Gastritis, inflammation of stomach lining, is manageable since it’s usually mild, and also there are many ways to cope with. Even a few home remedies are often helpful enough to soothe gastritis pain and relieve the inflammation more quickly. How about honey?
Honey may help soothe gastritis
Honey is sweet in taste – 21 grams of honey (1 tablespoon) contain about 17 grams of ‘sweet’ properties such as sucrose, maltose, and fructose. It is also loaded with a number of healthful properties such as antioxidants, antibacterial properties, natural energy source (quite high in calories), minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids, and trace enzymes.
Since ancient times, people have used it as a natural medicine for various health conditions. For examples, it may help soothe cough, regulate blood pressure, prevent heart problems, boost athletic performance, prevent cancer, and many more. Does it also help relieve gastritis?
It’s well established that H. pylori infection has a role to increase the risk of gastritis. This is especially true if you also have other risk factors of the disease, such as;
- Frequent use of NSAIDs (like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen) that provoke stomach inflammation. Excessive use of these pain medications may impair an essential substance that helps protect your stomach lining.
- Being older. As you age, your stomach lining is more likely to thin. Also, you tend to have infections (including H. pylori infection) with age.
- Frequent, heavy drinking alcohol. Alcohol does have a role to erode the stomach lining. Excessive alcohol use can increase the risk of gastritis and stomach ulcers.
- Certain medical conditions. Sometimes gastritis is a consequence of autoimmune condition (when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy stomach cells), parasitic infections, or Crohn’s disease.
- Severe stress, like after major surgery, burns, or injury.
Not all cases of gastritis are linked to H. pylori infection. But if your gastritis is caused by H. pylori, treating the infection is a must to promote quick healing for your stomach inflammation.
And honey has the power to help get rid of bacterial infections, because it has some antibacterial properties, as mentioned earlier. For example, some studies have shown that Manuka honey (a specific type of honey produced in New Zealand) may help fight H. pylori. Some types of honey may also work effectively to help treat salmonella and E. coli.
Where do its antibacterial properties come from? As bees synthesize flower pollen, hydrogen peroxide is deposited into the honey. This process causes honey become naturally acidic, and also creates some powerful antimicrobic properties.
Here are other honey health benefits that have been proved by science, which also might help cope with your gastritis:
Excellent energy booster
Natural ‘sweet’ contents in honey could be one of your excellent choices if you’re looking for a time-released fuel to have energy over a longer duration. It is better than sugar or glucose in boosting the staying power of athletic endurance performance, according to studies funded by the National Honey Board. This benefit can help you a lot if you experience fatigue caused by gastritis.
Fatigue is not specific symptom of gastritis. But in a few cases, the condition could be severe enough to affect your appetite. Other gastritis symptoms — such as feeling of fullness, nausea, and vomiting — may also cause it more difficult to eat normally, making tiredness (lack of energy) more likely!
Shooting allergy symptoms
When you have gastritis, it’s important to avoid foods that provoke upset stomach. The common culprits are excessive consumption of dairy products, spicy, fatty, and acidic foods.
An allergic reaction may make it more difficult to cope with gastritis. If you have food allergies, for example, a mild reaction is probably enough to provoke upset stomach. Having either one is uncomfortable enough – and if both your gastritis and allergic reaction flare up, the challenges mount!
Honey may also help ease allergy symptoms, especially locally produced honey that contains flower pollen from local plants. When you take a teaspoon of honey per day, theoretically this will introduce a small amount of allergen into your body’s system and activate your body immune system. Over time, this may eventually help build up your immunity against allergens. But if you’re allergic to pollen, ask your doctor first!
What to remember (precautions)!
It seems that honey is worth a try if you’re looking for a natural remedy to help cope with gastritis. But the remarkable substances from honey are not created equal!
Commercial, processed honey — for example, is pasteurized and processed with high temperatures. This causes the beneficial substances (including antibacterial properties) drop significantly because they are heat-sensitive. Furthermore, most commercial honey products are poor in bee pollen that contains high antioxidants and amino acids.
On the other hand raw honey is the best choice, though it will likely be more expensive. Raw means it is unprocessed (unheated) and unpasteurized, allowing almost all of the remarkable substances remain.
In most adults and older children (over 1 year of age), raw honey is likely safe. But it is possible unsafe for most infant and very young children. Although honey has germ-fighting characteristics to help eliminate any bad organisms, a few bacteria may survive using spores. This may cause botulism (food poisoning) in infants given honey by mouth.
And though honey is probably helpful to treat inflammation (including gastritis), remember that it’s not a magic formula! Do also other things that can help you recover more quickly, such as; keeping hydrated, sleeping well at night, moderate exercise (when you’re ready), maintaining a healthy-body weight, and eating right (see also what to eat with gastritis here and here).
Also, avoid any bad things that can slow down your healing process, such as; excessive use of alcohol, cigarette smoking, and stress.
In addition, other home remedies that might help:
- Probiotics such as; kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut. They are not only loaded with some antimicrobic contents, but also a good way to help relieve feeling of fullness and promote regular bowel movements.
- It contains allicin, the remarkable chemical that may help treat various medical conditions (including stomach inflammation). Using garlic in diet is safe as long as you consume it in moderation. Garlic extract is available, too – but use with caution if you have stomach problems, excessive use could be counterproductive!
- Avoid inflammatory foods that cause your stomach inflammation take longer to heal. The common ones are heavily preserved foods and foods high in fats, sugar, or gluten contents.