Heartburn and Natural Treatments
A patient from Healthtap:
Got heartburn again from sheperd pie I’m getting it every other week now. Will it repair my stomach lining ? Could taking iron for so long damaged my lining
Heartburn most often is due to:
1. Diet choices
3. Inflammation/ Diseases
Below are some sites to help heal heartburn naturally.
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS
Do Herbal Heartburn Remedies Work?
There isn’t much research into herbal remedies for heartburn. Most of the research has centered on a product called Iberogast. It is made with 9 different herbs, including:
- Clown’s mustard plant
- German chamomile
- Greater celandine
- Lemon balm
- Milk thistle
Some studies have shown that Iberogast may reduce heartburn. It’s not clear, however, which herb in the mix relieves symptoms. Plus, peppermint oil
can actually worsen heartburn, so it’s not a good idea to take it if you have GERD.
Are There Any Other Natural Treatments for Heartburn?
, a supplement used to aid sleep
, has been suggested to help relieve heartburn. But the research is conflicting as to whether it is effective for this or any other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Before you decide to take any herbal remedy or supplement, check with your doctor. Some supplements can have side effects or can interact with medications you’re already taking.
Can Drinking Milk Help My Heartburn?
You may have heard that drinking a glass of milk can relieve heartburn. While it’s true that milk can temporarily buffer stomach acid, nutrients
in milk, particularly fat, may stimulate the stomach to produce more acid.
Even though milk might not be a great heartburn remedy, however, it’s a rich source of bone-building calcium
. Try fat-free skim milk and don’t overdo it. Drink no more than 8 ounces of skim milk at a time — as a snack in between meals. Overfilling the stomach may increase heartburn.
Is Chewing Gum an Effective Way to Get Heartburn Relief?
It may sound strange, but gum stimulates the production of saliva
, which is an acid buffer. Plus, chewing gum makes you swallow more often, which pushes those nasty acids back out of your esophagus. When you pick a pack of gum, just make sure it’s sugar-free so you also protect your teeth
Finding Heartburn Relief at Home
A few simple strategies can help soothe the burn of heartburn:
- Watch what you eat. Avoid specific foods that trigger your heartburn, but also watch out for peppermint, caffeine, sodas, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, onions, and high-fat foods. Eat more fiber to keep your digestive tract moving and healthy. Also, reduce your portion sizes. Try eating five or six small meals a day, rather than three big ones. Eating too much at once is a big heartburn trigger.
- Watch when you eat. Push away the plate at least two or three hours before bedtime so your stomach has a chance to empty before you lie down.
- Watch how you eat. Eat slowly, taking smaller bites.
- Lose weight. Excess abdominal fat can press against the stomach, forcing acids up into the esophagus. Follow a diet and exercise program to shed extra pounds.
- Keep a diary. Write down what you’ve eaten and when your heartburn symptoms occur so you can pinpoint which foods are your triggers and avoid them.
- Toss the cigarettes. Smoking can reduce the effectiveness of the muscle that keeps acids in the stomach. For this, and so many other health reasons, it’s always the perfect time to quit.
- Loosen your belt. Ditch the skin-tight jeans. Tight clothes put added pressure on the abdomen.
- Tilt up. Put wood blocks under your bed to raise the head about 6 inches. Don’t bother raising your pillows, though — it’s not effective for heartburn.
Instead of Taking More Drugs, Here Are 4 Natural Heartburn Remedies I’ve Used
Of course there’s no replacing working with your doctor and getting some tests done to actually figure out your acid levels and make sure that structurally your stomach and esophagus are working correctly.
But, let’s be honest, when the pain of heartburn strikes, we need a solution quickly. The first 3 remedies below are designed to support your body in digesting food. They will help increase the strength of the stomach acid and reduce the pressure in the stomach. I suggest you try these first. And if all else fails, if you’re in extreme pain, then I included the last option as a safe and non-toxic way to temporarily lower your acid levels.
#1 – Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is an acid with a pH of around 5. Therefore it helps with heartburn by lowering the pH (making it more acidic) of the stomach contents to improve digestion and reduce the pressure build up we’re looking to avoid.
The pH of your entire stomach contents should be around 1-2 for proper digestion. Remember, this is a good thing, we want the acid levels stronger so that the food doesn’t ferment in your stomach.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is the best vinegar choice, in my opinion. Because, when you get an unfiltered brand like Bragg’s
you’ll get the added benefits of the probiotics it contains.
So, you can help your health and many times get rid of heartburn. The ACV trick for heartburn is used by many people. While there’s no research to back it up, there’s also not really a downside to using it. Here’s how to do it:
Add 2 tsp of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to ¼ cup of water and drink. Repeat every 5 minutes until heartburn subsides.
Many people will even take a shot of it before meals to pre-empt the acid reflux.
#2 – Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has a pH of around 2, making it an acid stronger than vinegar. It also contains an added boost in lots of nutrients, especially vitamin C. So, not only can it help with heartburn, but it contains more nutrients than ACV and therefore makes a great choice when in pain.
However, just like the ACV remedy, the first dose might not be enough. And you may end up drinking 2 or more glasses of lemon juice, which can be not only annoying but hard.
It’s still worth a shot. Here’s how to do it:
Juice one organic lemon into a glass. If you can drink it straight, do it. Otherwise, add in ¼ cup of water and take like a shot.
Due to the organic lemon juice being so acidic, some people worry it might harm the enamel on our teeth. Unless you’re doing this daily, I don’t see it being a big issue. And, let’s be honest, if you need daily heartburn relief you really need the help at the very bottom of this post.
#3 – Betaine HCL
Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) is the main component of stomach acid. It’s secreted from cells in the lining of your stomach in response to eating and drinking. And due to stress, nutrient deficiencies, getting older, infections and other things the stomach can stop making enough.
This then leads to the fermentation of food and heartburn pains.
This is, in my opinion, the best natural remedy to help anyone with acid reflux. This is how I got rid of my pain — before I fixed my root causes.
It’s best to use Betaine HCL
ahead of time. In other words, you can use this supplement on a daily basis to help your stomach work properly and NEVER have heartburn again.
Betaine HCL supplementation is not an option for anyone currently taking H2 blockers, PPIs, or long-term use of NSAIDs. I wrote a whole article here
that explains more risks, how to do it step-by-step and benefits. You’ll need to work with a practitioner to wean off of these drugs before testing out Betaine HCL as a solution.
The summary of this is: Betaine HCL is basically replacement acid for what’s missing in your stomach. It’s natural in the sense that it’s the exact chemical that your body makes. So, we’re just supplementing more of this chemical that your body actually needs.
If you’ve followed the directions in the article above and you have heartburn after a meal, you can take an extra Betaine HCL as soon as you feel it. Then, wait 20 minutes or so. If the pain is still there, try another pill.
If it’s still there, then it’s probably time to calm down the acid in your esophagus using the only natural remedy I approve of that lowers acid levels.
#4 – Baking Soda (Last Resort)
is the home remedy for almost everything. And yes it can offer fast relief from heartburn as well. Baking soda is a base not an acid, meaning that drinking some of it will neutralize acid in your stomach or esophagus.
It’s non-toxic and actually can be helpful for some people
as a supplement as it allows athletes to train harder and longer.
It’s not my preferred way of dealing with acid reflux, as it lowers acid levels. But in those extreme situations, where none of the above options have worked, it’s the perfect solution.
How to do it:
Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda in ¼ cup of water. Drink it. Wait 5-7 minutes. If you still have pain, repeat until burning is gone.
Here’s the thing, if you actually fix the root issue causing your acid reflux, you can stop thinking about taking antacids or at-home remedies. You can get on with your life and enjoy better health.
Say Goodbye to Heartburn and Acid Reflux Forever
If you want to actually handle this annoying and serious health problem, the good news is that it’s not only possible but 1000s have already done it before you…
Meaning you can do it too!
All you need to do is figure out the root cause issues behind why your stomach acid isn’t working properly, fix them, repair any damage that’s been caused by low acid levels, and you can get on with your life.
And no, it’s not too good to be true. I’ve done it myself, and many of my 1-on-1 clients have also done it. Now it’s time to teach everyone how to do it themselves.