Gastritis is the acute inflammation and congestion of the mucous membranes that line the walls of the stomach. Gastritis is a very common complaint and symptoms can come on suddenly. They usually consist of headache, nausea, faintness, and sometimes pain in the stomach or back. The tongue is usually coated,and with severe cases ulcers may erupt around the mouth. Belching, thirst, diarrhea or constipation can also accompany acute gastritis.
Cause of Gastritis to Consider
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There are varied reasons for gastritis or indigestion and may include:
- eating while emotionally upset can cause stomach pain
- eating too fast, not chewing food thoroughly
- eating too many combinations of food at one meal
- drinking too much fluid while eating
- some drugs such as aspirin can bring on an attack
- people who lack digestive enzymes will suffer from gastritis
- use of antacids can cause constipation and nutritional deficiencies
- studies on H.pylori have shown a correlation with acute and chronic gastritis
Herbal Remedies for Gastritis
Once the cause for the indigestion has been found, there are many herbs that can be used. The following four herbs are ones that most people have stocked in their kitchens: dill, parsley, peppermint and rosemary.
- Dill is an ancient herb that held an honored place in ancient Rome warding off witches’ spells. Today, it is used medicinally for gastritis symptoms: indigestion, cramps and gas.
- Parsley was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as a potent medicinal herb for easing indigestion and stomach pain. All parts of the herb have essential oils which have a stimulating effect on the intestines. The seeds and leaves improve the appetite, promoting better digestion.
- Peppermint was identified in England in 1696. Its herbal qualities are well documented in soothing the muscles and lining of the colon. Peppermint contains many essential oils but the most important one is menthol which has an antispasmodic quality. When taken internally, it can ease stomach pain and intestinal inflammation. It promotes production and flow of bile, easing indigestion.
- Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb with an ancient medicinal history. Its essential oils also are antispasmodic, relieving bloating and cramps associated with acute gastritis.
In Addition to Herbs, Lifestyle Modifications Recommended for Gastritis
Along with herbal remedies, gastritis can be prevented or relieved by changing certain lifestyle habits. It’s always best to alleviate the cause of symptoms wherever possible. Many people today are caught up into stressful, hurried lives. However, re-educating oneself to eat only when relaxed, to eat moderate amounts, avoiding too many different foods at the same meal, and to chew food thoroughly will prevent acute gastritis symptoms. Ready to schedule a colonoscopy? Contact Dr. Tarugu’s Office to set an appointment.