Herbal Supplements
Gastritis and Herbal Remedies
Gastritis is a combination of conditions, characterized by the inflammation of the stomach lining (gastric mucosa). As many other diseases, gastritis may be chronic or acute, and even may be accompanied with atrophy of the stomach in some serious cases. The disease is not only the result of stomach disorders, but it may also be caused by the major surgery, traumatic injury, burns, or severe infections. Autoimmune disorders, chronic bile reflux and pernicious anemia are among the potential gastritis causes, as well.
Abdominal upset and pain are the major symptoms signalizing of gastritis. Nausea and vomiting, burning in the upper abdomen, recurrent upset stomach, belching and abdominal bloating are the defining gastritis signs. If the disease develops into the serious stage, the patient may find blood in the vomit or the stool of a black color, which should alarm and require looking for the immediate medical attention.
Other common gastritis symptoms are indigestion, hiccups and loss of appetite. All the symptoms vary within patients, depending on the individual peculiarities and disease stages. However, some individuals with gastritis may have no symptoms at all.
Gastritis is usually caused by drinking too much alcohol, fungal infections (often in people with AIDS), bacterial infections (mostly by Helicobacter pylori and other Helicobacter bacteria), prolonged use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen, parasitic infections (often from poorly cooked food), viral infections and bile reflux. Cigarette smoke, certain types of radiation and stress may lead to gastritis as well.
Traditional Approaches
Since stomach acid irritates the inflamed tissue of the stomach, treatment of the disease is usually aimed at reducing stomach acid and thereby relieving symptoms and promoting healing. Doctors also will recommend avoiding certain foods, beverages, or medicines.Taking antacids and other drugs, avoiding hot and spicy foods are the key points of successful treatment. In case when gastritis is caused by the pernicious anemia, B12 vitamin shots are usually prescribed.
Alternative Approaches
Chinese medicine uses quite a number of herbs to treat gastritis symptoms.
Licorice root, for example, soothes inflammation and injury in the stomach. Its potential side effect is an increased blood pressure and water weight gain. To avoid that, use deglycyrrhizinated licorice.
Goldenseal, also known as herbal antibiotic, is able to treat infections of the mucous membranes and slow the growth of Helicobacter pylori.
Chamomile is the herb high in flavonoid apigenin, which soothes injured and inflamed mucous membranes and reduces free radical activity.
Marshmallow, bladderwrack and slippery elm are demulcent herbs high in mucilage. The slippery nature of this chemical soothes irritated membranes of the digestive tract, making these herbs helpful for gastritis.
2009-01-11 03:36:46
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