Are you seeking natural heartburn relief? There are many remedies for heartburn, or acid reflux, which is caused by acid from the stomach moving up into the esophagus. This creates a burning sensation behind the breastbone near the heart. Heartburn can be triggered by high-acid foods, spicy foods, greasy foods and salty foods, as well as alcohol and caffeine. Sufferers seeking natural relief should avoid consuming such foods, increase their intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, and strive to live an overall healthy lifestyle.
As heartburn is caused by excess acid, alkaline or basic substances, such as calcium, potassium, and sodium bicarbonate may counteract such effects. Calcium carbonate is the main ingredient found in familiar over-the-counter chewable antacids. Milk may be immediately soothing as it is high in calcium, although milk may cause more acid buildup in the long run and should be used as temporary relief for occasional sufferers and not by people with chronic heartburn. Sodium bicarbonate is simply baking soda and is found in most household pantries. Mix one-tablespoon baking soda into a glass of water to drink, although baking soda may increase blood pressure so this is not recommended for people with high blood pressure.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally soothing and should be eaten on a regular basis for natural relief. Bananas, pitted fruits, dark leafy greens and potatoes all contain potassium and calcium. Potato juice can be soothing and easily made by boiling washed and peeled potatoes in water. Add the cooking water to a smoothie or other low-acid juice to make it more palatable. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, sugar-free chewing gum after a meal will increase saliva production and swallowing, which may help keep the stomach acid down.
A local natural food store has many remedies that may be worth trying. Aloe vera juice can be very effective; drink about a quarter cup prior to the meal. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (“DGL”) is a chewable supplement and an old herbal remedy for not only heartburn but also stomach ulcers and canker sores. Lozenges that contain slippery elm may soothe many forms of throat and esophageal irritation. Tea steeped from marshmallow root may relieve burning sensations. As with all herbal remedies, check with your doctor if you are taking medications and always follow the directions regarded the recommended doses.
Finally, the best natural remedy for heartburn is to live a healthy lifestyle and practice good habits, including not smoking, drinking little if any alcohol or caffeine, and getting regular exercise. Excess weight and abdominal fat will put pressure on the stomach, increasing the likelihood of acid being pushed up in the esophagus. Eat small, healthy meals slowly in order to enjoy and savor your food and sit up straight in a chair or go for a light walk while digesting your meal. Avoid eating right before bed and when you do go to sleep, elevate your head. A healthy lifestyle, combined with the remedies discussed above, is the best way to find natural heartburn relief.