Natural heartburn remedies are preferred by many who experience heartburn either occasionally or frequently. Treatments based on natural solutions are deemed not only effective but also safe to use even in the long term. Unlike prescribed or over-the-counter medications, natural remedies for heartburn don’t come with many adverse effects. Aside from that, natural treatments are also cheap and can be done at home.
Natural heartburn remedies as well as other types of heartburn treatment methods are in demand because this condition is said to affect approximately 20% of people in Western countries at least once a week. Occasional heartburn is common but there are some individuals who experience heartburn more frequently.
Frequent heartburn could already indicate the presence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). With GERD, the stomach’s acidic contents enter the esophagus, irritating the sensitive lining of the esophagus, causing pain. GERD symptoms include:
- Persistent heartburn
- Sour or bitter taste in the mouth
- Sore throat
- Regurgitation of food or liquid
- Chest pain that especially occurs while lying down at night
- Symptoms related to asthma like soughing and wheezing
Natural Heartburn Remedies that Work
The following are tips on how to prevent heartburn without resorting to OTC or prescribed medications. These natural remedies may require some changes in habits and lifestyle so they may not be very simple for some. However, these remedies are proven to work in minimizing the occurrence of heartburn and other acid reflux disease symptoms.
- Avoid heartburn triggers. One of the most natural heartburn remedies is staying away from foods that cause heartburn. These foods include: chocolates, spearmint and peppermint, raw onions, black pepper, garlic, fatty foods and spicy foods, coffee, carbonated beverages and alcoholic beverages, citrus fruits and citrus juices, tomatoes and vinegar among others.
- Eat your last meal several hours before going to bed. Lying down after eating will force stomach contents to travel back up the esophagus.
- If you’re prone to heartburn, divide your daily meals to six smaller portions instead of three full meals. Don’t rush when you are eating and take time to chew food properly, this makes food digestion easier and your stomach won’t have to produce more acids.
- Reduce stress. Studies have linked stress to heartburn, stating that 58% of frequent heartburn sufferers have hectic lifestyles. Stress often disrupts people’s routines making them smoke, drink alcohol, eat the wrong foods, or eat a lot. Such activities ultimately lead to heartburn.
- Quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes weakens the lower esophageal sphincter or LES, a muscle at the end of the esophagus that closes it off to prevent stomach contents from going up the esophagus. If the LES is weak, the person is more prone to acid reflux and heartburn.
- Aloe Vera Juice is another home remedy for heartburn and though there hasn’t been any scientific evidence proving that it is one of the natural heartburn remedies, it has a long history of use in Europe as a cure for heartburn. Approximately 1/4 cup of Aloe Vera juice is taken by adults 20 minutes before a meal to ensure that heartburn does not occur. When opting for Aloe Vera juice as a natural heartburn treatment, make sure that the Aloe Vera does not contain any aloe latex, aloe-emoin or aloin compounds. These substances in the aloe plant are strong laxatives. Also, don’t take the gel from the plant directly as a home remedy because this might be contaminated with the latex, instead, use gel or juice preparations specifically intended for internal use.
- Other natural heartburn remedies you can try include slippery elm, marshmallow, antioxidants, bladderwrack and chewable DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice).
Opting for natural heartburn remedies can be beneficial for you in many ways. Natural treatments also help promote an individual’s overall well being. You always have the option of consulting with your doctor though before trying out any of these remedies.