Peptic Ulcer – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Peptic ulcer is a common term which includes both gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer. Smoking, excessive caffeine (tea/coffee) intake, alcohol, excessive spices, stress and pain-killers like aspirin may cause or aggravate peptic ulcer.

In Ayurveda, peptic ulcer is termed as “Parinaam Shool”, i.e. pain which is felt at a definite time after consumption of food. Ayurvedic texts further divide this into different types, according to the predominant dosha affected, and treatment is also suggested accordingly. Thus, in the “Vata” type, medicated enema of Til (Sesame) oil, Bala (Sida cordifolia) oil and Mahanarayan(containing mainly Asparagus racemosus) oil are recommended. Mild purgation is suggested in the “Pitta” type, using Aragwadh (Cassia fistula), Draksha (Vitis vinifera), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Nishottar (Operculina turpethum). In the “Kaphaj” type, induced vomiting is recommended using sugarcane juice or salt-water.

It is important to note that the above “detoxification” appears to be more suitable in conditions of hyperacidity or “Amla-Pitta”, where definite improvement is usually seen with the above mentioned procedures. These are best avoided in patients confirmed with, or having a medical history highly suggestive of peptic ulcer, due to a small but definite risk of perforation and other complications.

Ayurveda has specific and highly effective oral treatment for peptic ulcer. Some of the well known medicines are: Shankh Bhasma, Praval Panchamrut, Kamdudha and Sutshekhar Rasa. Herbal medicines known to be effective in this condition are: Amalaki (Emblica oficinalis), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Usheera (Vetiveria zizanoides), Bhunimbadi (containing mainly Andrographis paniculata) qadha (decoction) and Patoladi (containing mainly Trichosanthes dioica) qadha. Usually, complete relief is obtained in a period of four to eight weeks.

In order to prevent relapse of symptoms, the patient is further treated with Shatavari (containing mainly Asparagus racemosus) Ghruta, Panchatikta Ghruta, Pippali (containing mainly Piper longum) Ghruta etc. In refractory patients, the total course of treatment may need to be repeated till complete recovery.

It is best to avoid known offending or aggravating causes. A diet of wheat, rice, beans, sugar, honey, kushmand (white gourd melon), padwal (pointed gourd), bhendi (lady’s finger), bottle gourd, coconut, dadim (pomegranate) and milk is recommended. Til(sesame), black gram, kulith, garlic, cloves, yogurt , spicy, fried and fermented food products are best avoided.