or stop coffee, tea, and sodas with caffeine. They can enhance the production of stomach acid.
Milk: In the past, milk was used to treat ulcers, but now we know that it makes stomach acid more acidic. It is best avoided.
Certain meats: Avoid strongly seasoned meats, lunch meats, sausages, fried or fatty meats and proteins, and lunch meats.
High-fat foods: Try to avoid consuming excessive amounts of added fats, since they might increase stomach acid and cause acid reflux. You might want to stay away from gravy, cream soups, and salad dressings, but you can eat the healthy fats on the list.
Spicy foods: You may wish to avoid spicy meals such as chilli peppers, horseradish, black pepper, and condiments and sauces that contain them.
- Salty foods: Researchers have found that salty foods may make H. pylori grow. Pickles, olives, and other brined or fermented vegetables have a lot of salt and may make you more likely to get H. pylori ulcers.
Chocolate: Chocolate can stimulate the formation of stomach acid, causing reflux symptoms in some individuals.
References on Home remedies for Stomach Ulcers:
- Gholap, Prashant A et al. “Potential of Moringa oleifera root and Citrus sinensis fruit rind extracts in the treatment of ulcerative colitis in mice.” Pharmaceutical biology vol. 50,10 (2012): 1297-302. doi:10.3109/13880209.2012.674142
- Bandyopadhyay, Uday et al. “Clinical studies on the effect of Neem (Azadirachta indica) bark extract on gastric secretion and gastroduodenal ulcer.” Life sciences vol. 75,24 (2004): 2867-78. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2004.04.050
- Han, Young-Min et al. “Dietary, non-microbial intervention to prevent Helicobacter pylori-associated gastric diseases.” Annals of translational medicine vol. 3,9 (2015): 122. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2015.03.50
- El-Ashmawy, Nahla E et al. “Gastroprotective effect of garlic in indomethacin induced gastric ulcer in rats.” Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.) vol. 32,7-8 (2016): 849-54. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2016.01.010
- Prucksunand, C et al. “Phase II clinical trial on effect of the long turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn) on healing of peptic ulcer.” The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health vol. 32,1 (2001): 208-15. PMID: 11485087
- Birdane, Fatih Mehmet et al. “Beneficial effects of Foeniculum vulgare on ethanol-induced acute gastric mucosal injury in rats.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 13,4 (2007): 607-11. doi:10.3748/wjg.v13.i4.607
- Nikkhah Bodagh, Mehrnaz et al. “Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of clinical trials.” Food science & nutrition vol. 7,1 96-108. 5 Nov. 2018, doi:10.1002/fsn3.807
- Rahnama, Marjan et al. “The healing effect of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) on Helicobacter pylori infected peptic ulcers.” Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences vol. 18,6 (2013): 532-3. PMID: 24250708
- CHENEY, G. “Vitamin U therapy of peptic ulcer.” California medicine vol. 77,4 (1952): 248-52. PMCID: PMC1521464
- Boltin, Doron. “Probiotics in Helicobacter pylori-induced peptic ulcer disease.” Best practice & research. Clinical gastroenterology vol. 30,1 (2016): 99-109. doi:10.1016/j.bpg.2015.12.003
- Ma, Fengzhen et al. “Probiotics in the treatment of peptic ulcer infected by helicobacter pylory and its safety.” Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences vol. 28,3 Suppl (2015): 1087-90. PMID: 26051728
- Eteraf-Oskouei, Tahereh, and Moslem Najafi. “Traditional and modern uses of natural honey in human diseases: a review.” Iranian journal of basic medical sciences vol. 16,6 (2013): 731-42. PMCID: PMC3758027