Natural Cures for Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, or heartburn, occurs when the digestive acids in the stomach flow upward into your esophagus. This muscular tube is located in the chest, near the heart, and becomes irritated by the acids, which cause a burning sensation, that can be felt up to the neck.

Several factors are related to acid reflux, including overeating, obesity, eating before bedtime, lying down after a meal, eating processed or fried foods, and excessive alcohol or caffeine intake. Aside from medications, natural cures for acid reflux and changes in lifestyle can be another way to help relieve symptoms.

Natural Cures for Acid Reflux

Occasional heartburn is usually relieved by simple lifestyle changes as well as natural cures that are found at home. Here are some tips:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the natural cures for acid reflux is apple cider vinegar. This popular home remedy is a healthy, natural way to treat heartburn. The acid content of apple cider vinegar combines with stomach acids to produce a less acidic substance that can still digest foods. At the same time, apple cider vinegar has an alkalizing effect on your body, which counteracts the effects of acid-forming foods.

How to use:

Drink a mixture of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water before meals and at bedtime. If your symptoms worsen, stop using it.

2. Ginger Root Tea

A cup of ginger root tea helps ease stomach problems, including acid reflux. When taken before meals, it can help buffer the acids and calm the stomach.

How to use:

Slice 3 small pieces of ginger root (about the size of a quarter) and simmer in two cups of water, for about 30 minutes. Drink the resulting tea about 20 minutes before each meal.

3. Aloe Vera Juice

The aloe plant is known for soothing burns and other skin problems, but it can also be used to relieve heartburn by reducing inflammation.

How to use:

Drink half a cup of aloe vera juice before meals. When buying aloe, look for brands that do not contain laxative components.

4. Licorice Root Extract

Licorice is known as a natural treatment for ulcers as well as acid reflux.

How to use:

Chew two licorice tablets before meals daily. You can also take them at bedtime for pain at night time.

5. Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is an herbal remedy used for centuries to treat various illnesses, including heartburn symptoms. It forms a strong barrier against stomach acids.

How to use:

Mix 2 tablespoons of powdered slippery elm in water and drink after meals and at bedtime.

6. Chamomile

Chamomile tea helps reduce inflammation in the stomach, and balances the acidity as well. It also relieves stress, which triggers acid reflux, and helps you sleep better.

How to use:

Simmer 1 teaspoon of chamomile petals in one cup of water for 45 seconds. Let the flowers soak for about 2 more minutes after removing from heat, and then strain. Add some lemon drops or honey to the tea, and enjoy.

7. Banana or Apple

Bananas provide natural antacids that buffer acids in the stomach. Apples also create an alkaline environment in the stomach and neutralize excess acids, thus easing digestion.

How to use:

Eat an apple or a banana daily, about 2 hours before bedtime.

Preventions for Acid Reflux

Your diet, eating habits and lifestyle may be causing your acid reflux. The following tips can help improve and prevent your symptoms:

1. Change Your Diet and Eating Habits

  • Avoid eating too fast. Chew food thoroughly
  • Avoid eating late meals
  • Avoid eating foods that trigger heartburn symptoms, such as citrus fruits, fried foods, chocolate, caffeine, peppermint, garlic, and tomatoes
  • Limit or eliminate eating fatty foods, which take longer to digest and stay in the stomach longer, thus generating larger volumes of acid
  • Eat small meals rather than large meals, which force the stomach to produce more acid

2. Make Some Lifestyle Changes

  • Avoid going to bed after eating. Wait for at least 3 hours
  • Exercise lightly 1 to 2 hours after eating
  • Remain in an upright position for about 45 minutes after meals. Lying down after meals can trigger acid reflux symptoms
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes, which increase pressure on the abdomen
  • Stop smoking, which weakens the valve in the lower esophageal sphincter
  • Lose excess weight. Overweight/obese people are more likely to develop acid reflux
  • Drink alcohol moderately (only 1 to 2 drinks daily for women/ 2 to 3 drinks daily for men), or avoid drinking alcohol
  • Keep the upper body elevated when sleeping instead of lying flat, which can trigger symptoms
  • When lying in bed, try lying on your left side to keep the stomach contents within the stomach body

The video below will help you know more about natural cures for acid reflux:

When to See a Doctor

Seek medical help immediately if you experience pressure or severe pain in the chest. This may be a symptom of a heart attack, especially when other signs and symptoms are present, such as pain or tingling in the arm, jaw or neck, and difficulty breathing.

Call your doctor if:

  • Your heartburn occurs more than 2 times in a week
  • Your symptoms persist after using over-the-counter medications
  • You experience difficulty swallowing
  • You experience persistent nausea or vomiting
  • You have poor appetite, difficulty eating, or weight loss

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