The opening of stomach has a sphincter valve which opens to allow food particles and liquid and closes immediately. But in some people, the sphincter valve becomes loose and opens allowing back-flow of the stomach acid and juices to the esophagus and oral cavity. This in turn causes chest pain and burning sensation in the chest which is described as heartburn. When the valve does not close fully, stomach juices are pushed backwards and this process is high when you eat spicy or fatty items. Heartburn causes gas, bloated sensation and a sour taste in your mouth. In the long run heartburn gives way for GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease).
Heartburn can be managed with Natural Home Remedies available in your kitchen.
1. Baking Soda Solution
Sodium bicarbonate, known in common terms as baking soda provides good relief from acidity and heartburn. All you have to do is add half a tsp of baking soda to a glass of water and drink it. Baking soda is a natural antacid and hence effectively neutralizes the stomach acid. For people who prefer more taste adding a slice of lemon to this mixture will help.
2. Fennel Seeds
Chew little of fennel seeds after every meal. You will not get acidity or heartburn. Being a spice, fennel seeds is a natural agent for giving instant relief from heartburn.
3. Aloe Juice
If you are not feeling well due to gas problem or acidity, drink a glass of aloe juice to keep it calm. Aloe Vera is effective in reducing inflammation and irritation of the stomach. For getting more taste, you can keep the juice in the refrigerator to drink chilled juice.
4. Sugar Free Chewing Gum
You need not prepare or search anything from your kitchen. Heartburn can be managed with chewing gum. Just chew any gum of your choice after every meal for at least 20 minutes. You can get many flavors of chewing gum from the store and use it liberally. It has been proved that chewing gum can reduce the symptoms of GERD considerably. Chewing the gum increases saliva secretion which in turn washes away the acid pushed from the stomach.
5. Mint Leaves
Mint leaves can be used in any form. You can add it to your regular tea or prepare fresh mint tea and drink 2-3 times a day. Boil a cup of water and add crushed mint leaves. Let it sit for a while. Strain it and drink this tea. In case you don’t have the time to prepare the tea, just chew handful of mint leaves after meal which can prevent acidity and heartburn significantly.
6. Fresh Ginger
Ginger is known for aiding the process of digestion. Ginger can effectively absorb stomach acid calming down the stomach and give relief from heartburn. If you can tolerate, chew fresh ginger pieces frequently. Alternatively, you can make ginger tea and drink 2-3 times a day.
7. Don’t Sleep Immediately After Eating
You should stay awake for at least 2 hours after eating lunch or dinner. Don’t lie down as soon as you finish your dinner. There is every possibility for the stomach juices and enzymes to get back into the esophagus and throat as you lie down. In case you feel sleepy, keep your bed elevated. It is not enough if you pile up 2-3 extra pillows below your head. Remember to finish off the dinner before 7 PM if you are sleeping at 10. Lying down with heavy stomach is not good for digestion process and you will face more trouble if you already have acidity and heartburn problem.
8. Eat Small Frequent Meals
Instead of taking 3 big meals a day, convert it into number of small meals. You can eat 6-7 small bites per day. This habit helps your stomach considerably aiding in digestion. Chew the food properly before swallowing. The food you eat should thoroughly mix with saliva and change into semisolid before entering the stomach. This can ease up the digestion process and absorption.
9. Avoid Certain Foods
People having GERD or heartburn should avoid hot, spicy and fried items. Certain foods like tomatoes and lemon are highly acidic and hence such foods should be reduced. Certain foods trigger acidity in the stomach and you need to reduce the intake or completely avoid them.
For some people having very little acid in the stomach can also cause heartburn. You can put off the acidity and heartburn by drinking apple cider vinegar solution. Mix 2-3 tsp of vinegar with little water and drink it promptly. You can drink vinegar solution half-an-hour before food or before bedtime, if there is more problem during night.
Eating a full ripe banana after meal is good for digestion. Banana is a natural antacid thus preventing the acid reflex action. Alternatively, you can eat an apple after food slowly chewing it.
12. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm is known to cure several problems related with indigestion including heartburn and acidity. Stomach acid and other juices will be prevented from flowing back by the formation of thick layer of elm juice on the upper layer of the stomach. Mix one tsp of slippery elm in a cup of water (preferably hot) and drink it to reduce heartburn.
13. Cabbage Juice
Add freshly grated cabbage and a piece of carrot in a mixer to extract juice. Add some water and drink this juice in the empty stomach to clear off heartburn and acidity.
14. Almond Oil
Almond is a natural agent that treats heartburn. You can chew few pieces of almonds after a meal slowly. Juices released from the almond are effective enough to prevent the extra acidity in the stomach. You can also take almond juice daily in empty stomach to treat heartburn problem totally.
Some Additional Tips :
- Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing. This can create back-pressure from the stomach pushing acid and other digestive juices into the throat and mouth.
- Quit smoking and drinking. If that is not possible, reduce the intake of alcohol.
- Eat healthy diet that contains plenty of fiber foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Manage a healthy weight.