Not many of us will get through this life without experiencing a heartburn attack every once in a while, especially after we’ve eaten something we know doesn’t agree with us. But while some people only get heartburn once in a while, other people experience a heartburn attack way too often.
These people have what is called acid reflux. This is when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that closes your stomach off from your esophagus, relaxes when it shouldn’t. After we eat, this muscle should clamp down so the digestive acids secreted by the stomach can’t creep into the esophagus. People with acid reflux have what you could call a lazy LES, and it allows acid to seep into your throat where it burns for hours.
While there are over-the-counter heartburn medications, many of these are dangerous and increase your risk of developing weak bones, pneumonia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, kidney and liver disease, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and even stomach cancer, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to treat my heartburn without causing an even more serious medical condition to erupt. Is that too much to ask?
If you are looking for heartburn remedies that are effective AND safe, try the following:
My mother was a nurse and she swore by this remedy. She was right. Just a teaspoonful of baking soda (AKA sodium bicarbonate) can give you almost instant relief from heartburn caused by acid reflux. It is effective because baking soda is a base substance, meaning it has a higher pH than 7.0 and can therefore neutralize stomach acid.
Simply add 1 teaspoon of baking soda (soda NOT powder) to a small glass of water, stir well and drink up. You may repeat this one or two more times within a 24-hour period. You should, however, not rely on this remedy for the long-term as baking soda is high in salt and can cause swelling and nausea over time.
Aloe Vera Juice
Many people think to use aloe vera to soothe burns and sunburns. But this plant has amazing properties that can benefit many health maladies, heartburn being one.
One of the things aloe does is reduce inflammation, so when your stomach is irritated and inflamed from heartburn, a glass of aloe vera juice can help calm things down. Make sure to buy aloe juice that is made from the inner fillet, as it is purer. Drink a ½ cup before meals. You must keep in mind that aloe is a natural laxative, so take it easy with dosing and/or look for a brand that offers juice with the laxative component taken out.
Chew Gum After Meals
The Journal of Dental Research conducted a study that showed people with chronic heartburn found relief by chewing a piece of gum (sugar-free of course) for 30 minutes after they ate. Chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands and in turn increases the flow of saliva. This extra saliva can then dilute any extra acid that has built up in the bottom of the throat and gut.
When you lay down after a big meal, it means gravity begins to work against you and that food and digestive acids have an easier time working their way back into your throat.
So, do not lay down for bed right after a big meal. Try and eat earlier in the evening and allow your body 2-3 hours to digest before going to bed. If you still find you are experiencing heartburn at night, you can try and prop yourself up (about 6 inches) when you sleep with pillows or a wedge-shaped pillow under your mattress.
Eat Even More Acid
OK, you are probably shaking your head right now but hear me out. That lower esophageal sphincter I mentioned earlier? Well, it needs a certain signal to close off and tighten down, and that signal is acid. Some people simply do not produce ENOUGH acid to give a strong enough signal, and so their LES remains loose.
You can drink a little raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar after your meal to help send the signal to your LES to close and tighten. 3 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon mixed in about 8 ounces of fresh water is all it takes.
Heartburn is painful and dealing with it can be frustrating. But it’s important that you treat heartburn as naturally as possible, because too many of the over-the-counter medicines are just downright dangerous.
Try these 5 natural remedies and see if they work for you.
There’s something else you can try that is actually GUARANTEED to work. And the best part – it only takes 6 minutes and is safe and all natural.
Created by a physician who has helped her patients get off heartburn medication for good, the 6-Minute Heartburn Remedy will get rid of your heartburn AND allow you to eat all of your favorite trigger foods.