6 Natural Remedies For Heartburn
If your heart is burning with anything but love, it’s time to look at some natural remedies to soothe that heartburn.
What is heartburn? Once you’ve swallowed that burrito, your body is supposed to take over all the details, leaving you with nothing but the memory of that cheesy, beany goodness. But heartburn doesn’t let you forget.
Your esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach, and it’s responsible for pushing food down in rhythmic waves. Once food hits your stomach, acids and enzymes begin breaking it down for digestion. Stomach acids are fairly powerful (after all, they’re designed to dissolve food), and your stomach has a special lining that protects it from being affected by acid. However, in the case of heartburn, some of those stomach acids travel back up into the esophagus, and it is this acid reflux that's leaving you with a burning sensation.
Heartburn can be caused by many things, including everything from spicy foods to caffeine to genetics, so it’s often difficult to know what’s going to trigger acid reflux. Thankfully, there are many ways to alleviate heartburn without turning to over-the-counter or prescription medication, and you may find relief with things you already have around the house. Here are a few ways to ease that burning sensation naturally and quickly:
1. Baking soda
Notice we said baking soda and not baking powder (you are not a cake: don’t get the two confused). Baking soda is inexpensive and totally natural. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of water. The baking soda will help neutralize acid. Note: Baking soda contains sodium, consult your doctor if you’re on a low-sodium diet.
2. Aloe juice
Aloe juice is sold at most grocery stores. Just like aloe vera is used to soothe skin sunburns, aloe juice can help soothe irritation caused by acid reflux. If you struggle with heartburn, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of drinking ½ cup of aloe juice before meals to keep your stomach and esophagus soothed.
3. Sugar-free gum
Saliva helps dilute acid, so increasing the amount of saliva you produce after a meal is a great way to help prevent acid production. Try chewing a stick of gum for 30 minutes for decreased heartburn.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Surprise, everyone’s favorite remedy can help ease heartburn. Mix 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water, then drink up (it won’t taste good, so be warned) before each meal or at bedtime.
5. Eat a banana
This one’s very easy. Did you know that bananas contain natural antacids? Start eating a banana every day to help counteract acid reflux. If you don’t have a banana, an apple will do.
6. Stop smoking
If you're a smoker, and you need yet another reason to quit, here's one. If you’ve noticed your acid reflux has gotten worse and you’re a smoker, the smoking is will aggravate your esophagus and make everything hurt. Now’s a good time to quit.
7. Lifestyle changes
If you’re overweight, making small changes to your diet and increasing physical activity could relieve your heartburn. Try eliminating foods that trigger your heartburn such as fatty or spicy foods, caffeine, chocolate, or carbonated beverages, to name a few. Omitting these from your diet may eliminate the issue altogether.
Heartburn is very common, but also relatively easy to treat if you monitor what foods aggravate your esophagus and combat heartburn with these remedies and other lifestyle changes.