Aloe Vera Juice as a Natural Remedy for Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers most often affect the stomach and the duodenum, i.e. the upper section of the small intestine. Depending on the overall severity, these ulcers can be incredibly uncomfortable and get in the way of normal daily activities. Nearly 10% of people in the industrialized world will be affected by peptic ulcers at some point in their lives. An estimated 70% of these cases are a result of a bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori. Although it is difficult to determine the exact cause of some stomach ulcers, stress is believed to be the key trigger. It is not uncommon for people who go through distressing periods in their life to develop painful ulcers that can continue well after the initial episode. Antibiotic treatment is typically the first call of action for patients with peptic ulcers, but you may also use aloe vera juice following a course of antibiotics to further help treat stomach and the duodenum and prevent recurrence of ulcers while minimizing negative effects from chemical drugs. However, you should seek advice from a physician before trying any herbal treatment at home.
What is Aloe Vera?
Indigenous to the south of Africa, aloe vera is an ornamental succulent plant, growing to heights of two feet. It develops rosettes of thick, fleshy, prickly leaves and carries clusters of red, pink or yellow flowers. When cut, the leaves ooze a sour liquid or gel from which aloe vera juice is extracted. This sour gel is beneficial as an external wound healer and as a treatment for a number of skin conditions and it has long been used as a natural remedy for digestive problems. Aloe vera has been valued for its soothing effects on the outer skin but recently it was found to be beneficial also when taken by mouth. Hence, it can be extremely useful when taken internally to calm down irritated skin areas. Many people using aloe vera internally also find relief for other internal problems such as diarrhea, constipation as well as heartburn. In addition, aloe vera can provide relief for the pain associated with hemorrhoids when applied externally or used internally.
When it comes to treating peptic ulcers, aloe vera taken by mouth can curb the production of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) and it has a generally calming effect on ulcers due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, aloe vera extract can be effectively used to treat mouth ulcers (canker sores), reduce the build-up of dental plaque, improve skin elasticity and thus help prevent early wrinkles and reduce elevated blood sugar levels.
Beneficial Components of Aloe Vera Juice
Containing key elements such as aloin, aloin-emodin, tannins, resins and polysaccharide compounds, aloe vera features twelve vitamins, twenty minerals and nineteen amino acids vital for maintaining good health. Many of these nutrients have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidative properties, which not only help speed up healing of tiny skin wounds but also of stomach ulcers. Some experts believe that aloe vera juice benefits us because its components like methionine, serine threonine, various amino acids and the trace mineral molybdenum interact together to detoxify the body of heavy metals and help with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein. This in turn prevents fat build-ups in the arteries and the liver.
Aloe Vera Juice Benefits
Aloe vera juice possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and is known to help repair the lining of the inner intestinal wall. It alleviates inflammation caused by acids, alcohol abuse, aspirin and various other medications, which may trigger peptic ulcers. As it was mentioned earlier, aloe vera interferes with the release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and can even neutralize it. Studies have shown that aloe vera juice can treat peptic ulcers so effectively that many scientists now recommend it above the anti-ulcer medication called cimetidine. It is thought that aloe vera’s effectiveness for healing ulcers is related to its capacity to boost the production of pepsin, a gastric enzyme that stimulates the digestive system.
Aloe vera juice can be found at most health stores at a reasonable price. Although some people might not like its taste, the aim is not to find a refreshing soft drink. Always follow the instructions carefully of whichever brand you use and do not to overdo it. Aloe vera juice is not exactly medicine but it is not a soft drink either. Therefore, you should keep moderation in mind while taking it and listen to your body to determine the best course of action to take with this natural remedy. Also, make sure to store fresh aloe vera juice refrigerated to keep its beneficial ingredients intact. If used carefully you can also benefit in other areas as was mentioned earlier in addition to treating and preventing stomach ulcers.
For external use, you can grow your own aloe vera plant (they are quite resilient plants) and extract the juice from their succulent leaves whenever needed. This juice can be used to help soothe sunburn skin in addition to moisturizing it. Aloe vera juice can also be very useful for skin wounds, rashes and allergic reactions or even as the treatment of minor acne to prevent scarring or discoloration.