If you’re suffering from ulcers, you might want to switch to an all-natural approach to healing backed by scientific evidence. That’s because some of the commonly-used drugs have been linked to cancer and memory loss. Research in the medical journal Gut found that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used for ulcers have been linked to a significantly increased risk of stomach cancer, while other research found a link to heart attacks and dementia.
WHAT ARE ULCERS?
Ulcers are lesions in the digestive tract that are often linked to infections involving the bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). The most common ones are: stomach and intestinal ulcers, known as peptic ulcers when they appear in the stomach or upper part of the intestines.
There are many proven natural medicines for treating the pain and inflammation of ulcers and helping them to heal. Here are some of my top picks:
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice is a proven therapy to heal inflamed stomach and intestinal walls and ulcers. Ideally, take one ounce in the morning on an empty stomach. One study published in the African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found that aloe vera was as effective as a commonly used drug in the treatment of ulcers.
Blackberries contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds known as elligatannins that have been shown in a study published in the online journal PLoS One to significantly reduce inflammation of the stomach’s mucosal lining. Those who ate blackberries on a regular basis had an 88 percent reduction in ulcers.
If you enjoy a cup of chamomile tea before bed, you’re in luck. According to a study published in the medical journal Pharmacologia, research shows that the herb chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and its natural constituent, bisabolol demonstrates potent anti-ulcer capacity. Extracts of German chamomile flowers reduced stomach acid secretion and its effects on ulcers. Make a cup of chamomile tea by steeping one teaspoon of flowers in a cup of boiled water for at least ten minutes. Drink two to three times daily for maximum effectiveness. Do not use chamomile if you have a ragweed allergy as they are in the same species of plant.
Studies show that licorice root accelerates the healing of ulcers. Use deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which is effective but does not upset the body’s natural sodium-potassium balance, and follow package instructions for the product you select. Research in the journal Ethnopharmacology found that licorice root was beneficial against ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori infections. Use daily for up to three weeks then take a week off and repeat as necessary. Do not use if you have high blood pressure.
According to a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, scientists found that Manuka honey demonstrated antibacterial action against 60 species of bacteria, including H. pylori, which is frequently involved in stomach ulcers.
Beneficial microbes, like those found in fermented foods, are known as probiotics. In a study published in Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology researchers found that probiotic supplementation with a strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus johnsonii was effective at reducing H. pylori infections in the treatment of ulcers. Follow instructions for the product you select.
While common ulcer drugs present some serious side-effects, that doesn’t mean you have to needlessly suffer. There are some excellent foods and natural medicines that offer support with healing ulcers as well as dealing with the pain and inflammation linked to them. Of course, be sure to check with your physician before using any natural remedies to your diet or supplement regime. Discontinue use if you find any of the foods or remedies aggravate your symptoms.