Stomach Ulcer or Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) is the most common and serious gastrointestinal disorder in clinical practice. A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach or duodenum or anyplace in the gut. If peptic ulcers are found in the stomach, they are called gastric ulcers. If they are found in the duodenum, they are called duodenal ulcers. The drugs like Antacids, H2 Receptor antagonist and Proton pump inhibitors are used for PUD all around the world generally. The utilization of medicinal plants is becoming more popular due to the unfavorable impacts of such allopathic medications. Presently, the world population is evolving towards herbal remedies for the complete healing of such tragic ailments.

Siddha's therapeutic framework is one of the most renowned Indian systems of medicine. It helps treat diseases by using herbs, inorganic substances, and animal products. A large number of the Siddha therapeutic plants have the counter ulcerogenic property and they are ordinarily utilized in southern areas of India as a home remedy of stomach ulcers.

Causes and Risk Factors:

Helicobacter pylori: H.pylori is responsible for around 60%-90% of all gastric and duodenal ulcers.

NSAIDs: Prostaglandins protect the mucous lining of the stomach. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, diclofenac, and naproxen prevent the production of these prostaglandins by blocking cyclooxygenase enzyme leading to ulceration and bleeding. 

Smoking, alcohol, and tobacco: Cigarettes, alcohol, and tobacco cause instant and intense acid production.

Heredity: Patients suffering from peptic ulcer diseases usually have a family history of the disease, particularly the development of duodenal ulcer which may occur below the age of 20.

Steroids/Other medicines: Drugs like corticosteroids, anticoagulants like warfarin (Coumadin), niacin, some chemotherapy drugs, and spironolactone can aggravate or cause ulcers.

Diet: Low fiber diet, caffeinated drinks, and fatty foods are linked to peptic ulcers.

Other diseases: Chronic liver, lung and kidney diseases especially tumors of the acid-producing cells all predispose to peptic ulcers. Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES) is a rare precancerous condition that causes peptic ulcer disease. It is a syndrome disorder wherein tumors in the pancreas and duodenum also known as gastrinomas produce a large amount of gastrin which is a hormone that stimulates gastric acid secretion. Endocrine disorders such as hyperparathyroidism are also implicated in the development of peptic ulcers.

In the Siddha system of medicine, kunmam or gulmam is the collective term used for Acid peptic disorders. Severe pain in the abdomen present as one of the symptoms in this disease makes the patient bend forward and hence this name, it is believed.

According to the classification of Yugi muni, there are 8 types as follows:

Vazhi kunmam: Abdominal pain, loss of weight, walking inability, constipation, malaise, fatigue, headache, presence of blood in vomit, dryness of the mouth.

Azhal kunmam: Face turns yellow, giddiness, constipation, loss of weight, dark urine.

Iya kunmam: Food aversion, pale skin, giddiness, heartburn, body tremors.

Mukuttra kunmam: Abdominal distension, heartburn, salty taste, cold sensations.

Vayu kunmam: Abdominal pain, indigestion, vomiting, loss of weight, walking inability, profuse sweating, bloating and abdominal distension.

Eri kunmam: Heartburn, severe abdominal pain, headache, bloating, abdominal distension, loss of weight, profuse sweating.

Vanthi kunmam: Nausea, mild abdominal pain with vomiting, giddiness, constipation, loss of taste.

Vali kunmam: Abdominal distension and bloating, insomnia, loss of appetite, back and body pain.

Siddha medicine system is replete with medicines for digestive disorders like ulcers, from curing the small wound to the whole set of root causes. So, the assessment begins with an evaluation of imbalances of doshas and underlying root causes for the imbalance caused. The next lifestyle factor is taken into consideration. So, the underlying factors that cause a Vata imbalance and constipation are determined and eliminated.

Internal Siddha medicines of anti-ulcerative, gastroprotective and anti-secretory properties are prescribed. Churnas, paypams, chendoorams, polyherbal medicated essential oils, poly herbal treated and calcined salts are employed in curing the ulcers in the stomach, duodenum and gastric regions. Sometimes rejuvenation medicines are recommended to strengthen the immune  system. The medicines have a range of curative properties from healing the ulcer wounds to reawakening the body’s immune system to restore normal health of the stomach and other systems. Last but not least, the diet regimen for medicines to work properly is also advised. Changes in lifestyle like taking clean water and food are recommended.