Heartburn (or acid reflux) is painful! If you’ve ever suffered from it, you’ll be glad there are plenty of home remedies for heartburn, most of them simple solutions too.
Sometimes it can be so painful, people think they’re having a heart attack, quick relief is needed and welcomed.
A bit of anatomy here, to explain where the heartburn comes from:
The esophagus carries food and liquid to the stomach. A muscular valve, is located at the end of the esophagus between the esophagus and stomach.
This muscle is known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The sphincter needs to maintain a certain pressure to keep the end of the esophagus closed so that stomach juices are not admitted. The LES muscle should only open when food is passed into the stomach.
Causes of Heartburn
First and foremost, always seek the advice of your health professional. Heartburn is a symptom, not a disease in itself so it’s important to seek expert advice.
Once you’ve ascertained that there isn’t a serious underlying cause for your heartburn you can start to look at the common triggers.
These triggers vary from person to person. For example, I can’t eat pasta and bread together (no garlic bread with my pasta meal!).
For other people, this combination is fine.
So take note of what you’ve eaten and use a process of elimination.
Common food triggers for heartburn:
- alcohol, especially red wine
- black pepper
- raw onions
- spicy foods
- large meals
- fatty meals
- citrus fruits nd juices
- caffeinated drinks, (including coffee, tea and soda)
- medications1 (always let your GP know if your medication is causing heartburn)
The most common trigger is eating too much! Too much food stretches the stomach, causing you to feel “stuffed”. This puts pressure on the muscle that keeps stomach acids from moving in the wrong direction. So juices come back up and cause the burning sensation of acid reflux.
Fatty foods are a big no no if you’re prone to heartburn. Fatty foods take longer to digest which makes your stomach produce more acid.
This, in turn, irritates your digestive system and can lead to a lazy, relaxed LES muscle. When this happens, you’re more likely to have the contents splash back up and cause the painful burning.
Yes, exercise can cause heartburn, but don’t use it as an excuse not to do any…
Common sense is required here, don’t eat a massive meal then go and do a pile of ab crunches, or an intensive yoga session. The Downward Dog (yoga position) sends those stomach acids in the wrong direction!
Allow at least 2 hrs after a meal before exercising.
Home Remedies For Heartburn
Home remedies for heartburn can be very effective, and often better than over the counter medicines for some people.
Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
This a great, fast-acting home remedy for heartburn and probably my favorite.
Take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in about 4 ounces of purified water before a meal.
This helps to calm the stomach and aids digestion.
Organic Baking Soda
Here is that wonderful product again, baking soda! Just make sure you check with your health professional before taking it as it has contraindications for some illnesses.3
Take a spoonful mixed in a glass of water and drink before it stops fizzing.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera is a plant great for soothing burns, including sunburn, but it has other uses.
Because it reduces inflammation, Aloe Vera Juice can also help to alleviate heartburn.
Take 1/2 a cup of Aloe Vera juice before meals taken cool or at room temperature.
Be aware it can have a laxative effect, but there are brands that have the laxative element removed.
Ginger root can help with a number of digestive issues, from nausea to acid reflux. Drink a cup of fresh ginger tea about 20 to 30 mins before a meal to help act as an acid buffer.
You can buy ginger teabags in most grocery stires now, and this works, but fresh ginger is better.
3 small slices of ginger root
2 cups of water
- Simmer the root in water for around 30mns.
- Strain off the ginger root.
- Cool and drink 20 to 30 mns before a meal
This wonderful herb is used for many ailments, heartburn being one of them.4 You can buy tea bags at grocery stores or source the dried flower petals at health food stores.
Drink a cup when you feel the symptoms starting. Chamomile is also known as a stress buster, so a cup before you go to bed has the double effect of helping you sleep and taking care of that acidic tummy.
1 tsp dried chamomile flower petals
Strainer or infusion mug/cup
1 cup of boiling water
Honey or lemon (optional)
- Boil one cup of water in a cooking pot, reduce the heat.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile petals
- Let simmer for 45 seconds.
- Remove from heat and let the petals soak for another minute or two
- Strain using the strainer or infusion cup
- Add honey or lemon if using
If you can bear it, take a teaspoon when you feel the symptoms!
Nuts are useful for many things, not just for snacking on.5
Eat a few after a meal, don’t stuff yourself as too many can have the opposite effect and trigger an attack of heartburn!
If you have any home remedies for heartburn that work for you, please leave a comment below