Fenugreek seeds possess anti-ulcer property. They are highly effective in the treatment of peptic ulcers. A tea made from these seeds soothes inflamed stomach and intestine and cleanses the stomach. It helps healing of ulcers as the mild coating of mucilaginous material deposited by fenugreek seeds, as it passes through the stomach and intestines, provides a protective shell for the ulcers.
It has long been recommended that the low-fibre bland diet relieves or prevents ulcers. Contrary to this view, it is now believed that a lack of roughage, far from discouraging ulcers, encourages them. In support of this belief, Dr. Frank I. Tovey, M.D., a surgeon at the University College of London and a prominent researcher on diet and ulcers, points out that the Japanese, who eat heavy diet of polished rice, have the highest peptic ulcer rate in the world.
Ulcers are also a major problem in the rice eating areas of Southern India. But they are rare in North India where chapattis or unrefined wheat breads are the staple food. This is also true in China, where ulcers are prevalent in the southern rice growing areas and less so in the northern wheat raising lands, he says.
Further, taking a high-fibre diet seems to help heal ulcers and prevent relapses. In Bombay, Dr. S. L. Malhotra took up a study on a group of 42 patients with healed ulcers who were regular rice eaters. He had half of them convert to a Punjabi type unrefined wheat diet. He followed them for five years. During that time, 81 per cent of those who consumed rice only had relapses and their ulcers flared up again. In comparison, only 14 per cent of the high-fibre wheat eaters had a recurrence of ulcers. Fibre seems to have a protective effect and it reduces gastric acid concentrations. It might irritate the stomach lining and make it tough.
This pungent condiment possesses anti ulcer property. It may help retard stomach damage and ulcers. This was discovered by researchers at Catholic University Medical College in Seoul, Korea. They fed rats doses of alcohol aimed at harming the stomach lining. Some animals also got pure garlic or garlic compounds.
The rats who got the garlic and components had much less stomach damage, especially less haemorrhaging and cell destruction beneath the surface of the lining. Researchers attributed the protection not to the inhibiting property of gastric acid secretion, but to mild irritation that excited production of protective hormone like substances that strengthened stomach lining resistance.
Lady’s Finger or Okra
Lady’s finger is considered to be an anti-ulcer food. It is one of the most effective remedies for peptic ulcer. According to Dr. J. Meyer and his associates, powdered okra is an efficient means of speedily relieving the pain of peptic ulcer. Modern investigations show that the pain of peptic ulcer is not directly due to the chemical effects of an over abundant gastric juice, but to spasm or cramp of the pylorus, due to irritation of the sensitive duodenum by the acid gastric contents.
The emollient okra protects the sensitive duodenal surfaces and so stops the cramps. The mucilage of lady’s finger is especially valuable in treating the burning sensation in the stomach caused by peptic ulcer. It can be extracted from this vegetable by cutting four capsules into 2.5cm pieces and boiling them in 225ml of water for about 15 minutes. After cooling, the pieces are squeezed and the mucilage is extracted and strained through a muslin cloth. A tablespoon of honey and pinch of rock salt is added to this mucilage and is used once daily as a cure for this condition.
Lime is food of great value in treating peptic ulcer. The citric acid in this fruit has an alkaline reaction in the system. This acid, together with the mineral salts present in the juice, helps the digestion by assisting the absorption of fats and alcohol and by neutralising excessive bile produced by the liver. The juice counteracts the effects of greasy food and reduces gastric acidity.
Liquorice possesses anti ulcer property. According to Dr. James Duke, Ph.D. and Botanist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, liquorice is highly beneficial in the treatment of peptic ulcer. He says that numerous studies have attributed liquorice root with formidable antiulcer properties. For instance, Scandinavian scientists found that liquorice compounds reduced acids, stimulated mucus secretion and helped stomach wall cells repair themselves.
Pharmaceutical companies have even developed a drug called Caved-S-which is essentially liquorice without its most troublesome ingredient, glycrrhizin. In a British test of 100 ulcer patients, the liquorice drug, which is chewed, was just as effective as the commonly used uicer drug Tagamet in healing ulcers.
Liquorice is especially useful in the removal of pain due to stomach ulcers. The demulcent action of this condiment decreases the irritation due to acids. Pieces of the dry root soaked overnight in water and the infusion taken with rice gruel greatly helps in treating ulcers. Continuous and uninterrupted use of liquorice in the treatment of stomach ulcer is however not advisable, as it may cause increase in weight and puffiness of body. It should also be avoided in pregnancy and in deseased heart and kidney conditions.
Wood apple is a spherical whitish fruit, with hard woody pericarp and aromatic pulp. The tree is spiny and contains feather-like leaves and reddish flowers. The leaves of the tree are aromatic and possess astringent and carminative properties.
The leaves also possess anti ulcer property. Their use has been found beneficial in the treatment of both gastric and duodenal ulcers. An infusion of the leaves should be taken to treat this condition. This infusion is prepared by soaking overnight 15 g of the leaves in 250 ml of water. In the morning this water should be strained and taken as a drink. The pain and discomfort will be relieved when this treatment is continued for a few weeks. The leaves are rich in tannins, which reduce inflammation and help healing ulcers.