Peptic ulcer, is the most common form of ulcer in the alimentary canal. This article will explain more about the peptic ulcers, its causes, symptoms, and simplest yet effective ayurvedic home remedies for ulcer. When some is affected by this condition, a part of the alimentary canal becomes acidic and extremely painful. Technically it is called as mucosal erosions (erosion of mucous membrane over 5 mm or greater). Most common form of peptic ulcer occurs in duodenum (the part right after the stomach in the alimentary canal). The chances of gastric ulcers being cancerous is around 4% so it is always better to do multiple biopsies to exclude cancer.
Peptic Ulcer Causes
Until recently it was assumed that alcohol, smoking and stress were considered as the cause of ulcer. However recently it is established that 60% of the gastric ulcers are caused due to Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that colonizes the antral mucosa. When the immune system becomes unable to clear the infection, it leads to ulcer. This bacteria usually increases gastrin production (the agent that stimulates the secretion of gastric acid). An increased acid production coupled with poor lifestyle, stress, dietary habits and alcohol leads to ulcer.
Another major cause of ulcer is the use of NSAIDs like Aspirn.
Diet as a major cause:
A recent study conducted at Holdsworthy Hospital, by Dr Frank Tovey found that the incidence of peptic ulcers was higher with staple diets of refined wheat flour and polished rice and much lower where the staple diets were village ground millet and pulses. Subsequently he and others have shown a mix of Phospholipids and phytosterol in these diets will prevent ulcers where rats are exposed to ulcerogenic treatment with NSAIDS. They have also shown that H Pylori has a similar incidence in both populations. The combination of phospholipids and phytosterols may be of value in the prevention and treatment of duodenal ulceration and protection against the ulcerogenic effect of NSAIDs.
Peptic Ulcer Symptoms
The major symptom is acute abdominal pain. Other symptoms are vomiting, weakness, weight loss, troubled sleep and dark stools.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Peptic Ulcer:
Fenugreek seeds have great medicinal and healing properties. An Ayurvedic medicine for peptic ulcer can be prepared by boiling 2 tablespoon of fenugreek (methi) seeds in a glass of pure water [Learn more about Fenugreek]. The contents should be boiled until it becomes half of the original volume. Let the mixture cool, filter it and then take it twice a day. It is very soothing to the stomach and one can experience immediate pain relief and regular consumption of this medicine cures ulcer. (Fenugreek is generally very safe, however pregnant women should avoid this as it may lead to uterine contractions). Fenugreek leaves (also called as methi leaves) can also be used as medicine for this condition. It can be added just like a spice in most foods. If you don’t have access for fenugreek seeds, you can opt for fenugreek powder, just mix the powder in a glass of water and drink it (Fenugreek is very bitter and most people will not like the taste of it)
Another Ayurvedia medicine for ulcer is Moringa Oleifera. Commonly called as Drumstick leaves has excellent healing ability and being rich in fiber and anti-oxidants it is good for overall digestive health. The leaves should be cooked and taken along with a cup of yogurt for best results. (Moringa Oleifera is also cure for other diseases like inflammation and abscesses)
Milk is an excellent food for ulcer. Taking 2-3 glasses of milk everyday relieves pain and accelerates the healing of eroded areas. Adding few drops of castor oil (preferably organirc and first cold pressed) will accelerate the healing process.
Fruits and vegetables:
Ayurveda prescribes banana for peptic ulcers. It brings down the acidic levels in stomach and along with milk can relieve pain. Consuming apples and non citrus and non-acidic fruits are good. (There are conflicting reports about citrus fruits for ulcers, so it is better to refrain from citrus fruits). Vegetables like cabbages and carrots are also very good for people with peptic ulcers.
Having a healthy lifestyle with fiber rich whole foods is extremely important for fighting this disease. Though whole grains are good, grains like ragi (finger millet) and chia seeds are extremely good. Soaked chia seeds provide instant relief for the pain caused due to ulcer. It is a super food packed with all essential nutrients and safe to consume in large quantities. (Learn more about Chia Seeds Nutrition and Health Benefits)
Conclusion: Peptic ulcers can become very dangerous if left untreated.
|Organic Fenugreek Powder
Reference: A tribute to Dr. Frank I Tovey on his 90th birthday World J Gastroenterol. 2011 August 21; 17(31): 3565-3566