Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are bacteria that infect the lining of your stomach. The name itself strikes fear in the heart of those who have suffered from this bacterial infection, which is dangerous due to its asymptomatic nature in the vast majority of the cases.
In those cases that do manifest in symptoms, the bacterium often causes nausea, bloating, vomiting, belching, stomach pain, or gastritis. The inflammation that this bacteria can cause may simply make digestive and gastrointestinal functions slightly less efficient, resulting in chronic stomach distress that may often go unnoticed and untreated.
According to the CDC, about 66 percent of the world’s human population is infected with Helicobacter pylori. In developing countries, the numbers are even worse, with up to 80 percent of adults and 10 percent of children likely having a H. pylori infection.
Having this bacteria living in your body can make your risk of developing stomach cancer up to six times higher, and also is often at the root of other major digestive issues such as peptic ulcers, and gastritis.
There are conventional treatments for this infection, but they’re not without their negative side effects. For example, antibiotics may or may not eliminate the H. pylori bacteria, but they will also annihilate your good bacteria as well. Fortunately, there are natural ways to treat, as well as prevent, a Helicobacter pylori infection.
Natural ways to eliminate Helicobacter pylori bacteria
1. Manuka honey
Honey is the main ingredient in numerous natural remedies. It has been used to treat various health issues due to its antibacterial properties. According to researchers, using raw honey or manuka honey with standard treatments may shorten treatment time. In order to get rid of H. pylori bacteria, you should consume one tablespoon manuka honey on an empty stomach in the morning. Also, you can eat a toast with manuka honey in the morning.
2. Cranberry juice
One of the most popular remedies for any infection of the gastrointestinal or urinary tract is cranberry juice, due to the high concentration of antibacterial compounds found in the fruit itself. This juice has an anti-adhesive effect on bacteria, making it difficult for them to colonize the stomach, and promotes their elimination through normal excretion and urination.
A bacterial imbalance in the stomach can wreak havoc on your overall health and nutrition because there are actually many beneficial bacteria that we need for digestion and gut health. Unfortunately, a Helicobacter pylori infection upsets the balance, resulting in inflammation and chronic health risks. Probiotics essentially replace the healthy bacteria you’ve lost in your gut, reducing symptoms and helping to inhibit bacterial colonization.
4. Black seed (Nigella sativa)
Black seed has numerous proven benefits including successfully fighting H. pylori infections. Research from 2010 found that giving H. pylori patients two grams of ground black seeds daily along with omeprazole (an acid blocker) was more effective at treating H. pylori than the standard conventional “triple therapy” of an acid blocker plus two different antibiotics. Doses of black seed at one or three grams daily were less effective.
5. Green tea
A 2009 study on mice showed that green tea may help kill and slow the growth of Helicobacter bacteria. The study found that consuming green tea before an infection prevents stomach inflammation. Consuming the tea during an infection reduced the severity of gastritis.
Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory and has natural antibiotic properties. Eating both cooked and raw garlic may help to kill off Helicobacter pylori bacteria. A 2016 study found that people with H. pylori who consumed two medium-sized cloves of garlic (about 3 grams) with their lunch at noon and dinner in the evening had a significant reduction in Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
7. Broccoli sprouts
A compound in broccoli sprouts called sulforaphane may be effective against H. pylori. Research on mice and humans suggests that it reduces gastric inflammation. It also may lower bacteria colonization and its effects. A study on people with both type 2 diabetes and H. pylori showed that broccoli sprout powder fights the bacteria. It also improved cardiovascular risk factors.
Propolis contains more than 300 compounds including amino acids, coumarins, polyphenols, plant sterols, phenolic compounds, etc. Multiple studies have found that propolis extract, which is available as a supplement, is able to inhibit the growth of H. pylori bacteria thanks to its high content of phenolic compounds.
Helicobacter pylori diet tips
You should consume more:
- Probiotic-rich foods like kefir
- Wild-caught fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Flax and chia seeds also rich in omega-3s
- Raw honey, especially manuka honey, in moderation used in green/black tea
- Berries, specifically raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, and bilberry
- Cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli and broccoli sprouts
You should avoid:
- Carbonated beverages
- Pickled foods
- Spicy foods
- Low-fiber grains