Acid reflux, which is sometimes called heartburn, pyrosis or acid indigestion, is a condition that occurs when stomach acids flow back to the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the lower chest area.
The stomach contains a very strong type of acid known as hydrochloric acid. This acid assists the body in performing digestive functions. The lining of the stomach and digestive system are however designed in such a way that they are protected from this acid.
Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said for the said for the higher esophagus which can be affected by the hydrochloric acids in the stomach. There is a ring of muscle known as the gastroesophageal sphincter that acts as a protective valve, preventing the contents of the stomach and stomach acids from getting to the esophagus but when this valve fails, acid reflux occurs.
Almost everyone experiences acid reflux occasionally but people who experience recurrent cases of acid reflux may be suffering from a disease known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
A lot of factors may cause a person to develop gastroesophageal disease; some of them may include lower esophageal sphincter abnormalities, slow or prolonged bowel movements, abnormal esophageal contractions and hiatal hernias amongst others.
If you suffer from acid reflux occasionally or have been diagnosed with GERD disease, you are not alone. About 60 million people in America suffer from this condition too but here is the good news, there are lots of natural remedies that work well to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux. Some of them include:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar might not seem like a very good remedy for acid reflux since it contains some acid too but there is something you need to understand about how the lower esophageal sphincter reacts to stomach acids. The more the acid contents of the stomach, the faster the lower esophageal sphincter reacts and tightens up to avoid the acids from escaping and sometimes when the acidic content is not too concentrated, it might fail to tighten up fast enough. Therefore, taking some raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar may help to alleviate acid reflux or GERD.
To use apple cider vinegar as a natural remedy for acid reflux, you should do the following:
- Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in eight ounces of fresh water and drink before each meal.
If you notice that your symptoms continue to worsen after consumption of apple cider vinegar, you should immediately discontinue consumption and see your doctor.
2. Gingerroot: Gingerroot is very effective for relieving stomach problems especially acid reflux. It acts as an acid buffer for the stomach.
To use gingerroot as a natural remedy for acid reflux, you should do the following:
- Boil 2 cups of water and pour in three-quarter sized slices of gingerroot. Cover up and leave to simmer for 20 minutes and drink it up a few minutes before your meal.
3. Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera juice is very great with soothing burns and relieving stomach inflammation or irritation. It can also help to protect the esophagus from stomach acids.
To use aloe vera juice as a natural remedy for acid reflux, here is what you should do:
- Drink half a cup of aloe vera juice before each meal.
4. Bananas or Apples: Apples and bananas are natural antacids that can help with acid reflux. All you need is to eat one ripe banana or an apple a few hours before bedtime daily.
5. Sugar-Free Gums: Sugar-free gums can help provide relief for people suffering from GERD within minutes by helping to stimulate the production of more saliva which dilutes and clears up stomach acid faster.
6. Mustard: Mustard contains alkaline properties that can help to neutralize stomach acids and reduce pains of acid reflux. Get a tablespoon of fresh yellow mustard and suck it all up. You might not like the taste but trust me, you’ll like the results.
7. Almonds: Another thing that helps with neutralizing acids in the stomach is almonds. All you need to do is to make sure you eat at least 3 almonds every time you eat anything.
8. Chamomile: Chamomile tea is also very helpful for acid reflux. It helps to relieve stomach inflammation and corrects the balance of acids in the stomach.
To use chamomile tea as a remedy for acid reflux, here is what you should do:
- Get a teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers. Then boil one cup of water and soak the petals in it for some minutes. Strain and add some honey or lemon to taste. Drink once daily.
9. Lemon Juice: You can also try out lemon juice. Lemon juice helps to balance stomach acidity levels just like apple cider vinegar. You only need to drink a cup of fresh lemon juice on an empty stomach, few minutes before eating anything else.
10. Baking Soda: Baking soda mixed with water is another very effective natural remedy for acid reflux which you should try out.
11. Licorice: Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root (DGL) that is usually sold in health food stores is also very effective for relieving acid reflux pains especially at night.
12. Fermented Foods: Fermented foods are probiotic and help to neutralize toxic compounds. You should consider incorporating some of them into your diet especially if you suffer from acid reflux regularly. Some very good examples include fermented yoghurt, fermented cheese, fermented buttermilk, soy products, unpasteurized beers and fermented vegetables.
13. D-Limonene Extract: This is a type of extract made from citrus peels and is very effective for relieving symptoms of acid reflux. You can find D-limonene extract in capsule form in drug stores.
14. Oatmeal: A lot of nutritionists recommend having oatmeal for breakfast when suffering from acid reflux as it contains antacid properties that help to neutralize stomach acids.
15. Melon: Melon is also a great food for people who suffer from GERD.
Some lifestyle changes can also help to cure GERD. For instance, nutritionists always recommend reduction of salt intake and losing a few pounds if overweight.