Stomach/gastric ulcer is a debilitating disease affecting more than 10% of the global population. Sufferers often have chronic pains with life-threatening gastrointestinal haemorrhage or perforation. Since the first diagnosis of stomach ulcer (SU) in the 19th century, excessive gastric juice that eroded the mucosa of the stomach was opined as its major cause. Efforts were channelled toward effective control of the resulting acid build-up through the use of antiulcer medications and reduction in stress-induced activities, which may aggravate gastric hyperacidity. An intense treatment option involved vagotomy (surgically severing the nerves surrounding an ulcer) to prevent hyperacidity and further perforation of the stomach epithelium. Despite these interventions, SU disease remained an impediment to clinical practice. Literatures revealed that many botanicals have been used to treat SU and this is hinged on their being endowed with antiulcerogenic phytonutrients of therapeutic significance. In this review, attempts have been made to highlight the main mechanisms of action and limitations of the conventional antiulcerogenic drugs, various antiulcerogenic experimental models, as well as compile selected medicinal plants and their implicated phytonutrients that will ultimately and eventually present effective and globally competitive exciting opportunities for the development of new lead therapeutics for the management of SU disorders.
Part of the book: Stomach Disorders