Both acid reflux and ulcers are quite common and the drugs your doctor will usually prescribe are proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs). These drugs mainly reduce gastric acid production.
Besides the many side effects, these drugs teach your body to stop producing acid, further complicating the underlying cause of the disorder. Misdiagnoses for acid reflux, ulcers, and many types of gastrointestinal (GI) distress, which are caused by too little, rather than too much, acid create problems far worse for patients once medical intervention of this kind is followed.
So here, we give you 15 simple home remedies to relieve and even try heal most of these conditions, with no side effects and virtually no recurrence of symptoms.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
It is one of the most favored remedies for acid reflux. Mix 2 tsp apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink. This is also effective for overnight relief if had before bedtime.
2. Mastic Gum
It contains antioxidants, has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is available in most health food stores.
According to a study by Dr Dlawer Aldeen, a consultant microbiologist at Nottingham City Hospital, on mastic gum and its effects on the H pylori bacteria, “It has been known for many years that mastic gum can help clear up peptic ulcers and there have been several clinical studies on its effects in countries outside the UK in the past decade. But my attention was caught when I realized that mastic gum in higher doses – up to three grams a day – actually killed the H pylori bacteria permanently.”
3. Aloe Vera Juice
This is a common remedy for both acid reflux and ulcer pain. Pick a small piece of fresh aloe from the plant, peel the skin, add water and blend using a blender.
Drinking this not only helps with acid reflux but also gives you added energy throughout the day.
NOTE: Be cautious when purchasing prepared mixtures at your grocery store as many contain potassium sorbate and other harmful preservatives.
These are very effective for eliminating the pain associated with acid reflux. It holds true the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
5. Marshmellow Tea
Herbalist David Hoffmann writes in his book “The New Holistic Herbal” that marshmallow root works as an anti-inflammatory agent both externally and internally. Internally, it helps reduce the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and treats disorders such as inflammation of the mouth, gastritis, and colitis.
It helps with sore throat and has been used traditionally to treat catarrh and bronchitis.
Marshmallow root contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that becomes slippery when wet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, mucilage coats both the respiratory and digestive tract, helping soothe any irritation and ulcers that may be present.
You can find the powder at health food stores and make your own capsules. Most health food stores sell natural capsules, and marshmellow tea powder itself is quite affordable.
6. Baking Soda
It helps reduce the pain due to ulcers and acid reflux. It’s a very effective acid reducer that alkalizes the stomach.
A half to one full teaspoon in a glass of water will instantly relieve symptoms related to ulcer pain, inflammation, and gas. It will not cure an ulcer, but it will help manage the symptoms of the pain effectively.
A study from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrates that the amino acid glutamine, found in many foods as well as in dietary supplements, may prove beneficial in offsetting gastric damage caused by H. pylori infection. The findings offer the possibility of an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of stomach ulcers.
“Our findings suggest that extra glutamine in the diet could protect against gastric damage caused by H. pylori,” says senior author Susan Hagen, PhD, Associate Director of Research in the Department of Surgery at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.
8. Pickle Or Cabbage Juice
A very effective acid reducer that alkalizes the stomach, it almost immediately reduces the pain. A half to one full tsp in a glass of water will instantly relieve symptoms related to ulcer pain, inflammation, and gas.
Cabbage is better than most anti-ulcer drugs with its composition of natural anti-ulcer chemicals. The duodenal ulcers of patients fed cabbage were seen to heal in one-third the usual time. In a double-blind study of 45 inmates at San Quentin Prison in California, 93 percent of the ulcers in prisoners taking cabbage juice concentrate in capsules – the equivalent of a fresh quart of cabbage juice every day – were healed after three weeks.
9. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root (DGL)
DGL’s restorative effects on gastric mucosa help speed up healing and prevent recurrences of future ulcers. The drugs used in standard therapy do not address the underlying cause of ulcers. Instead, they simply treat the symptoms caused by an ulcer.
To treat a peptic ulcer, take 760–1,520 mg of DGL about twenty minutes before meals. It should never be used after meals, due to lack of efficacy. It should also be used for about eight to sixteen weeks, or as recommended by your doctor, to see the desired results.
DGL, on the other hand, does not inhibit stomach acid production, neutralize stomach acid, or block histamine. It promotes true healing by stimulating the normal defense mechanisms that prevent ulcer formation and improve the integrity of the stomach lining. Additionally, DGL accomplishes this without any of the side effects that are associated with the standard peptic ulcer therapy.
DGL licorice should mix with saliva in order to promote a release of salivary compounds, which in turn stimulate the growth and regeneration of stomach and intestinal cells. Several forms of chewable DGL are available on the market.
10. Ginger Or Ginger Tea
You can chew on fresh ginger root or seep the root in boiling water for about 10 minutes with the added relief of honey and lemons and drink the tea. Lemons may be acidic initially but they leave a very alkaline trail as they dissolve.
11. Manuka Honey 25+ Or More
Manuka honey is an efficient way to clear chronically infected wounds and can help reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics, according to a research presented at the Society for General Microbiology Spring Conference in Harrogate.
The antibacterial properties of Manuka honey are due to its high concentrations of methylglyoxal, a stable compound that occurs naturally in the honey.
The levels of methylgyoxyl here are far greater (up to 600 mg/kg honey) than those found in other honeys (5–10 mg/kg honey) or other foods. It is also stable in the presence of enzymes that readily degrade hydrogen peroxide, the non-stable antibacterial compound found in most honeys. For this reason, Manuka honey can be a very effective antibacterial agent against H. pylori in the gut, whereas other honeys are not.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, probiotics are “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host.” The regular intake of probiotic microoganisms has been demonstrated to prevent several disorders including diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease.
Among probiotics, Bifidobacterium is one of the favorite genera in studies focused on the prevention of gastrointestinal infection and is often used in fermented dairy products or food supplements. Some studies have been done in vitro (in test tubes or petri dishes) showing bifidobacterial activity against H. pylori.
13. Slippery Elm
It has been used as a herbal remedy in North America for centuries. Native Americans used slippery elm in healing salves for wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, and skin inflammation. It was also taken orally to relieve coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, and stomach problems.
- Slippery elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines.
- It contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions.
- It also causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract leading to increased mucus secretion. The increased mucus production may protect the gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity.
14. Zinc Carnosine
It is a patented combination of two nutrients that have beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal mucosa and represents an important advance in the management of peptic ulcers. Widely used in Japan, zinc carnosine alone was shown to resolve ulcers by 60 to 70%, a result comparable with conventional drug therapies and with a safety profile better than commonly used pharmaceuticals.
- Zinc arnosine helps with wound healing, reduced inflammation, and improved secretion of the protective mucosal lining and possesses antioxidant effects.
- It can be used as a natural therapy, an antibiotic, and a substitute to PPIs and and H2 receptor antagonists (i.e., Pepcid), both of which serve to decrease hydrochloric acid (HCl).
15. Chinese Herb Sai Mei
It treats ulcers in the stomach or duodenum, decreasing excess stomach acid, relieving pain, and coating the stomach lining. It contains the powders of a variety of shells, such as oyster or clam, giving it an acid-neutralizing, astringent effect. It also contains borneol camphor (bing pian), which helps relieve pain.
Take this remedy on an empty stomach, about half an hour before meals. This coats the stomach lining, preventing irritation of the ulcer from digestive juices and food. To continue healing, take Sai Mei for two weeks after symptoms subside.