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How to Treat and Prevent Ulcers Naturally

Q. I am experiencing what seems to be symptoms of a peptic ulcer; namely a burning, grinding stomach ache with reduced appetite, indigestion, and nausea.

I know I could simply see a family physician regarding the matter, and they would probably just prescribe a couple of hospital tests and probably an antibiotic and/or acid reducer.

However, I'm trying to get to the root of the problem, and I haven't had much success along those lines with purely conventional Western medicine. Just wondering what you might recommend. Thanks very much.

- Bradley L.


Hi Bradley,

First, it's important to understand that if you have a peptic ulcer, there's nothing that you can take to accelerate the healing of an actual ulceration in your GI tract lining. Only your innate, "always-on" self healing mechanisms can heal a peptic ulcer, just as your self healing mechanisms close up a cut on your skin.

The key to efficient healing of a peptic ulcer is to avoid aggravating the ulcer as your body tries to repair it. This involves reducing the overall digestive load that you put on your digestive tract lining, as well as choosing foods that may soothe rather than aggravate an ulcer.

Some thoughts if your peptic ulcer is a gastric (stomach) ulcer:

Though your stomach plays a number of roles in digesting the foods that you eat, its chief function is to break protein apart into amino acids that can get absorbed into your bloodstream and fuel the ongoing activities of your cells. The more protein-dense foods you eat, the more burden you put on your stomach, which slows down the rate at which your self healing mechanisms are able to heal a gastric ulcer.

So the first and most important step that you can take to facilitate optimal healing of a gastric ulcer is to reduce your intake of protein-dense foods, especially those that you know from experience are difficult for you to digest. Flesh meats and dairy fall into this category for most people who suffer with recurrent ulcers.

The best foods to eat when looking to quickly heal a peptic ulcer are those that are relatively low in animal protein and easy to digest. Though fresh fruits and vegetables work well in most circumstances, in severe cases, eating too many raw fruits and vegetables can aggravate fresh ulcerations in the digestive tract. In such cases, rather than eat raw fruits and vegetables, it's often helpful to eat mainly cooked vegetables.

Steamed Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, and zucchini are typically well tolerated by people who have severe peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's, or other inflammatory conditions in the GI tract that involve fresh wounds.

When I used to run a residential fasting program, for severe cases of chronic, recurrent peptic ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease, I typically used a combination of steamed zucchini and potato soup to nourish patients as their ulcerations healed. I made the soup by steaming slices of Yukon gold potatoes and blending them in homemade vegetable broth.

If you use this approach of eating mainly steamed zucchini and tubers in the initial phases of healing from a peptic ulcer, keep in mind that as your ulcer heals, rather than go straight to eating protein-rich animal foods, it's best to start including more raw fruits and vegetables in your diet, followed by small amounts of legumes, then relatively healthy animal foods like organic eggs and wild salmon. If all of these foods are well tolerated over a period of several days to a few weeks, then you can try adding small quantities of other protein-rich animal foods to your diet, but aim to eat such foods along with some steamed vegetables.

All of these suggestions are meant to promote optimal healing of existing peptic ulcers.

What follows are some suggestions on how to prevent ulcers from developing:

1. Avoid regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen - these drugs can cause direct injury to the lining in your stomach and small intestine, which can lead to ulcer formation. Statistics tell us that about 20 percent of people who regularly take these drugs end up developing an ulcer.

2. Avoid nicotine. Studies intake that heavy smokers have a higher than average risk of developing duodenal ulcers, and take longer to heal from an ulcer.

3. Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Alcohol can cause erosion of the protective mucous lining in your stomach and small intestine, which increases your risk of developing a peptic ulcer.

4. Work at being emotionally balanced. Being stressed can disrupt your autonomic nervous system's ability to regulate acid secretion in your stomach, which can increase your risk of suffering from an infection caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Contrary to popular belief, lowered stomach acid production over the long term isn't in your best interest, as stomach acid serves to help you digest protein AND kill off undesirable microorganisms. What you want is to be emotionally balanced, which results in optimal stomach acid secretion by your autonomic nervous system, which helps promote optimal digestion and decreases your risk of experiencing a bacterial infection that can lead to a gastric ulcer.

If you need some help managing emotional stress and/or recovering after a significant period of being stressed, two resources that I wholeheartedly recommend are:



Adrenal Response

I hope these suggestions are helpful. If you have any questions or comments on this topic, please feel free to use the "add new comment" link in the article tools box below.


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Thank you so much for always writing just about the subjects I need!
Just one thing: I was told that I have to stay away from the Nightshade family: tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers and POTATOES. Are the Yukon gold potatoes you are writing about of this family or are they perhaps related to sweet potatoes?
Again Thank you,

Dear Dr. Ben Kim

I'm only 22 years old and already I have to deal with frequent days where I have a very annoying case of what seems to be colitis, actually the first time I had this was when I was just 18 years old. Sometimes the inflamation will last for an entire week, however it doesnt seem like it is realated to stressful situations what makes me wonder about what casues it. After reading this article I think I got some ideas of how to combat this, such as stopping alchohol consumption and high proteins food, but I would love if you could give some more tips for how to prevent colitis.

Thank you very much,

Hello Dr. Kim.
Maybe you all ready know it and just forgot to mention it, but i have read, i have seen and i know that one natural cure to peptic ulcers is cabbage juice. i have recommended cabbage juice to people suffering from peptic ulcers in different occasions and it have always work beautifully. This kind of cure is soo effective that it heals peptic ulcers in just about 3 days.
you can find more information on this on the book Miracle food cures from the Bible.
I wish you an excellent day.
Sincerely: Hugo Escudero

hi dr kim,

i want to comment on the cd 'earth/rain'.. recently my mother passed away here in our home. we played 'earth/rain' the entire day she was leaving us and the day after when we bathed her, dressed her and sat w/ her.. it was the background music to accompany her journey and amazingly we never tired of hearing it. in fact, we played it again the day of her memorial. i'm sure it helped her and us, keeping us less stressed than we could have been. it was actually a very beautiful time and i don't have any negative feelings abt the cd, which might have happened w/ another cd.

i just wanted to share this with you.

thank you,
ps: are there any more like this? i love it.. it's so relaxing (which is i guess the point)

Organic Noni Leather from Hawaiian Health Ohana is very good at settling stomach problems EG acid reflux heartburn. After trying lots of other natural remedies(over a two year period of time) without relief, I found this while on a trip to Hawiia. Immediately after starting to take a small piece twice a day I found I could eat foods that had previously set me off and have now been without the symptoms for a good few months. The product is very convenient to carry around and will settle your stomach almost immediately.This is a magic product and also provides relief for many other ailments.

I used to take ibuprofen every morning and eventually developed a bad stomach and found out that drinking Aloe vera everyday completely healed my stomach. Now I am careful, take no ibp and if I take an aspirin as I have spondeleothesis it is always with food. I heartily recommend Aloe vera and for the back, Pilates has saved my life. Thank you for your fine news letter. Davy Jones Scotland

Dear Dr. Kim,

After 30 years of recurring awful pain in my stomach...I found an article about Helibactor Pylori by the New Zealand Dr. who is credited with the cure for ulcers....and the loss of billions for "big Pharma". After Xrays to verify the ulcer, and a weeks treatment of common antibiotic, I was cured. What an unbelievable relief!

Your comments will bring relief...but not a cure? The infection which promoted the Helibactor Pylori was most likely caused by not washing my hands as a child after using the bathroom.

Regards, J.Mazura

Corozal Belize

Dear sir,
I am now 44 yrs old but when i was 18 i had the problem of deudonal ulcer and been confirmed through gastroscopy. Almost all the reputed doctors of mumbai, india where i stay opined for a surgery. But i was reluctant to it when i contact to a new practitioner who recomended a new medicine called cimetidine which was very effective that time. It was very effective intially but after that i was recovered by my diet. Till now i am making a habit of eating 4 to 5 times a day in regular interval without stocking my stomach. Its 25 yrs now but i never had a symptom of ulcer. Sometimes when i had to eat heavy during some function i get some itching sensation in my deudonal but than i resort strict dietory action which consolidated my condition. As a dietory measure i used to eat 'KHAKHARA' (roasted chappati of wheat flour) and roasted 'KURMURA' (made from batted rice) which not only are light but also sumptuous enough to satisfy the stomach. That is my formulla to fight ulcer.

Hi Dr. Kim,

What about avoiding spices in cooking such as cayenne pepper and red chilis? Can these irritate the stomach lining?


I noticed that you did not rule out the intake of coffee or tea and was wondering about your thoughts on caffine versus decaf beverages. I do not drink sodas. Thanks!

As a person who suffered with inflammatory bowel disease I have to agree that steamed vegetables are a great food to start with if you have digestive troubles. I was unresponsive to most medicine they use for IBD unless it was at enormous doses and I am now healed due to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which also uses herbs to help treat symptoms and the underlying problem itself. Ultimately though for optimal health we need to address underlying mental and emotional attitudes that create stress, and to understand our own weaknesses and tendencies. Complete healing can be a long and complex road, but is well worth it.
I would recommend adding some very well cooked rice to these meals, perhaps even pear barley. Good luck!

<p>I recently was diagnosed with an ulcer and have been on Protonix for the past month. Having realized that at 30 I should not have such stress or health related issues I have turned a new leaf. Not only am I meditating to reduce stress but I have begun a very successful body detox (called DetoxComplete from, I am exercising 3 times a week and have tried to reduce any extremes in my diet (not too much acid or base). So far so good. I believe an ulcer is the bodies warning sign of a need to revisit how you treat your body. I am turning over a new leaf and hope other will be able to as well.</p>

I really learned a lot from your suggestions and want to add that drinking ginger tea or a ginger drink (not soda) really reduces the pain. Looking forward to reading more about your healing practices.
Take care

Rhonda USA

One day years ago, I thought I had an ulcer, it was a strange feeling in my core. I asked the secretary at work, who reached into her desk and pulled out a bottle of something - she said take some of this - if you feel better, you have an ulcer. I chose instead to go home and run. I ran like forest gump. I did sit ups and jumping jacks and any kind of high cardi exercise. I did this for 3 weeks or so - problem was solved. It came back a bout 3 or 4 years later - I immediatly knew what to do - and it worked again. Cold water and food helps as well - the combination of high exercise and food eased both the stress and the ulcer sensation. Drugs don't cure stress - relieving stress cures stress.

My wife developed an Ulcer and after doing some research for natural cures/treatments, I discovered that Active Manuka Honey from New Zealand was reported to be extremely beneficial. We found it at Whole Foods and the results were astounding.She noticed a significant improvement in the pain after only a few doses(1day)and completely gone after a week.She has had a history of heartburn and it helps almost instantly when she takes the manuka honey. We have shared this info. with several friends who have developed ulcers and they all had similar results.Be sure to use Active Manuka Honey of UMF 16 or greater. Good Luck & Best Wishes, John C, Texas