Two alternative H. pylori natural treatments for the bacterial infection include taking active manuka honey and/or mastic gum. I’ve taken both and shared below some product background information as well as what has worked for me. I have not taken them on blind faith or based on manufacturer claims, but have researched them as thoroughly as I can via other doctor’s opinions and scientific journal articles. I am not one to blindly start taking alternative medicines just because so & so says so, “It works!” I thoroughly research products before I even consider taking them.
I have a science background and so I look for statistically significant proof, typically through peer-reviewed journal articles, behind any product claims or statements of “cures” or the like. In my previous post about how H. pylori causes ulcers, I discussed a little about what the bacteria is and how the infection it causes is conventionally treated with prescription drugs if you want some additional background information.
Active Manuka Honey
Manuka honey was the first item I came across and started taking to eradicate H. pylori. Manuka honey is made from the manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) flowers of New Zealand. . But you can’t just take any ol’ manuka honey.
It has to be active manuka honey with a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating of at least 10. The UMF rating means that the honey contains the non-peroxide antibacterial activity from methylglyoxal (MGO) needed to kill H. pylori. If you do not see a UMF rating, look for a MGO rating, which apparently is now more accurate is measuring the methylglyoxal activity.
The MGO rating is on a different scale than UMF. So a MGO rating of 100 is equivalent to a UMF rating of 10+. And note that some companies may state a rating, like 16+, but if you cannot find any statement saying that it is tested, graded and certified by a lab to have that rating, don’t buy it. Just cause they stick it on the label, doesn’t mean it’s true.
When I took this everyday consistently for several weeks, I did see improvement. Consistently meant taking a teaspoonful 20 minutes before every meal. But then I would get lazy when I started feeling better. And I could go for a month or two without any symptoms – for the first time in a long time which I never could when I was on the prescription acid-reducer (Aciphex), but then I would need to go back on it.
I’m not a real big honey fan, especially not taking a big spoonful of it and sometimes it was inconvenient to always have the honey with me before eating a meal, especially when traveling. The honey is a little expensive as well since it is made only in New Zealand from Manuka bush flowers which only flower 2-6 weeks annually. So I started to look for other alternatives. Here is a study from the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine with results of manuka honey killing H. pylori bacteria. There have been numerous others since then.
Mastic Gum is a resinous exudate obtained from the stem and the main leaves of the mastic shrub (Pistacia lentiscus) found in Greece. Research shows that it inhibits growth of H. pylori and acts as antibiotic. This became my best choice for treatment, based on supporting scientific research and for ease of use.
I took a total of 1,000mg (1g) mastic gum daily, divided into 2 doses: one 500 g capsule in the morning before breakfast and another 500 g capsule in the evening before bed for 2 months. You can mastic gum in chewing gum form, but it is also available in capsules which I prefer since there are not a lot of additives and I know I am just getting pure mastic gum.
Studies have shown negative stool tests from patients on a treatment for as little as two weeks, but recommended dosage is usually a minimum of 30 days. For prevention, I take mastic gum every six months for 30 days. For the prevention 30-day dosage period, I will take one 500 g capsule in the morning before breakfast. I haved used Jarrow Formulas Matic Gum and NutriCology Mastic Gum which both contain 500 mg of Pistacia lentiscus resin per capsule.
My next article will contain a list and description of other natural treatments and products I take for maintaining healthy digestion and prevention of future H. pylori infections.
Note: This article is not written to advise people to treat themselves. It is for informative interest only. This post is not for people who do not know for sure if they have a Helicobacter pylori infection. If you suspect you may be infected with H. pylori, you need to confirm it with either a urea breath, blood antibody or stool antigen test through your doctor for a positive diagnosis. Always consult a doctor before starting any treatment regime.