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Peptic ulcers are defects in the gastric or duodenal mucosa (inner lining of the duodenum).  They may be defined as round or oval sores where the stomach or duodenal lining has been destroyed by an excess of stomach acid and digestive juices. Duodenum is the first part of the small intestine that is connected to the lower part of the stomach in the alimentary canal. Discomfort caused by peptic ulcers comes and goes and tends to occur after meals as the stomach acid is produced in response to eating. Peptic ulcers are broadly classified into two types:

  • Gastric ulcers: Occur at the lower part of the stomach and produce pain shortly or immediately after meals
  • Duodenal ulcers: Occur in the duodenum and give rise to sharp pain in the stomach 2-3 hours after meals.

Peptic ulcer disease is most commonly caused due to infections caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori; however, it can also result from long term use of certain types of modern anti-inflammatory drugs or genetic susceptibility.

Homeopathic remedies like argentum nitricum, arsenicum album, geranium maculatum, Hydrastis canadensis, kalium bichromicum, mercurius corrosivus, ornithogalum umbellatum, phosphorus and uranium nitricum have unique modes of action and are commonly used for the management of peptic ulcers.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for peptic ulcers
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a peptic ulcer patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for peptic ulcer
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for peptic ulcer
  5. Takeaway
Doctors for Homeopathic medicine, treatment and remedies for Peptic Ulcer
  • Argentum Nitricum
    Common Name:
    Nitrate of silver
    Symptoms: This drug shows marked neurotic effects and is used in the treatment of brain and spinal symptoms like loss of coordination, control and balance. It is also indicated for mucosal irritation that gives rise to gastric inflammation. Other symptoms that indicate a need for argentum nitricum include:
    • Belching
    • Nausea, retching and vomiting
    • Flatulence
    • Painful swelling or inflammation of the stomach
    • Gnawing ulcerating pain accompanied by burning and constriction
    • Painful spot over the stomach that radiates to all parts of the abdomen
    • Gastritis of drunkards (Read more: Effects of alcohol on the body)
    • Ulcerative pain in the left side, under the ribs
    • Trembling and throbbing in the stomach
    • Enormous distension
    • Ulceration of the stomach with radiating pain
    • A desire for cheese, salt and sweets

Symptoms worsen at night, from cold food, sweets, after meals, with menstrual pain, from emotions and on lying on the left side. However, improvement is seen on eructation, with fresh air, cold and application of pressure.

  • Arsenicum Album
    Common Name:
    Arsenious acid, arsenic trioxide
    Symptoms: This remedy acts efficaciously on every organ and tissue. The specific characteristic symptoms of Arsenicum album and its correlation with many diseases make it a widely accepted homeopathic remedy. Certain symptoms that can be treated with this remedy are:
    • Inability to bear the sight or smell of food
    • Thirst with excessive consumption of water but in small sips at a time
    • Nausea, retching and vomiting after eating or drinking
    • Anxiety accompanied by burning pain
    • Craving for acids and coffee
    • Heartburn
    • Gulping up of acid and bitter substances (acid reflux), which seem to excoriate the throat
    • Long-lasting eructations
    • Vomiting of blood, bile, green mucus or brown-black matter mixed with blood
    • Extremely irritable stomach that seems raw, as if torn
    • Gastralgia (a type of stomach pain that occurs due to a damaged or irritated nerve) from even small amounts of food or drinks
    • Dyspepsia from vinegar, acids, ice-cream, ice-water and tobacco
    • Terrible fear and dyspnoea with gastralgia accompanied by faintness, icy coldness and great exhaustion
    • A sensation that everything that the person is swallowing is getting lodged in their oesophagus (food pipe). This makes it feel like the food pipe is closed and nothing would pass
    • Ill effects of vegetable diet, melons and watery fruits generally
    • Constant craving for milk

Symptoms worsen in wet weather, after midnight, from cold climate, cold drinks or foods, being at the seashore and on lying on the right side. Symptoms improve when exposed to heat, by keeping the head elevated and with warm drinks.

  • Geranium Maculate
    Common Name:
    Crane’s-bill
    Symptoms: This remedy is most suited in patients habituated to sick headaches (headache that occurs along with nausea) or with profuse haemorrhage and ulceration of the stomach. Other symptoms that call for treatment with this remedy include:
    • Catarrhal gastritis - gastritis with profuse secretion of mucus
    • A tendency towards ulceration and passive haemorrhage

Geranium maculatum lessens the vomiting in gastric ulcer.

  • Hydrastis Canadensis
    Common Name:
    Golden seal (hydrastis)
    Symptoms: Hydrastis canadensis acts primarily on the mucous membranes (thin membranes that lines the internal organs and secretes mucus). It relaxes the mucous membranes and leads to the production of a thick, yellowish, ropy secretion. Symptoms indicated for therapy with this remedy are:
    • Sore feeling in the stomach, which is more or less constant
    • Weak digestion
    • Bitter taste
    • Pain as if from a hard-cornered substance
    • Feeling faint or weak
    • Pulsation in epigastrium (the part of the abdomen above the stomach)
    • Inability to eat bread or vegetables
    • Atonic dyspepsia (dyspepsia with impairment of the muscle tone of stomach wall)
    • Ulcers and cancer
    • Gastritis
  • Kalium Bichromicum
    Common Name:
    Bichromate of potash (kali bichromicum)
    Symptoms: This remedy is found to possess a great affinity for the mucous membranes of the stomach, bowels and air passages, bones and other fibrous tissues. Symptoms that are treated by this remedy include:
    • Nausea and vomiting after having a beer
    • Indigestion
    • Dilatation of stomach
    • Gastritis
    • Round ulcer of stomach 
    • Stitching pain in the region of the liver and spleen and through to the spine
    • Dislike for water
    • Inability to digest meat
    • Desire for beer and acids 
    • Gastric symptoms that are relieved after eating
    • Vomiting bright yellow liquid

Symptoms improve with heat and worsen with beer, in the morning, and by undressing.

  • Mercurius Corrosivus
    Common Name:
    Corrosive sublimate
    Symptoms: Symptoms that indicate a need for this remedy are:
    • Incessant, green, bilious vomiting
    • Extreme sensitivity of the epigastrium

The symptoms improve while at rest and worsen in the evenings or nights and with constant use of acids.

  • Ornithogalum Umbellatum
    Common Name:
    Star of Bethlehem
    Symptoms: The centre of action of this remedy is the pylorus of the stomach -the part that is directly connected to the small intestine. It is used for treating painful stomach contractions with duodenal distension (expansion of duodenum). Duodenum is the first part of the small intestine right after the pylorus. Other symptoms indicated for treatment with this remedy are:
    • Agonising feeling in chest and stomach, starting from the pylorus with flatus that rolls in balls from one side to the other
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Gastric ulceration with haemorrhage
    • Pain that increases when food passes the pyloric outlet
    • Vomiting of coffee-ground-looking matter
    • Distension of stomach
    • Frequent belching of offensive gas
    • Painful sinking sensation across the upper end of the stomach
  • Phosphorus
    Common Name: Phosphorus
    Symptoms: Phosphorus, if used in its correct dose, has a curative nature without the toxic effects. The following symptoms call for this remedy:
    • Feeling hungry immediately after eating
    • Sour taste and sour regurgitations after meals
    • Belching after eating
    • Vomiting after eating
    • Inability to tolerate water, the person vomits immediately
    • Vomiting after operations/surgery
    • The cardiac opening seems to be contracted as it is too narrow and thus the food which is scarcely swallowed and comes back up to the mouth
    • Stomach pain, which is relieved by consuming cold food and ice
    • The affected region of the stomach pains when touched or by walking
    • Inflammation of the stomach with a burning sensation of the tongue and bowels as a consequence of eating excessive salt

Symptoms worsen on touch, with physical or mental exertion, in the twilight, with warm food or drink, change of weather, from getting wet in hot weather, in the evening, by lying on the left or painful side, during a thunderstorm and on ascending stairs. Improvement is observed in the dark, by lying on the right side, with cold food, cold air, bathing with cold water and adequate sleep.

  • Uranium Nitricum
    Common Name:
    Nitrate of uranium
    Symptoms: Symptoms that indicate a need for this remedy are:
    • Excessive thirst
    • Nausea
    • Ravenous appetite
    • Eating followed by flatulence
    • Pain in the pyloric region
    • Gastric and duodenal ulcers 
    • Burning pain
    • Bloated abdomen
    • Gas
  • Bismuthum Subnitricum
    Common Name: Precipitated sub-nitrate of bismuth (bismuthum)
    Symptoms: Bismuthum, as a remedy, is indicated for irritation and inflammation of the alimentary canal. Other symptoms calling for this remedy are:
    • Vomiting with convulsive gagging and pain
    • Vomiting water as soon as it reaches the stomach
    • Eructation after drinking
    • Vomiting all fluids
    • Burning in the stomach with the feeling of a load
    • Eating for several days and then vomiting
    • Slow digestion, with foetid eructation
    • Gastralgia, radiating pain from the stomach to the spine
    • Gastritis

Symptoms better with cold drinks, but the person starts vomiting when their stomach becomes full

  • Graphites
    Common Name: Blacklead, plumbago
    Symptoms: Graphites, like all carbons, is an anti-psoric (remedy against itch) of great power, especially active in those who are stout, of fair complexion and have a tendency to skin affections and constipation. Other symptoms that can be treated with this remedy include:
    • Aversion to meat
    • Nausea with sweets 
    • Inability to tolerate hot drinks 
    • Nausea and vomiting after each meal
    • Morning sickness during periods
    • A feeling of pressure in the stomach
    • Burning in stomach, causing hunger
    • Difficulty in eructation
    • Constrictive pain in the stomach
    • Recurrent gastralgia
    • Flatulence
    • Stomach pain that is temporarily relieved by eating, hot drinks especially milk and lying down

Symptoms worsen with warmth, at night, during and after periods and improve in the dark or from wrapping up.

  • Lycopodium Clavatum
    Common Name:
    Club moss (lycopodium)
    Symptoms: This is a remedy which manifests its properties if crushed and triturated in a certain manner. Symptoms that are treated with this remedy include:
    • Dyspepsia due to starchy and fermentable foods, cabbage, and beans 
    • Excessive hunger
    • Aversion to bread
    • A desire for sweet things
    • Food tastes sour
    • Sour eructation
    • Indigestion
    • Bulimia with much bloating
    • Pressure in stomach after eating, with a bitter taste in the mouth
    • Fullness after eating very little
    • Inability to eat oysters
    • Rolling of flatulence inside the stomach
    • Waking up at night feeling hungry
    • Hiccups
    • Incomplete burning eructations that rise only to the pharynx where they cause burning for hours
    • Preference for hot food and drink
    • A sinking sensation in the stomach that is worse at night

Symptoms worsen on lying on the right side, on moving from right to left, on descending, from heat or warmth, hot air, lying in bed and with warm applications, except the throat and stomach which feel better after taking warm drinks. Symptoms improve by motion, after midnight, on getting cold and being uncovered.

  • Plumbum Metallicum
    Common Name:
    Lead
    Symptoms: This drug is preferable for sclerotic conditions, which are marked by hardening of certain tissues of the body due to the overgrowth of fibrous tissue. Symptoms that call for therapy with this drug are:
    • Contractions in the stomach and oesophagus
    • Pressure and tightening of the stomach
    • Gastralgia with constant vomiting
    • Difficulty swallowing solid food

Symptoms worsen at night and with motion but improve with hard pressure and physical exertion.

Here are a set of dietary and lifestyle changes that are often suggested to people who are undergoing homeopathic treatment. 

Do’s:

  • Engage in recreational activities that are intellectual and morally sound.
  • Perform moderate exercises like daily walking or light manual labour in open air.
  • Follow a healthy diet (Read more: Balanced diet chart)

Don’ts:

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks, fine Chinese tea or other herb teas. 
  • Avoid beers made with medicinal substances, liquors made with medicinal spices and all kinds of punch.
  • Avoid strong-smelling products like odorous water, perfumes of all kinds, strong-scented flowers in the room, tooth powders and essences. 
  • Avoid spicy dishes and sauces, spiced cakes, onions, spiced chocolates
  • Do not consume dishes that contain medicinal herbs, or roots and stalks of plants that possess medicinal qualities.
  • Avoid celery, old cheese and stale meats or meats that possess medicinal properties (e.g., flesh and fat of geese, and ducks and sour foods).
  • Avoid overeating
  • Cut down the intake of sugar, salt and spirituous drinks.
  • Avoid wearing clothes that make you feel too warm or restrict air circulation.

Conventional therapy for peptic ulcers is primarily symptomatic in nature, causing these symptoms to be suppressed rather than completely removed. However, homeopathic treatment follows a curative approach and aims at dealing with the disease at its root. Homeopathic doctors take into account not just the symptoms but also the general build of the patient.

Studies suggest that homeopathic remedies act by stimulating mucosal cell proliferation and inhibiting gastric acid secretion. They also inhibit certain ionic and molecular cycles, which are responsible for acid secretion in the stomach.

In a systematic review that summarised 107 trials, a total of 81 reported positive results with homeopathic treatment. Moreover, this study also proved that the benefits of homeopathic regimen could not be completely ascribed to a placebo effect.

Homeopathic remedies prescribed by qualified homeopathic physicians are highly diluted and individualised according to the symptom profile of the patient. These remedies, therefore, provide good therapeutic effects with little or no side effects.

Homeopathy is a safe and effective method for the treatment of peptic ulcers. Being highly potentised, these remedies provide the highest standards of efficacy with good tolerability and minimal side effects. For best results, these medicines should only be taken under the supervision of an experienced doctor.

Dr. Rahul Sharma

Dr. Rahul Sharma

Homeopathy
3 Years of Experience

Dr. Reny Miglani

Dr. Reny Miglani

Homeopathy
36 Years of Experience

Dr. Nirmal Kumar

Dr. Nirmal Kumar

Homeopathy
1 Years of Experience

Dr Dinesh Gour

Dr Dinesh Gour

Homeopathy
11 Years of Experience

References

  1. British Homeopathic Association. Digestive problems . London; [Internet]
  2. Repertory by Oscar E. Boericke. Repertory. Médi-T; [lnternet]
  3. Wei-Ping Bi, Hui-Bin Man, Mao-Qiang Man. Efficacy and safety of herbal medicines in treating gastric ulcer: A review World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Dec 7; 20(45) PMID: 25493014
  4. William Boericke. Homeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing: Médi-T 1999, Volume 1 Homoeopathic Materia Medica
  5. Ronald L. Koretza, Michael Rotblatt. Complementary and alternative medicine in gastroenterology: The good, the bad, and the ugly The Journal of Clinical Gastroentrology and Hepatology, November 2004, Volume 2, Issue 11, Pages 957–967

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