Prilosec, or omeprazole, is an over-the-counter and prescription-option drug used to control heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When used in combination with antibiotics, Prilosec reduces stomach acid and H. pylori bacteria levels to prevent continued GERD and heartburn damage. People who experience side effects from Prilosec or who prefer herbal alternatives to treat GERD can consider plant and homeopathic remedies for the same acid- and bacteria-lowering effects.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Licorice root soothes damage in the digestive system from stomach acid that can cause stomach ulcers, heartburn and reflux symptoms. Fresh, dried of powdered licorice root contains glycyrrhizin, which causes high blood pressure and drug interactions. Standardized 250 mg to 500 mg supplements without glycyrrhizin, called DGL or deglycyrrhizinized licorice, provide the same stomach-protecting effects when used up to three times daily within 1 or 2 hours of a meal. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, safety data for licorice use longer than six weeks is not available as of May 2010, so people taking licorice should consult a health professional for longer-lasting stomach problems 2.
- Licorice root soothes damage in the digestive system from stomach acid that can cause stomach ulcers, heartburn and reflux symptoms.
- Fresh, dried of powdered licorice root contains glycyrrhizin, which causes high blood pressure and drug interactions.
Natural Alternatives to Nexium
Leaves of the mint family are chewed or steeped into teas throughout the world to calm indigestion after meals and long-term digestive disorders. Oils on the leaves, particularly peppermint leaves, contain these healthful properties. However, peppermint also causes heartburn when swallowed directly, so standardized tablets of 0.2 mg peppermint are best to relieve stomach ulcer discomfort. These enteric-coated products prevent peppermint release until after the tablet is through the stomach.
- Leaves of the mint family are chewed or steeped into teas throughout the world to calm indigestion after meals and long-term digestive disorders.
According to MotherNature.com, carrot-related plants like angelica can treat heartburn in adults and colic in infants. Angelica oil helps cleanse the digestive system and remove excess gas; however, the website suggests that combinations of freshly juiced angelica, carrot, parsnip and related plants are also effective. Any type of angelica increases sun sensitivity, especially in people with pale skin.
Licorice for Gastritis
Homeopathic medicine uses small amounts of herbs and essential oils that mimic disease symptoms to improve the body's reaction to the disease. Preparations are made by homeopathic doctors specifically for individual patients and should not be taken without consulting a homeopath. Pulsatilla is one example of a homeopathic preparation used to lower stomach acid reflux, gas and heartburn caused by fatty foods. However, pulsatilla can induce vomiting during digestion as well.
- Homeopathic medicine uses small amounts of herbs and essential oils that mimic disease symptoms to improve the body's reaction to the disease.
- Pulsatilla is one example of a homeopathic preparation used to lower stomach acid reflux, gas and heartburn caused by fatty foods.
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- Drugs.com: Official FDA Information, Prilosec Prescribing Information, March 2010
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Licorice Root
- Licorice. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2020.
- Glycemic Index of Foods. Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service. Updated November 26, 2019
- Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Cancer Risk. American Cancer Society. Updated February 13, 2015
- Boonmuen N, Gong P, Ali Z, et al. Licorice root components in dietary supplements are selective estrogen receptor modulators with a spectrum of estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activities. Steroids. 2016;105:42-9. doi:10.1016/j.steroids.2015.11.006
- Mousa HA. Prevention and treatment of influenza, influenza-like illness, and common cold by herbal, complementary, and natural therapies. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017;22(1):166-174. doi:10.1177/2156587216641831
- Raveendra KR, Jayachandra, Srinivasa V, et al. An extract of glycyrrhiza glabra (GutGard) alleviates symptoms of functional dyspepsia: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:216970. doi:10.1155/2012/216970
- Rahnama M, Mehrabani D, Japoni S, Edjtehadi M, Saberi Firoozi M. The healing effect of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) on Helicobacter pylori infected peptic ulcers. J Res Med Sci. 2013;18(6):532-3.
- Huang QC, Wang MJ, Chen XM, et al. Can active components of licorice, glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid, lick rheumatoid arthritis?. Oncotarget. 2016;7(2):1193-202. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.6200
- Yan T, Wang H, Cao L, et al. Glycyrrhizin alleviates nonalcoholic steatohepatitis via modulating bile acids and meta-inflammation. Drug Metab Dispos. 2018;46(9):1310-1319. doi:10.1124/dmd.118.082008
- American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Food allergy. Updated 2014.
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Black Licorice: Trick or Treat?. Updated November 2017.
- Muñoz Balbontín Y, Stewart D, Shetty A, Fitton CA, Mclay JS. Herbal medicinal product use during pregnancy and the postnatal period: A systematic review. Obstet Gynecol. 2019;133(5):920-932. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000003217
Nicole Van Hoey is a pharmacist and medical writer/editor in Washington, D.C. She has worked extensively on National Institutes of Health and trade pharmacy publications and is a contributing textbook writer on topics in infectious disease, nutrition and more. Van Hoey currently enjoys applying her drug information expertise to writings on women's health, complementary medicine and pediatrics.