Ulcers are open sores or tears that appear in the lining of internal organs, most commonly found in the stomach or intestines, but can be found in the esophagus as well. Peptic ulcers are open sores that start off as sore spots, then become reddened and inflamed, eventually breaking the surface of lining or skin. Ulcers that appear in the stomach are called gastric ulcers, the most common. Find relief and cure for a peptic ulcer by taking steps at home to heal and soothe the spot, and to avoid further irritation.
Avoid drinking alcohol, as this irritates reddened, inflamed and open tissues and sores, much like pouring alcohol on an open cut on the skin. Alcohol also irritates the lining of the stomach and intestines and can cause not only inflammation but also bleeding. Avoid smoking, which increases stomach acids, which in turn irritate the stomach lining. Don't take NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) pain relievers, but stick to acetaminophen, and avoid spicy or fatty foods that contribute to irritation, inflammation and pain.
Use home remedies to help sooth pain, relieve inflammation and heal the ulcer. Determine if you have too much or too little stomach acid. Ingest 1 tbsp. of lemon juice. If your pain goes away, you have lower amounts of stomach acid. But if the pain grows momentarily worse, you have too much stomach acid, which leads to irritation and pain. Neutralize excess stomach acid by mixing 1 tsp. baking soda with 8 oz. of water to drink. This is a generations-old remedy for not only relieving the pain and burning of an ulcer, but also for treating upset stomach and indigestion.
Avoid fried and greasy foods, as well as carbonated sodas, which all irritate the ulcer. Promote healing by eating small portions of easily digestible foods during flare-ups, such as vegetables, hot cereals, plain mashed or baked potatoes, yogurt, cream-based or broth-based soups, skinless chicken or turkey and custards or puddings.
Purchase licorice root, which has been used for generations to treat both duodenal and gastric ulcers, while yarrow and white oak bark are effective in reducing irritation and inflammation caused by ulcers. Marshmallow root and slippery elm are known to offer soothing effects to membrane linings of the stomach and intestinal tract. Read the directions on the bottles of such remedies, which are found at your local health-food store. Or follow instructions in medical folklore books for brewing teas or ingesting such herbs.
Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.