Simon’s Simples: H. Pylori and the Missing Chewing Gum

H. Pylori and the Missing Chewing Gum

mastic gum
Mastic Gum

Mastic gum provides another example of self-medicating with natural and unprocessed foodstuff. This remedy was curative rather than preventative and a good example of tracking down exactly the food intervention needed to cure a complaint. Traditionally, in many areas of the world, the seasonal chewing of tree gum would once have been part of a general health regime.

A few years ago I experienced the worst physical illness I have ever known. My guts around my upper stomach became severely inflamed and this extreme discomfort put me out of action for a whole week. I could hardly walk. It is the only time I have ever phoned an emergency doctor. At the time I put this down to stress at work – where the Child Support Agency had miscalculated my income by so much that it was no longer viable for me to continue in my career as a lecturer. Classically stress is considered to be one of the causes of gastric discomfort and it may well have ‘prepared the ground’ for this invasion.

Later on I found someone had put dog shit in a coffee and given it to me for a spiteful joke. I got internally infected with something very nasty. Over time I cut out wine, coffee, acid-forming foods but with little improvement. I visited the doctor who endorsed these decisions, told me to go out walking more often to aid digestion and to his credit mentioned that ‘there is a nasty little bug called H. Pylori going around’ – which started this strand of research for me.

The doctor did not prescribe for me – just told me to cut out acidic forming stuff – which I did. But I also started to experiment to see what would bring relief from the continuing symptoms – gastric discomfort, acid reflux, bloating, poor digestion, wind and inflammation. Cutting out wheat based products for a while was really helpful.

Its still not known for sure how people pick up H. Pylori but researchers think it may be found in water supplies, infected people’s saliva, flies on food or contact with infected fecal matter.

Normally doctors will not treat H. Pylori until it provokes serious gastric illness, and when you see what orthodox medicine prescribes for this treatment its no surprise. At least two antibiotics, H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors and a stomach-lining protector. Although this prescription may eventually be effective it is also expensive, complex and has unwanted toxic side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting – meaning that many people do not finish the course (patient noncompliance) and remain infected.

Pylori is a ‘new strain’ bacteria that has adapted itself to the harsh environment of the human gut. Until 20 years ago it was undiscovered. This clever little critter protects itself from digestive acids with an antacid barrier, and protects itself from the human immune system by burying itself in the gut lining, causing inflammation. It also produces an enzyme called catalase that protects it. All in all it plays havoc with the digestive processes of about two-thirds of the people on this planet with a knock-on effect to a whole panoply of human discomforts and diseases. Research strongly suggests that this bacterium may be central to the cause of many stomach cancers – yet this dangerous invader is mostly left untreated until it creates serious problems.

One of the oldest debates in oncology is whether cancer is one disease – or many. It is quite easy to see who benefits from cancer being about 200 separate diseases – with many complex and expensive drug, radiation and surgery regimens. Many advocates of a ‘unitarian’ theory of cancer have literally been put out of business as their theories oppose the interests of ‘Big Pharma’.

Research at the University of Michigan (Michael F. Clarke MD) suggests that a unitarian theory of cancer based on the actions of malignant stem cells may not be far away. For much too long the only refuge of a bacterial etiology for cancer has been the complementary and alternative medicine movement, which still suffers ridicule from some orthodox practitioners for even asserting the possibility of such theories.

It is not really amazing though how quickly ‘Big Pharma’ is changing to endorse a viral and bacterial etiology for cancer, now they have realized that the amount of money they can make from anti-cancer vaccinations. Pharmaceutical industries are always quick to make money from our discomforts and in some cases even cause them with their toxic mixes of chemicals. It is a well-known fact that after heart disease and cancer in the West – medical treatment is the third biggest killer.

The World Health Organisation recognize the H. Pylori bacteria as a carcinogen that may be as dangerous as tobacco and other pollutants. There are a range of gastric diseases that have H.Pylori implicated:

“It has been found that at least 90% of those with duodenal ulcers, 70% with gastric ulcers and 50% of those over the age of 50 test positive for the presence of H. Pylori. Indeed about 30% of all people in the UK are probably infected with the bacteria”. (healthforyouonline)

Just by coincidence I found out that Pistachio nuts seemed to relieve my gastric discomfort. It was no surprise when I found out that Mastic Gum, which comes from a related tree called Pistacia lentiscus is a classic remedy for gut inflammation that has been in use for thousands of years. It is no wonder that this stuff was the original chewing gum! I ordered some immediately.

There is increasing evidence that shows Mastic gum to be effective against H. Pylori, with a range of therapeutic effects on various gastric diseases. There have never been any undesirable effects attributed to the use of mastic gum. Since chewing mastic gum I am now relieved of this gastric discomfort. I have adopted mastic gum as part of a preventative ‘yearly spring detox’ for internal parasites. It has a nice woody taste, not unlike the smell of sandalwood or cinnamon. In Mediterranean countries mastic gum has been used for centuries for preventing tooth decay, healing mouth and skin ulcers, controlling diabetes and reducing cholesterol levels. Some African sources even attribute aphrodisiac qualities to this most useful of substances – natural chewing gum!

So here we have a natural remedy that may prevent several forms of cancer and can heal a widespread gastric illness. It is a remedy that has been in safe use for thousands of years, yet is hardly known about! It is such a shame that the simple remedial action of ‘chewing gum’ is now replaced by synthetic alternatives that have removed the very reasons why humans started chewing gum in the first place – and may even be harmful due to its aspartame content. The chewing gum we buy in shops is made mainly from gum Arabic and a load of chemicals to make it sweet, which are increasingly shown to cause health problems. Unfortunately this is a typical picture for traditional, self-healing remedies because the consumerist system works by taking away things that we normally do for ourselves, then selling them back to us in a modified, and often completely useless format.