Also known as gastric ulcers, stomach ulcers are painful sores that occur in stomach linings. They are a type of peptic ulcer and are usually caused due to an infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Stomach ulcers can also be caused due to many other reasons such as smoking, drinking, stress and long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Ayurveda suggests many herbs and remedies for treating and preventing stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcers are formed when the thick layer of mucus that protects the stomach from digestive juices is reduced. In this condition, digestive acids damage the tissues in the stomach lining and cause an ulcer. Therefore, herbs that aid in reducing acidity, boosting digestion, preventing constipation and fighting infection can significantly aid in the treatment of stomach ulcers.
One such Ayurvedic herb is Saunf. Also known as fennel seeds, Saunf is one of the most used culinary herbs in India. According to Ayurveda, Saunf can balance all three Doshas. It is packed with medicinal properties that aid in the treatment of an array of diseases. The antioxidants, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of fennel seeds are highly beneficial in treating digestive and respiratory diseases, improving vision and curing menstrual problems. Therefore, it is often eaten at the end of meals in India.
Ayurvedic Perspective of Stomach Ulcers
According to Ayurveda, stomach ulcers can be caused due to Vata and Pitta imbalance. Vata imbalance can lead to drying and thinning of the mucous membrane in the stomach. Vata ulcers are usually caused when people skip meals and excessive acid starts accumulating in the stomach. Due to no food in the stomach and the thin lining of the membrane, these acids lead to the development of ulcers.
Pitta imbalance can also cause ulcers. Aggravated Pitta causes the secretion of highly acidic digestive juices in the stomach, leading to hyperacidity and stomach ulcers. Therefore, herbs used in the treatment of stomach ulcers restore the balance of Vata and Pitta and aid in improving digestion such as Saunf.
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers
- Pain in the stomach
- Burning sensation in the abdominal area
- Nausea and vomiting
- Acid reflux or burping
- Bloating and indigestion
Benefits of Saunf in the Treatment of Stomach Ulcers
- The anti-inflammatory properties of Saunf make it one of the best Ayurvedic herbs to reduce inflammation in the stomach. Therefore, Saunf is proven to be highly beneficial in the treatment of stomach ulcers.
- Saunf controls the secretion of gastric acids in the stomach and also soothes the intestinal lining. Hence, it can effectively prevent stomach ulcers.
- The antibacterial properties of Saunf aid in fighting the infection that causes stomach ulcers.
- It also reduces the Tikshna Guna of Pitta that is responsible for causing inflammation and stomach ulcers.
- Saunf aids in relieving many symptoms of stomach ulcers such as gas, constipation and bloating.
How to Use Saunf for Stomach Ulcers?
- There are many ways to consume Saunf. The most common method is by eating it as a mouth freshener at the end of the meals.
- You may also use Saunf in the form of fennel tea. For this, boil 2 cups of water and put 1-2 teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds into it. Strain it and add some honey as a sweetener if you want.
- Another way of using Saunf in your lifestyle is by drinking Saunf water. For this, soak one teaspoon of fennel seeds in the water overnight and drink it the first thing in the morning.
Other Tips to Heal Stomach Ulcers:
- According to Ayurveda, Ahara or diet is extremely important to cure any disease. Therefore, you must eat a balanced diet. Avoid eating foods that can aggravate Vata and Pitta Dosha. Light meals are generally recommended for stomach ulcers.
- There are many Yoga poses that are also highly effective in relieving and preventing stomach ulcers. Pawanmuktasana (wind-relieving pose), Shavasana (corpse pose) and Bhujangasana (cobra pose) are a few of the best Yoga Asanas for stomach ulcers.
- Stress is also one of the principal causes of stomach ulcers. Therefore, you must meditate regularly to relieve and prevent stomach ulcers.
Stomach ulcers are painful and may cause extreme discomfort in the stomach. It may also lead to many digestive complications. Therefore, it is very important to cure it. Saunf is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs to use in the treatment of stomach ulcers. The medicinal properties of Saunf make it highly beneficial for digestive disorders. However, you must consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before using Saunf for treating your ulcer.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Neena Sharma