The Best Herbs and Supplements to Treat and Heal Gastritis
When I first got diagnosed with Gastritis after weeks of nausea, feeling full after eating a tiny amount and stomach pain. My GP gave me a prescription for PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) and off I went, just happy to have something that would hopefully make me feel better.
I took the tablets (Lansoprazole) religiously an hour before breakfast and the relief was quite quick for me. My main symptom was nausea and the pills seemed to stop that within a couple of days. So, I carried on taking them for 2 months as the doctor advised and I was feeling great, with no symptoms at all.
When it was time to stop taking them I tapered off slowly as advised, to avoid any acid rebound. I felt a little uncomfortable for a few days but then things settled down and all was good.
A month or so later I had that feeling of nausea creeping back again and started to get stomach pain at times. Could it be Gastritis again?
The discomfort got worse and worse and so back to the doctor I went, only to be put back on PPIs again. I was actually told to just take them indefinitely and was given a repeat prescription so I could just re-order if I needed them.
Now this concerned me a little, did this mean I would have this issue forever?
I took the PPIs and repeated the cycle several times, taking them for several months, coming off and then needing to go back on them again.
Then one month I decided I really didn’t want to keep having PPIs and I needed to find a way of helping my stomach without medication, as it was obvious it wasn’t helping me long term. Plus, I had read about the long-term effects of taking them and it was something I didn’t want to risk.
Which Herbs and Supplements?
So, I started investigating alternative treatments for Gastritis and what supplements might help.
I was a little overwhelmed with the number of options out there, everything from digestive enzymes to concoctions that were guaranteed to soothe my gut and cure me forever.
I belonged to a number of groups and was in touch with a couple of naturopaths who were very helpful with advising me on what herbs and supplements to try.
These are the ones that really helped heal my gastritis:-
Slippery elm powder
I tried this for the first time several years ago and found it to be brilliant. Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) has been used for centuries by Native Americans as a herbal remedy. They would use it for wounds, skin inflammation and take it orally for coughs and stomach issues.
Slippery elm powder is prepared by mixing a teaspoonful with a little water, stir and then let it thicken. Then you just drink it down straight. It’s a weird texture and not the tastiest thing I have ever had, but the results were worth it.
Some people mix it with hot water and drink it like tea but I found it quicker to just swallow it down.
I would have it about 20 minutes before each meal, and it really soothes and coats the stomach. I took it religiously for several months and I believe it gave my stomach protection
If you are on medication you do need to avoid slippery elm within 2 hours of your taking them as it can affect the absorption of the medication.
I now always keep a packet in my cupboard in case. I have tried a few varieties but this one seems to mix and thicken the best.
Once it’s thickened you drink it down and let it coat your stomach about 20 minutes before a meal. I take it 3 times a day before each meal. I have used a couple of different ones, these are my favourites:-
Or if you prefer to take supplements in a tablet form, these are also good and more convenient for taking out with you or on holidays, etc. Bio-Health Slippery Elm Capsules
Zinc L carnosine
I only discovered this supplement a year or so before my Gastritis was healed but it was a huge game-changer for me. It is actually a drug that is medically prescribed in Japan and South Korea to treat Gastric ulcers. It works by stimulating mucous production and helps repair damaged tissues.
I had only been taking it for a couple of days when it felt like my stomach was getting stronger, and I really feel this supplement was one of the main reasons I finally healed my Gastritis.
It is taken on an empty stomach twice a day, I would take one first thing in the morning, an hour before breakfast and then one at bedtime as my stomach was usually empty by then.
If you buy only one supplement I would definitely give this one a go. Obviously, everyone is different and some people I know didn’t tolerate it well so stopped taking it, but I had zero side effects. I buy mine from Amazon and this is the best one I’ve tried Doctor’s Best, PepZin GI, Zinc-L-Carnosine Complex
I have used various probiotics over the years for different ailments. But can’t say I ever noticed a difference when I took them. I remember having issues with Candida/thrush years ago and was advised to take them, but it made no difference at all. So, I was sceptical when I was advised to give them a go. I was told to get a good quality one that you store in the fridge, it costs a little more but makes a big difference apparently.
Probiotics help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut, which is something that can be off balance in people with Gastritis and other digestive conditions.
It took a couple of weeks but I really did notice a change in my digestive system as a whole. I found my bowels were more regular, my appetite was increasing and I was not getting that afternoon bloat that was quite a regular thing for me.
I still occasionally have probiotics now but I have breaks in between as I don’t want my body to become too used to having them.
These have become my firm favourite, they cost a little more but I think they are worth it. BioCare BioAcidophilus Forte (probiotic)
When I was suffering from Gastritis I would find food felt like it was sitting in my stomach for ages, it felt awful and would give me nausea and occasional acid reflux. I knew that Digestive enzymes were meant to help assist your stomach in digesting food quicker so I thought I would give them a try.
I bought papaya enzymes, as Papaya is a tropical fruit that is naturally rich in digestive enzymes. I would take 3 tablets (dosage may vary) halfway through eating my lunch and then again at dinner time. I noticed very quickly that my stomach was emptying quicker. It was a relief and made me feel much more comfortable.
I only took these whilst I was in a Gastritis flare as I didn’t feel like I needed them at other times. But I feel they really did aid my recovery. These are the Papaya ones I used – American Health Papaya Enzyme
Bitters have been used for years. They work by stimulating the receptors in the mouth that are activated by bitter liquids and food. This then increases bile production and gastric juices, which contain digestive enzymes that we need to break food down.
I was sceptical of these as I couldn’t believe just a few drops of these in some water before a meal could make any difference. I believe my issue is with low stomach acid and sometimes my body needs a boost in producing HCL (hydrochloric acid – stomach acid) bitters do exactly that.
I used them every day before I ate my lunch/dinner and my digestive system started working so much more efficiently. My food was digesting faster and I was experiencing less bloating.
The ones I bought are fairly inexpensive and last ages, so it’s worth giving them a go, if you have a sluggish system it might be enough to just give your digestive system the kickstart it needs. These are the ones I use Maria Treben Bitter Swedish Drops Concentrate
I have used other supplements with varying degrees of success, but I feel it was when I used a combination of the above that I really noticed a difference. I have been healed for over a year now, but if I ever have symptoms again I will be reaching for these first and hopefully will not need to touch PPIs again.
If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to comment below.
Some people need to be on PPIs so you should always consult your doctor first.