Herbs & Natural Remedies:
Licorice and chamomile.
DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice): tablets. Chamomile: tea.
How it Works:
The glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) in licorice is a potent anti-inflammatory ulcer healer. It’s not entirely clear how chamomile works, but it has a long history as a digestive aid and has been shown to help prevent and heal ulcers in animal studies.
DGL works best when mixed with saliva. Buy chewable, 380 mg tablets. Take 2 to 4 between meals. Chamomile: 2 heaping teaspoons of flowers per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes and drink up to 3 cups daily.
In high doses, GA causes water retention, which raises blood pressure. Scientists discovered that removing most of licorice’s GA retained its benefits but eliminated this side effect, hence DGL.
Eat more plant foods, especially cabbage, which is rich in glutamine, a compound that boosts production of protective stomach mucus. Cut down on coffee (including decaf), tea, and alcohol. Incorporate a relaxation regimen into your life: meditation, yoga, tai chi, visualizations, etc. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen.
San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit www.mcastleman.com .