We all suffer from heartburn from time to time, but many of us have no idea where it actually comes from. That painful feeling is actually a symptom of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which is the process of acid refluxing back into our esophagus.
There are many things that can trigger this and it’s not just about the food we eat. Certain exercises and medications can increase your risk, but this doesn’t mean you have to change your lifestyle completely; you just need to know a few natural remedies to soothe the pain when it does arrive.
Mix baking soda with water
It may sound gross, but it certainly works. Mix between ½ and one teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) into a glass of water and drink it down. This may not work for everyone, but it helps to neutralize your stomach in the short term. In the long term, if it does work for you, you should avoid using it regularly as baking soda is high in salt and may cause side effects like swelling and nausea.
Don’t worry, though; we have plenty more natural remedies that can help you.
Drink aloe vera juice
The aloe plant has been used to soothe burns for centuries and research claims that it could do the same for our stomachs. The juice of the aloe plant reduces inflammation, and even if you’re not suffering from heartburn, it is recommended that you drink half a cup before meals to prevent it from happening at all. You should be careful, though, as too much aloe juice can act as a laxative.
Chew some gum
Chewing gum can reduce the inflammation that causes heartburn by helping your saliva to become more alkaline and thus neutralize the acid in your stomach. This can depend on the type of gum you’re chewing, though. There have been a number of health benefits associated with chewing gum – for example, it has been linked to an increase in mental performance, with improvements in concentration, memory and reaction time.
Elevate your waist
If you’re experiencing heartburn, raising your upper body can help to ease the discomfort. This includes more than simply raising your head. To feel the results, elevate from the waist and for even better results, stand up until the pain has subsided.
A cup of chamomile tea
Chamomile is something that is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties, and in some cases, it is believed that drinking a cup of chamomile tea can have the same benefits as taking over-the-counter medication such as aspirin.
Some research has shown that chamomile can lower gastric acidity and may stand as an antacid, which are both great benefits for heartburn sufferers.
Brave some pure apple cider vinegar
Sometimes, the worst thing you can do to combat heartburn is take an antacid. Why? It’s because our stomachs are naturally acidic so that they can digest our food, so adding more acid, in the form of apple cider vinegar, can help to aid this process along more quickly. The most common way to take apple cider vinegar is to mix two tablespoons in eight ounces of water and drink when heartburn strikes.
Loosen your clothing
Heartburn happens when the food that you have eaten is travelling back into your esophagus where the stomach acid burns the tissues, so wearing tight clothing is only going to make this process worse. The cause of your heartburn may simply be that your clothing is too tight around your stomach, so the first thing to do is to loosen off.
A drop of lemon juice
You have to be careful with lemon juice, as the amount you use may help or worsen your symptoms. Lemon juice is very acidic, but small amounts mixed with water can often have an alkalizing effect when it is digested.
Mix one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice into eight ounces of water and drink. It’s best to drink this mixture through a straw, as this will prevent the acid from the lemon touching your teeth and eroding tooth enamel.
Munch on raw almonds
One of the most natural remedies for preventing heartburn is to eat some almonds after every meal. These nuts have been shown to neutralize the juices in the stomach so that certain instances of heartburn can be prevented altogether. You only need to munch on a few almonds to reap the benefits.
Chew on licorice
Licorice is known to be a remedy for many gastrointestinal issues including ulcers, gastritis and heartburn, because it is said to heal the lining of the stomach. You can buy black licorice in chewable lozenge form or a pill to calm the stomach, but it is recommended that you use DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) because other forms can raise your blood pressure.
As with most things it’s always best to maintain a healthy diet and avoid foods that you know can trigger the symptoms.