Ayurveda regards Ama as the root cause of all disorders and signifies the importance of healthy digestion in ensuring a holistic health. The smooth functioning of the stomach and the digestive tract thus plays a vital role in our overall health. Ulcers are often regarded as a common digestive disorder that can cause serious harm to the digestive process as well as the organs involved in digesting food and assimilating nutrients. Peptic or gastric ulcers are erosions or sores that occur on the stomach lining or duodenum which marks the starting of small intestine. These lesions form from the break of the skin or the mucous membrane that lines the stomach.

Causes of peptic ulcers

Bacterial infection is often held responsible for causing ulcers in the stomach or duodenum. Other risk factors for developing ulcers include,

Irritation of the mucosa
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Recurrent attacks of hyperacidity
Excess intake of spicy, oily and fatty foods

Signs and symptoms

Burning sensation in the chest and upper part of stomach
Nausea or vomiting
Internal bleeding which can result in blood in vomit or black stools
Weight loss
Loss of appetite

Ayurveda and ulcers

Ayurveda regards the most common causes of ulcers as a combination of Vataand Pitta provoking factors. Vata type ulcers occur due to the dryness of the mucous membranes lining the stomach and small intestine. The dry membrane fails to protect the underlying tissue from the acid present in the digestive system which results in the acids burning the tissue causing hyperacidity at first and ulceration gradually. Pitta type ulcers result from excess acid secretions that overwhelm the mucous secretions of the intestinal lining which leads to hyperacidity and ulceration.

Ayurvedic treatments for peptic ulcers include purification through Panchakarma, administering rasayanas, therapies to treat inflammation and hyperacidity and antibacterial therapies along with diet regulations. Most Ayurvedic physicians takes into consideration the body type of the person before formulating a treatment module. Medicated enema of sesame oil and asparagus oil is recommended for Vata, while enema using amalaki is used for Pitta. For Kapha type, vomiting is induced with sugarcane juice or salt water.

Home remedies to manage peptic ulcers

Aloe Vera is considered an effective remedy that can cure stomach ulcers. Consuming Aloe vera gel directly from the plant or drinking fresh aloe vera juice is beneficial.
Honey possess natural healing and curative properties which help treat ulcers. Have one teaspoon of honey once a day.
Vitamin K should be included in the daily diet in form of egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, cheese, tomatoes, etc. to prevent the bleeding from ulcers which may gradually lead to anaemia.
Add barley water, watermelon and peach in daily diet.
Boil water with a cup of fenugreek leaves, mix in a pinch of salt and drink twice a day.
Meditation and yoga is highly recommended to reduce stress and to promote fast healing.