“You need to go to the ER immediately for a blood transfusion,” Kate Romero’s doctor said urgently. Icy fear flooded her heart as he explained that her blood work had detected she was experiencing blood loss, likely from internal bleeding. I knew something was wrong, Kate thought, another wave of terror gripping her.
For nearly 10 months, the then-47-year-old had been battling stomach pain, relentless fatigue, trouble breathing, and unexplained weight loss. Finally, she’d had enough. “What do I have to do to get you to listen to me? Something is seriously wrong,” she’d told her doctor, begging him to do more than recommend over-the-counter anti-nausea and acid remedies. He’d reluctantly ordered blood tests, and now Kate found herself racing to the ER. There, she was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer that required immediate surgery. Later she discovered the ulcer was likely the result of a stomach infection caused by H. pylori bacteria, which can be spread through contaminated food. The infection affects up to 40 percent of people in the U.S., and while many have no symptoms, in some it can cause nausea, stomach pain, and ulcers.
After surgery, Kate took antibiotics to clear the bacteria, but they didn’t work. Over the next 14 years, Kate’s doctor prescribed weeks — sometimes months — of powerful antibiotics followed by endoscopies and biopsies to check for lingering bacteria. Year after year, Kate’s infection, and her symptoms, raged on. Finally, in the spring of 2018, Kate decided to take matters into her own hands.
What are black seeds?
Kate began researching remedies and discovered that black seed and black seed oil, made from the black cumin plant, have powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties shown to promote gut health and treat bacterial infections, including H. pylori, without side effects.
Feeling empowered, Kate decided to give black seed a try. While there were lots of inexpensive black seed capsules available, Kate opted to make her own to ensure the purity of what she was taking. She ordered a four-pound tub of black seeds, along with size-zero empty gel capsules, which hold 500 milligrams of ground black seed, the daily amount that was suggested to eradicate H. pylori. (They’re also available in full capsule form online (Buy on Amazon, $14.49.)
Within weeks, Kate was amazed to find her symptoms subsiding. Six months later, they had vanished. And when she went for an endoscopy, she and her doctor were thrilled when a biopsy showed the infection was gone. Today, Kate, now 64, still takes one capsule a day and has never felt better. “I still can’t believe it!” she gushes. “Black seed is inexpensive and easy to take. It gave me my life back!”
What are other ways to relieve indigestion aside from black seeds?
In addition to black seeds, there are other ways to improve gut health.
Banish bloat with peppermint.
Canadian researchers say inhaling mint for 60 seconds before meals prompts the release of bloat-sapping enzymes. The result? Two of three women eliminated digestive woes, and the rest cut symptoms by 50 percent.
Calm indigestion with coriander.
Hot weather slows digestion to trigger gas and cramping. But studies found that eating a quarter teaspoon of coriander seeds — rich in compounds that calm intestinal muscle spasms and kill bacteria — tames GI upset in 20 minutes.
Cure constipation with a stroll.
A brisk 20-minute walk triggers the muscles in the lower intestine to move, taming sluggish bowels caused by beach days and hotel stays in one hour, suggests research in the journal PLOS ONE.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.