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Herbal Remedies for Acid Reflux

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Herbal Remedies for Acid RefluxGastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical  term  for what  we know  as acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs  when the stomach releases its liquid back into  the esophagus,  causing inflammation and damage to the esophageal lining.

The regurgitated acid most often consists of a few compounds: acid, bile, and pepsin.

Stomach  acid is used in the digestion of food and can be a major  irritant to the esophagus  due to its tendency  to damage tissues.  Bile is created in the liver  and may back up into  the stomach, causing it to be released.

Pepsin, the last common compound, is actually an enzyme which helps to kick-start the stomach into  breaking down proteins.

Once afflicted with acid reflux, a person  will  generally  continue to face the disease for the rest of his or her life.   The Esophagitis which is caused by acid reflux can also be expected to be a life-long problem.

Once treatment for acid reflux has begun,  a patient is usually advised to continue taking the medication for as long as they want  to prevent  the disease from  affecting them.

It may surprise you to know  that  research  has shown  most people experience  a minor form  of regurgitation on a fairly frequent basis. However, those afflicted with acid reflux have a higher  acid content in the liquid brought into  the esophagus  than  the liquids of a person  who doesn’t have the disease.  The fluid also often stays in the esophagus  for longer periods  of time.

Our  bodies do the best they can to prevent  acid reflux from  actually causing harm.  During hours in which a person  is awake, the reflux is usually remedied  by a simple  swallow.

Also, the saliva generated  in our salivary glands  contains bicarbonate, which is a neutralizing agent to the effects of acid.   When we sleep, however,  we are usually horizontal, causing acid to rest in the esophagus  for extended  periods  of time,  which often leads to greater damage.

Acid reflux often leads to heartburn, which is pretty much the defining characteristic and symptom of reflux.  The pain of acid reflux can actually be quite  similar to angina,  which is a serious  heart  condition. For that  reason, you should go to a doctor  if you experience  heavy heartburn.

Acid reflux is most commonly experienced  after eating  a meal.   People who are afflicted with acid reflux may also experience  a complete regurgitation of liquid, leaving a nasty  taste in their mouth and esophageal damage.  Nausea can also occur  in some people with reflux, and it may be accompanied by full-out vomiting.

Acid Reflux Facts

Herbal Treatment for Acid RefluxThe more you know  about  a disease, the more you can minimize its effects on your  health.  Acid reflux is present  in at least thirty five percent  of all overweight people and is also a problem for a vast demographic.

The more you know  about  acid reflux, the better  chance you have at not triggering its effects.

  • More than  sixty  million Americans experience  heartburn due to acid reflux at least once per month.  That  represents roughly one fifth of the entire  American population!  Also, approximately twenty five million Americans, or one twelfth of the total  American population experience  the harmful effects of heartburn/acid reflux on an every day basis.
  • Acid reflux can be more harmful to your  mental health than  you may realize. Roughly  eighty  percent  of all acid reflux sufferers experience  symptoms of the disease at night, with about  seventy five percent  of all acid reflux cases waking the afflicted person  due to the heartburn.  This can cause many  problems during the day, including increased  irritability, lack of proper  concentration, and an increased risk  of being in an accident involving an automobile.
  • While heartburn is technically incurable, there are things that  you can do to help offset the chance of you getting  this  disease.  If you worry  that  you’re  at risk  for an acid reflux condition, it’s important to review the types of foods you’re  eating  and change your  habits to reduce the number of acid-creating foods you ingest.
  • Smoking and alcohol  usage can contribute to an acid reflux problem.  When you smoke, the acidity in your  stomach is increased, which can cause acid reflux that  is already  occurring to be more damaging to the esophagus.   Also, nicotine is known to relax the lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which, when operating incorrectly, is one of the leading  causes of an acid reflux condition.
  • Alcohol performs much of the same process on the lower esophageal sphincter, causing it to relax and allowing reflux to creep into  the esophagus.
  • While acid reflux is a disease that  can affect anybody, there are some demographics which face a higher  risk  of developing  it. Overweight people put  pressure on their stomach while  sleeping due to the weight  of the abdomen, and this  can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter to a point where acid reflux occurs.
  • This same risk  also occurs  in pregnant women;  the additional weight  of the baby can put  a lot of added pressure on the stomach.  The elderly  also need to watch  their lifestyle  habits to ensure  that  they do not become afflicted with acid reflux.
  • When acid reflux is left untreated, it can lead to many  serious consequences.  Due to the fact that  acid is continuously in the throat, many  problems can arise, including Barrett’s esophagus,  erosive esophagitis, esophageal strictures, and in the most extreme  cases, esophageal cancer.

Herbal Treatments for Acid Reflux

Herbs for Acid RefluxMore and more people are turning to alternative medicine in search of a solution for their health issues.

While alternative medicine spans everything from  massage to hypnotism to yoga, most people end up trying herbal  treatments.

Aside from  the claims  that  herbal  treatments are effective, many  people believe that  unlike the synthetic medicines manufactured by large pharmaceutical corporations, herbs  come without side effects.

This isn’t true.   In fact, herbs  can have very dangerous side effects.  For this reason, it’s always smart to check with your  physician before adding herbs  to your  diet,  especially  if you’re  taking any other  medications.

Now, in relation to acid reflux, many  people stop taking over the counter or prescription drugs  after experiencing unpleasant side effects. According to studies, some antacids interfere with the body’s absorption of vitamin and calcium.

In some instances, antacids affect digestive activities by shutting down stomach secretions thus relieving the sufferers temporarily but  not really  curing the problem.  In addition, long-term use of antacids can lead to constipation.

Different people also have different reactions to drugs.   Some medications will  relieve heartburn in some people but  may not have the same effect in others.  This results in people trying one brand of antacid after another in order to find  something that  works, which exposes them to greater complications.

These struggles to find  a workable solution often lead sufferers to search out alternative solutions such  as herbal  treatments.  A single type of herbal  tea or a single herbal  capsule  appears  to many  to be an excellent alternative to what  hasn’t been working.  In the same vein, sufferers come to believe that  the fewer medications they take,  the less chance they have of exposing  themselves  to toxins.

Another reason people shift  to alternative medicines for their acid reflux is that  antacids use sodium bicarbonate, aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, calcium carbonate, aluminum phosphate, or a combination of these substances to neutralize stomach acid. Scientifically, these have inhibiting effects on the functions of the human anatomy.

For instance, hydrochloric acid (which  is associated  with food digestion and the absorption of necessary nutrients and vitamins) becomes neutralized.  When hydrochloric acid is neutralized, the stomach produces even more acid to compensate  for what’s been lost.

You see, instead of curing the problem, we create another problem.  Acid rebound, the term  used for this  condition, is a common result when the stomach produces  additional acids to replenish those that  have been neutralized.

Get your dried, organic herbs, organic essential oils, bulk spices, loose leaf organic teas and aromatherapy supplies at the place where we shop – Starwest Botanicals!

Specific Remedies For Acid Reflux

As science discovers  new ways to treat  acid reflux, tradition has come up with several effective herbal  remedies.  These remedies  are natural and commonly available  in most households.

So let’s take a look at some your  options …

Herbal Tea

Herbal Teas for Acid RefluxHerbal  tea is one of the better-known herbal  remedies for acid reflux and the associated  heartburn. It helps reduce the amount of acid in the stomach.  The ingredients consist of aniseed,  peppermint and lavender.

Aniseed helps with digestive  conditions.  The ash-colored anise called green anise, European anise or sweet anise is the proper  choice. Peppermint helps with digestion, stomach distension, cramps, ulcers, and gas.  Lavender  is effective at reducing the acid in the stomach.

Here’s how you can make it: mix equal quantities of all the three herbs. Boil two and a half  cups water  and pour  them  over a teaspoon  of the mixture. Let the tea sit for approximately five minutes.

Then strain the tea and add a bit  of honey (optional). Drink up to 8 oz in the morning and the same in the evening for relieving acid reflux.

Cinnamon

Besides its role in controlling flu  and cold, cinnamon is an effective antiseptic and a trusted antacid. To use it for settling an acidic  stomach and heartburn, toast  and butter some raisin bread and spread some cinnamon along with a little cardamom on it. Chew the bread slowly  and thoroughly before swallowing.

Pineapples

Pineapples,  one of the most cherished fruits, provide  one of the most effective herbal  remedies  for acid reflux. Pineapples  are rich  in enzymes, especially  in Bromelain, which reduce protein.  These enzymes facilitate digestion, reduce the inflammation, and aid healing.  Fresh pineapple juice  is rich  in these enzymes.

Indian Gooseberry

Research has shown  Indian gooseberry  to significantly reduce acid secretion.  You can eat this  herb raw, though it’s more commonly used in the form  of tea.  While there are no side effects, it’s wise to use Indian Gooseberry  in moderation, since it can serve as a laxative with overuse.

Grapefruit

The skin  of organic  grapefruit is also a good herbal  remedy for acid reflux.  To use this  natural medicine, grate the whole of the outer  skin  of an organic  grapefruit.  Dry the skins on a flat  dish,  leaving them  until they become crinkly dry.

Store these dry skins in a glass jar.   In case of inflammation or heartburn, chew a bit  of these skins well and swallow them.   Judge for yourself as to how much you need to soothe your stomach’s condition.

Black Pepper

Black  pepper stimulates digestion. It’s easy to add to recipes for additional flavoring and generally  no more than  a teaspoon  is necessary for effectiveness.

Chicory Root Tea

Chicory is one of the bitter herbs,  containing endive and escarole.   Boil one and a half  cups of chicory root for five to ten minutes.  After it cools down,  drink this  tea to relieve acid reflux or heartburn.

Orange Peel Extract

Researchers  believe orange peel extract aids the movement  of food through the esophagus  to the stomach, reducing the potential for heartburn to develop. 1,000  mg of orange peel extract taken  every other day for 20 days is the most common dosage.

Ginger Root

Researchers  believe ginger root helps absorb  stomach acid. In addition, it calms nerves, which can help minimize heartburn or an upset  stomach due to stress.

Liquorice

Liquorice acts like  an antacid and is sometimes used for constipation as well. It comes in a powder form  that  can be used as a tea. Three teaspoons of powdered  liquorice is the recommended daily  limit. Too much liquorice can create side effects such  as headaches  and high  blood pressure.

Get your dried, organic herbs, organic essential oils, bulk spices, loose leaf organic teas and aromatherapy supplies at the place where we shop – Starwest Botanicals!

Additional Teas

Tea has been used for thousands of years to soothe and ease a variety of health problems.  In fact, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, aside from water.  Herbal teas have also proven to be a good choice for those searching for a natural heartburn herbal remedy.

Black, green and red teas contain polyphenols which is an antioxidant that helps to protect our body from free radical damage.  The polyphenols found in tea have been shown to provide anti-cancer properties through numerous studies.

Additionally, these same studies have suggested that drinking several cups of tea each day may also reduce the risk of gastric and esophageal cancers.

But not all teas are created equal. The leaves from black, green and red teas come from a warm-weather evergreen tree known as Camellia sinensis. However, what we consider herbal teas do not come from this tree at all.

In fact, herbal teas aren’t really teas but are infusions called “tisane” that are made from various herbs, flowers, roots, and other parts of some plants. Tisane does not contain as much polyphenols as true tea does, although they can be very beneficial in other ways.

When looking at how to get rid of heartburn, you may find some “herbal teas” are more advantageous in regards to easing heartburn symptoms, acid reflux and other gastrointestinal disorders, than others.

Unfortunately, some teas may aggravate these conditions rather than relieve them, so choose your herbal tea remedy wisely.

So, if you are looking for a way to relieve heartburn symptoms or other problems associated with digestive orders, such as GERD, here are a few herbal teas you may want to consider trying:

Chamomile Tea

This is a very popular herbal tea used to treat a variety of health concerns such as indigestion, heartburn, anxiety, PMS, sleep disturbances and easing anxiety.

It also helps to relieve the inflamed or irritated mucus membranes of the digestive tract (good for acid reflux sufferers) and helps to promote normal digestion. Used topically, it can also promote the healing of minor skin irritations and scrapes.

However, since chamomile is found in the ragweed family, it could cause a reaction to anyone who has allergies to ragweed.

Marshmallow Tea

No, not the big fluffy things you roast over the fire. In this case, it is the root that is used in herbal medicinal products. When taken internally, such as in a tea, marshmallow is known to ease bladder infections, and coat and soothe the gastrointestinal tract, sore throats, ease respiratory problems and promote healing of the urinary tract.

It can also be purchased as a topical formula for use on burns, scrapes and inflammatory skin disorders.

Peppermint Tea

The mint leaves are used to brew a delightfully refreshing herbal tea that contains no caffeine. However, there are conflicting reports on whether to use peppermint in any form when suffering from heartburn and/or acid reflux.

The oil within the peppermint helps to stimulate the flow of bile to the stomach and relieve gas pains, calm heartburn, and settle an upset stomach and nausea. On the other hand, studies have also indicated that drinking peppermint, spearmint or other strongly spiced teas actually causes the LES to relax even more, resulting in additional acid reflux.

Since the reports are conflicting on how effective peppermint tea may be in aiding heartburn relief, you may just wish to try it for yourself and see which group you fall into.

Get your dried, organic herbs, organic essential oils, bulk spices, loose leaf organic teas and aromatherapy supplies at the place where we shop – Starwest Botanicals!

Though herbs can be very effective at reducing incidences of acid reflex, and though they have a reputation for being natural and safe, you still need to use caution.

Herbs can interact with other herbs, as well as with prescribed medications. Always consult with your physician before introducing herbs into your diet.

Related Natural Product

Acid Free-Flux is a safe, non-addictive, FDA-registered natural remedy containing 100% homeopathic ingredients selected to relieve acid reflux and heartburn.

Acid Free-Flux safely maintains harmony, health and systemic balance in the stomach and digestive system, and soothes the lining of the stomach and esophagus, without harmful side effects.

This remedy contains a selection of homeopathic ingredients known to relieve burning sensations and indigestion after eating due to excessive acid.

Learn more about Acid FreeFlux now.
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  1. Herbal Remedies for Acid Reflux | Natural Healt... - December 24, 2013

    […] As science discovers new ways to treat acid reflux, tradition has come up with several effective herbal remedies. These remedies are natural and commonly available in most households.  […]

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