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Helicobacter pylori Infection – 11 Natural Remedies + Diet Tips

Medically reviewed by Dr. Millie Lytle, ND, MPH
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Helicobacter pylori Infection – 11 Natural Remedies + Diet Tips April 29, 2019

Helicobacter pylori infection affects 44.3% of people worldwide. This causative agent affects almost half of the world’s population (1)!

If you have been feeling too gassy, bloated, and nauseous, and these symptoms are accompanied by sudden weight loss, there is a high chance that you could be harboring H. pylori. Under such circumstances, it is better to get yourself tested for this bacterial infection. To know more about this condition and how you can battle it using some natural remedies, read on!

Table Of Contents

What Is H.pylori?

Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori are bacteria that can enter your body and thrive in your digestive tract. After years, they can surface as sores in the lining of your stomach or the upper part of your small intestine. This infection may also lead to stomach cancer in some individuals.

H. pylori infections are quite common. These bacteria are found in the bodies of two-thirds of the world’s population. However, they do not cause symptoms in most people. Possible symptoms are discussed in the next section.

Signs And Symptoms

Stomach ulcers are one of the most prominent symptoms of an H. pylori infection. The other symptoms are mostly associated with ulcers. They may include:

In some cases, the ulcers can bleed into the stomach or intestines. This could be dangerous to your health. The symptoms of bleeding ulcers may include:

  • Bloody stool that may be dark red or black
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Vomit that may have some blood in it
  • Severe stomach ache

While it is not common, some H. pylori infections can lead to the development of stomach cancer. This may cause a few symptoms like heartburn. Eventually, you may also notice other signs like:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Belly pain and/or swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss without any apparent reason
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount

Stomach ulcers were initially thought to be a result of smoking and consuming spicy foods. It was later that researchers found H. pylori to be the main culprit behind the development of such ulcers.

Let’s look into the causes and risk factors.

Causes And Risk Factors

What causes an H. pylori infection to spread from one person to another is still not known. While these bacteria have coexisted with humans for many years, the infection was found to spread from one person’s mouth to another. It may also spread from feces to the mouth. Infected individuals who do not wash their hands after using the loo can spread the infection to others through food and water they may have touched.

Once ingested, H. pylori can penetrate the mucus lining of the stomach, generating substances that neutralize the stomach acids. As a result, the stomach cells become increasingly vulnerable to the harsh acids. The irritation of the stomach lining due to H. pylori and the stomach acids cause ulcers in the stomach as well as the duodenum.

Factors that can increase your risk of developing an H. pylori infection are:

  • Living in or visiting a developing country
  • Sharing utensils with an affected individual
  • No or less access to hot water
  • Non-Hispanic African or Mexican American descent
  • Poor hygiene practices
  • Mouth-to-mouth contact
  • Sexual intercourse with an affected individual

As you can see, H. pylori infections can be transmitted from one person to another in a number of ways. There are many combinations of antibiotics and other medications available to eliminate the bacteria while reducing the ulcers.

Listed below are some natural remedies that can assist these medications in treating an H. pylori infection.

Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of H. pylori Infection

  1. Probiotics
  2. Green Tea
  3. Honey
  4. Olive Oil
  5. Aloe Vera
  6. Licorice Root
  7. Black Seed (Nigella Sativa)
  8. Turmeric
  9. Ginger
  10. Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil
  11. Lemongrass Oil

1. Probiotics

Probiotics - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

Probiotic supplements

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume probiotic supplements along with prescription medications daily.
  2. You may also consume natural sources of probiotics like yogurt or kefir.

How Often You Should Do This

You can take this daily after consulting your doctor.

Why This Works

Probiotics can act as an adjuvant treatment in reducing the side effects of antibiotics taken to treat H. pylori infections (2).

2. Green Tea

Green Tea - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of green tea
  • 1 cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5-10 minutes and strain.
  3. Drink it.

How Often You Should Do This

You can drink green tea two times daily.

Why This Works

Certain green tea compounds were found to exhibit a bactericidal effect against H. pylori strains. Hence, regular consumption of green tea may help in the prevention as well as treatment of H. pylori infections (3).

3. Honey

Honey - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

1-2 teaspoons of raw honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Add one to two teaspoons of raw honey to your tea or juice.
  2. You can also consume raw honey directly.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

The antimicrobial properties of honey can be used to treat H. pylori infection. It may also reduce the recovery time when used as an adjuvant therapy with prescription medications (4).

4. Olive Oil

Olive Oil - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil

What You Have To Do

Add a tablespoon of virgin olive oil to your favorite dishes and salads.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Olive oil polyphenols exhibit bactericidal activities that can help in getting rid of antibiotic-resistant strains of Helicobacter pylori (5).

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

  • 1 aloe vera leaf
  • 1 cup of water
  • Any juice (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Take an aloe vera leaf and scrape out the gel using a spoon.
  2. Blend the gel with a cup of water.
  3. You can also add any fruit juice or honey to the mixture for added flavor.
  4. Drink the juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this aloe vera juice once daily or every alternate day for a couple of weeks.

Why This Works

Aloe vera gel exhibits antimicrobial effects against H. pylori. It may also work well as adjuvant therapy in combination with other antibiotics (6).

6. Licorice Root

Licorice Root - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

  • 1-2 teaspoons of licorice root
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add one to two teaspoons of licorice root to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer and strain. Allow it to cool.
  4. Drink it up.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this 1-2 times daily for best results.

Why This Works

Licorice possesses anti-H. pylori effects that can help treat and prevent the infection (7).

7. Black Seeds (Nigella Sativa)

Black Seeds - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of ground black seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Combine a teaspoon of ground black seeds with two teaspoons of honey.
  2. Consume the mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

You can consume this mixture once daily until your symptoms improve.

Why This Works

A mixture of black seeds (Nigella sativa) and honey exhibits anti-H. pylori and anti-dyspeptic effects that can help in the eradication of H. pylori infection (8).

8. Turmeric

Turmeric - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 glass of hot milk

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of hot milk.
  2. Mix well and drink it.
  3. You can also take supplements for curcumin after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily for at least a week.

Why This Works

The major component of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin possesses anti-H. pylori and immunomodulatory properties that may help in treating H. pylori infections (9).

9. Ginger

Ginger - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

  • 1 inch of sliced ginger
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Add an inch of sliced ginger to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain and allow the ginger water to cool down for a while.
  4. Drink the mixture.
  5. You can also add ginger to your favorite dishes or chew on it directly.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this mixture 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Ginger contains phenolic compounds called gingerols that exhibit anti-H. pylori effects. Daily consumption of ginger may help inhibit the growth of H. pylori, especially the Cag A+ strains (10).

10. Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil

Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Swish virgin coconut oil in your mouth for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Spit the oil out.
  3. Brush and floss your teeth as usual.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily, preferably every morning.

Why This Works

Oil pulling with coconut oil may be beneficial in getting rid of oral microbes due to its anti-H. pylori effects (11).

11. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass Oil - H. pylori Infection Pinit

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You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of lemongrass oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

1. Add two to three drops of lemongrass oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil.
2. Mix well and apply it to your stomach.
3. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse it off.
4. You can also add a drop of lemongrass oil to a diffuser filled with water and inhale the diffused fragrance.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Lemongrass essential oil possesses bactericidal properties against H. pylori (12).

The above remedies are best used in combination with prescription medications to treat H. pylori infections. Consult your doctor before going ahead with any of them to make sure that they do not interfere with your prescription drugs. Also, before you use essential oils, talk to consult with your doctor for the correct dosage. Application of non-recommended doses of essential oils may result in functional damage to the stomach and liver (13).

In addition to following these remedies, you also need to pay attention to what you eat to deal with H. pylori infections.

Healthy Diet For H. Pylori Infections

Foods rich in antioxidants are especially helpful in treating H. pylori infections by activating your immunity (14). They include foods rich in vitamin C like berries, bell peppers, spinach, and kale.

Citrus fruits also exhibit bactericidal effects against H. pylori, both alone as well as in combination with other antibiotics (15).

Broccoli sprouts are rich in a compound called sulforaphane, which is believed to exhibit anti-H. pylori activities (16). The fatty acids in olive oil may also help with an H. pylori infection (5).

Certain foods can also worsen the symptoms of your infection. So, what not to eat when you have an H. pylori infection?

Foods that may further worsen your condition and are best avoided include alcohol, spicy foods, carbonated drinks, fried/fatty foods, chocolate, coffee, and acidic foods. Acid reflux, which is a common symptom associated with an H. pylori infection, may also worsen with the consumption of these foods (17).

Here are some tips to manage and prevent H. pylori infections.

How To Prevent H. pylori Infections

  • Wash your hands every time you use the loo and before eating.
  • Wash your hands before cooking meals.
  • Avoid food/water that is contaminated.
  • Avoid consuming foods that are not cooked thoroughly.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Quit drinking alcohol.
  • Follow good hygiene practices.
  • Avoid close contact with affected individuals.
  • Avoid sharing utensils with affected individuals.

You can easily avoid H. pylori infections if you maintain basic hygiene. As this infection can spread rapidly, you need to be cautious when you are in a developing country or in close contact with an affected individual.

Some individuals may not even realize that they are harboring H. pylori as the symptoms are not always evident. In such cases, the infection is not problematic. However, if you are diagnosed with H. pylori infection, it is best to get it treated medically to prevent complications from the disease.

Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to test for H. pylori?

H. pylori can be detected via various tests like a blood test, stool test, and a breath test. Endoscopy can also be done to detect H. pylori.

What antibiotics treat H. pylori?

Antibiotics that are used to treat H. pylori infections are Amoxicillin, Tetracycline, Metronidazole, and Clarithromycin. These antibiotics are often used along with proton pump inhibitors and other acid-suppressing drugs.

Can stress cause H. pylori?

Initially, psychological stress was also believed to trigger peptic ulcers. Later, it was found that H. pylori are the actual culprits behind such ulcers. Stress may play a role in the pathogenesis of this condition.

Is H. pylori a sexually transmitted disease?

Yes, H. pylori is a sexually transmitted infection. However, it can also spread via non-sexual ways – like from infected feces to the mouth via contaminated food and water.

What will happen if H. pylori infection goes untreated?

An untreated H. pylori infection can cause complications like gastritis. It may progress to peptic ulcer disease or stomach cancer later in life.

How long does H. pylori treatment last?

The optimal duration of treatments to eradicate H. pylori is 10 days to two weeks.

References

  1. Current understanding and management of Helicobacter pylori infection: an updated appraisal” F1000 Research, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Are probiotics useful in Helicobacter pylori eradication?” World Journal Of Gastroenterology, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Green tea inhibits Helicobacter growth in vivo and in vitro” International Journal Of Antimicrobial Agents, US National Library of Medicine.
  4. The Antibacterial Activity of Honey on Helicobacter Pylori” Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine.
  5. In vitro activity of olive oil polyphenols against Helicobacter pylori.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, US National Library of Medicine.
  6. In vitro activity of Aloe vera inner gel against Helicobacter pylori strains.” Letters in Applied Microbiology, US National Library of Medicine.
  7. The healing effect of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) on Helicobacter pylori infected peptic ulcers” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, US National Library of Medicine.
  8. Combination of Nigella sativa and Honey in Eradication of Gastric Helicobacter pylori Infection” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, US National Library of Medicine.
  9. Effects of curcumin on Helicobacter pylori infection” Annals of Translational Medicine, US National Library of Medicine.
  10. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and the Gingerols Inhibit the Growth of Cag A+ Strains of Helicobacter pylori” Anticancer Research, US National Library of Medicine.
  11. Oil pulling and importance of traditional medicine in oral health maintenance” International Journal of Health Sciences, US National Library of Medicine.
  12. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils against Helicobacter pylori.” Helicobacter, US National Library of Medicine.
  13. Toxicological Evaluation of Essential Oils from Some Plants of Rutaceae Family” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine.
  14. Effect of antioxidants on the immune response of Helicobacter pylori.” Clinical Microbiology and Infection, US National Library of Medicine.
  15. Effectiveness of Citrus Fruits on Helicobacter pylori” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine.
  16. Oral broccoli sprouts for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection: a preliminary report.” Digestive Diseases and Sciences, US National Library of Medicine.
  17. Food and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease” Current Medicinal Chemistry, US National Library of Medicine.

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