8 Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux Or Heartburn
Acid reflux is characterized by a burning pain around the lower chest area, often referred to as ...
Acid reflux is characterized by a burning pain around the lower chest area, often referred to as heartburn. Here are some natural home remedies.
Acid reflux and the associated pain is caused by stomach acid moving up into the esophagus, which connects the stomach to the throat. The pain can often become worse when you lay down or simply bend over.
Severe or chronic acid reflux is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Sixty percent of the adult population will experience some type of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) within a 12 month period and 20 to 30 percent will have weekly symptoms (i).
In addition to heartburn, other symptoms can arise including:
- sore throat
- a sour taste in mouth
- dry cough
- and chest pain.
Approximately seven million people in the United States have some symptoms of GERD.
If left untreated, it can develop and result in serious complications including Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.
Common risk factors for acid reflux disease include:
- Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
- Being overweight or obese
- Eating a heavy meal and lying on your back or bending over at the waist
- Snacking close to bedtime
- Eating certain foods, such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty foods
- Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
- Being pregnant
- Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications
- Health problems such as hiatus hernia
Here are 10 home remedies for mild acid reflux.
1. ALOE VERA JUICE
Aloe vera is known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. It can soothe inflammation in the stomach and esophagus to help bring relief from the effects of acid reflux.
Simply drink one-quarter cup of aloe vera juice about 20 minutes before eating a meal.
Note: Do not take aloe vera in excess because it may have a laxative effect.
2. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar should be in everyone’s store cupboards as it has antimicrobial, antibacterial, can lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar levels. It is also a very effective remedy for acid reflux as it helps with digestion and also balances the production of acid in the stomach.
As a preventative measure mix 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water and drink 20 minutes before a meal. This can be done on a regular basis with no harmful effects.
If suffering from an attack of heartburn drink this mix, but get into the habit of taking before meals.
3. SLIPPERY ELM
Slippery elm forms a soothing film over the mucous membrane of the stomach and esophagus so can relieve minor pain and inflammation.
Mix 2 tablespoons of powdered slippery elm bark in a large cup of water and allow to steep for several minutes. Drink 3 times a day until your symptoms improve.
4. BAKING SODA
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a natural antacid that provides quick relief from heartburn, the most common symptom of acid reflux.
Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water and drink straight away.
However do not take continually over long periods and avoid if you suffer from high blood pressure as it contains sodium.
Fennel is very effective at improving digestion and suppressing stomach spasms. It contains a compound called anethole that helps calm spasms in the gastrointestinal tract and also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Try chewing half a teaspoon of fennel seeds after a meal. Or make a fennel tea by boiling 1 teaspoon of seeds in a cup of hot water and steep for 10 minutes before straining. Repeat two or three times a day.
Cumin seeds can help the symptoms of acid reflux as they help to stimulate digestion and reduce digestive issues like acidity and gas.
Boil a teaspoon of cumin seeds in a cup of water. Leave to steep for five minutes and then strain. Drink this tea in the morning and after meals for a few days or until you find improvements in your symptoms. It is also a great spice to add to many dishes.
7. LICORICE ROOT
Licorice root has a huge range of beneficial effects on our bodies and helps heal the stomach by soothing the mucus membranes and also protecting the lining of the gut. It decreases gastric spasms in addition to minimizing gastric inflammation.
Simply boil half a teaspoon of licorice root powder in a cup of water and strain before drinking 20 minutes before a meal. You can repeat this two or three times a day.
Note: consult your doctor before taking licorice root as it can raise blood pressure.
Marshmallow works in a similar way to slippery elm and has soothing and protecting properties.
Add two tablespoons of dried marshmallow root to four cups of water and leave to steep overnight. In the morning simply strain and drink a cup or half a cup regularly throughout the day until you see improvements.
Other helpful tips:
- Avoid food and drinks that trigger symptoms
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.
- Stop smoking.
- Put blocks under the head of your bed to raise it at least 4 inches to 6 inches.
- Don’t eat at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down.
- Try sleeping in a chair for daytime naps.
- Avoid tight clothes or tight belts.
- If you’re overweight or obese, take steps to lose weight with exercise and a healthy diet
- Sleep on your left side as studies show that sleeping on the right side may aggravate acid reflux problems