Go straight to acid reflux natural treatments:
Do you remember that Alka Seltzer commercial?
If you’re anything like me, that jingle is now stuck in your head (sorry!). The thing is, while over-the-counter meds may help symptoms short-term, they are not usually the healthiest choice, nor do they ever address the root of the problem.
So, let’s get start with finding out exactly what acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion are, what causes them and then let’s delve deeply into what we can do, naturally, to give you relief!
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is a digestive condition where the stomach acids flow back into the esophagus (the gullet or tube which connects the stomach to the throat).
It causes a burning sensation as well as pain in the abdomen and chest.
This condition is very common and affects millions of Americans daily.
It can become quite serious if left untreated and lead to inflammation of the esophagus, anemia, an ulceration of the esophagus and cancer of the esophagus.
The symptoms and signs of acid reflux may include or be accompanied by:
- Indigestion (dyspepsia)
- Pain and discomfort in upper abdomen
- Bloating or fullness in stomach
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Dental erosion
The Causes of Acid Reflux
At the end of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter is found and functions as a valve which prevents the stomach acids from traveling upwards.
If this valve is weak, the stomach contains too much food or gastric juices, or there is too much pressure on or in the stomach, acid reflux may occur. Factors that may also contribute to acid reflux include eating large meals, certain foods and beverages such as fatty, spicy foods, coffee, tomatoes, oranges, coffee, milk and alcohol.
Lying down too soon after a meal, bending or lifting heavy objects may also bring about acid reflux. Being overweight, pregnancy, hiatal hernia and constipation can also cause acid reflux as increased pressure on the stomach pushes gastric juices back into the esophagus.
Diagnosing Acid Reflux
The diagnosis of acid reflux is based on the symptoms presented, a thorough physical examination and review of your medical history. Certain diagnostic tests such as barium x-rays, endoscopy, biopsy and PH testing may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Help for Acid Reflux
How to best relieve symptoms of acid reflux involves making lifestyle changes such as avoiding certain foods, losing weight, stopping smoking and exercising regularly. A wide variety of over-the-counter medications such as antacids, anti-gas or ant-flatulence drugs, oral suspension and H-2 receptor blockers are available to provide temporary relief.
Avoid the overuse of over-the-counter medications as they may cause side effects such as constipation and diarrhea. For more frequent and severe episodes of acid reflux, your doctor may prescribe medications such as proton pump inhibitors. If lifestyle changes and prescription medications fail to offer improvement, surgery may be recommended.
One product we recommend is 100% natural, guaranteed and effective, Acid Free-Flux.
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux, Heartburn & Indigestion
Natural and holistic treatments have been used for centuries to treat and provide symptomatic relief for digestive problems.
Foods that help symptoms:
- For overall healthy digestion and to minimize acid reflux, make sure you get plenty of fiber from a variety of vegetables, non-citrus fruits, and whole grains.
- Drink enough fluids to help your body absorb important nutrients and lubricate food waste, and use low-fat methods when cooking.
- Make your morning meal oatmeal. It’s high in fiber, low in saturated fat and cholesterol and when combined with skim milk, gives you a calcium-charged boost to your day. By adding blueberries or raisins you’ll be adding some extra iron and potassium into the mix for a well-balanced meal.
- Apples and grapes are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and are a great non-citrus fruit choice for vitamin C and fiber.
- You can’t beat turkey if you want a lean, nutrient-packed protein source that’ll be easy on your stomach. Turkey is high in niacin, which helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Chicken without the skin is also a terrific low-fat source of protein. Both are easy to cook either indoors or out.
- Fresh papaya and its seeds (or Papaya tablets) can be eaten to help with digestion.
- Bananas and plantains are an old folk remedy for many gastrointestinal problems because they soothe the digestive tract. Plantains, a close cousin of the banana, contain an enzyme that stimulates mucus production in the lining of the stomach, helping to relieve upset and heartburn.
- Carrots Chewing a handful of carrots makes your stomach and esophagus feel better quickly. Chewing carrots leads to more saliva production leads to more enzymes flowing. This means faster digestion.
Foods that may trigger symptoms:
- Spicy foods: You love that big plate of Mexican food, but chances are, if you suffer from acid reflux, it will only worsen your condition. Chinese food is another common culprit of these attacks. Spicy foods and foods that contain a lot of pepper are not things that you want to eat when you have acid reflux. If you simply cannot give up your spicy foods, then try to eat it in a smaller amount or try a milder version.
- Citrus fruits: There are plenty of fruits that have a high acid content. Citrus fruits fall into this category. If you suffer from acid reflux, then you may want to eliminate certain citrus fruits. Avoid lemons, fresh lemonade, oranges, limes and fruit juices. Even strawberries and cantaloupe can trigger the attacks.
- Fatty and fried foods: Fast foods have advantages. It is quick, easy and yummy, too. However, this can cause you to have an acid reflux attack faster than just about anything else. When you eat this kinds of foods, you are asking for trouble. Instead of grabbing fried chicken or those greasy French fries, try the baked varieties instead.
- Chocolate: You love your chocolate, and who doesn’t? But did you know that eating chocolate when you are prone to heartburn and acid reflux can exacerbate this problem even further? It is true. When you already have problems with acid reflux, you will need to curb your chocolate craving more than ever.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are in a lot of foods, but it can certainly trigger you acid reflux. Fresh tomatoes as well as other tomatoes based foods will cause you a lot of problems later on in the day. Think of the pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce and other tomato-y foods. Avoid these if you want to avoid acid reflux.
- Onions and garlic: You have to have onions and garlic to make your foods tasty, but think twice. When you have acid reflux, this is a recipe for disaster. When you add these flavorful foods to your dishes, you will certainly have problems.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates: (sugar, white rice, white bread), even honey & other “natural” sugars, except Stevia. Reduce acid production so that even if the reflux occurs there is less to irritate the esophagus
These are all common foods that can easily cause problems with acid reflux. Be nice to your digestive system and avoid these foods if at all possible.
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!
Massage your upper abdomen area between meals with the following oils or blends, using 30 drops (total) per 2 tablespoons of base vegetable or carrier oil, or try the tea remedy:
- Oils to Use or Blend: Aniseed, Coriander, German Chamomile, Marjoram, Peppermint, Cardamom, Ginger, Dill, Fennel
- General Tea Remedy: 1 drop peppermint diluted in 1 teaspoon honey and dissolved in a cup of warm water.
Additional Essential Oil Recipes:
Heartburn Massage Oil
Rub the upper abdominal area with the following:
Dilute the mixture in 1 teaspoon vegetable or carrier oil
Indigestion Massage Oil
- 4 d. peppermint oil
- 4 d. marjoram oil
- 4 d. coriander oil
- 4 d. fennel oil
- 4 d. basil oil
- in 1 oz olive oil
Massage gently into stomach.
In an inhaler:
Sniff as needed.
Or, add to 1 oz of Sweet Almond Oil and massage on tummy.
- Symptom to Oil List
- Oil to Symptom List
- Single Essential Oil Profiles
- Essential Oil Application Methods
- At the first sign of heartburn, massage the acupressure point between your solar plexus and navel. Massage this point first, gently in a clockwise motion and then slowly work deeper. This can actually relieve heartburn pressure and pain for months!
- A general reflexology treatment will aid indigestion, acid reflex or dyspepsia. Work the solar plexus, diaphragm and stomach areas; as well as the pancreas reflexes to release digestive juices and the enzymes necessary for digestion.
- Stimulating the liver reflexes helps remove waste and toxins; the gall bladder is worked to stimulate bile release; this acts as a mild laxative and the alkaline effect also helps stimulate peristalsis in the duodenum.
- Working the stomach and intestinal reflexes helps to regulate digestive, absorptive and excretory functions.
See both hand and foot reflexology charts HERE.
Diaspor, Magnesite and Turquoise have been shown to have good results in relieving heartburn, with Diaspor being the most effective of the three.
- Place a crystal (Diaspor) or a tumbled stone (Magnesite or Turquoise) on the stomach; or wear as a bracelet, necklace or pendant.
- Alternatively, take as a gem essence (3-7 drops) or gem water (50-100 ml) taken in small sips over the course of a day.
Learn how to make a crystal/gem essence HERE.
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!
- Chamomile: To help relieve acid reflux, drink a cup of chamomile tea, steeped for 10 minutes, three times a day for 1-3 weeks. Chamomile is an officially approved acid indigestion treatment in Germany. It eases spasms and acts as a sedative to calm nerves.
- Ginger: Ginger contains certain chemicals which soothe the entire gastrointestinal tract, making it helpful for all kinds of digestion problems. It relaxes the walls of the esophagus, aiding digestion and making heartburn and acid reflux less likely.
- Peppermint: Peppermint is an age-old indigestion remedy and a good deal of research validates the folklore. A few herb advocates believe that peppermint can actually aggravate heartburn. If this happens to you, don’t use this herb.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a carminative – an herb that soothes the digestive tract and minimizes gas.
- Dill and Fennel: Like cinnamon, dill is a carminative and has been used for 1000s of years to calm acid stomachs and soothe the digestive tract. Try crushing a few teaspoons of dill seed and steeping them at least 10 minutes in hot water for a tea. Fennel is a similar herb that’s been used for as long as dill, and you can use the seeds the same way. You can also simply chew a few fennel seeds.
- Angelica: Angelica is a carminative and a relative of the carrot which produces a soothing effect on the digestive tract.
- Licorice: Licorice contains several compounds that help protect the lining of the stomach and intestine. The flavonoids in licorice are especially helpful in preventing ulcers. Traditional Medicinals has an amazing licorice tea that would work very well.
- Slippery elm is often suggested for treating acid reflux, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. This herb contains mucilage, which becomes a gel when it’s mixed with water. It soothes and coats your stomach, throat and mouth along with your intestines. To take it as a tea, pour 2 cups of hot water over 2 tbsp. of powdered bark. Steep it for three to five minutes. Consume it three times daily.
- The Mayo Clinic also cites marshmallow root as an herb that can be used to combat GERD. Marshmallow also contains mucilage. Use the leaf for tea, placing 2 to 5 tsp. of dried leaf in 5 oz. hot water up to three times daily, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Chew a fresh basil leaf. This Ayurvedic remedy can sooth your digestive tract.
If you can boil water, you can brew herbal tea. Here’s how:
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
- Crush herb leaves and/or flowers, and place them in a dry teapot; or use tea bags. To assure potency, use only herbs that are fragrant.
- Pour boiled water over the crushed herbs or tea bags. Let steep, covered, for the time indicated. (The average time is 10 minutes for a medicinal effect.)
- If using crushed herbs, place a strainer over the tea cup, and pour. Drink as needed, up to three times a day.
Learn about herbal preparation methods HERE.
For stomach aches or for those prone to digestive troubles, this tea is very calming. The recipe is also very easy:
- 2 teaspoons mint leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Pinch of dried ginger (optional)
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over it, steep, covered for 5 minutes and consume. You can also add some grass-fed gelatin powder (about a tablespoon) for a long-lasting soothing effect.
Ginger Tea with Cardamom
- Cut a 1 ½ to 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peal and slice very thin. Set aside.
- Boil three cups of water in the microwave or stove top. If using the microwave, remember that water can super heat, so use caution and cover before removing.
- Pour boiling water over ginger, add a pinch of ground white cardamom, and let steep for fifteen minutes. Strain and drink. This great tea is a dessert in itself. Go all out and add a little honey or brown sugar.
Green Tea and Honey
Honey can trigger the healing of tissues, such as the sphincter’s tissue. Green tea, in decaffeinated form, relieves stomach troubles and helps stimulate digestion. Add a teaspoon of honey to the tea and enjoy.
Gastronic Dr is a 100% natural remedy with herbs to improve digestive tract health and promote healthy levels of stomach acid. It is also carries a one-year money back guarantee!
Carefully selected ingredients such as Calc phos, Carbo veg, Nat phos, Mag carb and Silicea helps to neutralize acid in the stomach as well as cleanse and eliminate toxins from the body and relieve symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, bloating and gas.
Remedies can be taken 3 times daily in the 6c or 12c, or once daily in the 30c for chronic symptoms. One week on the remedy is often sufficient.
Acid Free-Flux is a terrific homeopathic remedy formulated specifically for the treatment and prevention of acid reflux, indigestion and heartburn.
Acid Free-Flux also carries a one-year money back guarantee!
- Baking Soda and Lemon Juice: To help neutralize stomach acid, dissolve 1/2 tsp baking soda in four ounces of warm water and add a few drops of lemon juice. Drink this solution. The alkaline baking soda neutralizes stomach acid and the lemon juice helps dispel some of the gas resulting from the baking soda. (Do not use this remedy if you are on a sodium-restricted diet)
- Activated Charcoal: To help alleviate heartburn, take one to two 200-500 mg activated charcoal capsules. The charcoal soaks up excess stomach acid in both your throat and your stomach. Do not use more than 2-3 days at a stretch.
- Mustard: To help prevent heartburn, take one tsp of mustard before your meal or add it to the dish you are about to eat. The vinegar in the mustard stimulates saliva production and reduces stomach acidity.
- Raw Potato: If you have a juicer, juice a raw potato, peel and all, then add an equal part of water to the juice and drink it immediately after preparation, 3 times a day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: To help soothe an acidic stomach, mix one tsp apple cider vinegar in 4 ounces of water and sip during and/or after your meal.
- Kaolin: Kaolin, a type of clay rich in minerals that relieve stomach problems, and the juice of half a lemon in a glass of water can help relieve acute heartburn.
- Acidophilus: It promotes healthy bacteria in your intestines, which in turn regulate unhealthy bacteria. It is anti-inflammatory for the intestines and is especially effective toward diarrhea and lactose intolerance.
More Information on Acid Reflux
How to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux:
- Keep a diary to record your symptoms and the foods that you eat and in this way you can monitor which foods are affecting you
- Make certain dietary changes by eliminating foods with a high acidic content such as coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, fatty and spicy foods, milk, peppermint, tomatoes, and oranges
- Eat small meals at regular intervals throughout the day
- Eat slowly, chew well, and always sit up when eating
- Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight can worsen symptoms
- Keep your posture upright after eating and avoid lying down – gravity plays a crucial part in keeping acid out of the esophagus
- Exercise regularly by jogging, cycling, stretching and doing aerobics will offer relief from acid reflux and improve overall health
- Avoid eating before bedtime – it is generally suggested that you eat at least 2-3 hours before going to bed
- Elevate your head or feet with pillows, or raise your bed with a bed wedge by at least 4 to 6 inches to reduce acid reflux
- Learn to relax and reduce stress by practicing deep breathing exercises, listening to soothing music or having regular massages
- Avoid smoking as it only worsens acid reflux
Joey Green’s Magic Health Remedies
Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods
The Healing Crystals First Aid Manual
Reflexology: The Definitive Practitioner’s Manual
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
The Urban Pagan