Heartburn is a common health condition. It may affect adults, children or pregnant women. It starts as a burning sensation felt just beneath the breast bone which may creep up to the throat. Heartburn is not a disease but a symptom of acid reflux, a condition that causes stomach acids to spill to the Esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the throat.
There are quite a handful of over-the-counter medications that are effective for relieving heartburn. However, you may find the following natural remedies very effective and safe:
1. Baking Soda: Sodium Bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, can help to neutralize the acids in the stomach, thereby reducing the burning sensation that may occur during acid reflux. To use baking soda as a cure for heartburn, here is what you should do:
- Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of fresh, clean water. Ensure that you mix it thoroughly then drink twice or thrice a day for seven days. It is important not to drink for more than seven days as baking soda contains high levels of sodium which may be harmful to the body.
2. Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe Vera is a very effective remedy for a lot of diseases including heartburn. Its ability to reduce inflammation makes it a very effective remedy for heartburn caused by acid reflux. To use aloe vera juice as a remedy for heartburn, you should;
- Squeeze out some fresh aloe Vera juice or you can buy some pre-squeezed bottles) and drink half a cup before meal times.
3. Sugar-Free Gum: Sugar-free gums may also provide relief from heartburn. This is because when you chew gum, it stimulates the production of salivary glands which in turn helps to dilute stomach acids so that even if acid reflux occurs, the stomach juices are not so as acidic that they cause heartburn pains.
To use sugar-free gums as a remedy for heartburn, simply chew a piece of gum after every meal but ensure that you do not overdo it as sugar-free gums contains some laxatives which may affect you if you consume too much of it.
4. Sleeping Position: Your sleeping position may also make your heartburn worse. When you lie facing down when you sleep, the contents of your stomach are able to flow towards your esophagus easily.
Especially when you have a full stomach. Therefore, as a home remedy for heartburn, you need to learn to lie down in a position that prevents this. Make sure your head is always elevated at least 6 inches above your body when you sleep at night. Also, you should totally avoid sleeping immediately after a meal as this might also increase chances of getting heartburn.
5. Adjust Your Eating Habits: Sometimes, consistent heartburns might be an indicator that something is wrong with your diet. You should start by watching what you eat. Some types of foods may cause heartburn because of their high acid contents. Such foods include spicy foods, citrus or tomatoes.
If you experience heartburn regularly, it may be best to avoid such foods altogether. Also, it is important to eat slowly, so that your food has enough time to digest and doesn’t stay long enough in the stomach to pump out acids. You should also avoid eating three to four hours before bedtime.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar: The acidic composition of apple cider vinegar may also help relieve heartburn. Acid reflux is sometimes triggered by insufficient acids in the stomach. When there is enough acid in the stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter naturally closes off but if the stomach acid content is low, the lower esophageal sphincter might not see the need to close off, thereby allowing stomach acids to spill out.
Apple cider vinegar is a safe way to increase stomach acid concentration. To use apple cider vinegar as a cure for heartburn, simply mix a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of fresh water and drink before meal times or before bedtime. Apple cider vinegar may act in two ways, it may relieve your condition or make it even worse hence there is a need to study the situation carefully and stop consuming immediately if you notice that it makes your heartburn worse.
7. Apple or Bananas: Some fruits act as a natural antacid, helping to naturally neutralize stomach acids. Apple and bananas fall amongst this class of food. Therefore, to reduce heartburn, simply have one banana or one apple a few hours before bedtime.
8. Ginger tea: A cup of freshly made gingerroot tea is also very effective for relieving heartburn. To use gingerroot tea as a cure for heartburn, slice up three-quarter sized pieces of fresh ginger root in two cups of water. Allow it to simmer for about thirty minutes and drink at least 30 minutes before each meal. Ginger root tea acts as an acid buffer and helps to calm the stomach.
9. Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco: Alcohol and Nicotine are twp major things that can worsen your acid reflux as they may weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. You may have to cut down on smoking and drinking to reduce consistent heartburn.
10. Shed Some Weight: Overweight people are at a higher risk of suffering from heartburns as the excess weight may put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, causing it to become weak so that stomach acids are able to spill out easily.
11. Mustard: Mustard is a natural alkaline. A spoon of yellow mustard after each can provide tremendous relief from heartburn.
12. Almonds: Almonds are yet another alkalizing food. Almonds can help to neutralize the acid concentration in the stomach so as to prevent heartburn.
13. Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea can help to reduce inflammation and neutralize stomach acids. A cup of chamomile tea with some honey before bedtime can help to prevent heartburn.
14. Reduce Salt Intake: Excess salt intake may also cause heartburn therefore; you should try reducing your salt intake if you experience heartburn regularly.