Dyspepsia natural treatment with herbal products and extracts
August 23 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Dyspepsia is also known as heartburn. Although various medications are prescribed for this condition, alternative therapies do exist and some are effective.

Symptom and sign
The term dyspepsia refers to the symptom of pain or discomfort in the epigastric region—the area of the abdomen between the belly button and the xiphoid process. It denotes abnormal or difficult digestion and is usually considered to be associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer, gallbladder disease, pancreatic disease, or use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some clinicians have attributed it to gastritis caused by Helicobacter pylori, a hypothesis that remains controversial.

Natural treatment for dyspepsia
Artichoke leaf extract has been tested for dyspepsia.
Fennel herb or tea
Ginger herb or tea
Mint tea

A cohort of outpatients with a clinical diagnosis of functional dyspepsia and deemed suitable candidates for non-pharmacologic treatment was prospectively observed for 60 days by 33 physicians. Treatment consisted of Cinarepa, a commercial mixture of dry extracts of artichoke leaf (Cynara scolymus) 15% of chlorogenic acid (150 mg per capsule), dandelion radix (Taraxacum officinalis) 2% of inulin, turmeric rhizome (Curcuma longa) 95% of curcumin and rosemary bud essential oil microencapsulated (Rosmarinum officinalis). Phytotherapy with Cinarepa holds promise as an alternative option in the relief of functional dyspepsia symptoms and merits further investigation in controlled studies. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2010 June. Phytotherapy with a mixture of dry extracts with hepato-protective effects containing artichoke leaves in the management of functional dyspepsia symptoms Sannia A.Società Italiana di Medicina Naturale (SIMN), Milano, Italia.

Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia: a six-week placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre trial.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003.
This study aimed to assess the efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia (FD). In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT), 247 patients with functional dyspepsia were recruited and treated with either a commercial artichoke leaf extract preparation (2 x 320 mg plant extract t.d.s.) or a placebo. The primary efficacy variable was the sum score of the patient's weekly rating of the overall change in dyspeptic symptoms (four-point scale). Secondary variables were the scores of each dyspeptic symptom and the quality of life (QOL) as assessed by the Nepean Dyspepsia Index (NDI). Two hundred and forty-seven patients were enrolled, and data from 244 patients (129 active treatment, 115 placebo) were suitable for inclusion in the statistical analysis (intention-to-treat). The overall symptom improvement over the 6 weeks of treatment was significantly greater with artichoke leaf extract than with the placebo. Similarly, patients treated with artichoke leaf extract showed significantly greater improvement in the global quality-of-life scores (NDI) compared with the placebo-treated patients. The artichoke leaf extract preparation tested was significantly better than the placebo in alleviating symptoms and improving the disease-specific quality of life in patients with functional dyspepsia.

Artichoke leaf extract reduces mild dyspepsia in an open study.
Phytomedicine. 2002.
A recent post-marketing study indicated that high doses of standardised artichoke leaf extract (ALE) may reduce symptoms of dyspepsia. To substantial these findings, this study investigated the efficacy of a low-dose ALE on amelioration of dyspeptic symptoms and improvement of quality of life. The study was an open, dose-ranging postal study. Healthy patients with self-reported dyspepsia were recruited through the media. The Nepean Dyspepsia Index and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were completed at baseline and after 2 months of treatment with ALE, which was randomly allocated to volunteers as 320 or 640 mg daily. Of the 516 participants, 454 completed the study. In both dosage groups, compared with baseline, there was a significant reduction of all dyspeptic symptoms, with an average reduction of 40% in global dyspepsia score. However, there were no differences in the primary outcome measures between the two groups, although relief of state anxiety, a secondary outcome, was greater with the higher dosage. Health-related quality of life was significantly improved in both groups compared with baseline. We conclude that ALE shows promise to ameliorate upper gastro-intestinal symptoms and improve quality of life in otherwise healthy subjects suffering from dyspepsia.

Medications as cause
Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2015. Drug-induced dyspepsia. Gastrointestinal symptoms are among the most common side effects of drugs. There is a broad spectrum of symptoms. Patients often report upper abdominal pain, an early sense of satiety, epigastric discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen or behind the breastbone, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation. Some of these symptoms are attributed to the stomach or upper abdomen by the patient and/or the physician. "Stomach pain", pain in the epigastric region, occurs in most cases in combination with other symptoms such as a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen or bloating, early satiety, nausea or vomiting - a combination called dyspepsia. Given the high frequency of these symptoms in the general population and the large number of medications many patients are taking, it can be very difficult in a given patient to differentiate between drug-induced side effects and spontaneously occurring symptoms.