Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is technically defined as chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. This is commonly due to transient or permanent changes in the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach.
Usual symptoms for acid reflux include heartburn that is persistent, chest pain, morning hoarseness, problems in swallowing, as well as a feeling that there is something stuck in the throat. Bad breath is also caused by GERD or acid reflux as well as cough that is dry.
Few issues that could cause acid reflux are lying down after eating a large meal, pregnancy, alcohol, overweight and leaky gut. Certain acidic trigger foods can also lead to acid reflux and heartburn. Diet is an important factor to work on when one is experiencing from regular acid reflux and heartburn.
Foods that fight Acid Reflux
- Ginger – Is anti-inflammatory and is one of the best foods for acid reflux. It helps promote digestion. Sipping a cup of fresh ginger tea about 15-20 minutes before a meal can help with your tummy and act as an acid buffer.
- Banana – Bananas make a great snack and are usually great for people with acid reflux. However, about 1% of people find that bananas worsen their condition. So please see what works for your body.
- Aloe Juice – Aloe vera is famous as a natural healing agent and also seems to treat acid reflux. Aloe Vera juice helps with acid/alkaline balance of the digestive system and also reduces inflammation.
- Fennel – Fennel (pH 6.9) is a great food for acid reflux and actually seems to improve stomach function. Add fennel to soups and salads as a delicious way to consume this important herb.
- Melon – Melons are good for people with acid reflux. However, just like bananas, about 1 – 2% of people find that melons worsen their condition. So please see what works for your body.
- Chicken / Turkey / Fish – These meats are low in fat and easy to digest, you can either boil them or bake them as per your taste, just be sure of removing skin first as it contains fat.
- Mustard – Mustard, because of its alkaline properties, helps neutralize the acid that may come creeping up your throat, and therefore may neutralize the pain of acid reflux. Just consume 1 tsp of mustard when you’re feeling a bout of heartburn creeping up, or if you’re in the midst of one, it will help ease the pain.
- Parsley – This fantastic herb has been used for thousands of years to settle the stomach and help with digestion.
- Green Vegetables – like broccoli, asparagus, celery and green beans are all great foods for the acid reflux.
Acid Reflux Foods to Avoid
Avoid alcohol, tomatoes, fried foods, citrus fruits, refined sugar, carbonated drinks and carbohydrates if you wish to control your acid reflux as some of these foods tend to cause inflammation and others are triggers to acid reflux. Caffeine and smoking should also be avoided if you suffering from acid reflux as these can further worsen the problem.
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
- Baking Soda
A teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate can help put an end to acid reflux and ease the burning sensation of heartburn. It has a pH higher than 7.0, and therefore neutralizes stomach acid.You will need…
-1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon of baking soda
-a glass of fresh waterDirectionsMix either a ½ teaspoon or 1 single teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water. Give it a good stir and drink it all. You can repeat this as needed but should not exceed 7½-teaspoon doses in a 24-hour period. Also, you should not use this as a remedy for more than a week straight, as it is high in salt and can have side effects such as swelling or nausea.
- Apple cider vinegar
Mix 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with one ounce of water about 10-20 minutes before a meal.
- Digestive enzymes (1-2 caps with meals)
Enzymes amylase, lipase, and protease support the breakdown of foods.
- Folate or folic acid (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins
Research suggest B vitamins can reduce your risk for acid reflux. Higher folic acid intake was found to reduce acid reflux by approximately 40 percent. The best way to raise your folate levels is by eating folate-rich whole foods, such as liver, asparagus, spinach, okra, and beans.
Because bacterial overgrowth is a major factor in heartburn and GERD, restoring a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria is an important aspect of treatment. Choose a probiotic with soil based microrganisms and lactobacillus strains.
- Chew your food well and relax while you eat
Most of us just swallow food without really taking time to chew your foods properly. Thoroughly chewing our foods activates signaling messages to the rest of the gastrointestinal system that begin our entire digestive process. When our food is not properly broken down it becomes fodder for bacteria leading to indigestion.
- Slippery elm
Slippery elm coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, and contains antioxidants that can help address inflammatory bowel conditions. It also stimulates nerve endings in your gastrointestinal tract. This helps increase mucus secretion, which protects your gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity. The University of Maryland Medical Center makes the following adult dosing recommendations:Tea: Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 g (roughly 2 tablespoons) of powdered bark, then steep for 3 – 5 minutes. Drink 3 times per day.
Tincture: 5 mL 3 times per day. Note: Contains alcohol.
Capsules: 400 – 500 mg 3 – 4 times daily for 4 – 8 weeks. Take with a full glass of water.
Lozenges: follow dosing instructions on label.
- Licorice Root (glycyrrhiza glabra)
Use DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice). DGL is a special licorice extract that provides specific support for sensitive gastrointestinal tissues. Slowly chew two tablets or take a half-teaspoon of the powder before or between meals and at bedtime. Taper your dose down after your symptoms are under control.
The chemicals in turmeric will help decrease swelling or inflammation. Ads 1 tsp of raw turmeric (or powdered) to milk or water. Drink before going to bed. Take for 3-4 weeks depending on the severity of the condition.
Essential Oils and Acid Reflux
Peppermint Essential Oil:
Peppermint is great for acid reflux and it is also aids in soothing digestive issues and common stomach aches.
– A drop of peppermint essential oil
– 1/2 teaspoonful of organic apple cider vinegar
– 1 teaspoonful of honey
– 1 glass of warm water
Process: Mix all the ingredients together and make sure that you stir it well.
Directions: Sip slowly daily every morning before you eat or drink anything else.
Alternatively, you can add one drop of oil to a cup of hot water and drink it everyday.
Ginger Essential oil:
Ginger oil comes from the ginger root. It blocks acid production and suppresses the H.Pylori bacteria. It also prevents the formation of ulcers. Here is how to use it to relieve acid reflux:
– 2 to 4 drops of ginger essential oil
– 1 cup of hot water
- Add 2 to 4 drops of ginger essential oil into the hot water.
- Allow it to stay for about 30 minutes.
- Stir the drink.
- Drink the mixture 20 minutes before your meal.
Precaution: Do not take aspirin for at least 2 hours after the intake of ginger.
Lemon Essential Oil:
Lemon helps temporarily excrete digestive acids, which can help relieve heartburn. It’s also mildly antibacterial and can stave off bad bacteria, so it’s great for cleansing the stomach.
– A glass of water (8 ounces)
– 1 drop of lemon essential oil
Process: Put the drop of essential oil into the glass of water.
Directions: Drink this mixture throughout your day for optimal stomach functionality especially before and during meals.
You can also mix few drops of PEPPERMINT and LEMON together in a glass of water and drink it everyday first thing in the morning.