Ulcers (gastric/duodenal)

Oregano Oil

Oregano appears to be one of the best natural antimicrobial agents against H.pylori, the bacteria responsible for the vast majority of cases of both duodenal.and gastric ulcers. H.pylori disrupts the integrity of the protective mucous membrane, which leads to the formation of ulcers and has also been identified as a trigger for gastritis. Recent studies have identified oregano as a powerful antimicrobial against H.pylori, which is generally regarded as being difficult to clear up using natural products. One study suggests that oregano works by inhibiting the way the bacteria make energy and produce urease, the substance secreted by H.pylori that neutralises acidity and damages the mucous membrane.

Deglycyrrhised Licorice [liquorice] (glycyrrhiza glabra)

Deglycyrrhised licorice (DGL) has shown impressive clinical results in treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers. In fact, its effectiveness was found to be superior to antiulcer drugs, and without associated side effects. DGL appears to enhance the protective agents in the digestive lining as well as promoting circulation to the area. This herb also contains various flavonoids that suppress the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a major cause of digestive ulcers. The compound glycyrrhetinic acid is removed from the herb in the DGL form, which eliminates the risk of hypertension or oedema {which can occur with long-term use of high dosages of standard licorice root}.

Please note: For best results mix contents with saliva before swallowing.

L-Glutamine

As a major metabolic fuel for the endothelial cells of the intestinal tract, glutamine has been shown to speed the rate of healing of digestive ulcers. In one double-blind study, 57 patients were given either glutamine (400mg 4 times per day} or placebo in addition to standard treatment and bland diet. Based on X-ray assessment, 22 out of the 24 patients receiving glutamine therapy had complete ulcer healing within 4 weeks. Cabbage juice consumption is thought to be helpful for patients with gastric ulcers and gastritis because of its high glutamine content.

Psyllium Seed Husks

The combination of insoluble and soluble fibre in psyllium seed husks reduces the  transit time of intestinal waste, as well as helping to bind various toxins and irritants which may otherwise accelerate damage to the digestive lining. In duodenal ulcer patients, a high fibre diet has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of recurrence.

Bioflovonoids

Recent research has demonstrated that bioflavonoids are effective in helping heal the intestinal mucosa. Flavonoids are known to inhibit the production and secretion of histamine, which when excessive is an important factor in ulcer formation. Several types of flavonoids are also known to suppress the growth of Helicobacter pylori.

Gastric/Duodenal Ulcers Summary

Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range

Oregano oil (60 – 80% carvacrol, 3-5% thymol) (1)

Deglycyrrhised Licorice (1)

L-Glutamine (2)

Psyllium Husk Fibre

Bioflavonoid complex

15 – 45mg per day

500 – 1 500mg 30 minutes before main meals

2000 – 5000mg per day (away from food)

1000-3000mgperday

500 – 1 500mg per day

Reduce/avoid Increase

Caffeinated beverages

Sugar

Refined carbohydrates

Alcohol

Saturated and trans fats

Dairy foods

Red meat

Fried foods

Known allergens

Complex carbohydrates

Vegetables

Fruit

Nuts and seeds

Oily fish

Whole grains

Lifestyle Factors

• Eat regular small meals as opposed to irregular large meals

• Protein foods stimulate stomach acid that may aggravate symptoms

• Minimise exposure to stress (employ stress management techniques)

• Long term use of NSAID medication can trigger ulcers

Footnotes

1. Do not use during pregnancy or lactation

2. High dosages of glutamine may affect anticonvulsant medication. Avoid if sensitive to monosodium glutamate or suffering  kidney or liver problems