Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori ) is the leading cause of stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers and dyspepsia, and if left untreated can increase your risk of developing stomach cancer. Additionally, it can lead to more serious digestive conditions such as inflammation and leaky gut and can increase your risk of developing anemia. Helicobacter Pylori is resistant to many types of antibiotics, but many people have been able to clear the bacteria using one or a combination of natural treatments. The vast majority of people who are infected with Helicobacter Pylori will never present any symptoms but can still transmit the virus to others via saliva. Stress and poor diet were previously thought to be the main reasons that people develop stomach ulcers. While these factors are known to aggravate existing ulcers, 80% of gastric ulcers and 90% of duodenal ulcers are known to be caused by an H. Pylori infection.
Helicobacter Pylori is the only bacteria that can survive in the stomach and is not killed by stomach acid. It burrows into the stomach lining and disrupts the natural mucous levels which can lead to serious disorders such as autoimmune diseases, heart disease and cancer. Helicobacter Pylori is notoriously difficult to treat using antibiotics as it is classified as a Gram-negative bacteria. This means that each bacterium is surrounded by a double layer of cell walls. Doctors often use a combination of three different antibiotics namely amoxicillin, metronidazole, and clarithromycin to treat Helicobacter Pylori infections. This is because the bacteria have become resistant to conventional treatments and it is estimated that 50% of patients are resistant to metronidazole. Antibiotics also have no way of telling the difference between good and bad bacteria and will kill the good bacteria in your stomach leading to further health problems. Thankfully there are a variety of natural treatments that can help to clear a Helicobacter Pylori infection.
Symptoms of a Helicobacter Pylori Infection
The main symptoms of a Helicobacter Pylori infection are:
· Bad Breath
· Belching and Acid Reflux
· Burning, gnawing pain in the stomach
Helicobacter Pylori is also a factor in many cases of stomach cancer. It has also been implicated in a wide range of conditions including asthma, rosacea, osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke.
A growing number of physicians are now recommending natural remedies to deal with cases of H. Pylori infection. Over-prescribing antibiotics has become a huge problem in the developed world and has led to the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs such as MRSA and VRE. Natural treatments are often more effective than prescription drugs when dealing with Helicobacter Pylori and many have mile or no side effects.
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms and think you may have an Helicobacter Pylori infection, visit your health care practitioner who can perform either a urine, blood, stool, antigen or breath test. As with traditional medicines, natural medicines can occasionally cause side effects so always consult your doctor before starting treatment with natural remedies.
Ginger is one of the oldest and most powerful natural medicines that has been used for thousands of years. A study performed at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee found that ginger extract was able to significantly reduce the level of Helicobacter Pylori in gerbils. Researchers concluded that “ginger extracts may be useful for development as agents to reduce H. pylori-induced inflammation and as for gastric cancer chemoprevention.”
Licorice not only kills Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, it also helps to repair damage done to the esophagus, stomach and intestines that has occurred through the overproduction of stomach acid. One study performed at the Toho University in Japan found that licorice extract is useful against Helicobacter Pylori infections that are resistant to amoxicillin and clarithromycin. Researchers in Germany also found that licorice extract was effective against different strains of Helicobater Pylori that were resistant to clarithromycin. The study was conducted at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Virology in Kiel, and researchers recommended that “licorice extract can form the basis for an alternative therapeutic agent against H. pylori.”
Probiotics are live microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria that can be consumed in the form of yoghurts, fermented vegetables or food supplements that promote good health and healthy digestion. They have been found to be a safe and effective method for controlling Helicobacter Pylori infection in children. A 2014 study performed at the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University in China found that probiotics improved the eradication rate of Helicobacter Pylori in children who were undergoing traditional triple antibiotic therapy. They also found that probiotics helped with the side effects of treatment such as diarrhea. Researchers at the Kaohsiung Municipal United Hospital in China found that yoghurt containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium was able to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter Pylori infection in humans.
Researchers at the Royal Free and University College London Medical School in the UK tested the effects of 25 different natural remedies against Helicobacter Pylori. They found that chili, black caraway, oregano, licorice, borage, cumin and ginger were amongst the most effective at killing the bacteria.
Aloe Vera is an ancient medicinal plant that has natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties when used both topically and internally. A 2014 study performed in Italy attempted to test the effects of Aloe Vera gel on different strains of Helicobacter Pylori. Researchers found that the inner gel of a five year-old Aloe Vera plant “expresses antibacterial properties against both susceptible and resistant Helicobacter pylori strains. These findings may impact on the antimicrobial resistance phenomenon of H. pylori, proposing the Aloe Vera inner gel as a novel effective natural agent for combination with antibiotics for the treatment of H. pylori gastric infection.”
Slippery Elm Syrup
Slippery elm syrup can be used for a wide range of conditions including IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and gastroesophogeal reflux disease. A spoonful of syrup helps to coat the lining of the stomach and protects against excess acid. Many naturopaths recommend slippery elm syrup to help relieve the symptoms of Helicobacter Pylori infection.
Mastic gum is a type of resin harvested from pistachio nuts that grow on the mastic tree throughout the Greek island of Chios. In 2010, Greek researchers at the Chios General Hospital Skylitsion gave 52 patients various amounts of either pure mastic gum or mastic gum combined with antibiotics. The results showed that all of the patients responded well to treatment and those given mastic gum did not exhibit any side effects. A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine details a study performed in Nottingham, England that showed just 1mg per day of mastic gum can cure peptic ulcers.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology discovered that curcumin was able to eradicate Helicobactor Pylori infection in mice by suppressing matrix metalloproteinase3 and 9, two inflammatory molecules that are associated with Helicobacter Pylori infection. In 2009, researchers at the Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Japan found that curcumin can even be an effective weapon against stomach cancer that is caused by Helicobacter Pylori. Researchers found that curcumin induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human cancer cells. Researchers concluded that “curcumin can be considered as a potential chemopreventive candidate against H. pylori-related gastric carcinogenesis.”
Zinc is a popular health supplement that is a powerful antioxidant and can even help to fight the signs of aging. Zinc supplements can help to reduce the unpleasant symptoms associated with peptic ulcers and can help to promote healing of the stomach lining when combined with an amino acid known as carnosine.
Manuka honey is harvested by European honey bees form the Manuka tree in New Zealand. It has powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties and has been proven to be effective against wounds, skin ulcers and other infections when used topically. Researchers at the University of Waikato in New Zealand tested the effects of Manuka honey on Helicobacter Pylori in five biopsies of gastric ulcers. They found that a solution of 20% Manuka honey was able to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter Pylori bacteria. Researchers concluded that the results were due to the natural hydrogen peroxide that is present in Manuka honey.