Phytotherapy for the treatment of gastritis
Gastritis treatment should be carried out under supervision of a physician, however, there are a lot of herbal treatment methods that can be used, and they provide good results.
Before you start supplementing your drug treatment with medicinal herbs, it is a must to discuss herbal treatment with your doctor. Nowadays many doctors have paid their attention to the role of herbal therapy in the treatment of gastritis, and they admit that it can be quite effective, as the practice shows that phytotherapy is not harmful and its use provides good effect.
The main objectives of folk medicine, which most often uses phytotherapy for the treatment of gastritis, is to protect gastric mucosa from the influence of disturbing factors, to fight with inflammation, to stimulate the processes of regeneration, healing and antibacterial activity and, as a result, to achieve compensation of the symptoms of gastritis and improve the quality of patents’ life, as well as to prevent the development of peptic ulcer disease or gastric cancer.
Several areas should be considered during herbal treatment:
- In case of autoimmune gastritis it is necessary to reduce the aggression of the immune system in the stomach wall. For this purpose the medicinal herbs that help slow down the increased production of antibodies in the stomach are used – greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), elecampane (Inula helenium), chaga mashroom (Inonotus obliquus), Clematis ochotensis, common cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) and others. Anti-inflammatory action can be nonspecific as well. It is realized by means of the medicinal plants like garden sage (Salvia officinalis), fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium), oak bark, infructescences of alder (Alnus), tormentil (Potentilla erecta), herb Bennet (Geum urbanum), garden cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), etc. In terms of anti-relapse therapy carried out when there is no exacerbation of the diseases the herbs that have immune-modulating properties can be used – Chinese lang du (Euphorbia fischeriana), roseroot (Rhodiola rosea), common speedwell (Veronica officinalis), common duckweed (Lemna minor), milk vetch (Astragalus propinquus),Ferula soongarica Pall., etc.
- In case when gastritis is associated with Helicobacter pylori the herbs with antibacterial effect can be used – creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum), marsh (Labrador) tea (Ledum palustre), common yarrow (Achillea millefolium), common St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum), sweetflag (Acorus calamus), Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica), pot marigold (Calendula officinalis), garden sage (Salvia officinalis), etc.
- It is very important to eliminate cramps and abnormal contractions of the stomach and its parts. The following antispasmodic herbs will do good for this purpose - common St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum), marsh cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum), German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), silverweed (Potentilla anserina), common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), Senecio rhombifolius, belladonna (Atropa belladonna), wild mint (Mentha arvensis). Also, many members of the Umbelliferae family can help – caraway (Carum), anise (Pimpinella anisum), dill (Anethum), fennel (Foeniculum); their seeds are used.
- If gastritis is associated with low gastric acidity, then the herbs that increase gastric secretion should be used – gentian (Gentiana grandiflora), absinthium (Artemisia absinthium), buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata), common plantain (Plantago major), Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica), common yarrow (Achillea millefolium), candelabra aloe (Aloe arborescens).
- In order to create optimal conditions for the healing of erosions and other lesions of gastric mucosa, the mucilaginous herbs, those that provide a lot of mucilage (it has a coating effect) when infusions or decoctions are made, should be used – Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica), common plantain (Plantago major), common marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), common mallow (Malva neglecta Wallr.), flax seeds (Linum), garden angelica (Angelica archangelica). These plants also help relieve heartburn.
- To provide rapid healing of gastric mucosa lesions the herbs with vulnerary properties that promote regeneration should be used - sea buckthorn oil, kalanchoe (Kalanchoe pinnata), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), lady's mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris), shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), lady's bedstraw (Galium verum), candelabra aloe (Aloe arborescens), common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and others. Stimulation of the gastric mucosa regeneration can also be achieved by means of herbal adaptogens – roseroot (Rhodiola rosea),Manchurian aralia, ginseng, maral root (Rhaponticum carthamoides), etc.
- Everybody knows that exacerbation of gastritis can be caused by constant stresses. Therefore, sedative herbs should be added to herbal teas - marsh (Labrador) tea (Ledum palustre), Greek valerian or Jacob's ladder (Polemonium caeruleum), peppermint, balm mint (Melissa officinalis), oregano (Origanum vulgare), fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium), redhaw hawthorn (Crataegus sanguinea), garden valerian (Valeriana officinalis), patrinia (Patrinia intermedia (Hornem.) Roem. & Schult.).
In folk medicine there is a great recipe for the treatment of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease – ½ cup of marsh cudweed decoction (1 tablespoon of raw material per 1 cup) to be taken three times a day before meals, and 1 teaspoon of milled roots of marsh cudweed and Greek valerian to be taken three times a day after meals. This combination is really universal, as it covers almost all areas of treatment - marsh cudweed has an evident antispasmodic and healing effect, and Greek valerian has strong sedative and coating properties. This formula is more suitable for those who suffer from gastritis with increased secretory activity.
Another recipe is also widely known and it is best for those who have gastritis with decreased secretory function of the stomach. The juice of candelabra aloe is the basis of this remedy – it should be prepared from the leaves of the plant which is three years old at least. Leaves are cut off and stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge for 2 weeks. One treatment course usually takes about 13-15 medium-sized leaves. You can add honey to this remedy in order to improve its therapeutic effect as well as its taste (aloe is very bitter). Take a small jar (about 100 ml / 3.38 fl oz) and half fill it with liquid honey. Then squeeze juice out of all those leaves that have been stored in the fridge – for that you’ll have to knead each leave a bit. The juice will be collected on the surface of honey, so you need to mix it thoroughly. Take this remedy as follows - 1 teaspoon 30 minutes before meals. If heartburn occurs, then before you take it warm up the mixture a little using bain marie.
Also the root of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can be used to treat gastritis, as it has an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effect – dilute about 1 g (0.035 oz) of the juice with 100 ml (3.38 fl oz) of hot water. This solution should be divided into 2-3 doses and taken warm.
Goldenseal can be effective for the treatment of gastritis as well. This plant contains a compound called berberine, which has antibiotic properties. It is believed that berberine can be active against Helicobacter pylori.
Here are some possible herbal tea recipes:
Herbal tea 1 (for gastritis with normal and low acidity)
- Peppermint (leaf) 2 parts
- Common plantain (leaf) 2 parts
- German chamomile (flowers) 2 parts
- Common St. Johnswort (herb) 1 part
- Common yarrow (herb) 1 part
If acute gastritis is accompanied with pancreatitis, then common yarrow in this mix should be substituted with common agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria). Besides, it is not advisable to administer such mix to the patients with hyperacid gastritis, as common yarrow is the herb that stimulates gastric secretion, therefore, it should be substituted with common agrimony as well.
Herbal tea 2 (for chronic gastritis with high acidity):
- Sweetflag (root) 5 parts
- Mint (leaf) 4 parts
- Linden (blossom) 5 parts
- Flax (seeds) 5 parts
- Fennel (seeds) 4 parts
- Licorice (root) 5 parts
2 tablespoons of the mix should be poured with 2 cups of boiling water and left for 3 hours in the oven. Pass the obtained blend through a sieve and take it as follows - ½ cup three times a day 20-30 minutes before meals.
Herbal tea 3 (for chronic anacid gastritis):
- Strawflower (Helichrysum) 1 part
- Corn silk 1 part
- Common yarrow 1 part
- Peppermint 1 part
- Stinging nettle 1 part
- Common plantain 1 part
- Common St. Johnswort 2 parts
- Chamomile 2 parts
1 tablespoon of this mix should be brewed, like tea, and taken as follows - ½ cup three times a day 30 minutes before meals, warm.
Herbal tea 4 (for chronic gastritis with low acidity):
- Garden sage (herb) 4 parts
- Greater celandine (herb) 3 parts
- Marsh cudweed (herb) 3 parts
- Cowberry (leaves) 2 parts
- Buckbean (leaves) 5 parts
- Strawberry (leaves) 2 parts
- Oregano (herb) 3 parts
- Common plantain (leaves) 3 parts
- German chamomile (flowers) 2 parts
- Common hop (cones) 2 parts
- Caraway (seeds) 1 part
- Flax (seeds) 2.5 parts
2 tablespoons of the minced and well-mixed blend should be poured with 0.5 l (16.9 fl oz) of boiling water and left for 1 hour, then passed through a sieve. Take ½ cup 20-30 minutes before meals.
In addition, an infusion of chamomile or balm mint can be taken throughout the day to relieve symptoms.
And keep in mind that herbal treatment of gastritis by no means cancels strict diet which is important for the therapy of this disease. Note that you should eat often, in small portions, chewing well and avoiding too hot or too cold food.