Stress, especially long term emotional stress has shown to increase acid production in the stomach. 52 percent of heartburn sufferers say that work-related stress increases their heartburn. Also, gastritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are caused by stress. Chronic bowel inflammations or helicobacter pylori infections are not stress induced but stress can worsen the symptoms.
In this article we will discuss the benefits of natural therapy with herbs, vitamins and possible other nutraceuticals.
Natural Therapy for Helicobacter pylori Infection
Zinc-L-Carnosine Complex: The infection H. pylori is associated with gastritis, indigestions (trouble with digestion) and peptic ulcer.
Researches on zinc-L-carnosine have found that this nutritional supplement is a very good support to healthy gastritis function. It protects epithelial cell membranes in the stomach and has anti-inflammatory effects. This dietary supplement form of L-carnosine and zinc adheres to ulcerations, acts as a barrier between them and stomach acids and helps to heal. Besides it inhibits activity of Helicobacter pylori bacteria. It is effective in 60-70 % case of peptic ulcer and stimulates production of protective mucous too.
Mastic gum: It is a natural resin from “Pistacia lentiscus” and it supports (gastrointestinal health) the lining of the stomach and duodenum.
Possible Healing Teas for Stomach-Intestinal Tract & Stress Relief
Anguraté: It is a natural tea from Peru and is ideal to treat gastritis and hyper acidity. Anguraté stomach tea (Mentzelia cordifolia Dombey) restores the acid balance of the stomach and soothes the irritated mucous membrane. Angurate tea is a good support for stress.
Icelandic Moos: It helps to regulate hyper acidity. It contains also complex polysaccharides which have immunostimulant effects.
Chamomile: It has a gentle calming sedative effect on the central nervous system. Chamomile tea is an ideal support for acute and chronic stress forms.
Chamomile has soothing effect on inflamed and irritated mucous membranes. It is helpful to treat gastritis and heartburn, H. pylori.
Calendula: It is known for his anti-inflammatory effect. A calendula tea can be helpful to treat gastritis and peptic ulcers. Calendula may affect the menstrual cycle and should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Marshmallow: The drinking of tea or intake of powder is helpful to treat irritable or inflamed mucous membranes in the digestive system especially heartburn and gestritic. Marshmallow root is rich of the glyconutrient Arabinogalactan. This natural immune booster is of great support to chronic stress, because it lowers cortisol and adrenergic overproduction.
Licorice to Treat gastritis
Licorice increases blood flow to gastritis mucosa cells and promotes the growth of new mucosa cells. Licorice is ideal to treat peptic ulcers and gastritis. In an early study, 33 subjects with gastric ulcers were given either DGL or a placebo 3 times a day for one month. A reduction in ulcer size was found in 78% of the DGL group compared with 34% of the other control group. In addition, complete healing occurred in 44% of the DGL group, but in only 6% of the placebo group.
Licorice has an anti-inflammatory effect similar to that of corticoide but without its side effects. Licorice helps the body to built up resistance to stress by acting on the adrenal glands. Licorice is a Cortisol booster. Therefore it is of great support in acute (short term) stress situation. I prefer licorice in the DGL form because this form has all the positive effects of licorice without the typical side effects and contraindications of glycyrrhinic acid such as high blood pressure and oedema.
Possible Nutritional Supplements to Treatment of Stomach-Intestine Diseases
Chronic diseases can be equated to long term stress. Therefore my first recommendation is a supplement base such as AHCC, Arabinogalactan or Acai. These reduce an overproduction of adrenaline and/or Cortisol. If you prefer more information about short and long term stress read the article Difference to Chronic and Acute Stress.
|Stomach-Intestine Disease Form||Nutritional Supplement/Herb||Possible Dosage per Day||Stress related Benefits||Please Note|
|Heartburn||Marshmallow root powder, Hericium powder||At least marshmallow 1 g or 1 to 2 g Hericium mushroom powder||Marshmallow is ideal to treat chronic stress, Hericium is ideal to treat stress induced stomach-intestine problems|
|Peptic & Duodenal Ulcer||L-Glutamine or Hericium extract||At least 10 gram glutamine + multi-vitamin/mineral blend or at least 1 g Hericium mushroom extract||General to stress support||Do not mix L-Glutamine with milk or other drinks rich of protein. |
People with kidney disease, liver disease or Reye’s syndrome should not take glutamine. Persons sensitive to monosodium glutamate (MSG) may also avoid glutamine supplements
|Helicobacter pylori||Zinc-L-Carnosine complex, gum mastic at least standardized of 35 %||2 to 3 x 37,5 mg zinc-L-carnosine or gum mastic 2 to 3 caps||Zinc-L- carnosine protects the stomach from the harmful effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) when absorbed simultaneously|
|Gastritis||Zinc-L-Carnosine complex or gum mastic or licorice dgl form||1 to 2 caps or 1 to 2 gram gum mastic or licorice dgl 1.500 mg||Avoid gum mastic with hypersensitivity to any ingredients of mastic gum as well as with pollen hypersensitivity.|
|Crohn’s disease||Hericium mushroom extract, methylcobalamine||At least 1 to 2 gram, B12 as Methylcobalamine 1 to 3 mg||Hericium is ideal to treat stress induced intestine problems, Vit. B12 is a important part in any anti-stress programs|
|Colitis ulcerous||Hericium mushroom extract,Methylcobalamine||At least 1 to 2 gram, B12 as Methylcobalamine 1 to 3 mg||Hericium is ideal to treat stress induced intestine problems, Vit. B12 is a important factor in any anti-stress programs|
|Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS or spastic colon)||Vitamin B12 as Coenzyme f.e. Methylcobalamine & Acai powder||At least 1 mg vit. B12, 500 to 1000 mg acai, extract||I have good experiences with B12 & Acai in this case. These are to treat IBS and stress, acai is a great free radical fighter|
Foods for Stomach-Intestine Diseases & Stress Relief
Cashews (Anacardium occidentale): These are very helpful for hyper acidity, gastritis and peptic ulcers. It tastes good as snacks between meals or roasted in a frying pan without oil/fat to salad. Cashews are an ideal snack for stress esp. acute stress.
Ripe Avocado (Persea americana): It is recommended in case of Hyper acidity. Avocado is a good source of antioxidative power substance Glutathione. Glutathione is a free radical fighter. A high concentration of free radicals (oxidative stress) can cause irritations and/or inflammations in the stomach-intestinal tract.
Goat Milk: It may help heal peptic and duodenal ulcers. My recommendation per day is at least one cup.
Garlic: It has been reported to have anti-Helicobacter activity. Garlic is a natural immune support. A powerful immune system is an important part of stress balance.
Mushrooms: Hericium is helpful to treat stress related acid reflux (heartburn), peptic and duodenal ulcer, crohn’s disease, colitis ulcerous. Also, Shiitake can be of support to peptic ulcer.
Protection for Possible Pharmacy Side Effects
Several medical drugs can have possible side effects to stomach and intestine.
Pharmacy such as aspirin (ASS), anti rheumatic (NSAIDs) or corticoide can be irritant to the lining cells of stomach/mucosa intestine. But also medical drugs against stomach intestine symptoms can cause stomach-intestinal related inflammations. If you take medical drugs you must protect somehow mucosa of stomach & intestine as well.
RNA/DNA: It prevents or heals damage to the stomach lining
caused by anti-inflammatory pharmacy drugs.
Dosage Recommendation: 100 to 200 mg/d.
Stress Support: It is a great immune support. A powerful immune system is very important for your own stress balance. Contraindications: Gout, Hyperuricaemia, autoimmune diseases f.e. Lupus or any kind of cancer/tumours.
L-Glutamine: Can help to protect gastric-intestine mucosa.
Dosage Recommendation: 5 gram/d to prevent.Stress Support: Any stress forms are known as L-Glutamine burner.
L-Glutathione: It blocks free radicals damage to all types
of tissues. L-Glutathione decreases side effects of
analgetica so that they will be better tolerated.
Dosage Recommendation: 500 to 1000 mg/d.
Stress Support: Glutathione is a helpful stress support. Learn more about Glutathione and stress in the article How to Improve Low Antioxidant Potential.
- 1) Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants Status in Peptic Ulcer and gastritis Carcinoma, Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2004; 48 (1) : 115–118
- 2) Melvyn R. Werbach, M.D., Nutritional Influences On Illness – A sourcebook of clinical research, Third Line Press.
- 3) Huwez FU, Thirlwell D, Cockayne A, Ala’Aldeen DAA. Mastic gum kills Helicobacter pylori. New England Journal of Medicine 1998 ; 339(26) : 1946.