Garlic and Gastritis

The flavorful herb garlic shows promise for some health benefits, including strengthening the immune system, protecting against cancer and slowing the progression of cardiovascular disease, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Garlic may be helpful for gastritis, but it can cause irritation in some people. If you have symptoms of gastritis or have been diagnosed with this condition, talk to your health care provider before consuming garlic.

Garlic bulbs for sale at a market. (Image: ChristiLaLiberte/iStock/Getty Images)

Gastritis

Gastritis, a disorder involving an inflamed or swollen stomach lining, has many possible causes, as described by PubMed Health. One common cause is long-term use of medication that is irritating to the stomach, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Another is drinking too much alcohol. Gastritis also can result from infection with a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori, a common cause of stomach ulcers. Less often, autoimmune disorders, viral infections and extreme stress lead to gastritis. Gastritis can occur with no symptoms, or you may experience loss of appetite, heartburn, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or blood in the stools. Gastritis can be a short-term or a chronic condition.

Gastritis Diet

A diet for relieving gastritis involves eating mild foods and those you find easy to digest, according to Drugs.com. Not everyone experiences similar effects from the same foods. Garlic, considered both an herb and a vegetable, is one food that causes stomach discomfort, pain or excess gas in some people with gastritis. Other vegetables you might have problems with include bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, hot chiles and onions.

Natural Remedies

Garlic and other foods that contain sulfur, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and onions help form glutathione, a substance that protects the stomach lining. Additional nutrients and herbs may be of benefit for gastritis as well. Zinc, slippery elm powder, marshmallow root powder and deglycyrrhizinized licorice, known as DGL, all may help heal your stomach lining. In addition, ginger root tea enhances circulation and digestion. Consult your health care provider before adding these supplements to your health regimen.

Medication

Although some laboratory studies have determined garlic is effective at inhibiting the H. pylori bacteria that can cause gastritis, the effect does not translate to humans, according to research published in the May 1999 issue of the "American Journal of Gastroenterology." H. pylori can be eliminated with a combination of bismuth solutions and antibiotics taken over two weeks, advises Cheboygan Surgical Associates. Some types of gastritis may need other measures for healing the stomach lining or decreasing symptoms, such as taking over-the-counter or prescription-strength antacids, and avoiding foods, alcohol and medication that irritate the stomach.

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