Ulcers are sores, or holes in the lining of the stomach or digestive tract. They are mainly caused by a common bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori. Ulcers may also result from damage to the lining of the stomach or even from taking anti-inflammatory medications. They may be further irritated by certain foods, spices and even stress. Fortunately there are natural remedies that are effective in treating most ulcers.
Modify your diet to exclude foods and substances that specifically irritate the stomach and cause reflux. Alcohol, coffee and soda should be avoided as much as possible. Other possible irritants include tea and other caffeinated drinks, black pepper, nutmeg, processed meats and chocolate.
Take one to two capsules of cayenne pepper three times per day, and drink one to two glasses of aloe vera juice each day, between meals. Both cayenne and aloe vera are known to heal and soothe the digestive tract. Cayenne is used by some herbalists to treat ulcers. It also has antibiotic and antifungal properties, which will help combat the H. pylori bacteria. In addition, aloe vera has been used for centuries as a healing agent. It is also antibacterial and antifungal and stimulates the immune system.
Attack the H. pylori at its source. Take an additional probiotic supplement, either with probiotic enriched yoghurts or in capsule form. The conventional medical treatment for Helicobactor pylori is antibiotics. Probiotics are like natural antibiotics. They stimulate the body's natural defences to control harmful bacteria levels. Although prescription antibiotics successfully control bacteria they may also kill the healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. Eating yoghurt and taking probiotics is a natural way to strengthen your immune system.
Learn to control or manage your stress. Stress does not cause ulcers, but it certainly can aggravate them. Practise meditation and deep breathing exercises each day to keep stress levels under control. Yogic breathing, also known as pranayama, is a perfect example. Begin sitting in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Inhale deeply, first filling the stomach, then the chest with air. Exhale slowly, with control, relaxing the shoulders, chest and squeezing the belly back toward the spine. Try to make your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation. Repeat for 10 to 12 breaths. Use this technique throughout the day to help you stay relaxed.
Eat a healthy diet. Include plenty of whole, fresh foods to nourish the body and help the body heal naturally. As outlined on the NHS website, a balanced diet should include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and dairy products as well as a moderate amount of natural fats and oils.
Once you know that you have ulcers, do not put off treatment. If left unaddressed ulcers can increase in size and cause permanent damage, which may require surgery. Nutrition and diet modification is your first line of defence. Ulcers can heal completely if treated in their early stages.
Always check with your doctor or health care practitioner before beginning this or any other nutritional plan. Never discontinue medication without first consulting your doctor. Natural treatments should be used in conjunction with, and not in place of conventional medical treatment.