Gastritis is literal terms, is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Natural remedies for gastritis include a number of herbs, dietary changes, and stress reduction. Most of the home remedies for gastritis are inexpensive and easy to find in your kitchen cabinet or at your local health food store.
What Causes Gastritis?
Inflammation of the lining of the stomach can have a wide range of causes. Infection, stress, and diet can all cause gastritis. Pain medications can cause gastritis as can eating disorders and alcoholism. Gastritis can be chronic or acute. While usually there are symptoms of gastritis, sometimes there are no symptoms at all. Left untreated, gastritis can lead to ulcers, thinning of the lining of the stomach, and in rare cases, cancer. For most people, though, the more immediate concern is the pain, bloating, gas, nausea and vomiting.
10 Herbs for Gastritis
Herbal treatments are a good choice for gastritis. Herbs are inexpensive, easy to take and quite effective. Many herbs are quite gentle as well.
Herbs can be taken as a tea or in capsule form. Herbal tinctures are not recommended for the treatment of gastritis because the alcohol content can irritate the already compromised stomach lining. An advantage to teas is that tea drinking counts towards your water intake, which is important for your health in general and your gastritis in particular.
To make an herbal tea, place one teaspoon of your herb of choice in a heat-proof jar. Pour 1 cup of almost boiling water over your herb. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the leaves. Sweeten with honey if desired. (Artificial sweeteners or sugars are not recommended because of their tendency to aggravate gastritis.) Tea can be consumed warm or cold, depending on what is most comfortable for you.
Herbs that lend themselves especially well to tea for gastritis include:
The catnip, fennel and chamomile are relaxing and are particularly wonderful taken at bedtime. Ginger and peppermint are more stimulating and make a great tea for morning. But none of these have caffeine and can be enjoyed any time of day.
Green Tea is another healing tea for gastritis. Green tea should only be steeped for two minutes. Because it contains caffeine, it should be avoided later in the day. This is a good alternative to coffee, which should be avoided during the treatment of gastritis.
Oregano and turmeric are two excellent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory herbs that lend themselves especially to gastritis that is caused by infection. These are easiest taken in capsule form.
Slippery elm and marshmallow root are mucilaginous herbs and are soothing to the stomach. They are gentle and nutritive herbs. They can be taken in capsule form or as a tea, though the tea may feel somewhat slimy to those unfamiliar with these herbs.
In addition to herbs to sooth the symptoms and heal gastritis, it is imperative to address the cause of gastritis as well.
Gastritis and Medications
Unfortunately, there are medications that can cause gastritis, including over the counter pain medications. Discuss alternatives to prescription drugs that may be causing your gastritis with your doctor. If over the counter medications are causing your gastritis, look for natural pain relieves. Turmeric, one of the herbs used to treat gastritis, is actually great for relieving pain and inflammation from a variety of causes.
Gastritis and Diet
If you have gastritis, you need foods that are gentle to the stomach and nourishing to the body.
Foods to Avoid
High fat dairy products
Good Foods for Gastritis
Milk Kefir (the kind that includes the bacteria L. Casei) fights infection in the gut.
Coconut oil, which can kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Honey is not only a healing food but raw honey can kill bacteria.
Blackstrap molasses is a highly nutritious sweetener.
Vitamin Supplements for Gastritis
Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate)
Finally, it is important to take care of your health. Reduce stress when possible, or find positive outlets for stress, like mild exercise. Daily sunshine and plenty of rest are also helpful for your body as it heals form any condition.
Do you have a natural remedy for gastritis? We would love to hear about it!
About the Author: Deirdre Layne
Founder and CEO of Earth Clinic, has an extensive background in health and healing. She created EarthClinic.com in 1999 as a way to teach people about natural remedies and alternative healing therapies. Since then, thousands of people around the world and their pets have been healed by the remedies found on Earth Clinic. Deirdre holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Philosophy and is the author of the book Apple Cider Vinegar: A Modern Folk Remedy.