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      What causes Peptic Ulcers

      The pain associated with a stomach ulcer is a burning chest pain, which may last 2 or 3 hours and may be accompanied by indigestion, nausea, vomiting that may or may not coincide with eating.

      Stomach Ulcers affect men and women equally.  However, the risk for women increases after the menopause, which implies that oestrogen may have a preventative effect.

      Peptic ulcers are caused by disruption in the normal balance of the protective mucus lining and the corrosive gastric acid causing damage to the intestinal lining, leading to ulceration.  A range of factors may cause ulcers including:

      Helicobacter pylori a bacterium associated with gastric conditions.  It weakens the mucous membranes allowing the acidic gastric juices to start eating away at the lining

      Smoking may lead to reduced blood flow to the alimentary tract, and depletion of mucus production.  Tobacco will also aggravate the problem due to the swallowing of tar particles.

      Alcohol aggravates the weakened stomach lining and acts as a chemical irritant and increases the production of stomach acid

      NSAIDS eg Aspirin.  Over-use of NSAIDs gradually wear away the mucosal lining.  Aspirin has a tendency to cause gastric hemorrhage due to its blood thinning properties.

      Stress leads to over production of stomach acid and secretion of stress hormones, which cause constriction of the blood vessels supplying the intestinal tract

      Cytotoxic drugs reduce the turnover of the epithelial cells lining the intestinal tract, and may lead to permanent damage.

      Reflux regurgitation of stomach acid into the oesophagus due to a weak sphincter may cause ulceration of the lower few centimeters of the oesophagus.

      Gastritis inflammation of the stomach lining due to any of the above, may lead to the formation of an ulcer

      Irregular eating, over eating, poor diet these all put pressures on the already weakened digestive system and will aggravate an existing gastric condition











      Naturopathic treatments

      Herbal approach

      Herbs can be very effective at treating peptic ulcers. However, it is vital that the patient takes a good look at their lifestyle in order to understand the reasons they suffered an ulcer in the first place otherwise it is very likely that they will suffer again in the future.  Useful herbs include the following:

      Comfrey Root

      Comfrey root is a demulcent and astringent

      It sooths and heals the mucus membranes.

      Comfrey root is a schedule three herb that can only be purchased after consultation with a qualified herbalist.


      Golden Seal tincture

      Golden seal is a tonic for the mucus membranes. It is also an astringent


      Marshmallow root tincture

      Marshmallow root  is mucilaginous soothing and protective to inflamed mucus membranes


      Meadowsweet tincture

      Meadowsweet reduces acidity. It soothes and protects the mucous membranes


      Liquorice root tincture

      Do not use liquorice in cases of High Blood Pressure Liquorice is anti-inflammatory and demulcent

      Calendula (Marigold) anti-inflammatory and healing of wounds

      Slippery Elm Bark (powder or tablet form) very soothing and muscilaginous.  Mostly indigestible, but lines the digestive tract with a protective and soothing slime.


      A Combination of golden seal, meadowsweet and marshmallow root would make a soothing tea drunk 3 times a day cold.



Goldenseal Root Information
Marshmallow Root Information
Meadowsweet Information
Liqourice Root Information


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