Heartburn Home Remedies
You may have heard of many different ‘instant’ heartburn home remedies that can be found in your own kitchen, and you may be wondering which ones really work.
Well, first of all, keep in mind that because each person is different, what works for one may not work for another, so you’ll have to go through a process of trial and error to see what works best for you.
How do heartburn home remedies work?
One rule-of-thumb seems to be that any food which requires a lot of chewing and which stimulates the production of saliva may help to bring relief from heartburn. This is because saliva aids digestion, and constant chewing encourages the food to move along the digestive tract, which helps to prevent heartburn symptoms.
The most obvious remedy in this case is, of course, chewing gum, as this encourages the production of saliva. But avoid the minty flavours, and stick to fruity ones.
You can also chew on almonds. Take a few unsalted, unroasted almonds, and chew each one until it is crushed and completely mixed with saliva (about 2 minutes), then chew the next one. The high oil content in almonds seems to relieve heartburn because it soothes and neutralises stomach acid. The high fiber content also helps to absorb excess acid and aid food digestion. And of course, you get the added nutritional benefits of the almonds at the same time.
Now, to be more specific, we need to consider that heartburn may cause pain in two ways. One cause of heartburn symptoms is acid reflux, and the other is when acid causes inflammation of damaged areas of the stomach lining. So, as you can see, particular heartburn home remedies are more likely to be effective in each case.
Heartburn home remedies for Acid Reflux
You might experience acid reflux when your stomach acid leaks back into your esophagus. Acid is needed not only for digestion, but also because it triggers the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to close more tightly. If there is too little acid in your stomach, your body responds by producing more. Clearly, therefore, the answer is to use a home remedy which provides added acid for the stomach to use in the digestion process.
Vinegar is one of the most effective heartburn home remedies because it has two benefits; it not only provides more acid, but also, the active ingredient in vinegar, acetic acid, is a strong stimulant to saliva production. Drink a mixture of two tablespoons of vinegar in a glass of water.
Although any vinegar would work, ordinary vinegar doesn’t taste very pleasant, so many people prefer to use apple cider vinegar. Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in half a cup of water, and drink it either before, during or after your meal, depending on what works best for you.
Pickle juice and mustard have also been effective for some people, but this may be mainly because of the vinegar content in each of them.
This is another good source of acid. Again, mix one teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water.
(Note: Although other citrus fruits are also acidic, they are not recommended for treating heartburn.)
Ginger can also be an effective heartburn home remedy because it increases the effectiveness of peristalsis so that your acidic stomach contents are kept down where they belong. It also improves digestion by improving the circulation to the stomach and speeding up your digestion, and it stimulates the production of saliva.
Pineapple contains high concentrations of an enzyme, bromelain, which is thought to aid protein digestion and reduce inflammation, and so improve digestion and reduce acid reflux.
Heartburn home remedies for inflammation of the Stomach Lining
As we discussed earlier, having too little acid in your stomach can lead to heartburn, so clearly, remedies which neutralize acid would, in many cases, not be the best solution. But if the pain is caused by acid burning the lining of your stomach, a remedy which neutralizes that acid is what you need. However, it’s important to remember that many of these remedies are temporary remedies, and if taken for too long, can actually make the problem worse.
Many people find it effective to drink milk for heartburn symptoms as it contains calcium which neutralises acid. However, it also contains fat, which can trigger more heartburn.
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water, and sip quickly.
Bananas are a natural antacid and will neutralize stomach acid, so they will often give heartburn relief very quickly. You can use either fresh or dried banana, or even banana powder, which may be easier to carry around.
Honey has also been found by many heartburn sufferers to be a healing remedy that will sooth and help in healing an irritated esophagus. Honey has been shown to fight bacteria, block infection, combat inflammation, reduce pain, and improve circulation. It also stimulates the regrowth of tissue which will heal the esophagus and sphincter.
Apples are effective in treating heartburn symptoms because they create an alkaline state in the stomach, neutralizing excess acids and improving digestion.
Potato juice not only neutralizes the acid in your stomach, but it also heals the lining of your esophagus.
You can either eat some raw potato or drink raw potato juice.
Some people have fund that mixtures of some of these remedies work particularly well. For example:
- A cold cup of Chamomile tea, with a lot of crushed ice, with a pinch of baking soda.
- Lemon tea with honey
- Tea made of hot water, apple cider vinegar tea, lemon, and honey.
- A 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of vinegar mixed with 4 ounces of water.
This is not the kind of licorice you find in candy stores. It is Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL which is very bitter, and nothing like candy. It comes in pill form. DGL may soothe the tissues of the stomach and esophagus that have been irritated by refluxed stomach acid. It also has an anti- inflammatory properties and creates a protective coating on the intestinal lining and esophagus. However, you should not use DGL if you have been diagnosed with hypertension and/or are receiving treatment for hypertension