Last week, my mother and sister were here visiting. Late that first night, my 17 year old son came into my room and said, “Grandma, wants to know if you have any ‘magic pills’ (in sarcastic air quotes) to help her with heartburn. Well, not to miss an opportunity to help someone I went and fetched my ginger. I sent two capsules upstairs and went to bed. The next morning my mom reported immediate relief from her heart burn and a great night’s sleep. (I think she’s a fan)
Dealing with stomach ulcers, heartburn (the technical name is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), or any other type of digestive issue can be miserable. Many find their suffering to be chronic, and some even struggle on a daily basis. Why did something as simple as ginger work so well? Are there other remedies that would help? What do you have right in your own cupboard or refrigerator that might bring relief?
There is good news, as mom discovered. There are many times that these ailments are quite easily corrected through proper diet and with the help of some great herbal supplements . Let’s walk through some of these options together.
Eat more produce. Highly processed foods and animal products are very acid producing and can aggravate the problem. Also, avoid coffee, tea, cola drinks, alcohol and chocolate
Slipper Elm – Probably the greatest herb there is to heal the esophagus. Mix Slippery Elm powder with a little water until it becomes a gruel. Add cinnamon and honey if you like, and take by the tablespoon. It coats, soothes, and heals the throat and the entire digestive tract. It tastes pretty good as well.
Ginger - Some say it is a great digestive herb but doesn’t work with heartburn. OBVIOUSLY I have used it with a lot of success as has my family.
Many prescription drugs can facilitate heartburn as well. Some of these include:
Look for future posts addressing these concerns and include some alternative solutions.
Bananas - helps soothe digestive tract
Pineapple - anti-ulcer compounds and full of digestive enzymes to help break down food faster
Blueberries - Helps stimulate mucus that protects lining of the stomach from acid
Cabbage - Cabbage juice is known for it’s double anti-ulcer compounds. Juice a 1/2 a cabbage a day and drink
Okra - somewhat slimy and helps coat and soothe as well.
Ginger - While questions still arise how ginger helps with heartburn there is no doubt it helps with stomach ulcers as it has at least ELEVEN know anti-ulcer compounds in it. It also helps with many other digestive issues including nausea, gas pains and more.
Slipper Elm – Again, the KING of stomach and intestinal healers.
Licorice Root – Also, has proven anti-ulcer effects and is wonderful combined with Slippery Elm. Many herbal teas have licorice in them as well.
It is surprising to many that cayenne would be effective with stomach ulcers. Because it is so hot it is logical to assume it would burn. The opposite is true. The compound that makes it hot is the same compound that protects the stomach from ulcers.
Dr. Christopher shares a story about a man who was in excruciating pain from a stomach ulcer. His wife had suggested cayenne and he had ridiculed her and Dr. Christopher about it. One night he was in so much pain that he decided to take a LOT of cayenne. He was actually attempting to commit suicide. He went to bed with a pillow over his head so no one would hear him scream when he died. He slept all night for the first time in a long time and became a convert of cayenne. He even went out of his way to apologize to Dr. Christopher for mocking him and his method for treating stomach ulcers.
Other great herbs include: chamomile, calendula, garlic, angelica and mullein
Dr. Christopher recommended an ulcer remedy that includes comfrey. While there is a lot of controversy these days surrounding the use and safety of comfrey, I still include this for information purposes. Mix powders, put into capsules or make into a tea.
Dr. James Duke in his book The Green Pharmacy shares two anti-ulcer recipes:
Place all ingredients into a soup pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with your choice of the following spices: red pepper, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and licorice.
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