Acid reflux is also known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux is a common condition that people often refer to as heartburn. It is occurs when stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining. Acid reflux and heartburn more than twice a week may indicate GERD. Natural home remedies offer an easy way to treat the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn at home.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
People may experience:
- Burning sensation in the chest and throat
- Sour taste in mouth
- Flatulence or Gas
- Bad Breath
- Indigestion, constipation
- Nausea or feeling of vomiting
- Heaviness in the stomach after eating
- Frequent burps
- Discomfort in upper abdomen
- Regurgitation of undigested food coming back in our mouth
Causes of Acid Reflux
Common causes of acid reflux are:
- Over Eating
- Being overweight or obesity
- Eating at odd times or skipping meals
- Unhealthy eating habits like having too much tea, coffee, cold- drinks, junk, spicy, oily food etc.
- Snacking close to bedtime or sleeping right after taking food
- Certain medications such as antibiotics, pain killers such as ibuprofen, aspirin or in some cases blood pressure medication can also cause acid reflux
Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
16 Effective home remedies for acid reflux and heartburn are:
Apple cider vinegar
Add 1-2 teaspoon of raw organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most effective home remedies for acid reflux. It helps balance stomach pH by neutralizing stomach acid.
Consuming half teaspoon of baking soda mixed in one glass of water for fast relief. Sodium bicarbonate acts as an antacid and quickly neutralizes stomach acid and relieves acid reflux symptoms. It fizzes and helps people to burp. Some people claim that burping makes feel better.
Drink Cold Milk
Drink a glass of cold milk. This will push the acid back down into the stomach. It will also neutralize it at the same time.
Drink one glass of buttermilk. This is one of the most helpful home remedies for acid reflux and heartburn. It contains lactic acid that helps normalize the acidity in your stomach.
Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea helps prevent heartburn and its symptoms. It also aids digestion.
Having around 1 teaspoon fennel powder with a glass of warm water relieves acid reflux and its symptoms like heartburn, bloating and improves digestion.
Black Cumin Seeds
Chew cumin seeds directly or boil 1 teaspoon of them in a glass of water and drink it to relieve acid reflux. Black cumin seeds are gastro-protective. They are effective in reducing and preventing acid reflux and its symptoms like heartburn, pain, nausea, bloating, constipation etc.
Consumption of ajwain gives relief from acid reflux and flatulence. It is very good for digestion and is an effective anti-acidic agent.
Having a small piece of jaggery after your heavy meal is one of the most helpful home remedies for acid reflux and heartburn. It helps with the digestive process and offers relief from acidity. It has a cooling effect on your stomach as well.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera keeps you healthy is one of the best home remedies for heartburn relief. It contains anti-inflammatory properties and is loaded with powerful vitamins as well. You can extract the pulp from aloe vera leaves, mix it with water and have it 2-3 times a day for effective heartburn relief.
Boil 1/2 teaspoon licorice root in a cup of water for few minutes. Strain and drink this three to four times a day between meals. Licorice brings quick relief and may help heal the damaged stomach lining.
Suck a piece of clove to get rid of acid reflux and its symptoms like flatulence, indigestion, nausea, gastric irritability etc.
Drinking a glass of lukewarm water empty stomach and before going to sleep at night provides relief from acidity.
Chewing 1 cardamom pod every day helps to prevent acid reflux, flatulence and improves digestion
The idea is simple. Straight after eating is the time that most acid reflux occurs. If you chew gum, you make saliva. This is a natural way of neutralizing acid. As you swallow your saliva, you stop the acid burning your esophagus because you push the saliva back down into the stomach.
Try Herbal Tea
Some drinks, including coffee and alcohol, may increase the symptoms of acid reflux. Replacing these beverages with decaffeinated herbal teas may help reduce the likelihood of acid reflux. Herbal teas can also help improve digestion and ease symptoms such as dizziness or nausea.
Popular herbal teas include:
- chamomile tea
- licorice root tea
- green tea
- fennel tea
- ginger tea
Do’s for Acid Reflux
- Regular exercise has shown tremendous improvements in those who suffer from heartburn regularly.
- Figure out what triggers your acid reflux. Everyone has specific triggers. Some common triggers are fatty or fried foods, tomato sauce, chocolate, mint, garlic, onion, alcohol, and smoking.
- Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients. Do not to drink too soon before or after a meal as the water will dilute the digestive juices.
- During pregnancy, heartburn and indigestion are the usual complaints. To reduce the feeling of discomfort, eat five to six small meals instead of three large ones. Walk around and stay upright after having your food. It is best to avoid fat-rich and spicy foods.
- Include whole grains, raw vegetables, and raw nuts and seeds in your diet. The essential nutrient and fiber helps in relieving gastric symptoms and also helps to heal gastric mucosa.
- Include spinach, lettuce, celery, potatoes, corn, honey, and rice which has soothing effect and are nourishing too.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to neutralize the excess acidity in the stomach and maintain good digestive health.
- Eat small, regular meals rather than occasional big meals.
- After eating, stay upright; take a walk.
- Consider weight loss, if you are overweight. Excess weight put pressure on the abdomen and causing acid to back up into the esophagus.
- Sleep with your head raised, which help to prevent acid reflux.
- Manage stress level by practicing deep breathing exercise, and meditation. The release of cortisol hormone during stress affects the acid level of the stomach making acid reflux worst
Don’ts for Acid Reflux
- Avoid saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, fried and greasy foods, processed foods, heavy sauces, and red meat.
- Avoid eating just before you are heading to bed. Don’t slouch or recline while eating.
- Minimize or cut out citrus fruit, tomatoes, mint, onions, garlic, and vinegar, green and red peppers. Pay attention to see if symptoms flare up when eating these foods.
- Quit smoking and avoid caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and carbonated drinks.
- Avoid hot spicy food, pickles, and fermented food.
- Don’t wear tight-fitting clothes or belts which may put pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Don’t sit hunched up at your desk; this will encourage heartburn. Try not bend or stoop over.
- Getting a review of your medicines from a doctor in case you feel they could be causing heartburn.
When to See a Doctor
- Symptoms become worse, or do not improve after a week or two.
- Getting recurrent bouts of heartburn.
See doctor immediately if:
- Having prolonged chest pain, sweating, and shortness of breath.
- Blood in vomiting or passing black stools.
- Have difficulty in swallowing.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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