Gastritis can be defined as inflammation, irritation or erosion of the lining of the stomach, known as the gastric mucosa. All or part of the gastric mucosa may be involved, thus it can be classified as acute or chronic.
Symptoms of gastritis vary from person to person, and many people have no symptoms at all.
However, the most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating, a burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach between meals or at night, indigestion, heartburn, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dark stools and bloating.
While there are several reasons why people suffer from gastritis, there are four primary causes: infection of the stomach mucosa by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, vitamin B12 deficiency, taking too many pain relievers or other anti-inflammatory drugs, and acidic and spicy foods and drinks.
Those who drink too much alcohol, older adults and people suffering from diseases and conditions like HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease and parasitic infections are at a higher risk of getting gastritis. Viral or fungal infections and stress can also be contributing factors.
Mild cases of acute gastritis usually clear up within a few days. Plus, you can try simple home remedies along with lifestyle and diet modifications to prevent and control the problem.
However, if you suffer from chronic gastritis and experience a lot of discomfort, it is advisable to consult your doctor as it can lead to ulcers.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for gastritis.
1. Carom Seeds
Carom seeds are a natural antacid that is beneficial for gastritis. They provide relief to the stomach’s mucous membrane from acidity and hyperacidity. Carom seeds can also treat indigestion, nausea and bloating.
- Mix together 1 teaspoon each of carom seeds and dried ginger with a little bit of black salt. Take 1 teaspoon of this mixture with a glass of warm water 3 times a day.
- Another option is to add 1 teaspoon of carom seeds powder and ½ teaspoon of black salt to a glass of buttermilk. Drink it 2 times a day.
- You can also boil 2 cups of water with 4 teaspoons of carom seeds until the water reduces by half. Strain the mixture and drink ½ cup of it 2 times a day.
Follow any of these remedies until the gastritis symptoms go away.
Ginger can also effectively treat gastritis due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can reduce inflammation and treat the infection as well as alleviate symptoms like stomach pain, gas, indigestion, nausea and bloating.
- Add 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger root to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and sip this tea slowly. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day for about a week.
- Alternatively, mix together ½ tablespoon each of ginger juice and honey. Take it before eating your meal 2 times daily for a week.
- You can even chew a small piece of fresh ginger root or take ginger capsules to treat gastritis.
Note: Ginger may interfere with blood-thinning and high blood pressure medications.
Yogurt is a good addition to your diet, especially when suffering from gastritis. Yogurt with active live cultures is particularly beneficial in this regard.
The probiotics present in yogurt help protect your stomach lining from H. pylori bacteria that causes gastritis. Also, yogurt boosts the immune system to fight off infection more quickly.
- Eat 2 to 3 cups of plain probiotic yogurt daily until you get relief.
- You can also try a yogurt, banana and honey smoothie. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day for quick recovery.
Chamomile tea may also be very helpful in treating gastritis. It is rich in certain essential oils that are beneficial for the digestive system. It can even soothe the intestinal walls, providing relief from sudden pains, and eliminate gas. Plus, it can reduce stomach inflammation and thus reduce the risk of ulcers.
- Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers to 1 cup of hot water.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Strain, then add some honey.
- Drink this tea several times daily for a week.
Note: Do not boil this herb as its active compounds will be destroyed.
Peppermint is another herb known to treat gastritis due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. Its soothing properties can reduce inflammation of the stomach lining. Plus, it can help reduce nausea, indigestion and heartburn.
- Take standardized, enteric coated peppermint tablets. Usually, 1 tablet 2 or 3 times daily is recommended, but it is best to consult a doctor before taking it. Enteric coated tablets will help avoid heartburn.
- You can also chew fresh peppermint leaves or add them to your soups, salads and smoothies.
Strawberries can also help heal gastritis due to their antioxidant property and high content of phenolic compounds. It can help prevent the start of inflammation in the stomach lining.
In a 2011 study, European researchers concluded that regular consumption of strawberries can help reduce the harm that alcohol causes to the stomach mucous membrane.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried strawberry leaves to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for 5 minutes, then strain. Drink it 2 or 3 times daily until the gastritis symptoms subside.
- To prevent gastritis, eat a few strawberries daily.