Health & Wellness
13 Natural Heartburn Home Remedies Everyone Should Know
Here are a few things you can do for heartburn relief that don’t involve over-the-counter prescriptions.
Are you suffering from heartburn?
Heartburn is caused by acid reflux, which is the regurgitation of partially digested liquids or foods that have mixed with stomach acid. This acidic mix makes its way into your esophagus and throat where it causes irritation. Anything that increases pressure on your abdomen can push the contents of your stomach up into the esophagus, including eating too much, obesity and pregnancy. Occasional heartburn is nothing to worry about, but frequent heartburn can lead to chronic digestive disorders. How can you find heartburn relief? Here are some home remedies for heartburn to try.
One of the best home remedies for heartburn is gum. Chewing gum increases your production of saliva, an alkaline that helps neutralize the acids in regurgitated foods that cause a burning sensation, giving you heartburn relief. Here are some of the worst foods for your stomach.
Drink a glass of water
In a Greek study, water worked faster than several ulcer medications to raise the pH level in your gut and relieve heartburn symptoms. This is what happens to your body when you drink 8 glasses of water every day.
Change your body position
Stand up straight instead of slouching after meals to help food and acid stay in your stomach and out of your esophagus. Try sleeping on your side instead of your stomach, and elevate your head and upper body when you lie down. These simple fixes can greatly reduce heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, making it one of the greatest home remedies for heartburn. Check out which common drink can cause acid reflux.
Practice deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing is one of the heartburn home remedies that anyone can do. Deep breathing exercises can reduce the amount of air swallowed and strengthen the muscles surrounding the lower esophageal sphincter, relieving some acid reflux symptoms. And the breathing exercises are unbelievably simple: just breathe in deeply, breathe out slowly. An Austrian study showed that breath-training exercises helped GERD sufferers, a chronic digestive disorder caused by acid reflux, “significantly” within four weeks. At a 9-month check-in, the participants who were still using the breathing exercises reported continued improvements in their acid reflux symptoms.
Avoid foods that can cause heartburn
Common culprits of heartburn include coffee, chocolate, soda, alcohol, meat, dairy, spicy foods, fried foods and acidic foods. Here are some other foods to avoid when you have acid reflux.
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Eat protein-rich meals and avoid fatty meals
Meals packed with protein have been shown to increase the lower esophageal sphincter’s pressure, making it stronger against acid reflux and one of the best home remedies for heartburn. Fatty foods, however, decrease pressure on the LES, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely.
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Lose weight and eat smaller meals
Obesity puts pressure on the abdomen, resulting in stomach contents being forced up the esophagus. Large, heavy meals also increase pressure on the abdomen and lead to acid reflux. Eating smaller meals and dropping a few pounds is one of the home remedies for heartburn that work. These are the 15 best foods to boost your metabolism.
Tobacco contains chemicals that damage your lower esophageal sphincter, the set of muscles responsible for keeping stomach contents out of your esophagus. When this band of muscles becomes too weak, regurgitated food and stomach acid can easily make their way into your esophagus.
Sip a baking soda concoction
Baking soda is alkaline, which means it neutralizes stomach acid and makes for one of the best home remedies for heartburn relief. Mix ½ teaspoon baking soda and a few drops of lemon juice in ½ cup warm water. Don’t forget to add the lemon juice! It dispels some of the gas baking soda creates in the stomach when it contacts stomach acid. Here are some other heartburn home remedies and GERD remedies to consider.
Find some fennel
One of the most popular heartburn home remedies around the world, fennel seeds contain at least 16 compounds that sooth stomach spasms. Put 3 teaspoons of the seeds in a coffee grinder and place in a heat-resistant bowl or saucepan. Add 3 cups of boiling water, cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain. That makes 3 cups of tea; drink in 1 cup portions throughout the day, preferably on an empty stomach.
Calm the burn with chamomile
In Germany, where they take herbal medicine very seriously, chamomile is one of the most popular heartburn home remedies. It contains some 20 compounds that ease spasms, plus other compounds that have a gentle sedative effect—perfect for heartburn relief. Use one tea bag per cup of boiling water, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bag and drink. Shoot for having 3 cups a day on an empty stomach and continue for two or three weeks. Then take a break for a week or two. Here are 8 other ways to put a tea bag to work.
Mix the sour with the sweet
Mixing honey with vinegar is an old Amish heartburn home remedy. Combine a teaspoon of honey with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. Drink 30 minutes before you eat, and you just might avoid heartburn.
Toss in some herbs
Many herbs are known to ease your digestion. Among them: mint, dill, caraway, horse-radish, bay, fennel, tarragon, marjoram, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. No matter what you’re cooking up, chances are there’s an herb that complements it. Use one or more liberally, especially if you’re cooking something that you know might lead to heartburn. Next, check out 57 ways to use fresh herbs.