Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are bacteria that infect the lining of the stomach. These bacteria can cause peptic ulcer diseases and duodenal ulcers. While natural treatments may not eradicate the bacteria, they might help maintain the bacteria at low levels.
Gastric inflammation caused by H. pylori can lead to superficial gastritis, ulcers, and even gastric cancer. H. pylori infections typically require triple therapy with two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor.
Antibiotics can cause side effects. Using natural treatments might be helpful in preventing these side effects, protecting the stomach, helping the body to better fight infection, and promoting overall good health.
As natural treatments are unlikely to eradicate H. pylori entirely, people might choose to use them alongside conventional therapy.
Researchers have conducted a range of studies on natural approaches to treating H. pylori infections. Eight potential natural treatments include:
Honey is known for its antibacterial properties, and people have used it as a medicine since ancient times.
One study showed that Manuka honey suppressed the growth of H. pylori in gastric epithelial cells.
Other studies have demonstrated that honey has other anti-H. pylori properties, but more animal studies and clinical trials are needed to assess honey's efficiency as a complementary or alternative treatment.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is an herbal remedy used to treat a variety of illnesses, including:
- digestive health
In one study, the gel from inside the leaves of an aloe vera plant was effective in both inhibiting growth of and killing H. pylori strains, even those that were drug-resistant in a laboratory environment.
This suggests that aloe vera could be effective against H. pylori infection when used in combination with antibiotics.
3. Broccoli sprout
Sulforaphane, a compound found abundantly in broccoli sprout, has been shown to kill H. pylori.
Studies performed both in test tubes and on animal and human subjects have demonstrated the favorable effects of sulforaphane against H. pylori bacteria. Broccoli sprout also decreased gastric inflammation in H. pylori-infected mice.
Lactoferrin, a glycoprotein found in both human and cow's milk, has shown inhibitory activity against H. pylori. One study used a combination of antibiotics and lactoferrin from cow's milk, which resulted in a 100 percent eradication rate of H. pylori in 150 affected people.
Also, a compound called melanoidin appears to inhibit the growth of H. pylori bacteria. Melanoidin is a compound formed by a chemical reaction between the sugar lactose and a protein called casein in milk and dairy products. Research has shown that melanoidin suppresses H. pylori colonization in both mice and humans.
5. Lemongrass oil
People must not ingest essential oils. Instead, they can inhale them and use them as part of an aromatherapy approach. According to studies carried out on humans and animals, lemongrass essential oil inhibits the growth of H. pylori.
In a study on mice, the density of H. pylori colonization in the stomach was significantly reduced compared to mice not treated with lemongrass oil.
6. Green tea
In an animal study, green tea decreased both the number of bacteria and the inflammation score of H. pylori-infected mice. However, researchers found that mice that received green tea before infection achieved better results.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, probiotics are live microorganisms that offer health benefits to people. Interest in probiotics as a treatment for H. pylori is increasing.
There are numerous types of probiotics. Many people use Bifidobacterium, which is found in dairy and fermented products, to prevent gastrointestinal infection.
Research has shown that Bifidobacterium exerts its effect against H. pylori by competing with the bacteria to stick to the mucous lining of the stomach.
Research suggests that H. pylori bacteria are sensitive to ultraviolet light. During phototherapy, an ultraviolet light source illuminates the whole stomach.
Phototherapy has been shown to reduce the number of bacteria in the stomach significantly. However, the bacteria will repopulate a few days after illumination.
While phototherapy is not a complete fix, it may have the potential to become an effective treatment against H. pylori, particularly for people who cannot take antibiotics.
Many people have H. pylori in their body for their entire lives and never have symptoms. Doctors do not routinely test for H. pylori. It is essential to get a correct diagnosis to receive proper treatment.
Symptoms of H. pylori infection may include:
- abdominal pain
- burning in the abdomen
- loss of appetite
Anyone who is worried about symptoms should contact their doctor. Do not replace antibiotic treatments for H. pylori with natural treatments without discussing with a doctor.
H. pylori is a widespread gastric infection that can lead to problems, such as gastric and duodenal ulcers.
It is becoming increasingly challenging to treat pylori as the bacteria have become resistant to conventional antibiotics.
There are some natural remedies which have been shown to be effective against H. pylori bacteria.
A person should speak with their doctor regarding starting natural treatments of H. pylori infection.
Herbs and supplements can interfere with some medications. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not monitor supplements for quality and purity, so people should choose a reputable brand and speak to a doctor before trying them.