Just about near the stomach opening is a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter whose purpose is to prevent the food in the stomach from going back again into the esophagus. However, sometimes this valve doesn’t function properly wherein the stomach acid moves back into the esophagus causing a burning sensation in the chest called heartburn. While leading a healthy lifestyle such as keeping a check on one’s weight and controlling one’s food habits are necessary following these easy home remedies offer considerable relief form heartburn.
How to Treat Heartburn Naturally
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is highly effective in treating heartburn. It is because baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a base with a ph. above 7; it thus effectively neutralizes the acid in the stomach. Take about a teaspoon of baking soda and add it to a glass of water. Drink it just as you would a glass of soda. You will experience considerable relief after some time. However remember to not over-do the baking soda treatment as it contains salt and excess salt consumption can lead to bloating and nausea.
2. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum is a good way to get rid of GERD symptoms. When we chew gum our mouth produces extra saliva which washes away the acid accumulation responsible for acidity and heartburn. If you are weight-conscious then chew on sugar free gums.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps calm the stomach and provides sufficient relief to a person experiencing acid-reflux symptoms. Add two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink after every meal.
4. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm provides a protective coating to the mucous lining of the stomach thus preventing its corrosion by acid. Mix a tablespoon of slippery elm extract in water and drink after every meal.
5. Drink Chamomile Tea
A cup of chamomile tea before going to bed will provide you relief from heartburn as chamomile decreases inflammation and also stabilizes the acidity levels in the stomach. Chamomile is also known to decreases stress, a factor known to increase acidity levels. To a cup of boiling water add a teaspoon of dried chamomile petals and boil for a minute or so. After a while strain the tea. To make it tastier add a teaspoon of honey or a dash of lemon juice.
6. Have Almonds
Almonds are a great thing to have when you are suffering from heartburn. Almonds are rich in healthy oils which counteract the stomach acids thus easing heartburn symptoms. Similarly you can have walnuts as they too contain healthy oils. Whenever you feel a burning sensation have a few almonds or walnuts to reduce the pain.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is known for its soothing properties when applied to burns and wounds. The same applies to cases of heartburn where it forms a protective coating over the intestinal walls. Taking a glass of aloe-vera juice before your meals can soothe your inflamed esophagus and stomach. However don’t overdo it as aloe-vera also acts as a laxative.
8. Eat Apples
Apples provide considerable relief form heartburn as they cool the burning sensation caused by acid production. Eat apple slices with their skin on and you will experience relief from your heartburn. You can even make a jar of apple honey at home and use it when you feel your heartburn symptoms appearing. Peel and slice up a few apples and boil in water for a couple of hours until the mixture thickens to form a sweet delicious mixture.
9. Drink Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is the answer to many ills plaguing the stomach and this is equally the case with heartburn. Drinking a cup of ginger tea half an hour before your meal will provide you considerable relief from heartburn. Take about an inch or two of gingerroot and boil it in about 2 cups of water. Now sip this concoction slowly. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Potato Juice
Potato juice helps to counter attack the stomach acids and also repairs the esophagus lining. Grind a raw potato with sufficient water to form a mixture. Now drink up this liquid.
Buttermilk is an excellent remedy for heartburn. All you have to do is drink a glass of chilled buttermilk to ease your heartburn.
12. Drink Spice Infused Tea
Drink a concoction of spice infused tea to relieve heartburn symptoms. For this you would need a teaspoon each of cardamom and cinnamon powder and add it to water. Boil it for a while. Then strain and drink the tea. A tea made of fennel seeds or star anise can also cure heartburn. Add two teaspoons of fennel seed or star anise to water and boil for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink this liquid.
13. Have Mustard Paste
You might shy away from trying out this home remedy but believe us it really works. Mustard is alkaline in nature thus it balances the acid levels in the body. Have a teaspoon of mustard paste when you feel the symptoms coming.
Do’s and Don’ts When Suffering from Heartburn
- Avoid eating foods that may trigger heartburn such as greasy food, whole milk products etc. These products relax the esophageal sphincter, thus acids come back to the esophagus causing heartburn. Caffeinated drinks, alcohol and spicy foods increase acid production in the body thereby increasing heartburn.
- Have smaller meals as bigger meals will dilate your stomach and put extra pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) leading to heartburn.
- Have meals 2-3 hrs before you go to sleep. That way you give your body enough time to digest the food.
- Keep a record of the foods that cause you heartburn so you know which all foods to avoid.
- When sleeping always lie down in an elevated condition to prevent the stomach acids from rising up the esophagus.
- It is seen that smoking increases heartburn hence quit smoking.
- If your acid reflux symptoms persist for more than a week or if the above mentioned remedies don’t work, then we suggest you talk to your doctor about it.