Simple natural gastritis treatments really can make a difference to the excruciating and exhausting pain of persistent gastritis and the constant drain of inflammation and bloating.
They can be especially valuable if you are struggling to get to the bottom of your gastritis symptoms or if you’ve been advised to come off long term gastritis medication following an h-pylori bacterial infection.
The problem is too many of the natural gastritis treatments we read about, aren’t actually natural gastritis treatments at all. They are good advice for our overall gut health in the long term but in the short term they may not actually solve the underlying causes of the gastritis and can painfully aggravate gastritis symptoms.
So I have for you here a big guide to natural gastritis treatments that can help us :
- Ditch the big things that cause gastritis or make it much worse
- Give our stomach the break it needs so it has time to heal
- Use natural treatments to kill bacteria, reduce excess gastric acid and heal our stomach lining
- And critically get the essential nutrition we need for our body to heal successfully.
The guide is full of practical diet tips and natural gastritis remedies. You can use the index below to find specific tips on everything from how turmeric kills unwanted bacteria to the healing powers of green tea and potato juice. Many of these natural gastritis treatments are traditional remedies but where possible I have shared links to clinical research demonstrating their effectiveness, so you can read for yourself the science behind why they work.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and this post does not provide qualified medical advice. Gastritis can be a serious medical condition and can be a symptom of other serious medical conditions. Use this guide to understand when you should seek medical advice.
Gastritis Symptoms & Causes
Common gastritis symptoms are :
- an inflamed stomach that feels twisted & burning
- rumbling & gurgling stomach
- frequent burping
- gnawing stomach pain which can flare up at night
- feeling full after very little food
- feeling sick after very little food.
Gastritis is very commonly caused by the h pylori bacteria but gastritis symptoms can also be the result of regular use of pain killers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, smoking, excess alcohol, significant or prolonged stress or in some cases by an auto-immune disease.
Gastritis – however it has been caused – can result in ulcers in our stomach lining and other damage to the mucus layer that protects our stomach. The original damage can be aggravated by a wide range of food and drink which trigger gastritis attacks and make it very difficult for the original damage to be healed.
What Helps Gastritis Go Away For Good
There are a few very basic things we need to do if we want to help gastritis go away for good as they either cause long term damage to our stomach lining or make it very difficult for our stomach to heal. If we don’t address these we can be stuck in the grip of gastritis for life.
Ditch All Sodas
The sugar, caffeine and acidity of sodas are a lethal combination for gastritis. They can damage our stomach lining and once our stomach lining is damaged aggravate it over and over again causing pain and inflammation, so they are best ditched totally and forever.
Stop Taking NSAID Painkillers
NSAID pain killers such as ibuprofen and stronger doses of aspirin can cause and aggravate stomach lining damage and so are best avoided. If you really do need painkillers, paracetamol are a more stomach friendly alternative.
Cut Right Back On Caffeine
A very small amount of caffeine in moderation can actually help our digestion but it triggers the release of lots of gastric acid which can be very painful if our stomach lining is damaged. Cutting right back as far as we can on caffeine can help reduce pain whilst our stomach heals but do reduce your intake slowly over a week as withdrawal symptoms are horrid.
Cut Right Down On Sugar
Sugar can aggravate gastritis pain and is also associated with general inflammation and risks of auto immune disease. In some people gastritis can actually be an auto immune disease in which our immune system starts attacking our stomach lining. So is best avoided as much as possible.
Avoid Processed Food As Much As Possible
Processed foods – including mass produced bread, processed meat such as chicken & turkey slices and synthetic cheese products – are surprisingly high in very acidic preservatives and sugar to compensate for them. Both the acid and sugar can seriously aggravate the stomach lining so are best avoided as much as possible.
Boost Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D plays a critical role alongside our gut in our immune system. It helps to ensure our immune system responds at the appropriate level to threats and infection and doesn’t over react. Vitamin D deficiency can create all sorts of problems for our gut and gastritis.
Research indicates vitamin D deficiency increases overall digestive system inflammation, significantly reduces the effectiveness of gastritis medication to treat h pylori infections and increases the risk of auto immune gastritis.
It has been claimed that as many as 75% of Americans may be vitamin D deficient. So spending more time outside and boosting our vitamin D levels can actually ease and prevent gastritis. We can obviously take supplements but don’t overdo it as supplements can themselves cause stomach pain.
It makes sense to get tested to identify if you are deficient and how much you need to boost it.
Check For Iron Deficiency
Iron also plays a key role in our immune system. Low levels leave us more vulnerable to infection but it is a vicious circle because both auto immune gastritis & h pylori infections can cause anaemia as they leave our gut unable to properly absorb iron. This can be one of the reasons gastritis leaves people feeling so tired.
Iron is also critical for effective healing and iron deficiency may make it harder for our stomach lining to heal itself. So as part of our gastritis treatment it makes sense to get iron levels checked so we can break the cycle and include as many iron rich foods as we can in our diet.
6 Week Natural Gastritis Treatment
Our body does – given the chance – have an amazing ability to heal and actually to heal quickly. But we do need to give it the chance and for gastritis this means holding off on some food we usually think of as good for gut health because it makes the damage to the mucus layer of our stomach or stops it from healing.
Some people can actually heal their stomach in as little as six weeks by sticking to the following rules. Other people do see rapid improvement in their symptoms but find it is six months before they are able to enjoy an unrestricted healthy diet.
Give Up Tomatoes
Tomatoes can be a wonderful part of a healthy diet and actually help our gut deal with the h pylori bacteria but – and it is a big but – their acidity can be very aggravating once our stomach lining is damaged.
Try ditching them for 6 weeks whilst your stomach heals.
Many of us also over depend on very concentrated tomato juice in our diet and they can become a big trigger for general auto immune inflammation such as psoriasis and for other digestive problems such as heartburn. So it also makes sense to enjoy them in moderation once our stomach is healed.
Hold Off On The Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is another virtue we have turned into a vice by drinking so much of it all year round. Yes it is rich in all sorts of anti oxidants but it will painfully aggravate a damaged stomach lining and if you also have heartburn your oesophagus. So hold off on the fruit juice until your stomach is really healed and enjoy these drinks for gastritis instead.
Enjoy Only Low Acidic Fruit
Unfortunately most fruit is acidic and can trigger pain when you have gastritis. But you can enjoy these fruits which have low acidity :
- Honey dew melon
- Water melon
- Ripe but not over ripe bananas
Keep An Eye On Onions & Garlic
Onions and garlic are not especially acidic and do have all sorts of natural antibacterial and natural anti inflammatory benefits but they can commonly trigger stomach pain for people with gastritis. If they don’t give you pain, then obviously enjoy their benefits but keep an eye on them,.
In the long term there is some evidence red wine drunk in moderation can help ease gastritis but most alcohol can trigger gastritis symptoms so best avoided during the healing period.
Enjoy A Simple Low Acid Diet
Overall, whilst we are healing our stomach we need to focus on a simple low acid diet.
That doesn’t mean bland and it doesn’t mean cutting out whole food groups such as fats, carbs or red meat or all the hot spices that can help heal gastritis.
But it does mean adapting some of our well entrenched habits and adopting for smaller meals of plainer food that has been gently poached, steamed or grilled and flavoured with specific herbs and spices.
You’ll find more ideas in the what food helps heal gastritis section below.
Go Easy On The Fibre
Over and over again we are told a high fibre diet is good for gastritis but many people who have gastritis know it is a big trigger for stomach pain and horribly uncomfortable bloating.
In the long term, fibre is a really important part of a long term healthy diet that prevents everything from constipation and headaches to diabetes. But short term, whilst we are healing our stomach it’s OK to go easy on it.
As we will see below when we look at what is the best drinks for gastritis and what food helps heal gastritis that doesn’t mean cutting out a good range of fruit and vegetables – which will keep us constipation free – but it certainly doesn’t mean over dosing on huge quantities of pulses or big bowls of bran.
What Is The Best Drink For Gastritis?
Avoiding sodas, fruit juice, alcohol and coffee is a must when we are treating gastritis symptoms naturally but luckily there are wide range of drinks that :
- are not acidic & won’t trigger more gastric acid
- have antibacterial powers that can kill the h pylori bacteria
- or have some healing properties that repair the mucous layer of our gut.
Most of these drinks for gastritis are really simple to make at home. If you are buying them do buy from reliable suppliers and carefully read the ingredients to make sure they are not full of sugar or acidic preservatives!!
Green tea has long been used as a natural gastritis treatment and there is now research that shows green tea can restrict the growth of the h pylori bacteria and prevent inflammation of the stomach lining.
Green tea can also be used as a natural athlete’s foot treatment.
Chamomile tea has anti inflammatory properties that can help ease the angry bloating of gastritis whilst also reducing stomach acidity. It’s also naturally calming and can help to reduce stress as a trigger for gastritis.
You can easily make your own ginger tea as a natural gastritis treatment from high quality ginger powder or slices of fresh ginger. Simply steep a teaspoon or a thumb nail’s worth in boiled water for 3 minutes or so.
Turmeric Latte / Golden Milk
We are often told to avoid hot spices when we have gastritis but turmeric has been shown in research to both kill h pylori bacteria quickly and to prevent the bacteria adhering to the stomach lining where it causes damage.
Turmeric latte is a wonderful natural treatment for gastritis when you are really suffering with burning pain and inflammation. If you’ve never made it before check out the recipe below BUT do NOT add black pepper as this can seriously aggravate a damaged stomach lining.
Celery juice has become a seriously fashionable “detoxing” cure and there are all sorts of claims made for its healing powers which are often dismissed as anecdotal evidence rather than research.
But there is some science behind why celery juice can help with gastritis. It is a naturally anti-inflammatory and pain killer and is rich in flavonoids that may help to defeat h pylori but there is also research that suggests it can “significantly replenish … gastric wall mucus” which basically means heal our protective stomach lining.
It is also rich in various vitamins and has low acidity so can be a great gastritis friendly alternative to orange juice in the morning. The post below has good tips on how to make celery juice without a fancy juicer …
Cabbage juice has long been used as a natural treatment for gastritis and it is claimed it can actually speed up stomach lining healing. There is no recent research to support this but some people do find it reduces pain and seems to help their healing. To give it a go check out this recipe …
Potato juice is another traditional natural treatment for gastritis that doesn’t sound great but can be helpful.
Research suggests the low acidity potato juice may actually reduce gastric acid production, prevent h pylori growth and actually speed up recovery of the mucous layer of the stomach.
You can make your own potato juice very easily with both a juicer and a blender
Cutting out acidic fruit juices is pretty key whilst we are healing our stomach but papaya juice is a great gentle alternative that has low acidity and is rich in a bunch of vitamins.
Just blend 2 cups of chopped papaya with 4 cups of chopped water.
Melon juice is another good low acidity alternative to orange juice that won’t aggravate the stomach. Water melon, honey dew and cantaloupe are all good.
Bone broth has become another cure-all fad. There’s no great research demonstrating its much hyped healing powers. But for many people struggling with gastritis it does seem to help as it is a very gentle, soothing and easy to digest way to get a reasonable helping of the protein our body critically needs to rebuild our damaged stomach lining.
It is not especially cheap to buy so you if don’t make your own – it’s not hard – you may want to save it for those days when stomach pain is making it difficult to get enough protein.
Coconut Water & Milk
Coconut water and milk can be very soothing and there is evidence that they can reduce overall levels of gastric acid and its acidity and can prevent ulcers in the stomach lining.
Alkaline water is getting increasing amounts of popular attention as part of anti-acid diets for heartburn and there is evidence that drinking it rather than standard tap or mineral water can reduce the severity of gastritis and possibility the risks of gastric cancer.
Aloe Vera Juice
The healing properties of aloe vera juice has long been used as natural treatment for everything from heartburn to sunburn and research suggests it can also be a successful natural treatment for gastritis that is anti-inflammatory so reduces bloating and protects, heals and stimulates the mucus lining of our stomach.
That all sounds great but as with so many things moderation is key and the benefits of aloe vera can be outweighed by the side effects if we have too much.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is claimed to be a natural treatment for just about everything under the sun. It can give some people instant heartburn relief and personally, I found it wonderful for lower back pain relief but it is not a cure all for everybody and certainly not for gastritis.
Some people claim apple cider vinegar helps gastritis because although it generates more acid to help speed up digestion it is anti-inflammatory and protectively helps stabilise our stomach acid.
But other people claim apple cider vinegar will painfully aggravate ulcers and damage to the stomach lining and just add to the problem of too much stomach acid swilling around.
There doesn’t seem to be research either way so it is a personal call. If your primary symptoms are bloating and a feeling of inflammation but not pain, frequent gurgling & rumbling and burping it may help. If you have any of the last three symptoms – which suggest stomach damage and over production of acid – it probably makes sense to try some of other drinks for gastritis.
Herbs & Spices That Help Heal Gastritis
We are often told to avoid spicy food when we have gastritis but we have already seen that turmeric can help ease pain and actually prevent the h pylori bacteria from infecting our stomach lining.
Herbs & Spices That Kill H Pylori
Ongoing research out of University College London and Lublin medical schools suggests a range of traditional herbs and spices can help heal gastritis. kill the h pylori bacteria and prevent it attaching to our stomach lining so it can’t grow.
The London research suggests the following herbs and spices can stop the h pylori bacteria from attaching to our stomach lining :
And the following herbs and spices can actually kill h pylori bacteria within 60 minutes :
- Black caraway
Whilst the Lublin research showed the following herbs all had strong or good antimicrobial activity against h pylori :
- Coneflower (echinnea)
Now obviously how we digest these herbs and spices makes a big difference but in DIY herbal teas and simple meals they appear to be valuable natural treatments for gastritis.
Black Pepper Aggravates Gastritis
Not all spices however are stomach friendly for gastritis and research showed black and red pepper not only increased gastric acid production but caused loss of stomach lining and micro bleeding from stomach mucous. Nutmeg is also believed to aggravate a damaged stomach lining however there is no clear research to support this.
But there is a clear take away to: stay off the black pepper if you have gastritis.
What Food Helps Heal Gastritis?
Lots of advice out there on what food helps heal gastritis tells us to eat a high fibre, low fat diet with plenty of probioitc fermented food and avoid dairy, spices and plain carbohydrates.
Sadly, most of this advice doesn’t seem to come from people who have actually suffered with recurrent gastritis pain. However good the advice may be for long term digestive health, it can actually make gastritis pain worse in the short term. Short term we need to focus our diet on the food and eating patterns that can help heal gastritis without aggravating stomach damage.
Eat Small Meals More Often
More and more people have been testing out intermittent fasting and going longer between meals as part of a low carb diet to lose weight and manage diabetes but this may aggravate gastritis symptoms. The following simple changes to eating patterns may help to reduce gastritis symptoms whilst our stomach is healing :
- Eat smaller meals
- Eat slowly
- Have a good sized mid morning and mid afternoon snack
- Eat your main meal 3 hours before bed
- But have a small snack at bedtime
Homemade White Bread
We are told over and over white bread is bad but there is bread and there is bread.
Many of our digestive problems with bread are actually with mass produced bread that has not been risen properly and is full of acidic preservatives plus synthetic flavourings and sugar. Mass produced brown bread is just as bad.
Very simple homemade white bread has flour, salt, yeast and a splodge of olive oil.
When you’re struggling to eat anything because of the pain of gastritis white bread can be a god send as long as you don’t already have diabetes and need to stick to low carb recipes as much as possible. It gives us all important energy and seems to act as a stabilising base that helps us eat other things.
If you have never made and don’t have a fancy bread maker try this super simple but delicious recipe …
Simple Plain Carbohydrates
Small helpings of other simple plain carbohydrates like pasta, rice and crackers can also be helpful whilst we are healing our stomach. Again the key thing is not whether they are white or brown but whether they have acidic preservatives and added sugar – including the dreaded fructose syrup – and flavourings in them.
Getting enough protein is absolutely essential when we are trying to heal our stomach but can be very hard when we are in so much pain. A couple of poached or boiled eggs and eggs cooked in bone broth can be a wonderfully gentle way to get over half our daily protein requirement.
Cottage cheese is another gentle way to boost protein levels. It is slightly acidic but many people tolerate it well and it has a quarter of our daily protein requirement.
Natural yoghurt with no added sugar or flavourings is slightly acidic but typically easy to digest and can be anti-inflammatory and a natural antibiotic. A typical helping also has around 15% of our daily protein requirement.
Simple Mashed Vegetables
Small helpings of baked or mashed potato can be easy to digest when you’re struggling with gastritis pain. Or check out these other simple lower carb mash recipes that are useful if you are avoiding potatoes and for getting a wide range of vitamins and materials that can be easily absorbed. They can all be frozen so you can easily eat small portions.
Steamed Green Vegetables
Overdoing the fibre can contribute to stomach pain when we have gastritis but green vegetables can be very helpful in reducing inflammation, boosting our ability to fight infection and in helping our stomach to heal. So small helpings of a range of different steamed green vegetables can be one of the best foods to help heal gastritis :
- Collards & spring greens
- Snap peas
- Green beans
Honey Roasted Vegetables
Roasted root vegetables can also be good food to help heal gastritis as again they are full of vitamins and minerals we need for effective healing. A tray bake of some of these vegetables roasted with honey, turmeric, cumin and ginger will keep well in the fridge so you can eat small portions over 3 or 4 days with stomach soothing yoghurt :
- Acorn squash
- Rutabaga / swede
Real honey has long known antibacterial and healing properties and has traditionally been used as a natural sunburn remedy and to treat mosquito bites naturally. There is some but not clear evidence honey, and especially Manuka honey, may help with h pylori infections but it does seem to help the stomach lining heal.
Simple Fish & Meat
Meat and fish can feel like hard work when our stomach is feeling sensitive but getting sufficient protein is critical when our body is healing. We don’t need to go overboard and a small salmon fillet or half a chicken breast will give us about 25-30g of the 45-55g of protein we need daily and the rest can be made up with things like eggs and cottage cheese.
Very simply poaching plain fish or grilling or baking meat can make it easier to digest.
Pulses can obviously also be a good source of protein and are a great way to restore gut health long term but some people do find their high fibre really aggravates the bloating symptoms of gastritis.
Iron Rich Meat
Many people avoid red meat when they have gastritis as it can be harder to digest but eating a small amount every week if it doesn’t trigger symptoms can be very valuable whilst our body is healing as it is much richer in iron than white meat.
Beef has more than twice as much iron per 100g as chicken and meat such as liver, faggots and black pudding can have three or four times as much iron as beef. Liver can be stewed very gently in bone broth with herbs and spices that help heal gastritis so it is easier to digest.
If you are struggling to get all the protein and iron you need on a daily basis check out these tips on the food highest in iron and protein and iron rich food to eat when convalescing.
And there you go, a really big guide to natural gastritis treatments. I really hope you find them helpful in relieving your gastritis symptoms and healing your stomach. Please do let me know how you get on and what does and doesn’t work for you.
For more simple, practical natural remedies for gut health do check out these other posts :
- How To Get Energy Back After Being Sick
- Instant Heartburn Relief Naturally
- Quick Constipation Relief Naturally
- Quick Natural Bloating Remedies
- Restoring Gut Health
Original image sources :Original image sources: Woman experiencing abdominal pain, treatment and prevention concept by Marco Verch and rawpixel.com under Creative Commons 2.0