Posts Tagged ‘ulcers’

Some of the best remedies we have for acute ailments can be found right in our own kitchen cabinets.  For me it is extremely convient to reach for something in the pantry or spice cabinet when I’m in need of a quick remedy.  Long before mail order and online shopping people had to rely on what they had around the house or in the yard to treat illnesses which would arise.

One particular application called a “Poultice” has a plethora of benefits and can be made up using things that you may already have in your kitchen.  A Poultice or Cataplasm as it is also refered to is basically a moistened mass of plant or food materials that are applied to various areas of the body in order to impart it’s medicinal benefits and to provide relief.  The word “Poultice” derives from the latin word “porridge” suggesting a consistancy much like that of porridge.

Making and Using a Poultice:

Depending on what you are using as your poulticed material will determine how the material is prepared.  When using fresh plant material you can either chew it up, crush it in a mortor with a pestle  or even chop in a blender until you have made a gooey blob (always ensure you have positively identified a plant prior to chewing or ingesting).  This mass of plant material is then applied directly to the effected area, wrapped with plastic wrap to retain moisture and then secured in place with a gauze or bandage .  When using dry material hot water can be added to hydrate the material and then applied to the affected area.   Warm or cold applications can be applied on top of the dressing to provide additional relief as indicated.  Depending on the type of condition you can apply a light layer of oil, such as olive, to the skin to keep the poulticed material from sticking to the skin once it has dried out (never apply oil based applications to open wounds).  Egg whites can also be added to dry plant material to help add moisture and flour can also be added to help the material adhere to areas such as the top of the ear.  Poultices are effective for various conditions to include inflammations, ulcerations, boils, burns, bites, stings, sprains, bruises, skin conditions and so on.

There are numerous items around the home and in the yard that can be applied as a Poultice.  As a matter of fact I have used plane ole baking soda time and time again to give relief for bee or wasp stings.  Simply add water to baking soda a few drops at a time until you get a thick paste.  Apply the paste to the affected area.  Once the powder is dry I simply wash it off with tap water and we are usually good to go.
Various Poultice Applications:

Honey or Molasses – may be mixed with flour  to make a paste or applied on it’s own for burns or scalds.

Baking Soda or Clay – prepare as mentioned above for bug bites and stings.

Cabbage Leaves (raw) – Crushed or mashed and applied for inflammations, ulcers, boils, arthitis and infections.

Potato (raw/grated) – inflammations and boils.

Bread and Milk – combine the bread and milk and apply to boils and abcesses.

Corn Meal – mixed with boiling water to make a paste an applied to the chest for plueral inflammation.

Onion – lightly sautee a chopped onion until it is soft and warm and place between a gauze or other cloth.  Grease the chest and apply the poultice to the area.  Very effective for respiratory conditons.

Elm (Ulmus fulva, U. spp.) – Mix the powdered elm bark with warm water and apply to inflammations, swellings and ulcerations.

Mallow or Malva spp. – Chew or crush the leaves and apply as a very effective emollient.

Plantain (P. lancealota, P. major) – Chew or crush leaves and apply to area.  Fabulous for helping to draw things out of the skin such as stingers, splinters or glass.

Although I may not have mentioned them all there are an endless number of herbs and foods which can be poulticed.  This application is one of the easiest methods for dealing with acute conditions.  So the next time the need arises try yourself a poultice from the kitchen or the yard.

Skin Condition

Apply oil to skin

Apply poultice material

Apply plastic wrap

Secure poultice

Skin Condition Resolved!!

Read Full Post »

Blackstrap Molasses is the liquid byproduct in the production of refined sugar and was once used as the primary sweetener in foods.  What is so wonderful about Blackstrap Molasses is that it is loaded with minerals and is an easily assimilated form of energy for the body.

People have known for ages of the health benefits of Blackstrap Molasses.  Numerous home remedies have included molasses in the treatment of anemia due to its high iron content.  Along with iron, molasses is also an excellent source of calcium, potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium and a good source of vitamin B6 and selenium.

Two teaspoons of Blackstrap molasses provides your body with 11.8% of your daily need for calcium, 13.3% of your iron, 14% of your cooper, 18% of your manganese, 9.7% of your potassium and 7.3% of daily need for magnesium.  (1)

Traditional folk remedies tout Blackstrap molasses as a panacea or a “cure-all”.  Although, it might not actually be a “cure-all”, blackstrap molasses has been traditionally indicated for the following health conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Ulcers
  • Dermatitis and eczema
  • High blood pressure
  • Constipation and colitis
  • Varicose veins
  • Anemia
  • Bladder troubles such as difficult urination
  • Nerve damage

Here are a couple of traditional remedies once used for anemia:

Mix 2 teaspoons each of apple cider vinegar and blackstrap molasses with water to strengthen the blood (2)

Another remedy called for using 1/3 of a cup blackstrap molasses mixed with milk or as a sweetener (2)

If you don’t like the taste of Black Strap Molasses you can add two tablespoons to your soups.  I have been adding it to my beef stew and find that it adds just a hint of sweetness which actually improves the flavor of the soup or stew.

When selecting blackstrap molasses choose one that is organic and unsulphured as it contains no chemicals which are often used in processing and has a much better taste.


(1) The George Mateljan Foundation

(2)  Todd, J.C., Herbal home remedies.  (2005), Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.

Read Full Post »

What is Heliocobacter pylori

Heliocobacter pylori is a gram-negative bacteria and perhaps the most common of all bacterial infections.  The H. pylori bacterium, as it is often referred to, lives in the lining of the stomach and closely resembles normal epithelial cells.  Because of its spiral shape, the bacteria can literally drill into the lining of the stomach.  Hidden within the mucous lining of the stomach the H. pylori bacteria is able to evade immune cells, which cannot reach it through the stomach lining.  H. Pylori is also able to produce a cloud of acid neutralizing chemicals, which helps to ensure its survival.

 How is H. Pylori Contracted

Researchers are unclear as to the true source of the helicobacter pylori bacteria, however it is more common in areas where there are unsanitary living conditions and over crowding.  Some speculate that the bacteria might be transmitted through human contact as it has a tendency to run in families.  The h. pylori bacteria is also thought to enter the body via the digestive system through eating contaminated food and water.

 Effects of Exposure:

Often times persons infected with the helicobacter pylori bacteria will have no apparent symptoms.  However, complications such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, and gastric cancer are associated with the bacteria.

Diagnosing H. Pylori:

One of the simplest ways to diagnose H. pylori is through a test, which analyzes the breath of the patient.  The patient is administered a dose of radioactive C14 by either ingesting a capsule or by having it administered in water.  The patient is then asked to blow into an apparatus, which analyzes the exhaled carbon dioxide for traces of C14.  If  C14 is detected it indicates the patient has an active infection of the Heliocobacter pylori bacteria present in their stomach.

Another method would be through a blood test which checks for antibodies, which react to the bacteria.  This test, however is not extremely accurate because it can only determine if there has been prior exposure to the bacteria, and cannot indicate if the bacteria is currently active.

The last test is performed through samples or biopsies of the lining of the stomach.  A gastroscopy is performed by inserting a fiber optic tube into the mouth, along the esophagus and into the stomach.  While visually inspecting the stomach and duodenum, doctors are able to take biopsies, which they will later test for the bacteria.

Possible Remedies for H. Pylori:

Garlic: (Allium sativum)

Garlic, which is often called, “Poor man’s penicillin” in folk medicine may prove to be a staunch ally when it comes to H. Pylori bacteria.  Constituents in garlic show positive effects against both gram-positive and negative bacteria.  Researchers have concluded that, “The incidence of stomach cancer is lower in populations with a high intake of Allium vegetables.”  Also, some antibiotic resistant strains of H. Pylori are susceptible to garlic. (1)  Suggested dose is 1-3 cloves of raw garlic per day.

Cranberries:  (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

Research conducted at the Institute of Technology in Haifa Israel indicated that the consumption of cranberry juice inhibits H. pylori from adhering to the stomach mucosa.  Other studies suggest that by consuming cranberry juice on a regular basis it may actually suppress the H. pylori bacteria possibly preventing ulcers and perhaps even gastric cancer. (2)

Ginger: (Zingiber officinale)

According to Dr. James Duke, “ginger contains 11 compounds that have demonstrated anti-ulcer effects.”  Dr. Duke also suggests that a combination of honey and garlic also provides the additional benefit derived from the honeys antibacterial properties.

Licorice Root: (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Numerous studies indicate the Licorice root may be an effective treatment against H. pylori.  (3)  However, for those that suffer with hypertension, Licorice may be contraindicated as it has a tendancy to increase blood pressure.  For those that are affected there is deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) which is basically licorice root which has had the constituent glycyrrhizin removed.  Although DGL has been modified there is still evidence to suggest that it is effective against H. Pylori.

Cabbage: (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)

Cabbage juice has been a traditional remedy in folk medicine throughout the ages.  This remedy might not be too far off the mark.  According to an article published in the Western Journal of Medicine, cabbage juice may be effective in healing peptic ulcers much more quickly than conventional treatments.  (4)  Suggested dose is 1 quart of raw cabbage juice per day.


1.  Protection against Helicobacter pylori and other bacterial infections by garlic. Sivam GP. Bastyr University, Research Institute, Kenmore, WA 98028, USA.

2.  A high molecular mass constituent of cranberry juice inhibits helicobacter pylori adhesion to human gastric mucus. Burger O, Ofek I, Tabak M, Weiss EI, Sharon N, Neeman I. Faculty of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Institute of Technology, Technion, Haifa, Israel.

3.  Anti-Helicobacter pylori flavonoids from licorice extract.  Fukai T, Marumo A, Kaitou K, Kanda T, Terada S, Nomura T.  Department of Physico-chemical Analysis, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Toho University, 2-2-1 Miyama, Funabashi, Chiba 274-8510, Japan. fukai@phar.toho-u.ac.jp


Read Full Post »