Acid reflux, or heartburn, is a common gastric disorder prevalent in about 20% of the Western population (1). This number reflects the irregular dietary and lifestyle habits of people today. But if you want to learn how to get rid of heartburn, we have got you covered.
A fast-paced, technology-driven, and hectic lifestyle may cause you to eat unhealthy foods at odd hours to satiate your hunger. Unfortunately, this habit can directly affect your digestive system – as most such foods are processed and just fill you up with empty calories. This eventually can lead to indigestion, acidity, and heartburn.
While lifestyle changes and proper eating habits are important in preventing acidity and heartburn, the following home remedies can also offer some relief. Continue reading to know more.
In This Article
What Is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, is a condition associated with the gastrointestinal tract. The stomach contains strong acids that help digest the food you eat.
Sometimes, this acid can rise back in your esophagus and cause a burning sensation in your gastrointestinal tract. This sensation can be felt in your chest, which is one reason it is also referred to as heartburn.
In some cases, people experience acid reflux more than two times a week. This could be an indication of a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. This condition warrants immediate medical help.
Let us now take a look at some quick ways to get relief from acid reflux.
How To Get Quick Relief From Acid Reflux
Having acid reflux can come in the way of a lot of your daily activities. It can make you feel uneasy and also cause loss of appetite. Here are a few things you can do to get relief from acid reflux symptoms:
- Consider Wearing Loose-Fitting Clothes
Wearing loose clothes can help avoid the constriction caused by tighter clothes, thereby alleviating any discomfort and uneasiness that can arise.
- Stand Up At Regular Intervals
Standing up at regular intervals ensures that your stomach is not unusually distended.
- Refrain From Smoking
Smoking is injurious to health. Smoking can increase the risk of acid reflux and cause discomfort and pain in your esophageal tract.
- Take Over-The-Counter Medication
Consuming antacids easily available at the nearest chemist is a sure way to get immediate relief from acid reflux.
In the next section, we will explore a few natural ways that can help relieve your condition.
Natural Ways To Relieve Acidity And Heartburn
1. Baking Soda
Take a glass of water and add a teaspoon of baking soda powder to it. Mix well and consume.
Note: Do not take baking soda on a full stomach. Do not use it for longer than two weeks unless your doctor advises so. Also, if you are on antacids, aspirin, iron, lithium, vitamins, or any other medication, or have high blood pressure, heart issues, or kidney disease, consult your doctor before going for this remedy.
2. Licorice Root
Licorice is an herbal remedy that is widely used in treating gastric inflammation as it has an inhibitory effect on the synthesis of prostaglandini XAn active lipid compound having hormone-like effects that induces labor and regulates the body's hormones. and lipoxygenasei XAn iron-containing enzyme that is widely distributed in plant and animal cells to help regulate inflammatory responses. , which may otherwise lead to acid reflux (3).
Heat a cup of water in a saucepan and add a few slices of dried licorice root to it. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Have this tea once a day to reduce acid reflux.
Note: Long-term consumption of licorice can result in side effects like low potassium levels, high blood pressure, weakness, and paralysis. If you are on medication for blood clotting, blood pressure, inflammation, or diureticsi XSubstances or drugs that help get rid of extra salt and water in the body by increasing urine production. , avoid this remedy as licorice is known to interact with these medications and reduce their effectiveness.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a widely used plant in traditional medicine. Its juice can help reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract that may cause acid reflux. The plant also helps soothe the tract (4).
You can consume half a cup of aloe vera juice 30 minutes before meals, twice a day, until you obtain relief.
Ginger has antacid and carminativei XA substance or agent that prevents or relieves gas in the gastrointestinal system and helps alleviate bloating. properties and has been used for thousands of years to relieve gastric ailments like bloating, dyspepsia, and gastritis (5). It also accelerates gastric emptying, which may help relieve acidity and heartburn.
Grate an inch of ginger and add it to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. You can drink this ginger tea every day before your meals.
Note: If you are on medications for diabetes, blood clotting, or high blood pressure, make sure to consult your doctor before opting for this remedy.
5. Slippery Elm
Studies show that slippery elm is rich in phytochemicals that can have a demulcent effect against hyperacidity (6). This may help in relieving the discomfort that accompanies acid reflux.
Boil a cup of water. Add a tablespoon of powdered slippery elm bark to it and mix well. Drink this tea while it is warm.
Note: Slippery elm can decrease the effectiveness of your medications. Hence, ensure you take it an hour after your medication.
6. Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds are traditionally used to treat indigestion. They possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can inhibit the production of excess gastric acids (7). This, in turn, can prevent acid reflux.
Steep a teaspoon of caraway seeds in a glass of boiling water. Strain the water and consume it while it is warm. Drink this tea before and after meals to improve digestion.
Chamomile has been traditionally used for numerous gastrointestinal conditions, like flatulence, ulcers, and gastrointestinal irritation (8). It helps in soothing the stomach and acts as a digestive relaxant.
Steep a chamomile tea bag in a cup of boiling hot water. Drink the tea while warm. You can drink this tea 2-3 times a day.
Note: If you are allergic to plants from the daisy family, like daisies, marigolds, chrysanthemums, and ragweed, avoid chamomile.
8. Lemon Balm
The leaves of lemon balm are used for their carminative, digestive, and analgesic properties and to relieve gastrointestinal disorders (9). Hence, lemon balm may be helpful in relieving heartburn.
Add 5-6 lemon balm leaves to a glass of boiling hot water in the glass and cover it for about 5 minutes. Allow the leaves to steep. Drink the warm tea.
Note: If you are on diabetes or thyroid medication, talk to your doctor before trying this remedy.
9. Angelica Root
Angelica root exhibits carminative effects and can help in relieving dyspepsia (10). These effects may also help relieve heartburn.
Add a teaspoon of dried angelica root to a glass of boiling water. Allow it to steep and strain it. Drink the tea while it is warm.
Note: Avoid this remedy if you are pregnant as angelica can stimulate uterine contractions.
These were a few home remedies that can help relieve acid reflux. Many people also use other ingredients like apple cider vinegar, papaya enzymes, turmeric, mustard, almonds, bananas, oatmeal, coconut water, honey, and peppermint oil as a remedy for acid reflux and heartburn. In addition, fennel seeds are known to have a positive impact on blood pressure and overall heart health. However, there is very limited research available on the usability of these ingredients. Some of these can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Thus, it is essential to exercise caution while consuming any of these ingredients as alternate medicines. In the next section, we will look at the foods you need to avoid to prevent acid reflux.
What To Avoid
- Spicy and greasy foods.
- Processed or refined products, such as dairy products and chocolate
- Alcoholic drinks as they can have an adverse effect on the stomach lining and increase acidity.
- Limit the intake of caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
Apart from changing your food choices, making certain lifestyle changes can also help.
- Follow a balanced, low-carb diet.
- Eat at least 2.5 hours before going to bed.
- Have smaller but regular meals.
- Consider getting acupuncture done by a professional.
A study on 22,677,620 patients diagnosed with GERD found that 12.21% of them also suffered from obstructed sleep apnea (OSA), linking GERD to poor sleep quality. The study also revealed that those with GERD and OSA had strong links with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary hypertension.
When To See A Doctor
If the symptoms of acid reflux last for more than seven days, consult a doctor. Sometimes, a case of acid reflux might be an indication of GERDi XA digestive disease in which the stomach acid repeatedly flows back and irritates the food pipe lining. , which is a more severe form of the condition. This requires immediate medical assistance and, in some rare cases, even surgical procedure is warranted.
Infographic: 5 Natural Ways To Relieve Heartburn
Heartburn or acid reflux is a gastric disorder that often occurs due to poor dietary and lifestyle habits. The best way to manage it is by improving your diet and engaging in physical exercise. You may also use simple remedies to get quick relief from this condition. Check out the following infographic to know more.
Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a gastric disorder that often stems from irregular dietary and lifestyle habits. While it is essential to avoid processed foods and improve dietary and lifestyle habits, you can apply several home remedies for quick relief from acid reflux. Ginger tea, chamomile tea, aloe vera juice, baking soda, and herbs like licorice and lemon balm are among some of the most popular remedies to treat acid reflux. In case you feel discomfort even after trying one or more of these remedies, or you frequently experience heartburn, you should consult a healthcare provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can drinking milk help treat heartburn?
Milk can provide temporary relief from the acidity, but after a while, it can cause your stomach to produce more acid. Hence, it may not be a long-term solution.
Does chewing gum provide relief from heartburn?
Chewing gum stimulates saliva production in your mouth. This enables you to swallow down the acids that rise in your esophagus and may help relieve the discomfort.
Are there any home remedies for heartburn that are particularly effective for pregnant women?
Having ginger can be very effective for women experiencing acid reflux during pregnancy. However, it is best to consult a doctor before opting for this remedy.
Are there any potential side effects of using these home remedies?
There are a few potential side effects of using home remedies to heal and prevent gastric disorders. Hence, we recommend speaking to a doctor before using any as they can interfere with certain medications, especially if the meds are for blood pressure and blood clotting.
- Heartburn is a gastric problem, often felt in your chest caused by irregular appetite and poor lifestyle habits.
- It is advisable to wear loose and comfortable clothes, stop smoking, and take medical help to relieve the symptoms of this condition whenever necessary.
- You can also choose natural and effective home remedies like aloe vera, chamomile, ginger, angelica root, etc.
- Spicy and greasy foods should be avoided and a balanced, low-carb diet should be followed.
Learn more about treating acid reflux and stop its symptoms with simple home remedies. Watch this video now to discover natural solutions to reduce associated discomfort and get relief.
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- Integrative Treatment of Reflux and Functional Dyspepsia in Children, MDPI, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Efficacy and safety of Aloe vera syrup for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a pilot randomized positive-controlled trial, Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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- Prebiotic Potential of Herbal Medicines Used in Digestive Health and Disease, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Caraway as Important Medicinal Plants in Management of Diseases, Natural Products and Bioprospecting, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future, Molecular Medicine Reports, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Melissa officinalis L: A Review Study With an Antioxidant Prospective, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Phytotherapy in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Digestive Diseases, Karger.