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General characteristics

General characteristics

An ulcer is essentially any break or rupture of a tissue, either internally or externally, that fails to heal properly unlike ordinary wounds.

Examples of external ulcers include pressure ulcers or bedsores (continuous pressure causes the skin to break and hinders its healing), leg or lower limb ulcers (usually from poor blood circulation).

Internal ulcers are most common in the mouth (aphthous ulcers), oesophagus, stomach (peptic ulcer), small intestine (duodenal ulcer) and bowel.

Causes of ulcers include poor diet and nutritional deficiencies (often zinc and vitamins C and E), stress, continuous pressure, bacteria (such as H.pylori), poor blood circulation, physical damage to the tissue, diabetes, nerve disorders, some medications (such as NSAIDS), stomach acid imbalance (usually too little acid), smoking, lowered immunity, varicose veins, food allergies, low fibre diet, after gastric surgery and cancer.

Complications of ulcers include blood loss and secondary infection of the ulcer itself.

Healing objectives include providing good nutrition, raising immunity and vitality, reducing stress and treatment of the ulcer with herbs and other healing agents. Identifying the cause of the ulcer is very helpful in devising treatments to heal it. For example, treat the varicose veins, as well as the ulcer that formed as a result.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Eat a diet rich in fresh whole foods and avoid refined, processed and sugary junk and convenience foods.


Coconut milk and water have anti-ulcerogenic properties.


Avoid coffee and alcohol.


Foods rich in the vitamins A, C and E and also zinc should be eaten in good amounts as these nutrients are associated with a reduced likelihood of ulcer formation. Don't take supplements, eat the foods.


Include plenty of fresh garlic in your diet.


Some people find that eliminating cows milk from the diet helps to reduce the occurrence of mouth ulcers.


Chew a piece of fresh celery daily. This works for mouth ulcers too, if you chew to a pulp then keep it against the ulcer for several minutes.


Add a little edible seaweed (dried or fresh) to meals a few times a week.


Include plenty of potato (with skins on) and cabbage in your meals (as a daily soup would be ideal) if you have a stomach ulcer.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Cayenne or chili is very useful for internal ulcers. Start by taking a pinch of powder in warm water with meals and increase to half a teaspoon over a few weeks. A lady who had been attending Dr. Christopher's lectures over the years told the story of her husband who had a severe ease of stomach ulcers. The doctor recommended that part of the stomach be removed, but the man preferred to suffer the pain rather than risk such an operation. But he also ridiculed his wife's recommendations to use Cayenne and other herbs. Whenever he would see Dr. Christopher in town, he'd bellow, “Hello, Doc! Killed anybody with Cayenne today?” Naturally, Dr. Christopher tried to avoid him, but one day he came directly to the Doctor—but this time without any sarcasm, instead being very apologetic, telling this story.

He had come home from work one night, so sick he wanted to die, with stomach ulcers. His wife was not home, but he was in such pain that he decided to commit suicide. When he looked into the medicine cabinet to find some kind of medicine poisonous enough to kill him, he discovered that his wife had discarded all the old bottles of pharmaceutical medicines. All he could find were some bottles of herbs and a large container of Cayenne pepper. He figured that a large dose of that would kill him, so he took a heaping tablespoon in a glass of hot water, gulped it down, rushed into the bedroom, and covered his head with a pillow so that the neighbors couldn't hear his dying screams.

The next thing he knew, his wife was shaking him awake the next morning. He had slept all night, the first time in years, instead of waking every half hour or so for anti-acid tablets. To his amazement, all his pain was gone. He continued using the Cayenne faithfully, three times a day, and never had any more trouble with ulcers.


Slippery elm, marshmallow root or leaf and comfrey leaf can be used as a tea internally, or as a poutice or compress externally, to help to soothe and protect the ulcer, allowing healing to take place.


Plantain leaves and mullein leaf can be very healing to ulcers, either as a fresh juice, strong tea or powdered and used as a dressing. They work also for internal ulcers when taken as a tea.


Add a pinch of turmeric to your herbal teas for its anti-inflammatory and immune raising actions.


Ground fenugreek seeds can be taken internally or used externally as a poultice for ulcer healing.


For soothing, cleaning and healing ulcers both internally and externally, try chickweed tea and/or poultices.


A poultice made from dried blue flag root and/or figwort leaves can be applied to external ulcers to help them resolve and heal.


For stomach ulcers, which are often triggered by too little stomach acid (excess acid being over-produced to compensate), try a cup of dandelion root tea before meals. A pinch of aniseed can also help when heartburn starts.


Celery seed tea is also very useful to both protect and help heal stomach ulcers.


Other useful herbs include ground ivy, alfalfa, damaina, centaury (prevention), raspberry leaf, sage, barberry, agrimony, cleavers, aloe vera, chamomile, holy thistle, yellow dock root, elecampagne root, yarrow, lady's mantle, fennel seeds, neem leaves, oak bark, irish moss (soothing and protective), liquorice root, gotu kola and goldenseal.


Ginkgo leaf, as part of a formula, can be taken to help improve circulation in stubborn skin ulcers.

Prickly ash bark improves blood flow, dries the ulcers and allows healing to occur.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Chlorella can help to protect against stress induced ulcers.


Avoid using non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as aspirin and similar as these can increase the chances of a stomach ulcer forming.


Apply good quality raw honey to external or mouth ulcers. Honey is antibacterial and promotes tissue healing. Manuka honey has a good reputation for treating skin ulcers when applied direct to the ulcer and surrounding skin.


An interesting recipe that has helped some people with digestive system ulcers contains a cup of milk, a tablespoon of slippery elm powder, a teaspoon of honey and a banana. Whizz into a smoothie and drink before meals.


Rub off the white coating, then smear coconut oil, salt, bicarbonate of soda or turmeric powder onto a mouth ulcer to speed up healing.

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