Learning the best home remedies and natural treatments for this common health concern is imperative as the discomfort associated with acid reflux or heartburn requires instant relief. Keep reading to uncover some of the best home remedies for it that really do work amazingly well.
What is Acid Reflux?
The acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition where the acid in our stomach flows up to the esophagus. The acid in the stomach flows back when the tube that delivers food from our esophagus to the stomach fails to hold back the acid.
When you suffer from gerd, the food you eat finds its way back to the esophagus. This undigested food that goes into your esophagus and triggers digestive acids to follow it into the esophagus causing you irritation. The irritation of the esophagus is commonly known as heartburn.. This may occur occasionally or even frequently in many people. If this natural irritation or heartburn happens frequently, and you are still getting no relief even after medication, then you are definitely suffering from GERD.
Heartburn is just one of the symptoms of acid reflux disease. There are many other symptoms that point to this disease. These may include nausea, chest pains, vomiting, asthmatic symptoms, chronic sore throat, recurrent hiccups and dyspepsia.
The acid reflux symptoms are quite discomforting and the suffering person can hardly perform daily activities with ease when suffering from the disease. Medications can relieve the symptoms of GERD but only for a while and they may again reoccur in future. In order to prevent this disease from occurring again and also for some natural heartburn relief, you will need to make wise decisions regarding in your diet.
Things That You Should Avoid
You should decrease the consumption of foods that trigger acid reflux, such as;
- citrus fruits
- foods that have peppers
- spicy foods
- fried foods
- raw garlic
- caffeinated drinks
- other spices
- high protein foods
- fatty foods
- salty foods
- soft drinks
- processed foods
Certain rough textured foods such as crackers, potato chips and cereals should also be avoided as they can easily irritate your esophagus. Despite what you may have heard, apple cider vinegar is not a a good home remedy at all. It is contraindicated in acid reflux disease as it itself is an acid.
Simply avoiding these types of foods and eating more natural unprocessed foods serve as preventative remedies in themselves and should be heeded upon if you are serious about getting rid of your acid reflux and getting heartburn relief.
As concerns your lifestyle, you should avoid smoking and taking alcohol especially before and after meals as they tend to make the situation worse. Make sure you sit upright while eating and try not to lie down immediately after meals. It is also important for you to avoid exercising immediately after meals, you should instead take a walk. To help in faster digestion of food, you should chew food thoroughly.
Foods That You Should Consume
You should include natural foods that are safe for both your stomach and esophagus. You should include;
- fruits such as banana, apples,
- and vegetables such as peas, baked potatoes, cabbages, green beans as they will never trigger acid reflux.
It is best to consume;
- egg whites,
- skinless chicken breast,
- extra lean ground beef
- and fish.
Aside from this, natural dairy products such as;
- sour cream,
- fat free cream,
- goat or feta cheese,
- and soy cheese are best for you.
People suffering from acid reflux should consume natural mineral water as it is the safest beverage for them. So make sure you keep your home stocked with these fresh items.
Natural Heartburn Treatments and Relief Remedies
- Sleeping Position: One of the best natural cures for acid reflux to try at home is to change your sleep position. You should try to keep two pillows under your head, or place two bricks under the headboard. This helps in keeping esophagus above the stomach and prevents the acid moving up and down the esophagus. Aside from this, it has been proven that all those who sleep by their left side report less occurrences of GERD. So next time you go shopping, make sure to bring home some extra pillows.
- Aloe Vera Juice for Acid Reflux: This is a good natural remedy for GERD. You can get it in liquid form from the market, or you can even create your own at home by removing its skin and adding some water to it. This works because aloe Vera juice has an effect on the irritated esophagus due to acids. The juice works by soothing these irritations in the esophagus. NOTE# only aloe vera juice that is free from aloe aloin and latex is recommended for internal use. For better results it is advisable that aloe vera juice be taken thirty minutes to forty minutes before taking meals as this will increase the effectiveness of the juice in combating heartburn.
- Eat smaller meals: Another known trigger of acid reflux is big meals. When you eat such meals, they exert pressure on your abdomen, which forces the stomach contents upwards into the esophagus. If you consume heavy meals, you should avoid laying down immediately after eating. You should allow your body at least 2 hours to digest food in a proper way. So one of the best natural treatments for acid reflux is to consume few smaller meals rather than one bigger one.
- Ginger for Acid Reflux: This is also a wholesome food and is one of the best home remedies of them all. Various forms of ginger ( ginger tea, ginger powder, minced ginger root or pickled ginger root) can be used. This is because ginger is able to relax the smooth muscles along the walls of the esophagus which are irritated by the acid that is produced due to GERD hence providing relief. In most cases ginger root/rhizome is used as that part of the ginger contains the most concentrated medicinal properties. It works very fast and can be done as often as is required. Ginger provides instant relief as soon as it is consumed unlike few medications where you have to wait for few hours. Add it to your tea or other foods or take the capsule form of it with water after every meal. If you have frequent issues of GERD, you should keep ginger ale on hand so that you have it as soon as you feel the symptoms of acid reflux.
- Green Tea: Another great remedy for gastroesophageal reflux disease is to take green tea. It works to aid your body in the digestion process and provide a soothing effect to the sensitive tissue of your stomach.
- Herbal Tea: Herbal teas are also a good natural remedy. You can add herbs such as peppermint, licorice root, chamomile and catnip into your tea. The herbs have properties that will help repair the lining of your stomach. Ideally, you should take one cup of herbal tea after dinner.
- Marshmellow: Marshmellow; “the herb” forms another one of the best acid reflux remedies. This is because the herb is rich in mucilage and this is the one which takes care of the acids that are produced by the condition. The mucilage works by coating and soothing the inner lining of the esophagus which are affected by the acids thus the relief. In some cases this herb can be made into tea which if taken thrice a day, it will help in clearing heartburn.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal can also be used as a natural remedy for heartburn. Oatmeal is rich in fiber which is basically bran from unsifted oatmeal. If one suffering from heartburn eats a bowl of oatmeal daily then this will often lead into a complete cure. Oatmeal can also be administered in another form where by it is mixed with water and allowed to stand for twenty four hours followed by sieving the mixture. The strained liquid which is usually referred to as broth can be refrigerated and taken twenty minutes before meals hence bringing relief to the muscles which was caused by the acids.
- Milk: Milk can be of great use as a heartburn remedy. Fermented milk for example yogurt is rich in probiotics and other products of fermentation which will help in neutralizing acids that are produced due to acid reflux. When one senses the beginning of a reflux attack, it is advisable to take this fermented milk as it will prevent occurrence of heartburn. This milk is also important as it not only helps in bringing relief to muscles of the esophagus, but also helps in the regulation of the digestive system and colon. Also, this significantly helps women who experience heartburn during pregnancy.
- Exercise and Water: Just like with many other health conditions, water and regular exercise are always the best options. You should also stay more hydrated by drinking sufficient quantities of water. You should consume at least 8-10 glasses of water for relief from your symptoms. Water dilutes the acid and moves it down your digestive tract.
- Celery and cabbage Juice: Celery and cabbage are quite alkaline in nature. By consuming significant quantities of alkaline food, you can remove acid reflux problem. However, you should only drink fresh juice as it the fresher it is, the more vitamins and minerals it will contain. Eating these types of foods are proven acid reflux remedies and should be taken seriously.
- Baking soda for Acid Reflux: This is one of the best cures and it provides instant relief to the suffering person. You should put two tablespoons of baking soda in a tall glass of water. This should me mixed well before it can be taken and try to drink it as quickly as you can for maximum effect. It is advisable that the mixture be taken regularly until the heartburn clears. However, all those who are suffering from hypertension should avoid this, as it produces sodium in the system. And it is not good for pregnant women hence if used it should be used with moderation.
- Raw Potato Juice: You should extract the juice of organic potatoes and mix it in equal quantities with water. This is prepared by first washing the potatoes which are then put in a juicer without removing the peels. Then the juice extracted can be taken without adding anything or in some cases some other juices can be added into it so that it can taste well before taking it. You should drink it immediately. This juice has been used since centuries for making the stomach more alkaline and is one of the proven natural remedies since way back in the ages.
- Slippery Elm: This is a herb which belongs to the slippery elm tree that can also be used as a natural heartburn remedy. The inner bark of this tree is the one that is used in treating heartburn and this is because it contains a gel like substance which is able to swell when mixed with water. This gel like substance is the one that is responsible in coating the inner lining of the esophagus thus reducing the irritations which may be caused by the acids produced.
- Mustard: Mustard seeds contain a weak acid, vinegar and other minerals which are alkaline in nature. This alkalinity is important is slowing down or neutralizing the effects of acids that are produced by the heartburn hence bringing the relief to the sufferer. This is usually administered by taking a teaspoonful of mustard.
- Chewing gum: Surprisingly, chewing gum can be used in treating heartburn naturally. By chewing gum, secretion of saliva is stimulated which acts as an acid buffer therefore relieving the irritations of the esophagus muscles due to heartburn. Also it is important to note that when chewing one swallows more which helps in pushing the acids from the esophagus hence bringing relief.
Click the bottle to learn more about this amazing natural remedy for acid reflux and heartburn!
This video features a doctor explaining the process and mechanics of gerd and reflux, and its symptoms.
Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn and acid reflux is something that most women during pregnancy will experience. It brings about a lot of discomfort and more so if the heartburn occurs on a regular basis.
During the pregnancy period heartburn or acid reflux usually becomes worse and is something which is also experienced with expectant women who have never suffered from it before. It will usually start to develop at the first trimester and gets worse as the pregnancy advances.
Causes of Heartburn and Acid Reflux while Pregnant
Apart from the regular causes as explained earlier, when it comes to expectant women acid reflux is caused by the upsurge of certain hormones which end up creating the uncomfortable burning feeling.
Another possible cause is the increased levels of progesterone combined with internal abdominal pressure which comes about as a result of the enlarged uterus. This can lead to a reduction in the pressure levels found within the lower esophageal sphincter.
Acid Reflux and Heartburn Home Remedies for The Pregnant Woman
Due to the fact that a large number of medications can harm the development of the fetus, it is necessary for these expectant mothers to make use of homemade remedies which are not only effective but also safe for use.
apart from the remedies discussed above, some of the following are particularly effective in the treatment of heartburn when you are pregnant:
- Yogurt: By taking yogurt or drinking a glass full of milk, you will be able to effectively get rid of heartburn.
- Honey and Milk: You can also stir in a tablespoon full of honey, into a warm glass of milk and you will immediately begin to experience a relief from the discomforts of acid reflux.
- Smaller but More Meals: As opposed to eating three big meals, it is advisable for you to take regular meals all through the day but in smaller portions.
- Don’t Eat Spicy Food: Just like the remedies for regular folks above, keep off foods which are spicy and fatty. Tomatoes and peppers have also been known to cause an increase in the production of gastric acid. This increase then leads to pregnancy heartburn.
- Avoid Foods that Relax the Sphincter: It is also important to avoid certain foods which lead to the relaxation cardiac sphincter which is found in the stomach. Examples of such foods include alcohol, peppermint, chocolate as well as garlic.
- Don’t Eat Before Bedtime: Always try to avoid consuming food within a period of two hours before your bedtime.
- Avoid Naps After Food: Always avoid laying down right after taking a meal in order to stop the food which is already in the stomach from being pushed back into the esophagus thereby leading to pregnancy heartburn.
- Mild Antacids: There are various mild antacids which are sold over-the-counter and are known to be effective when it comes to relieving heartburn.
- Seek Medical attention if Symptoms Worsen: In case you are experiencing severe acid reflux combined with headache further on into the pregnancy, it is advisable for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible as it may be a sign of a more serious condition.
- Keep Your Head Raised: Making use of more pillows positioned under your head in order to have your stomach maintained at a lower position than the esophagus, will help to give you a good night’s sleep free from heartburn.
- Baking soda: Although an effective remedy for heartburn as explained in the general remedies above, baking soda should be avoided if pregnant.
I hope you are now more confident about what to do if you have any concerns about acid reflux during pregnancy. Try the remedies above first, and if the condition still persists, see your doctor.
Watch this video to see how expecting mother Stephanie explains some natural remedies to reduce the pain from acid reflux during pregnancy.
The best way to treat acid reflux or heartburn is to prevent it in the first place. For this, you will have to identify triggers, and they are not same for every person, so some trial and error will definitely be there. As food is the main culprit, you should write down the foods that you feel are causing the problem and try to avoid them.
Other remedies known to be effective include papaya, being involved in exercises, avoiding tight clothes, the time when to eat and the posture, for example; tilting the head up will help considerably.
You should not suffer when there are many natural remedies available. These treatments and home remedies may take longer, but they are definitely worth the effort, as they come without side effects and are long lasting as well. It is always the better option than running straight to a pharmacy when faced with the discomfort from heartburn and acid reflux.
Watch this video for advice on home remedies for heartburn from family practitioner Ken Savage in this family friendly medical conditions presentation.
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February 10, 2013
I have stumbled upon this site whilst researching for my husband’s condition. He works long hours and also works away a lot, and when hes away he often eats out, on business dinners etc. He suffers from heartburn and occasional dyspepsia, so I was wondering if any readers had tried the already prepared homeopathic and herbal remedies you can get? I saw it in the post above. i think this solution would be more suitable for my husband as he doesn’t have that much control over his diet when he is working away. I’d be interested if anyone has some experience of using the ready made treatments.
February 16, 2013
Thanks for commenting. There is a really good natural remedy product from the already made remedies link.. it is called Acid Free Flux… that works well for the condition.
February 10, 2013
I also have the same problem with my husband! He suffers from heartburn and spends lots of time away on business trips, so I bought the tablets from the already prepared homeopathic & herbal remedies for him which he can now take with him when he’s away. So far so good, and he hasn’t had any complaints like he used to, and when he’s home, I stick to low fat meats and small meal portions.
February 16, 2013
Excellent Heather.. they are great products aren’t they? Hope is feeling better.
February 11, 2013
I’m a smoker, so I have no idea if some my symptoms have to do with smoking, but I definitely have the occasional heartburn and as well as other symptoms listed here. I know I should quit smoking, but that’s not the main problem for my heartburn I don’t believe. I’m going to first try to avoid foods that trigger acid reflux and see if that makes any difference first. I’ll try the rest if that doesn’t work, but hopefully it’ll be as simple as avoiding some of those foods, because a few of them on the list I eat them a lot.
February 16, 2013
Hi Jeremy, Yep, it’s all in what you eat.. just follow the suggestions in this article, you will get it right.
February 11, 2013
So it looks like I’m getting the heartburn due to my diet. I eat a lot of citrus fruits, chocolate, fried foods, and a lot of caffeinated drinks. I probably drink at least 3 cups of coffee a day and that’s a lot of coffee for a person to drink in a single day. I’ll switch over to fruits like banana and apples and that should help with the heartburn.
February 16, 2013
Hi Chris, thanks for commenting! Seems like you know what to do…
April 9, 2013
Acid reflux disease refers to the back flow of acidic gastric contents into the esophagus which produces clinical manifestation by irritating or injuring the esophageal mucosa. It is also called GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) or heart-burn. It manifests as burning sensation in the midline of the chest, regurgitation, difficult swallowing, and even with chronic cough, chronic sore throat, pharyngitis and asthma. Alcohol, cigarette smoking, obesity, poor sleep postures, caffeinated drinks, citrus fruits, fatty and fried foods, bad eating habits, and drugs can lead to the development of symptoms of acid reflux disease .
Along with medical and surgical treatments, home remedies also help to relieve the symptoms of GERD. Sleeping with elevated head, taking small meals, cessation of alcohol and smoking, weight reduction, and avoidance of fatty foods and citrus fruits (lemon juices etc.) are recommended home remedies for acid reflux disease . Apple cider should not be used in GERD as it contains acetic acid and we need to inhibit acid production in the stomach. Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, and recently is recommended to heal the injured mucosa . Gastric protective effect of extract of ginger has been reported in studies . Ginger contains gastric defense factors and gingerols. Similarly, celery extracts (e.g. A. graveolens extract) replenish gastric wall mucus and voids ulcers . Also, leafy vegetables avoid a lot of stomach diseases . Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) mixed in water also helps relieving the symptoms of acid reflux disease.
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3. Ulbricht C, Armstrong J, Basch E, Basch S, Bent S, Dacey C, et al. An evidence-based systematic review of Aloe vera by the natural standard research collaboration. J Herb Pharmacother. 2007; 7:279-323.
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Dr. Muzammil Irshad, MBBS
April 10, 2013
It is great to have such a distinguished doctor such as yourself adding such valuable information regarding acid reflux remedies. Your detailed review is much appreciated.