Gastritis Natural Remedies

Gastritis, or stomach inflammation, normally presents with symptoms such as a loss of appetite, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. Gastritis can be sudden or develop over time into a chronic condition, depending on the underlying cause. Untreated chronic gastritis can lead to erosive gastritis, which includes chronic bleeding in the stomach.

4 Gastritis Natural Remedies from Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen was focused on digestive health throughout her life.  Most of Hildegard’s medicinal treatments emphasize cleansing, whether of our gastrointestinal tract, our circulatory system, or our spirit. Here, we attempt to present Hildegard’s gastritis natural remedies.

What is Gastritis?

The stomach has two barriers, a mucous membrane and an underlying layer of regenerative cells that protect the stomach wall. These layers protect the stomach from volatile digestive fluids such as hydrochloric acid and protein-digesting enzymes. The protective mucous layers may degenerate over time, due to irregular or over-eating, alcohol, drugs, and infections, which can lead to gastritis. Luckily, gastric mucosa regenerates quickly, meaning that acute stomach inflammation can usually be treated – or avoided altogether if the degenerative triggers are avoided.

What causes gastritis?

The most common causes of gastritis are medications (primarily anti-inflammatory), excessive alcohol consumption, chronic vomiting, bile reflux, infections, or anemia.

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Gastritis natural remedies may help to counter some of the medicines we’re already taking, causing gastritis.

Use of anti-inflammatory medications, particularly aspirin can result in gastritis. If you have a history of gastritis or ulcers you should consult your physician regarding alternatives to aspirin. Stomach discomfort is quite common when taking anti-inflammatory medications.

Gastritis natural remedies and foods minimize the need for pharmaceutical intervention.

  • Rhizomes and bulbs: Ginger, Galangal, and Garlic
  • Fermented foods: Kimchee, Miso, Sauerkraut, and Kefir

Alcohol and Gastritis

Alcohol consumption is one of the most common causes of gastritis. Alcohol is a toxin, so your body reacts accordingly. The presence of this toxin in your stomach results in the natural inflammatory response, which in turn affects your stomach lining’s ability to produce acids and enzymes necessary for normal digestion. This reactive state produces both the discomfort from inflammation as well as the impaired digestive process.

In some people, alcohol-induced gastritis can arise from occasional drinking, but it is more typical in regular alcohol users because the stomach lining does not have time to return to normal.Gastritis Natural Remedies 3

Other Causes of Gastritis

Vomiting can be both a cause and an effect of gastritis. Eating disorders, food poisoning, chemotherapy, and occasionally allergies or autoimmune conditions like celiac can result in prolonged vomiting. Aside from the underlying stress on the stomach from these conditions, repeated stomach emptying disrupts the pH and enzyme balance, causing inflammation.

Bile reflux is a serious condition on its own. Gastritis that results is just one of several conditions that arise due to the body’s inability to keep bile from refluxing back into the stomach from the small intestine where it belongs. Unfortunately, there are few treatments aside from surgical intervention that have proven to be effective.

A Common but Little Known Infection

Viral and bacterial infections that enter the stomach can cause gastritis. One of the more common forms is called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a type of bacteria. H. pylori infections are common. Half of the world’s population has it in their bodies but for most people it does not seem to cause any problems.  For some, however, over time the bacteria can cause ulcers. The medical community used to believe that Ulcers were caused by stress or spicy food, but recently findings indicate that H. pylori is the culprit in most cases.

These sores in the lining of their stomach or the upper part of your small intestine caused by H. pylori are one of the strongest determinants of stomach cancer. If you have symptoms of gastritis, it is important to consult your physician to rule out (or treat) this infection.

Check for H. pylori and Pernicious Anemia

A type of anemia, called pernicious anemia, also causes gastritis and has also been linked to stomach cancer. In some people with autoimmune disorders, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach lining which results in a loss of cells in the stomach lining. This is the root cause of gastritis, which is really a symptom of the larger problem.

The prolonged inflammation – and sometimes bleeding, impairs the body’s Intrinsic Factor (IF) normally present in the gastric mucosa. Because this layer is constantly under attack, it weakens to the point where the IF can no longer facilitate the absorption of vitamin B12. The resulting B12 deficiency in the bloodstream is what causes anemia.

Gastritis Natural Remedies

In the Middle Ages it was thought that the stomach “cooled” from time to time, and thereby could not effectively “cook” food.

In addition, and following the same line of thinking, a cold stomach constricts, thus reducing appetite, and leaving one with a feeling of being “tied-up internally”. Similarly, Hildegard of Bingen described these symptoms and recommended yarrow as the herb of choice.

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Yarrow is one of Hildegard’s cure all herbs, including as one of the gastritis natural remedies.

Get Treatment for a Stomach Ulcer

Under no circumstances should a stomach ulcer or prolonged stomach discomfort be treated through self-medication. For occasional or acute gastritis that has been properly diagnosed by a medical professional, the following treatment strategy may help support the healing process and relieve certain symptoms:

  1. Pain Relief: medicinal plants can help with pain relief and provide for effective treatment of acute gastritis by supporting compromised mucous layers in the stomach lining.
  2. Treating Inflammation:  Anti-inflammatory antimicrobial agents help support the healing process.

Chamomile flowers and yarrow (herbs or flowers) have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antimicrobial properties. In addition, they improve blood circulation and prevent convulsion.

The following Gastritis Natural Remedies are worthwhile:

(1) Chamomile Leaf Tea

1 heaping tablespoon of Chamomile leaves along with a cup of boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes, then drain. Drink the tea plain and in small sips. Drink 3-4 cups, daily. In acute cases of gastritis, drink every 30 minutes.

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Chamomile, a natural gastritis home remedy

(2) Yarrow herb and Yarrow flowers

gastritis cure

Yarrow, a natural remedy for gastritis

2 heaping teaspoons of yarrow herb and flowers, combined with a quart of boiling water.  Allow 15 minutes to steep and strain. Drink 1 cup 30 minutes before meals, up to 5 cups daily. Learn more about yarrow in our post 7 Yarrow Health Benefits.

(3) Flaxseed Gastric Mucous Cleanse

Natural forms of mucilage, found in flaxseed and psyllium are used to restore gastric mucosa in the stomach lining. The flaxseed is particularly effective for this purpose. Use flaxseed in the following preparation for a gastric mucous cleanse.

Home Remedies for Gastritis

Flaxseed, a home remedy for gastritis

Soak crushed flaxseed overnight in a quart of water. Boil and strain through a fine cloth or sieve. The resulting mixture has a gelatinous texture, which can be consumed warm over the course of a day.  Always insure adequate water intake while taking flaxseeds.

(4) Pay close attention to your nutrition

In addition, one should pay close attention to their diet and nutrition. Think of Hildegard’s Medieval Diet, and avoid foods served too hot or cold; limit the intake of alcohol, nicotine and spicy dishes. Extremely sweet or sour foods can also lead to additional discomfort.

Consider the following gastritis natural remedies and foods (as mentioned above).

  • Rhizomes and bulbs: Ginger, Galangal, and Garlic
  • Fermented foods: Kimchee, Miso, Sauerkraut, and Kefir

If discomfort related to gastritis occurs primarily on an empty stomach, Hildegard of Bingen would recommend taking fennel seed powder or fennel tablets, before meals and before bedtime to serve as a natural acid reducer.

The basics of intestinal health you find here.