How to Cure H. Pylori Naturally

Five Methods:Proven Natural TreatmentsNatural Treatments with Possible BenefitsMythbustingMedical TreatmentsUnderstanding H. pylori

Many people are surprised that bacteria in our bodies outnumber our own cells by about 10 to 1![1] A significant number of these bacteria are part of an ecological community necessary for health in all humans—the microbiome.[2] The microbiome can affect overall health and weight. It can also determine the risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and stroke.[3] Bacteria can cause various infections that are adverse to people’s well-being. Heliobacter pylori or H. pylori is one of those bacteria that can cause ulcers in the stomach or in the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. H. pylori infects a large number of people, and causes ulcers in many. In fact, though it used to be believed that ulcers resulted from stress, spicy foods, alcohol and smoking, most ulcers are actually caused by these bacteria.[4]

Method 1
Proven Natural Treatments

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    Drink cranberry juice. Cranberry juice appears to prevent or inhibit the bacteria from attaching themselves to the stomach; one study recommends 250mL of cranberry juice every day. This study only had a 14% success rate after 90 days, so it's probably best to include other approaches as well.[5]
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    Take licorice. Licorice is a traditional ulcer treatment in Indian, Chinese, and Kampo medicine. Although more evidence is needed, the existing tests on animals and humans are promising. This seems to work by preventing the bacteria from attaching to the stomach, so it works best in the early stages of infection.[6][7][8]
    • One component in licorice has been linked to increased blood pressure. You can buy a natural tablet called DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated licorice), which has had this component removed.
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    Practice healthy hygiene habits as prevention techniques. In order to minimize your risk of getting infected with H. pylori, make sure you carefully wash your hands and all utensils used for cooking and eating. Use warm, soapy water to wash. Don’t share utensils with anyone, and make certain anyone preparing foods for you is using proper hygiene. Wash all fruits and vegetables with warm, soapy water or a fruit and vegetable rinse product and rinse them well.

Method 2
Natural Treatments with Possible Benefits

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    Understand the limitations of natural remedies. Natural treatments for H. pylori center on a nutritious diet, the use of common hygiene principles, and the use of specific botanical medicines, probiotics, and other supplements. These approaches have not been proven to cure H. pylori, but they can help prevent and treat the infection. These approaches can also help reduce the symptoms, if you are experiencing any.
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    Take probiotics. Probiotics are sources of the types of “good” bacteria and yeast normally found in the body’s microbiome. This includes species of lactobacillus, acidophilus, bifidobacteria, and the yeast saccharomyces boulardii. You can take these as a supplement (following the manufacturer’s instructions) or in foods. Preliminary evidence suggests this may help fight H. pylori.[9][10]
    • Good food sources of probiotics are fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha (a fermented tea), tempeh, kimchi and other foods such as yogurt, miso soup, poi, asparagus, leeks, and onions.[11] Include these foods at least 2-3 times a week in your diet.
    • 2-3 times per week, you can also include pre-biotics which help support the healthy gut bacteria by providing food for the bacteria. Pre-biotic foods include whole grains, onions, bananas, garlic, honey, artichokes, and leeks.[12]
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    Try edible botanicals. Many botanical medicines have antibiotic (bacteria-killing) properties. The following herbs have slowed the growth of H. pylori in lab cultures. This is a far cry from a complete cure of an existing infection, but they are worth a try:
    • Ginger, which may also have ulcer-reducing properties.[13][14]
    • Thyme, which also has general antibacterial properties[15][16]
    • Turmeric/Curry[17][18]
    • Oregano[19]
    • Cinnamon[20]
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    Consider Korean red ginseng supplements. Korean red ginseng has shown anti- H. pylori activity in lab animals.[21] Red ginseng is different than American ginseng and has a wide variety of uses. While many regard ginseng as effective in increasing mental performance and sexual function, it also lower blood sugar, increase heart rate and can either raise or lower blood pressure. If you are interested in trying red ginseng, talk to a knowledgeable healthcare professional first.
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    Try consuming other helpful foods. Green tea, red wine, and manuka honey have also shown antibiotic activity against H. pylori. Many of these studies, however, were done in bacterial cultures or lab animals, so there is no human dosage information available. It is probably safe to include green tea and manuka honey in your diet but to drink red wine in moderation. These may help with an infection.
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    Eat a nutritious diet. There is no solid link between nutrition and H. pylori.[22] That said, natural health philosophies recommend whole, unprocessed foods for general health, which may improve immune system response and support a healthier microbiome. A healthy diet includes:
    • High quality protein:
      • low to moderate amounts of red meat (preferably grass fed)
      • moderate amounts of skinless poultry
      • low to moderate amounts of pork
      • moderate to high amounts of fish
    • Fresh vegetables and fruit (in a variety of rich colors)
      • Broccoli sprouts may treat H. pylori, but this is only supported by one study involving nine patients.[23]
    • Beans and legumes such as lentils
    • Complex carbohydrates found in:
      • vegetables
      • whole grain foods
      • grains such as brown rice and quinoa
      • beans and legumes
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    Minimize processed and packaged foods. Although nutrition is not as simple as "natural versus artificial," most processed foods are less nutritious and may include substances with negative side effects (sometimes including suppressed immune response).[24][25] Avoiding them will probably lead to better overall health, but it's unlikely to have a direct effect on the H. pylori.
    • To check if a product is processed/packaged, check the ingredient list. The longer the list is, the more processed the food is. Processed foods are most often found in the center aisles in grocery stores. Less processed foods are found around the outer aisles and would include dry beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, brown rice, bulk foods and single-ingredient foods.
    • Stay away from “quick and easy” ready-to-eat meals. Again, these tend to be highly processed and contain preservatives and other chemicals that are not really food.
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    Combine several methods. You may experience increased success by combining a number of the approaches above. You will feel better overall and may help your H. pylori if you combine eating better, using the herbs and spices suggested to add variety and flavor to your foods, adding some fermented foods, and supplementing with probiotics.
    • Get tested after 2-3 months of trying these approaches to see if the infection still exists. At that point, you may want to consider the antibiotics and acid-lowering drugs recommended by your physician. Always discuss your options with a healthcare professional and get tested to make certain you are dealing with an H pylori infection.
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    Call your physician. If these approaches don’t help you feel better or if you experience any severe abdominal pain, blood in the stools (black and tarry-looking stools) or bloody, black vomit or vomit that resembles coffee grounds, call your physician immediately! These can be signs of a serious problem.

Method 3

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    Don't expect water to cure the problem. Water consumption will not cure H. pylori or related ulcers. Ulcers are not caused by dehydration.[26]
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    Don't put your faith in garlic. Trials involving garlic show no effect on H. pylori, and no reduction in gastric cancer rates.[27]
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    Keep fenugreek out of your medicine cupboard. For this health problem at least, fenugreek probably has no effect.[28]
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    Know which treatments are not based on evidence. The following home remedies do not seem to be based on evidence. They are no more likely to work than anything else in your kitchen.
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Baikal skullcap[29] (Warning: if you want to try this treatment anyway, talk to a qualified healthcare professional first. It can slow blood clotting, affect blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure.)

Method 4
Medical Treatments

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    Take an antibiotic. If a doctor determines that you have an H. pylori infection, she may want you to take an antibiotic to fight the bacterial infection. Your doctor will likely recommend two or more antibiotics to be taken for at least 2-3 weeks or longer, depending on your response to the antibiotics.
    • Some of the more common antibiotics used are amoxicillin, clarithromcyin, metronidazole, and tetracycline.
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    Try acid-reducing medications. Drugs that decrease acid levels (Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPIs) or a class of drugs called H2 blockers are often recommended along with the antibiotics. The decreased acid levels provide a less-than-ideal environment for the bacteria while the antibiotics kill them.
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    Add a bismuth solution. In addition to the acid reducer and antibiotic, your doctor may suggest a bismuth solution like bismuth subsalicylate (eg Pepto Bismol TM). Bismuth solutions such as Pepto-Bismol won’t kill off the bacteria by themselves, but they do work well in combination with the antibiotics and the drugs that lower the amount of acid in the stomach.
    • About 70-85% of people treated with these combinations are H pylori negative after treatment with all three medicines. There are a number of different possible combinations of two antibiotics, a bismuth salt, and an acid-lowering drug, so talk to your physician about her recommendation.

Method 5
Understanding H. pylori

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    Learn how H pylori causes ulcers. H. pylori damages the lining of the stomach which normally protects the stomach from the stomach acids needed to start digesting your food. Once that lining has been damaged, the acids in the stomach begin to literally “eat away” at the stomach and duodenum, and may eventually cause pits (ulcers) that can bleed and cause significant pain.
    • This bleeding can cause anemia, fatigue and weakness, and the accompanying pain and discomfort can be debilitating.
    • H. pylori is associated with a type of stomach cancer and the gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. The infection is also associated with a decreased risk of another type of stomach cancer and a type of cancer of the esophagus.[30]
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    Know how you can get H pylori. You can get infected with H. pylori from infected foods, water, cooking utensils, or through contact with the fluids of other people already infected. For example, if you share a fork or a spoon with someone who is already infected, you may get infected as well.
    • The H. pylori bacteria are everywhere. They can be found in about two thirds of the world’s adult population, and children can be infected as well.[31] Infection rates in the developing world are higher than in the developed nations.
    • To help prevent an infection, make sure you wash your hands before eating, especially after using the bathroom. Only drink water from a clean and safe source and make sure your food is prepared safely and with sanitary practices.[32]
    • You probably can’t avoid the bacteria completely, but you can decrease your chances of getting infected. If you eat well to keep yourself healthy, your immune system should be in a good position to combat the infection.
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    Recognize the early symptoms of H pylori. Early infection of H. pylori can be totally painless and symptomless. In fact, unless your get tested, you may never even know you have the infection. When there are symptoms, these may include:[33]
    • An ache or burning sensation in the abdomen (which may worsen when you are hungry)
    • Nausea
    • Burping and belching
    • Decreased appetite
    • Bloating
    • Weight loss without intentional dieting
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    Get tested for H pylori. Your doctor can diagnose H. pylori by your symptoms and by a number of different lab tests.
    • A urea breath test is one of the best ways to diagnose H. pylori.
      • You would be asked to drink a liquid containing a “label,” which can be slightly radioactive or non-radioactive, depending on the specific test used. After a relatively short time period, your breath would be tested for the presence of urea.[34] Urea and ammonia are produced as a by-product of bacterial metabolism and give an indication of the presence of H. pylori.
    • A stool test checks for the presence of material from the bacteria.
    • Less often, your doctor may order a stomach biopsy which is then tested for the presence of the bacteria. Usually a biopsy is used when there is a suspicion of cancer, but it is the most reliable method for diagnosis and is preferred by some doctors.


  • Limit your intake of alcohol, chocolates, processed foods, and sugars. These can harm your general health, and may promote unwanted bacteria.
  • Avoid eating uncooked food such as sushi, half-boiled eggs, rare or medium rare meat, and steaks.


  • Always consult your physician before beginning any home treatments for illness.

Sources and Citations

  3. Balter, M. Taking Stock of the Human Microbiome and Disease. (2012) Science: 336(6086) pp.1246-1247.
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