Gateway Health News

Ulcers (gastric/duodenal)

Ulcers (gastric/duodenal)

Oregano Oil

Oregano appears to be one of the best natural antimicrobial agents against H.pylori,
the bacteria responsible for the vast majority of cases of both duodenal and gastric
ulcers. H.pylori disrupts the integrity of the protective mucous membrane, which leads
to the formation of ulcers and has also been identified as a trigger for gastritis. Recent
studies have identified oregano as a powerful antimicrobial against H.pylori, which is
generally regarded as being difficult to clear up using natural products. One study
suggests that oregano works by inhibiting the way the bacteria make energy and
produce urease, the substance secreted by H.pylori that neutralises acidity and damages
the mucous membrane.

Deglycyrrhised Licorice [liquorice] (glycyrrhiza glabra)
Deglycyrrhised licorice (DGL) has shown impressive clinical results in treatment of
stomach and duodenal ulcers. In fact, its effectiveness was found to be superior to antiulcer
drugs, and without associated side effects. DGL appears to enhance the protective
agents in the digestive lining as well as promoting circulation to the area. This herb
also contains various flavonoids that suppress the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a
major cause of digestive ulcers. The compound glycyrrhetinic acid is removed from the
herb in the DGL form, which eliminates the risk of hypertension or oedema (which can
occur with long-term use of high dosages of standard licorice root).
Please note: For best results mix contents with saliva before swallowing


As a major metabolic fuel for the endothelial cells of the intestinal tract, glutamine has
been shown to speed the rate of healing of digestive ulcers. In one double-blind study,
57 patients were given either glutamine (400mg 4 times per day) or placebo in addition
to standard treatment and bland diet. Based on X-ray assessment, 22 out of the 24
patients receiving glutamine therapy had complete ulcer healing within 4 weeks.
Cabbage juice consumption is thought to be helpful for patients with gastric ulcers and
gastritis because of its high glutamine content.

Psyllium Seed Husks
The combination of insoluble and soluble fibre in psyllium seed husks reduces the
transit time of intestinal waste, as well as helping to bind various toxins and irritants
which may otherwise accelerate damage to the digestive lining. In duodenal ulcer
patients, a high fibre diet has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of recurrence.


Recent research has demonstrated that bioflavonoids are effective in helping heal the
intestinal mucosa. Flavonoids are known to inhibit the production and secretion of
histamine, which when excessive is an important factor in ulcer formation. Several
types of flavonoids are also known to suppress the growth of Helicobacter pylori.

Gastric/Duodenal Ulcers Summary

Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Oregano oil (60 – 80% carvacrol, 3-5% thymol)1 15 – 45mg per day
Deglycyrrhised Licorice1 500 – 1500mg 30 minutes before main meals
L-Glutamine2 2000 – 5000mg per day (away from food)
Psyllium Husk Fibre 1000 – 3000mg per day
Bioflavonoid complex 500 – 1500mg per day

Caffeinated beverages
Refined carbohydrates
Saturated and trans fats
Dairy foods
Red meat
Fried foods
Known allergens

Complex carbohydrates
Nuts and seeds
Oily fish
Whole grains

Lifestyle Factors
Eat regular small meals as opposed to irregular large meals
Protein foods stimulate stomach acid that may aggravate symptoms
Minimise exposure to stress (employ stress management techniques)
Long term use of NSAID medication can trigger ulcers

1. Do not use during pregnancy or lactation
2. High dosages of glutamine may affect anticonvulsant medication. Avoid if sensitive to
monosodium glutamate or suffering kidney or liver problems