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Herbal treatment for Ulcers

Although Reuben Chemwala of Kipsabu of Kipsambu location, Eldoret County in Kenya is not a practising herbalist, his role as a Kalenjin community leader includes prescription of herbal medication to patients. He prescribes herbs used to treat most common and problematic diseases.

For adults, ulcers is a source of health concern for the community and those who consult him claim the cure is not available in health facilities. Stomach ulcers is a chronic sore in the stomach or small intestine, caused by too much acid. It can be recognized by a chronic dull (sometimes sharp) pain in the stomach. It usually pains less, when the person takes milk. If that person misses a meal, or after he drinks alcohol or eats fats or spicy food. Pain is often worse particularly, during the night.

If the ulcer is severe, it can cause vomiting sometimes blood. Stools with blood from an ulcer are usually black like tar.

The only precautionary measures is a lifestyle change, according to modern medicine. For example, Boiled milk, cheese, cream, oats and bananas reduces incidences of ulcer attack. On the other hand, foods such as alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, spices and pepper, carbonated drinks such as sodas and greasy foods are to be avoided as they make ulcer worse.

Therefore, Reuben keeps the key ingredient called surtutwa, made from traditional herbs grown in the region. Lack of scientific research on surtutwa has not deterred people from using this herb in treating stomach ulcers.

It is prepared by plucking the flowers of kuletwa herb, which are then ground into paste and soaked in water.  After about an hour, the solution formed is decanted, leaving behind a liquid, which they call surtutwa. The herbalist instructs the patient to take 2 tablespoon twice a day for 4 days. Also, you may opt to chew the roots of the herb.

The traditional healer, may also burn the following four traditional herbs (locally known as chilolon, cheptenderet, nuskei, kipnabai and kelwat) together and the resulting ash is licked in the morning before breakfast once a day.

Though these herbs are wild plants, some people grow them in their homes so as to have the stomach ulcer treatment nearer as they may live far from the source.

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