Until you’ve experienced it for yourself, it’s hard to fully understand heartburn. But for those who know the “burn” well, it’s an all-too-familiar, incredibly unpleasant experience – one that can linger for hours… or even days. When it comes to heartburn relief, there are many remedies, including over-the-counter antacids and prescription medications. But there are also some great natural remedies – some of which have existed for thousands of years.
Let’s take a look at five fantastic home remedies for heartburn relief. You might even have a few of them in your kitchen right now.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great household multitasker, and it’s not just for cleaning and baking. Baking soda is also a natural antacid, able to neutralize stomach acids and potentially soothe heartburn.1
For a temporary heartburn relief remedy, mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, stir well, and drink up. This may provide temporary relief, but don’t overdo it – baking soda is very high in salt, which comes with its own set of side effects.
2. Chewing Gum
You may have heard that chewing gum can suppress hunger due to the fact that it stimulates the salivary glands. Turns out, that same stimulation can also act as a natural antacid, and help to ease heartburn. This is because it washes away stomach acid by flooding your esophagus with alkaline saliva.2,3
Now, you’ll want to choose to choose a sugar-free gum to protect your teeth, but steer clear of gum with peppermint, as it could make heartburn worse. And be sure not to overdo it – sugar-free gum often contains the sweetener sorbitol. And sorbitol may cause excessive gas.
Anise, or Pimpinella anisum, is a flowering plant with a flavor similar to fennel or licorice. It’s believed that a tea brewed from this natural antacid may help provide heartburn relief. Researchers studied the effects of anise on patients suffering from dyspepsia (or indigestion), concluding that it did help to improve their quality of life.4
The easiest way to use anise is to buy it as a herbal tea, and keep it stocked in your pantry. Some people also swear by fennel seed tea or licorice tea, so these may be worth testing out as well.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
It may sound a little bizarre to drink an acid to prevent excess stomach acid, but apple cider vinegar never ceases to amaze – and it’s one of the natural remedies for heartburn.
Now, there is mixed research on why apple cider vinegar may be an effective remedy for heartburn relief. However, so many people swear by its effect that researchers are keeping an open mind about this natural antacid.
One study concluded that taking organic vinegar (apple cider vinegar) did help ease heartburn symptoms for some people for an hour or more.5
5. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice can seemingly put out the fire in your chest just as effectively as it can cool a flaming sunburn. Its natural cooling ability has been studied as a home remedy for heartburn relief – with great results.
One study determined that drinking aloe vera juice helped reduce the frequency of symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD.6 And one of the most common GERD symptoms is –– you guessed it –– heartburn. Keep in mind that you should only consume store-bought aloe vera juice as a natural antacid.
Additional Tips For Heartburn Relief
If you’re looking for ways to stop heartburn, these lifestyle changes may help. Each addresses one of the possible causes of heartburn.
- Drink more water. Water is a natural antacid because it helps wash away excess acid in your esophagus that can cause heartburn.
- Never eat right before bed. Leave at least 2-3 hours between eating and sleeping, so that your stomach can empty.
- Eat slowly. Eating too fast can is one of the causes of indigestion and heartburn.
- Eat smaller meals. Be sure to take small bites and eat small portions to ensure that your stomach is not overfilled.
- Limit alcohol. Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum, as it may irritate the lining of your stomach.
- Avoid tight clothes. Make sure your clothes aren’t too tight, as they can put too much pressure on your stomach region.
- Raise your head up. Buy lifts to place under your bed legs, or under your mattress, to help you sleep with your head higher than your stomach.
- Put away the cigarettes (for good). Nicotine can over-relax the muscles in your lower esophagus, which causes acid in your stomach to escape.
- Stay healthy. Excess weight can push stomach acid up into the esophagus.
- Avoid irritating foods. If you know that certain foods irritate your heartburn, cut them from your diet for a while and monitor the results.
- Seek help for stress. Stress and anxiety are often cited as a trigger for heartburn.7
Cool The Burn
Next time you start to feel that familiar burn creeping up, try some of these natural remedies to help stop heartburn. Natural antacids can be incredibly effective for some people.
If you’re suffering from continuous or severe heartburn, your best course of action is to talk to your doctor to address the cause of your heartburn and help you feel better quickly.
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