Basically, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart but it refers to the burning sensation and pain felt in the chest just under the breastbone. It affects the esophagus or the long tube-like structure that links the stomach and the mouth. The pain and the burning sensation are not always restricted to the chest only but sometimes manifests in the jaw, neck and throat. It is a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and is usually accompanied by acidic taste in the mouth and bloating. Home remedies for heartburn are very effective in eradicating acid reflux and heart burn safely hence discarding the dependence on prescription medicine.
The food we consume reaches the stomach through the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter muscle located at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach. Its main job is to block the flow back of the food to the esophagus. Weakness of the esophageal muscle, buildup of excess acid in the stomach or inherent defects in the structure of the esophageal sphincter, the acids flow back to the esophagus. The stomach has a lining that protects it from gastric acids in the stomach but such a coating, which is not present in the esophagus. Consequently, when these acids flow back to the esophagus they cause irritation of its lining resulting to heartburn.
Some of main causes of this disorder include use of caffeine, consumption of highly acidic foods, drinking alcohol as well as excessive consumption of carbonated drinks. Such conditions as obesity and pregnancy also exact excess pressure on the stomach interfering with the normal functions of the esophageal sphincter. Diseases such as sarcoidosis and scleroderma as well as certain prescription medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin and hiatal can also cause acid reflux and heartburn.
One of the effective home remedies for heartburn is taking a glass of water at the inception of the symptoms. Water dilutes acids as well as washes away the acids from the esophagus back to the stomach hence protecting the esophagus. Baking powder and vinegar are excellent home remedies for heartburn relief. Vinegar is a base that neutralizes stomach acids; though using it frequently damages tooth enamel hence it is recommended that you take a glass of water after using it. Sodium carbonate or baking powder provides quick relief though excess use causes high blood pressure besides other health related problems. An infusing apple cider vinegar with water is another home remedy treatment for acid reflux.
Some fruits such as bananas, papaya and almonds are natural heartburn remedies. Papain enzyme that helps in digestion is found in papayas hence the best prescription for people suffering from frequent heartburn. However, people allergic to latex and pregnant women should consult a doctor before taking it. Banana acts as a natural antacid and provides relief to heartburn as well as coats the stomach hence protecting it from gastric acids. Reduced consumption of irritants such as caffeine, acidic foods, nicotine, carbonated drinks, oily foods, alcohol as well as spicy foods will naturally combat heartburn.