Natural Heartburn Remedies

GERD1Acid reflex is a condition that plagues many people. Although there are a number of prescription and over-the-counter medications available, many sufferers prefer to take a natural approach to the problem. Fortunately, there are a number of effective natural remedies for acid reflux.

Acid reflux occurs when the digestive juices in the stomach come back up into the esophagus through an action known as reflux. Another name for the condition is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.  The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest and throat. Other symptoms include regurgitation (burping) and dyspepsia, abdominal pain accompanied by nausea and a feeling of fullness.

Repeated instances of acid reflux can continually damage the lining of the throat, resulting in throat cancer. Heavy smokers and alcohol drinkers are also at increased risk of developing acid reflux and consequently throat cancer. Other symptoms of acid reflux may be a bad taste in the mouth, bad breath, and ulcers in the mouth.

Acid reflux is usually caused by excess acid in the stomach, but when heartburn is more serious there may be underlying factors such as a malformed lower esophageal sphincter, reduced stomach function, esophageal abnormalities, inadequate peristalsis, or hiatal hernia.

These more serious conditions will require medical intervention, but for mild heartburn, here are some useful natural remedies to try:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar – It may seem counter-intuitive, but apple cider vinegar works, because it enhances digestion. When you shop for this vinegar, look for the word “mother” on the label. The “mother” in apple cider vinegar contains the enzymes that help relieve heartburn. Use one teaspoon before meals on a regular basis.

2. Aloe Vera Juice – Aloe vera juice that is labeled for internal use can be taken about 20 minutes before meals, and it has been shown to be effective for many people.

3. Licorice – Deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL, is available in tablet form. It soothes the digestive tract and relieves heartburn. Let one tablet dissolve in the mouth when heartburn strikes.

4. Ginger – Consuming ginger relaxes the stomach and the muscles of the esophagus. You can take ginger tea, or use candied ginger.

5. Glutamine – Glutamine is an amino acid with strong anti-inflammatory properties, and it is often effective in treating reflux. It is available from health food stores in capsule or tablet form.

Some people find reflux is helped by reducing or eliminating the intake of spice and oily foods, healthy eating and regular exercise. Some medical professionals believe that a low-carbohydrate diet can eliminate nearly 100 percent of acid reflux.