No longer do you have to “take it easy” or steer clear of Mexican food so you won’t get an ulcer. If you have an ulcer, neither of these is to blame.
That being said, once you have an ulcer, nothing may interest you more than learning what you can do to ease the pain or heal those wounds. Here are a few tips you may need.
What Causes Ulcers?
It has long been believed that ulcers were caused by too much stress or by eating hot and spicy food. Now while stress can make you sick in other ways and too much spicy food can cause stomach irritation, doctors now realize that the formation of ulcers don’t have much to do with stress with all.
The average person gets an ulcer because of a bacterial infection (H. pylori), which can lead to other digestive problems and even cancer. Ulcers can also be caused by long-term of use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin. Sometimes ulcers cannot be explained, but it is safe to say that bacteria are usually the reason.
How to Soothe or Get Rid of Them
Armed with the knowledge that bacteria are the main culprit here, doctors know that treatment must include antibiotics or some other substance that can kill bacteria.
Licorice Root – Doctors who practice holistic medicine recognize licorice root as a very effective way of stifling the pain and digestive problems that occur as a result of peptic ulcers. Licorice root contains active ingredients that go after those bacteria and kill them. All you would need to do is steep some licorice root in hot water, and apparently the plant has a sweet flavor to it that won’t require you to add sugar to your tea.
Aloe Vera Juice – Just as aloe vera is known for soothing external wounds, it can also soothe internal ones. You can buy the juice at your local health food store.
Carrots – Carrots are one of the greatest sources of beta-carotene, the organic compound that gives carrots and other vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables their color. Beta-carotene also soothes the inner lining of the stomach much like aloe vera would. It is best to get your beta-carotene from food sources like carrots, spinach, cantaloupe and sweet potatoes, because it is easy to overdo it in supplement form.
Cabbage – This vegetable is full of vitamins and amino acids that coat and heal the stomach’s inner lining. You can eat it in any form (as coleslaw, cabbage juice or raw) so long as you aim to add some into your diet daily – and eating it raw is best, since more of the nutrients are preserved.
Calendula Tea – You may not have heard of the name, but calendula is a flower (also known as pot marigold) that naturopaths recommend for treating ulcers due to its ability to boost the immune system and soothe the burn of ulcers. You can make a delicious tea steeped with calendula flowers and a touch of lemon that will relieve you in no time.
Avoid These – All of the above are food sources that can soothe and heal ulcers, but you should avoid coarse, acidic and spicy foods as these can irritate your stomach on the inside and cause more pain. Foods to avoid include popcorn, nuts, oranges, lemon, chili, etc.
Though natural is always safer, pharmaceutical medicine also has its place. Antibiotics are the first line of defense against bacterial infections like these, under the care of your physician. These natural remedies are meant to complement your prescriptions, provided your doctor approves them and they have no known interactions with your other medications. So be careful and discuss alternative treatments with your doctor first.