I write many of my blogs based on questions I get or common problems I see. recently a patient noted that he could find nothing on my website which would tell him about ulcers, so I decided to dedicate a blog to that purpose.
Just by point of clarity, this information is specifically targeting ulcers inside the digestive tract somewhere, though the same principles and basically the same herbs would be useful for a decubitous ulcer or diabetic ulcer or any breakdown of the skin.
Now, first, to debunk a common error: Infection, especially helicobacter pylori, does not CAUSE ulcers. Rather, when an ulceration or breakdown of the surface tissue occurs, infection can make it very difficult to heal. H Pylori is a friendly bacteria and taking antibiotics just because it has been found in the stomach or stool is TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE. On the other hand, if you have an ulcer and infection is in it, you may have to kill it somehow to get the ulcer to heal. In other words, the ulcer is caused by something else, but H Pylori is an opportunist which will live in the ulcer and prevent healing once the ulcer occurs.
We will look at natural methods which will kill the bacteria or change its behavior a little later. Right now I would like to take a look at the underlying causes of ulcers.
If I had to choose one cause, it would be the liver. If the liver is working well, as it is supposed to (and of course this includes nutrition, cleanliness and behavior of the liver--all things we think about in natural healing), it will manage all tissues so that no toxicity ever backs up there and all nutrients are available, etc. In such a state, no tissue breaks down spontaneously and any tissue injured by incursion will recover quickly and correctly. In the modern world, the load on the liver from the environment is staggering. In addition to that, most people freely poison their liver with processed, chemical-rich food. Typical breaded fast food meat has 20 ingredients, most of which are not really food! If the liver is working, ulcers will not form, tissue will not spontaneously break down under normal use.
Having said that, gut chemistry, available nutrition and responses to stress are all factors. Occasionally, immune response will cause the ulcer, though this is less common.
So, I recently posted a nice daily liver cleanse which you can use to help gently cleanse the liver. Read the article carefully as I warn about people who are not ready for a liver cleanse and advise them to do other things first. As the liver heals, ulcers will go away naturally. Since this can take some time, of course we want to share what to do about ulcers immediately.
1. For the brave soul: Many cases of ulcers have been cured in one or two doses of cayenne pepper. In this case, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper is used, stirred into water. This is drunk down all at once (hold your breath while drinking to avoid inhaling any, which is scary) and then you have some pain for a while but when it subsides, the ulcers are frequently gone. The disadvantage obviously is the discomfort and the fact that about 20% of ulcers will not respond to this and then you burn for nothing! Of course the cayenne is harmless and the worst thing that happens is you are miserable as it passes through your digestive tract. Also, the lower the ulcer is (into the small intestine for example) the less likely the cayenne is to work.
2. Cabbage juice and/or aloe vera juice have been shown to alter the chemistry of the stomach and stimulate healing. Either of these juices work approximately the same way. Normally one would expect to take one or both of them every day for a month to heal an ulcer. Approximately a cup of either or each is the effective dose per day.
3. The most common thing I recommend is a combination of slippery elm bark (8 parts) and licorice root (1 part) powders. These can be stirred into water and drunk, taken as capsules combined or separately. 8 capsules of slippery elm and one of licorice is a perfect dose. Slippery elm will both kill the abnormal infection and protect the lining of the stomach. Together licorice and slippery elm will provide nutrition to the lining and stimulate repair. It is very simple and very safe and the most soothing of the options.
4. In cases where the ulcer proves difficult, avoid food sensitivities (especially corn, soy [and all corn and soy products], peanuts, chocolate, dairy, wheat, refined sugar and pork) and consider killing the infection. For this we will use echinacea angustifolia root and raspberry leaf tea. It should be drunk quite warm on an empty stomach so that the stomach is filled with it. Let the stomach empty completely before taking anything else in.
5. In cases where nutrition is low, Standard Process makes a product to feed the lining of stomach and small intestine. It is called Cyruta Plus
The dosage of Cyruta Plus is 8 tablets 2x daily for a month. Normally, the gut will repair itself in this time. I certainly advise working on the liver also as described in the liver blog, which I linked to above.
Finally, ulcers can be dangerous. Most of them are not and can be safely healed at home, but the potential is there for an ulcer to cause serious, life-threatening and irreparable harm. This is rare but if it is a bleeding ulcer, it should be evaluated by a GI doctor soon. Cayenne often heals these but it is important to know that it needs to work quickly or get an evaluation by the right professional to make sure it is not a life-threatening situation.