Home remedies for heartburn are often the first line of defense against the uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms of this condition. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the most effective home remedies for heartburn, and how you can use them to find relief from this common condition.
I. What causes heartburn
Generally, heartburn is caused by an increase in acid production or a weakening of the lining of this organ, which is called the gastric mucosa.
This is because its cells produce mucus, a foamy substance that serves to protect the digestive system from acids and external agents.
Altering this balance increases the acidity of the stomach leading to disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, in which the regurgitation of stomach acid, usually limited and uneventful, causes pain and possibly more serious complications.
There are several methods to prevent heartburn, as well as multiple effective treatments for the symptoms and various conditions that can cause it.
Recurrence of heartburn after a period of time does not mean that the previous treatment was ineffective, but that there may be new needs to be addressed, so it is a good idea to return to the doctor, possibly the one who treated us previously, and who already knows our medical history.
As diseases evolve and we age, the therapies needed to address the same disorder may change, just as new medications may become available over the years.
In addition, heartburn can hide much more serious conditions than gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Sometimes even a heart attack can be mistaken for heartburn.
Therefore, in case of persistent or particularly severe symptoms, it is always good to consult a doctor and avoid self-prescriptions.
II. 12 Home remedies for heartburn
1. Baking soda water
Baking soda is usually used to reduce stomach acid. This is because when dissolved in water, it forms a basic solution, which is able to buffer the stomach acid and thus improve heartburn.
Occasional heartburn can even be caused by acids contained in certain fruits or vegetables.
It is mainly obese people, smokers, and pregnant women who struggle with heartburn.
Mainly because the excess fat around the abdomen causes pressure on the stomach and thus the unpleasant approach of stomach acids to the esophagus.
A popular and recommended home remedy for heartburn by grandmothers is to dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of water and add lemon juice for flavor.
Unfortunately, such a solution used in the long run can be harmful, moreover, it does not cure heartburn, but only “puts it to sleep” temporarily.
This mixture should never be used by pregnant women because the soda causes water retention in the body.
Baking soda is alkaline, so it neutralizes acids, including those of the stomach that cause heartburn.
Used in excess, it is capable of stopping digestion, so it can be used only once, before starting a treatment or changing eating habits.
It is the change in bad habits that will most effectively treat heartburn.
Eat more slowly, in smaller portions, but more often. Preferably 5 meals a day. Losing a few extra pounds will also be good for anyone dealing with acid reflux.
2. apple cider vinegar
Heartburn sufferers will certainly feel uncomfortable when asked to treat their symptoms with apple cider vinegar.
It sounds like “fighting fire with fire”. However, there is a good explanation as to why vinegar can actually make sense for heartburn.
It neutralizes the pH value in the stomach and can stimulate the sphincter muscle located between the esophagus and the stomach. Good prospects for heartburn and acid regurgitation.
Good to know!
To prepare the home remedy for heartburn, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of still, warm water.
The mixture is drunk in small sips after meals and can fight heartburn.
3. Ripe banana
Acidic fruits (oranges, grapefruits, berries) can trigger heartburn. On the other hand, bananas are an alkaline fruit, so they are ideal for heartburn and acidity in the stomach, and also reduce unpleasant symptoms.
Bananas can be very helpful in case of heartburn. Especially if they are taken when fully ripe, once chewed, they reach the stomach, where they form a kind of gel that lines the walls of the stomach and helps to soothe the burns.
In addition to this, the beneficial properties of bananas are countless. In fact, they range from strengthening the cardiovascular system, thanks to the potassium, to also containing many fibers that act in the intestine, also causing a regularizing effect on the stool.
It is rich in vitamins and minerals, including zinc, which helps to strengthen the hair. But beware of consuming too much or not perfectly ripe, because they also contain polyphenols and tannic acid, which can instead irritate the walls of the stomach.
4. aloe vera juice
Aloe vera, scientifically called Aloe vera, has an anti-inflammatory and soothing action that helps reduce heartburn symptoms. To achieve this benefit, you need to use the watery pulp of the leaf, which is the inner part.
- 100 g of aloe leaf pulp;
- 1 liter of water;
- Honey to sweeten, if necessary.
Method of preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Drink half a glass of juice only 2-3 times a day, as higher amounts of Aloe vera can have the opposite effect and cause stomach irritation.
When preparing Aloe vera juice, it is important to cut off the base of the leaf and let the plant rest in an upright position to drain the aloin, a yellow compound present in the leaf which, in large quantities, can be toxic.
Only the white pulp of the leaf should be used.
Aloe vera juice is not recommended for pregnant and nursing women. In addition, people taking blood thinners and medications to treat diabetes or high blood pressure should consult a physician before consuming aloe vera juice.
5. Peppermint tea
According to many testimonials, peppermint tea is a safe treatment for heartburn patients.
Since mint also improves digestion. It helps us to stimulate the production of bile so that food is better synthesized and absorbed in the intestine.
Thanks to its active ingredients, we reduce gastric and intestinal pain by fighting flatulence. It even prevents smooth muscles from contracting, which can relieve intestinal spasms.
6. Licorice Supplements
Licorice root helps reduce heartburn, reflux, and stomach pain. It contains glycyrrhine, which has an anti-inflammatory action and also increases the secretion of gastric mucus, protecting the stomach and esophagus from acids.
By increasing mucus, a barrier is created that allows the recovery of damaged tissue and prevents future episodes of reflux.
Also, there are beginning to study on the role of licorice as an alternative treatment for hepatitis C, so you’ll want to be careful.
Mustard is very effective in treating heartburn. Let’s see it in detail
- Mustard stops the production of excess acid in the stomach. The effectiveness of mustard is not due to its sodium but to its vinegar content.
- Mustard is an alkalizing food that contains vinegar, which is an acid. However, this acid is weak, making it one of the least acidic foods you will eat and it is rich in many heartburn-healing minerals.
- It neutralizes acids in the stomach, meaning it helps lower the pH level of stomach acid and prevents the stomach from producing extra acid, and balances the stomach acid to get heartburn relief.
- It improves the pH level by balancing your alkaline acid intake and can help reduce the occurrence of heartburn.
- Mustards are a good source of iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc, which help with better digestion and helps prevent heartburn.
- Higher alkalinity helps neutralize acids which help reduce heartburn.
8. Drink alkaline water
Since alkaline water has a higher pH, its natural ability to neutralize acids in the stomach makes it a good option for treating disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastric hyperacidity, and diarrhea.
Most people are unaware that heartburn can be the result of an imbalance of microflora in the intestines.
It would seem, how can problems in the intestines be associated with pain in the esophagus?
Dysbacteriosis affects the entire digestive tract, resulting in a variety of digestive disorders:
- Stool disturbances;
- Nausea and vomiting;
If you notice signs of dysbacteriosis in yourself, it is advisable to take probiotics for heartburn. Preparations containing beneficial intestinal bacteria will help restore intestinal flora quickly.
10. Essential oils
Although many people consider essential oils to be a simple and easy-to-use form of aromatherapy, they have been used over the centuries as an alternative treatment option.
Heartburn is one of the most common medical conditions. It is generated when acid reflux is created after eating.
This generates the annoying symptoms of acidity throughout the digestive tract. Rising from the stomach, and esophagus and ending in the throat and mouth.
Ginger root is a natural remedy for heartburn and nausea. Researchers hypothesize that the effectiveness of ginger is due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Grate the fresh ginger root into soups and smoothies and drink ginger tea half an hour before or after meals.
12. Chewing gum
Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which neutralizes the acid. It is advisable to chew it and avoid taking bad breath pills, because of the relaxing properties of peppermint that can allow stomach acid to return to the esophagus.
NB: Do not put off visiting a doctor or self-medicating, remember that heartburn may be a sign of another serious illness. If you have any doubts or feel that this condition is affecting your quality of life, consult a healthcare professional.
III. 14 Home remedies to prevent heartburn
1. Cut down on cigarettes
At this level, it is important to understand that smoking relaxes the gastroesophageal sphincter, a muscle that connects the esophagus to the stomach and holds back an initial phase of the acids that cause reflux.
This muscle is responsible for keeping ingested food in the stomach and preventing us from having reflux. It also causes inflammation of the esophagus, irritates the stomach lining, and increases the production of acid in the stomach.
This is the perfect combination for heartburn. In addition, it has been shown that tobacco and nicotine can weaken the epiglottis, a part of the larynx that prevents the passage of food during swallowing and protects us from gastroesophageal reflux.
According to a scientific study, researchers explain that reducing cigarette consumption could be an effective remedy against heartburn for many smokers.
2. Reduce stress
Heartburn is a painful sensation in the stomach or esophagus caused by the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.
In addition to poor diet, and alcohol or nicotine abuse, the cause of reflux or excess acid can also be stressful.
Learn how to avoid stress-related heartburn.
Indeed, many people experience stress in their stomachs. Not only can nausea and a sinking feeling occur in stressful situations, but also heartburn.
The body reacts to psychological pressure with increased production of stomach acid. The result is an unpleasant burning sensation in the esophagus and behind the breastbone.
3. Losing weight
Excess weight puts pressure on the abdomen and pushes on the stomach, causing acid to back up into the esophagus.
If you are at a healthy weight, maintain it.
If you are overweight or obese, try to lose weight slowly, at a rate of no more than 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) per week.
Ask your doctor to help you develop a weight loss strategy that works for you.
4. Avoid late meals
One of the easiest ways to avoid late meals is to plan your meals in advance. Create a meal schedule that ensures you eat your last meal at least 3-4 hours before bedtime. This gives your stomach enough time to digest the food and prevent acid reflux.
Overeating can lead to acid reflux, so it’s important to eat smaller, more frequent meals. This will help prevent overloading your stomach with food, which can trigger heartburn.
Certain foods can increase your risk of heartburn, such as spicy or acidic foods, fatty foods, and chocolate. Identify the foods that trigger your heartburn and avoid them, especially in the evening.
Lying down immediately after eating can increase your risk of heartburn. Instead, try to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after eating to allow your food to digest.
5. Eat several times a day slowly
Eating smaller meals more frequently can help prevent overeating, which can lead to acid reflux. Try to eat at least 4-5 small meals a day instead of 2-3 large meals.
Chewing your food properly can help break it down and make it easier to digest. This reduces the amount of work your stomach has to do, which can prevent acid reflux.
Drinking water with your meals can help dilute stomach acid, reducing the risk of heartburn. However, avoid drinking large amounts of liquid during meals, as this can increase the risk of acid reflux.
6. Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol can irritate the lining of the esophagus, making it more susceptible to acid reflux. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a muscle that acts as a valve between the stomach and the esophagus.
Alcohol can cause the LES to relax, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
Also, alcohol can increase the production of stomach acid, which can contribute to heartburn. It can slow down the rate at which the stomach empties, which can increase the risk of heartburn.
7. Avoid lemon juice
Lemon juice is acidic, can relax the LES, increase stomach acid production, aggravate existing heartburn, and cause acid reflux in susceptible individuals.
If you have heartburn, it is recommended to avoid consuming lemon juice and other acidic foods and beverages. Instead, opt for non-acidic alternatives such as water, herbal teas, and non-citrus fruits.
8. Limit cups of coffee
Coffee is acidic, can relax the LES, increase stomach acid production, delay stomach emptying, and dehydrate the body, all of which can contribute to heartburn.
If you choose to drink coffee, it is recommended to do so in moderation and with food to reduce the risk of heartburn.
It is also important to stay hydrated and consider switching to low-acid coffee or decaf coffee.
9. Eat at least two hours before going to sleep
Eating at least two hours before going to sleep can help prevent heartburn by allowing gravity to help keep stomach acid in the stomach, giving your body time to properly digest food, and avoiding large meals and late-night snacks
10. Never wear tight clothes
Tight clothes, especially around the waist, can put pressure on the stomach and cause it to push upward. This pressure can force stomach acid into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
It can also cause food to sit in the stomach for longer periods of time. This can increase the risk of heartburn by allowing stomach acid to build up.
it’s important to wear loose-fitting clothing that doesn’t put pressure on the stomach. Wearing comfortable clothing that allows the body to move freely can also help promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of heartburn.
11. Raise your head while sleeping
One way to alleviate symptoms of heartburn is to raise your head while sleeping. By elevating the head and upper body, gravity can help keep stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.
There are several ways to raise your head while sleeping.
One way is to use a wedge pillow, which is designed to elevate the upper body while providing support to the back and neck.
Another option is to use an adjustable bed frame that allows you to raise the head of the bed. You can also try using blocks or risers to elevate the head of the bed.
12. Sleep on the left side
Sleeping on your left side may be beneficial for reducing the frequency and severity of heartburn. This position may help keep the junction between the stomach and esophagus above the level of stomach acid, which can reduce the likelihood of acid reflux.
It is also thought that sleeping on the left side can promote better digestion by allowing gravity to aid in the movement of food through the digestive system.
However, it is important to note that sleeping on the left side may not work for everyone. It is always best to experiment with different sleeping positions to find what works best for your body. Additionally, it is still important to follow other heartburn prevention tips, such as eating smaller meals, avoiding trigger foods, and not eating right before bed.
13. Do not eat too many high-fat foods
One way to prevent heartburn is to avoid eating too many high-fat foods. High-fat foods can take longer to digest, which can increase the amount of acid in the stomach and make heartburn more likely.
It is important to note that not all fats are bad for heartburn. In fact, some types of fats, such as those found in nuts and avocados, can actually be beneficial for heartburn.
However, it is best to limit the intake of fried and fatty foods, as well as foods that are high in cholesterol.
14. write down everything you eat to avoid trigger foods
Keeping track of everything you eat and drink is a useful tool for preventing heartburn. By doing so, you can identify trigger foods and beverages that exacerbate your symptoms.
According to experts, keeping a food diary can help you identify your personal triggers and avoid them.
IV. Other Questions About Home Remedies for Heartburn
1. how to cure acidity permanently
Giving the right importance to nutrition is the first step to take.
Foods to avoid:
It is important to avoid ready-made meals, fried foods, meat broth, whole milk, highly aged and/or spicy cheeses, game, pickles, red and fatty meat, sausages, onion, garlic, candy, chocolate, butter, soft drinks, tea, coffee, alcohol, strong spices (mint, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, curry), chewing gum, acidic fruits such as citrus.
Fresh, undercooked foods are preferred. Recommended foods: lean meat, fish, cereals, ricotta and fresh or semi-skimmed cheese (preferably goat’s cheese), skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, vegetables, legumes, extra-virgin olive oil, whole foods (pasta, bread, dried cookies), non-acidic fruits (apple, pear, banana, berries, etc.).
In addition to the foods to be preferred and those to be avoided, it is essential to adopt healthy habits related to the consumption of meals:
- Chew slowly in order to chop everything well, stimulate enzyme production and promote proper digestion;
- Try to eat at the same time each day;
- Eat 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and 2 snacks (one mid-morning and one afternoon);
- Keep portion sizes of individual meals moderate;
- Try to maintain a healthy weight;
- Do not eat dinner too late and avoid going to bed soon after eating;
- In times of heartburn and stomach acidity, it is recommended to sleep in a slightly elevated position, placing an elevation (2 cm) under the foot of the bed on the side of the head.
- Practicing sports is essential to keep fit, facilitating all the digestive and chemical processes that take place in the body, and eliminating toxins.
Stress management techniques are very important for people with gastric somatization.
There are many strategies to prevent, manage and reduce psycho-physical stress, in addition, to enjoying activities such as hobbies, sports, dance, music, etc.
2. how to get rid of acid reflux in the throat
There are no resolving therapies for this pathology: gastroesophageal reflux can become chronic. That is why it is essential to “catch it in time” and maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
As a soother for the inflamed throat due to reflux, aloe vera gel will do very well, but it is certainly good to get back to the causes to properly treat it.
Nutrition is the first method of treatment: spicy foods, coffee, chocolate, alcoholic and super-alcoholic drinks, tomatoes and citrus fruits, and highly seasoned and fried foods are absolute to be abolished.
Prefer unprocessed foods, drink a lot of water to dilute the acids, and eat little and often, to buffer the excess of stomach acids.
Lifestyle can be improved in a few small steps:
- Lose weight if you are overweight and maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly but not too intensely, especially after meals.
- Avoid wearing belts and dresses that are tight around the waist.
- Don’t eat large meals and eat slowly.
- Stop smoking.
- Do not lie down or lie down after eating: wait at least two hours.
- Sleep with your head and torso slightly elevated from your body
- Let’s get into the habit of walking after meals: walking facilitates the digestion process and avoids uncomfortable and contracted positions that can increase reflux.
- As for medication, it is necessary to contact your doctor, who will first have to establish whether it is a temporary phenomenon, which can only be corrected with a better lifestyle, or whether it is a chronic disease that requires real drug treatment. In the latter case, the most commonly used medications are the so-called proton pump inhibitors, which block the mechanism of secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
- Other complementary aids include drugs that facilitate the emptying of the stomach (Prokinetics), and drugs that protect the mucous membranes (Magaldrati). Consult your doctor if you have any of the following warning symptoms: digestive bleeding, chest pain or breathing problems, nighttime disturbances, or unwarranted weight loss.
3. how long does heartburn last
The duration of heartburn can vary from person to person and can depend on the cause. In most cases, heartburn lasts for a few hours after eating or drinking something that triggers it. However, for some people, it can last for several days or even weeks.
Acute heartburn, which is caused by a specific trigger, such as a spicy meal or alcohol, usually resolves on its own within a few hours or a day.
However, chronic heartburn, which occurs frequently and for a long time, can be a sign of a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In such cases, medical attention is necessary.
4. What are the differences between heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease?
Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are two conditions that are often confused with each other because they share similar symptoms.
Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. It is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest that often occurs after eating or when lying down.
While heartburn can be uncomfortable, it is usually a temporary condition that can be managed with over-the-counter antacids or lifestyle changes.
On the other hand, GERD is a more severe and chronic condition that occurs when acid reflux becomes frequent or severe. It is diagnosed when acid reflux symptoms occur at least twice a week or when there is damage to the esophagus caused by acid reflux.
In addition to heartburn, symptoms of GERD can include regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, and coughing.
5. Do Herbal Heartburn Remedies Work always?
There are several herbal remedies that are commonly used to treat heartburn, including ginger, licorice, and chamomile. These herbs are thought to help soothe the digestive system and reduce inflammation, which can contribute to heartburn symptoms.
While some studies suggest that these herbal remedies may be effective in reducing heartburn symptoms, the evidence is not conclusive. In some cases, herbal remedies may even make symptoms worse, especially if they are not used correctly or if they interact with other medications.
It is important to note that herbal remedies are not regulated in the same way as prescription medications, and their safety and efficacy are not always well established.
6. Can Drinking Milk Help My Heartburn?
Milk is known to contain calcium and other minerals that can help neutralize stomach acid, which is one of the main causes of heartburn.
However, while milk may provide temporary relief for some people, it is not a long-term solution for managing heartburn.
In fact, for some people, drinking milk can actually make heartburn symptoms worse. Milk can stimulate the production of stomach acid, which can exacerbate heartburn symptoms in some individuals.
Additionally, for people who are lactose intolerant, drinking milk can cause digestive symptoms, including bloating, gas, and diarrhea, which can make heartburn symptoms worse.
7. How to treat heartburn when natural remedies don’t work
One option for treating heartburn that does not respond to natural remedies is a prescription medication.
There are several types of medications that can be prescribed to manage heartburn, including proton pump inhibitors, H2 receptor blockers, and antacids.
These medications work by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach, which can help alleviate heartburn symptoms.
Another treatment option for heartburn that does not respond to natural remedies is surgery.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended to correct a problem with the esophageal sphincter, which can contribute to heartburn symptoms.
Surgical options include fundoplication, in which the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus to reinforce the lower esophageal sphincter, and LINX, which involves implanting a ring of magnets around the esophagus to help keep the sphincter closed.