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 Herbal Medicine: Peptic Ulceration 

System Support
Digestion and subsequent elimination are pivotal as is the nervous system. Of course any focus of distress or malfunction in any system must be helped.

Specific Remedies
Comfrey root, Marshmallow root, Meadowsweet, Calendula, Chamomile can all be seen as possible specifics. Their validity is very predictable, based upon an understanding of their actions. The anti-inflammatory flavonoid content of the Calendula and Chamomile are thought to be very important. In addition to these herbs, raw cabbage juice is a traditional and effective treatment. Similarly, demulcent foods such as the plantain banana and even the potato can help. Liquorice is an effective remedy now used in allopathic medicine as a treatment for ulceration.

One possible prescription

A successful herbal component in the treatment of peptic ulceration is a two stage process.

1) Reduce inflammation and initiate healing using demulcents &vulneraries.

Comfrey root - 1 part
Marshmallow root - 1 part
Chamomile - 1 part combined as tincture 5ml three times a day.
Infusion of the fresh or dried herbs may be drunk often to ease symptoms. Chamomile infusion drunk on an empty stomach will reduce inflammation and help reverse the ulcerative process.

2) Tone and complete healing.

Golden Seal 1 part
Comfrey root 2 parts
Chamomile 2 parts combined as tincture 5ml 3 times a day
Caution: if symptoms have not subsided within a week, seek skilled diagnosis.

This supplies:

  • demulcents (Comfrey root, Marshmallow root)
  • anti-inflammatories (Chamomile, Golden Seal)
  • astringents (Comfrey root, Golden Seal)
  • vulneraries (Comfrey root, Golden Seal, Chamomile)
  • nervines (Chamomile)
  • carminatives (Chamomile)
  • bitters (Golden Seal)
Broader Context of Treatment
There are some commonly found consequences of the non-herbal treatment of peptic ulceration and should be looked for in ulcer patients: =
  • Excessive use of antacids can lead to the impaired absorption of certain nutrients from the diet.
  • Excessive drinking of milk or consumption of ant-acids can lead to elevated levels of calcium in body tissues and urine, which might lead to kidney stones.
  • Eating a bland and milky diet might lead to obesity.
  • Milk might aggravate problems associated with a sensitivity to dairy products.
  • A poor appetite associated with ulceration might lead to nutritional deficit.
Dietary factors are fundamentally involved in both the causation and treatment of peptic ulceration. In some case the ulceration might be due to a specific food allergy, but will always be aggravated by sensitivity to irritants. As in the other digestive system conditions discussed so far, all such irritant foods must be avoided. Alcohol and tobacco are especially implicated. Pepper, coffee and anything that the patient experiences as a problem should be removed from the diet. Avoidance of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories is essential. Small meals often are better than large meals. Increasing the proportion of fibre in the diet has been shown to reduce the rate of recurrence of peptic ulceration, however there should be a bland diet in the early stages of treatment to avoid physical irritation. Rest and re-evaluation of a life-style that may be causing stress is important. The creation of a stress management program that is uniquely suited for the patient should be a priority.
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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
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