Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation and pain in the stomach and chest. The burning sensation is caused by acidic stomach juices rising into the esophagus when the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not close properly. This is why heartburn often occurs after eating fatty, fried, acidic foods, caffeinated or carbonated beverages as well as chocolate too close to your bedtime.
Other common symptoms of this problem are gas, nausea, bloating, difficulty breathing and a sour taste in the throat and mouth. A variety of natural treatments can provide relief.
If your heartburn occurs only once in a while, there’s nothing to worry about. But if your heartburn is coming back with your every meal and even at night, you need to pay some attention to get rid of heartburn. This can be the chronic heartburn called gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). If it’s not GERD, you may first try to manage the condition with some home remedies and lifestyle changes. If you see no effects of these on your heartburn, then you need medical assistance.
Here are 10 home remedies to cure heartburn.
Ginger absorbs acid in the stomach and helps calm the nerves that contribute to heartburn. Use ginger as a spice in cooking, eat raw ginger pieces or drink ginger tea. This natural herb can be consumed regularly to prevent heartburn from recurring. Gingerroot can help ease up a number of stomach woes, from nausea to acid reflux.
- Add one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to one cup of boiling water. Let it steep for a few minutes. Drink this herbal tea several times a day.
Almonds neutralize the strong acids in the stomach, thereby preventing heartburn or alleviating the pain that comes with it. Adding almonds in smoothie will not only make it tasty but will increase its efficacy in combating heartburn. Choose raw, roasted or salted almonds to suit your taste buds. Chew them until they are reduced to a flour-like substance. This will release the oil from the almonds, which calms production of acid in your stomach.
Eat some almonds after every meal, every snack, every time you eat something.
3. Baking soda
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, provides quick and easy relief from heartburn. Being a natural antacid, it works within minutes, giving you relief from heartburn pain. It is a base substance as it has a pH higher than 7.0, and therefore neutralizes stomach acid. Neutralizing the stomach acid means that when your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) decides to be lazy and acid comes up your throat, you don’t get burned. It ends the gnawing, burning, sensation of heartburn caused by acid reflux.
- Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and mix well. Take this baking soda solution as needed. But do not exceed more than seven teaspoons a day since it is high in sodium.
4. Aloe Vera
The juice extracted from the aloe vera plant is a popular home remedy for heartburn. Aloe vera juice controls heartburn by reducing inflammation and healing the gastrointestinal tract. This means when your tummy starts getting irritated and inflamed, or your esophagus is getting eaten away at, a nice glass of aloe vera juice may be just the thing to help calm it down.
Aloe vera juice is readily available in health shops and most supermarkets. Drink one-quarter cup of the juice about 20 minutes before eating a meal. Be careful not to drink too much of it in one day as it can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain.
5. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seed is the traditional medicine to ward off heartburn. Fennel seed is an aromatic but powerful herb that helps in digestive conditions and has many other benefits. Fennel seeds contain a compound known as Anethole, which is known to suppress spasms of the stomach or gastrointestinal tract spasms.
- Chewing fennel seedsseveral times a day will freshen your breath while also controlling the production of stomach acid.
- Make herbal tea of fennel seeds. Add two teaspoons of fennel seeds to a cup of boiling water and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then strain it into a cup and drink it.
Drinking a glass of chilled milk can be a simple solution for early or mild heartburn symptoms. Milk relaxes the valve between the stomach and esophagus. Go for skim milk as regular cow’s milk contains a considerable amount of fat and is hard to digest. You can drink goat’s milk products as well. Like all high-fat foods, full-fat cow’s milk may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which can cause or worsen reflux symptoms. Opt for the lowest-fat options possible if you have to go with cow’s milk products. If you don’t have milk, you can try other types of dairy products. This home remedy is best for people who experience heartburn on rare occasions.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
It might sound counter intuitive to most people that add acid to an acidic stomach. But it really works. There’s a chance that acid reflux might be caused by not having enough acid in the stomach. If you suffer from acid reflux that causes heartburn, vinegar can trigger the sphincter below the esophagus to close, thus preventing acid from rising. Apple cider vinegar is best among all the different types of vinegar.
- Simply add one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Drink it before each meal. You can also drink this solution before bedtimes.
8. Anise and lavender tea
Anise and lavender tea can make to help relieve the symptoms of heartburn, since it reduces the amount of acid you have in your stomach. But mint or peppermint is not recommended since they are known to relax the LES which is exactly what you don’t want to do. It will increase your heartburn.
- Mix together equal amounts of aniseed and lavender. Boil 2 1/2 cups of distilled water. Pour the boiling water over a teaspoon of the herbal mixture. Let this tea sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the tea and drink up to 8 oz of this tea in the morning and 8 oz in the evening to get relief from acid reflux or heartburn. You can add honey as per your taste.
Citrus drinks such as orange, tangerine, grapefruit, tomato and pineapple juice are very acidic and can cause acid reflux. Other types of juices such as apple, carrot, aloe vera, and cabbage juice are less acidic.
Fruits like banana, apples and melons are best to reduce heartburn. Bananas contain natural antacids that can act as a buffer against acid reflux. Apple can also keep the pain from heartburn away. This fruit is one the best foods that can get rid of heartburn naturally. Melon has a pH of 6.1 and therefore it can be counted as one of the good foods for heartburn.
Chop up these fruits and before every meal. You can also turn them into smoothies by mixing them with a little bit of milk and ice, and then blending everything together. Have this whenever you feel heartburn.
10. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm has been used medicinally for centuries to treat different types of diseases including heartburn. The herb has mucilage, a component that converts into a slick gel when it is mixed with water. It gives slippery elm its demulcent property due to which it coats (makes a protective layer) and soothes the area where it is directed. In case of heartburn, it will thicken the mucous lining in your stomach, thereby creating an effective barrier against acid. Acid that could not find its way up to your esophagus.
- Add one teaspoon of slippery elm powder to a cup of hot water or milk. Stir it well to mix the powder completely into the water. Drink it after meals and at bedtime. Have this herbal drink after your meals and at bedtime.