Stomach ulcers (gastric ulcers) are open sores
within the lining of the stomach. They are a type of
peptic ulcer, meaning having to do with acid.
Because of the amount of acid present in the
stomach and the damage that can occur, they are
often extremely painful.

The most common cause of stomach ulcers is the
bacterium Helicobacter pylori , or H. pylori .

Ulcers may also be caused by overuse of
painkillers, such as aspirin (Bayer), and other
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as
ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Naprosyn).

Stomach ulcers are treated with antibiotics and
medications to reduce and block stomach acid.
In addition to this well-proven treatment plan,
research has shown that there are also some natural
home remedies that may be useful in managing a
stomach ulcer.
Talk with your doctor about adding these foods to
your diet:

1. Flavonoids
Research suggests that flavonoids, also known as
bioflavonoids, may be an effective additional
treatment for stomach ulcers.

Flavonoids are compounds that occur naturally in
many fruits and vegetables. Foods and drinks rich
in flavonoids include:

soybeans
legumes
red grapes
kale
broccoli
apples
berries
teas, especially green tea

These foods may also help the body fight against
the H. pylori bacteria.

Flavonoids are referred to as “ gastroprotective ,”
which means they defend the lining of the stomach
and could allow ulcers to heal.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute , there are
no side effects of consuming flavonoids in the
amount found in a typical diet, but higher amounts
of flavonoids may interfere with blood clotting.
You can get flavonoids in your diet or take them as
supplements.

2. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice
Don’t let that long first word give you a
stomachache. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is just
plain old licorice with the sweet flavor extracted.
One study showed that deglycyrrhizinated licorice
might help ulcers heal by inhibiting the growth of H.
pylori.

Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is available as a
supplement.

You can’t get this effect from eating licorice candy
though. Too much licorice candy can be bad for
some people . Consuming more than 2 ounces daily
for more than two weeks can make existing heart
problems or high blood pressure worse.

3. Probiotics
Probiotics are the living bacteria and yeast that
provide healthy and important microorganisms to
your digestive tract. They are present in many
common foods, particularly fermented foods. These
include:

buttermilk
yogurt
miso
kimchi
kefir

You can also take probiotics in supplement form.
Studies have shown that probiotics may be helpful
in wiping out H. pylori and increasing the recovery
rate for people with ulcers when added to the
traditional regimen of antibiotics.

4. Honey
 Honey is far from simply sweet.
Depending on the plant it’s derived from, honey can
contain up to 200 elements, including polyphenols
and other antioxidants. Honey is a powerful
antibacterial and has been shown to inhibit H. pylori
growth.

As long as you have normal blood sugar levels, you
can enjoy honey as you would any sweetener, with
the bonus of perhaps soothing your ulcers.

5. Garlic
Garlic extract has been shown to inhibit H. pylori
growth in lab, animal, and human trials .
If you don’t like the taste (and lingering aftertaste)
of garlic, you can take garlic extract in supplement
form.

Garlic acts as a blood thinner, so ask your doctor
before taking it if you use warfarin (Coumadin),
other prescription blood thinners, or aspirin.

6. Cranberry
Cranberry has been shown in some studies to help
decrease urinary tract infections by preventing
bacteria from settling on the walls of the bladder.
Cranberry and cranberry extract also may help fight
H. pylori .
You can drink cranberry juice, eat cranberries, or
take cranberry supplements.

No specific amount of consumption is associated
with relief. Too much cranberry in any form may
cause stomach and intestinal discomfort due to its
high sugar content, so start with small amounts and
increase gradually.

Many commercial cranberry juices are heavily
sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup,
which can also add empty calories. Avoid those
juices by buying juice sweetened only by other
juices.

7. Mastic

Mastic is the sap of a tree grown in the
Mediterranean.

Studies of the effectiveness of mastic on H. pylori
infection are mixed, but at least one small study
shows that chewing mastic gum may help fight H.
pylori, getting rid of the bacteria in about 3 out of
10 people who used it.

However, when compared to the traditional
combination of antibiotics and acid-blocking
medications, the gum was significantly less
effective than the medications. The traditional
treatment got rid of the bacteria in more than 75
percent of the people studied.

8. Fruits, vegetables, and whole
grains

A diet centered on fruits, vegetables, and whole
grains is not only good for your overall health.
According to the Mayo Clinic , a vitamin-rich diet
can help your body heal your ulcer.

Foods containing the antioxidant polyphenols may
protect you from ulcers and help ulcers heal.
Polyphenol-rich foods and seasonings include:

dried rosemary
flaxseed
Mexican oregano
dark chocolate
blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, elderberries,
and blackberries
black olives

Foods to limit or avoid with ulcers
and acid reflux

Some people with ulcers also have acid reflux
disease.

In some people, certain foods can affect the lower
part of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal
sphincter (LES), allowing acid and stomach
contents to back up into the esophagus. This can
cause injury to the esophagus, as well as heartburn,
indigestion, and other discomfort.

To reduce acid reflux pain, you may want to limit:
coffee and other caffeinated beverages
carbonated beverages
chocolate
chilies and hot peppers
processed foods
foods with a high amount of salt
deep-fried foods
acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes
Overeating and eating within two to three hours of
going to bed may also worsen the symptoms of
acid reflux.

Not every food acts the same for every person, so
keeping track of which foods seem to make acid
reflux symptoms worse can be helpful.
Alcohol
Having more than one drink a day for women and
more than two for men is considered excessive
drinking.

If a couple of drinks after work is how you unwind,
you might want to consider a healthier alternative.
Regular alcohol use causes significant stomach
inflammation.

Also, alcohol is another substance that can relax the
lower part of the esophagus, increasing your risk for
acid reflux.

It can take some time, teamwork, and determination
to find the right treatment for your ulcers, but keep
in mind that ulcers can be cured.

In addition to a treatment plan agreed upon by you
and your doctor, you can incorporate natural
approaches with healthful foods that may give you
some relief and accelerate healing.
Adding plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to your
diet and reducing alcohol intake will almost
certainly get you on the road to health.

BE VIGILANT
Stomach ulcers don’t stop at abdominal
pain. If left untreated, they can create a
hole in the stomach, which requires
surgery. On rare occasions, ulcers might
signal larger problems, like cancer.