16 Effective Natural Home Remedies for Acid reflux
Acid reflux is also called as gastro esophageal reflux disease or gastric reflux disease. Acid reflux is a most common disease characterized by burning sensation in the stomach that radiates towards throat.
What is Acid reflux?
Digestion begins in the mouth soon after taking food. Food mixes with saliva which has digestive enzymes and breakdown into smaller pieces by the teeth. After swallowing food, it reaches the stomach for further digestion through a long muscular tube called esophagus. Contractions of the esophagus called peristalsis helps in pushing the food down to the stomach. At the bottom of the esophagus there is an involuntary, muscular one-way valve called lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Stomach secretes highly acidic juices to promote digestion. When stomach contracts to transfer the food into intestines, LES closes tightly to inhibit the acidic stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus.
In people who are suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease, LES does not close properly due to abnormal relaxation or wakening, allowing acidic stomach contents flows back into the esophagus. As esophagus does not have any protective linings to counteract acid effects leading to pain, inflammation and damage. If left untreated acid reflux may leads to serious health complications like ulcers, bleeding and esophageal cancer.
What are the main causes of Acid reflux?
- Chronic stress and anxiety
- Eating heavy meals right before going to bed
- Being obese increases the pressure in the abdomen which pushes the stomach contents into the esophagus
- Excessive smoking
- Unbalanced and unhealthy eating habits
- Lack of physical exercise
- Hiatal hernia, a condition in which stomach move up into your esophagus.
- Low dietary fiber intake
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a condition in which stomach secretes more acid
What are the most common symptoms of Acid reflux?
Acid reflux symptoms mostly occur immediately after having heavy meal or lying down after having food especially on your back. The most common symptoms are
- Heart burn, a burning sensation in the chest
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloating and upper abdominal discomfort
- Pain or difficulty while swallowing
- Regurgitation causing backing up of acid and partly digested stomach contents in to the mouth
- Burping and bad breath
- Soreness in the throat and persistent dry cough
- Dental erosion
- Chest pain
- Dysphagia, a narrowing of esophagus
- Loss of weight
What are the foods that worsen the condition of Acid reflux?
- Tomato based products
- Peppermint, garlic and onions
- Tangy highly acidic citrus fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges
- Cheese and dairy products
- Spicy and fried foods
- Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea
- Carbonated beverages
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Certain medications
Home remedies which eliminates symptoms of acid reflux
Symptoms of acid reflux can disturb your life. Fortunately it can be controlled with home remedies. Here are some simple effective home remedies to overcome the symptoms of Acid reflux.
Organic, unrefined honey can be used to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux. Honey is a natural acid reducer and also provides soothening effect by forming protective coat on the esophageal lining tissues. Take 1-2 tea spoons of honey after meals daily.
Ginger is a traditional effective home remedy for treating digestive ailments. Ginger contains high amount of digestive enzymes which promotes digestion there by reducing the occurrence of acid reflux. It also reduces stomach acidity by absorbing stomach acids. Chew a fresh piece of ginger or make a ginger herbal tea by adding few pieces of crushed ginger to the boiling water, drain the mixture and drink it after every meal. Read more health benefits of ginger
3. Baking soda:
Sodium bicarbonate commonly known as baking soda is a best home remedy for instant relief of acid reflux. Baking soda is alkaline in nature, it neutralizes the stomach acids and provides temporary relief of burning sensation in the stomach. Mix a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water and have the mixture after meals to relieve reflux symptoms.
4. Chewing gum:
Chewing gums promotes digestion by stimulating the secretion of saliva in the mouth. It also increases flow of saliva in to the stomach, so the accumulated acid in the esophagus get washed away. Use fruit flavored, sugar free chewing gums as peppermint can cause irritation in some people.
5. Basil (Tulsi) leaves:
Basil is an effective natural medicine and helps to sooth the symptoms of acid reflux. It helps to heal the irritated stomach and promotes digestion. To relieve the acid reflux symptoms take 3-4 fresh basil leaves and chew them regularly after meals or make a basil tea by boiling them in a cup of water and drink it regularly.
6. Fenugreek Seeds:
Fenugreek seeds commonly known as Methi seeds which are the effective home remedy for treating reflux symptoms. This seeds contain large amounts of mucilage that helps to heal the inflamed esophagus. It also minimizes the stomach acidity by absorbing stomach acids. Soak some fenugreek seeds in water for 3-4 hours or overnight, remove the seeds and drink this water after meals.
Papaya contains proteolytic digestive enzymes that helps in digestion. Papaya reduces the occurrence of acid reflux by promoting digestion. Take 2-3 chunks of papaya after every meals to prevent reflux from taking place. [Read: Papaya Health Benefits]
Fennels are small refreshing, pleasant smelling seeds that are readily available in the kitchen every time. Fennel promotes digestion. It contains a substance called anethole which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to sooth the esophagus. Chew half a teaspoon of fennel after every meal or flavor your food with them.
As we all know that an apple a day keeps your doctor away. Apples will not cure the acid reflux but helps in relieving the symptoms by alkalizing your stomach environment there by neutralizing the acid effects on esophagus. Eat half an organic, red apple after every meal to prevent onset of reflux.
Mustard is an alkaline food used as ideal remedy for instant relief of acid reflux. Due to its alkaline nature mustard neutralizes the stomach acids and reduces the pH of the stomach. It is believed that mustard also decreases the production of acid in the stomach. Take 1 teaspoonful of yellow mustard before meal.
Yogurt is common probiotic that contains good bacteria which aids in digestion. Yogurt calms the heartburn by soothing the esophagus. Have spoonful of plain fresh yogurt whenever you feel the symptoms of acid reflux.
Almonds are the richest source of fiber and nutrients. Incorporating almonds into your daily diet can help in eliminating the effects of acid reflux. Almonds are alkaline in nature and neutralizes the stomach acids and also promotes digestion. Chew 5-6 almonds daily after meals daily.
13. Chamomile tea:
Chamomile herb contains flavonoids and mucilage. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to sooth the irritated esophagus. It also reduces the pepsin activity in the stomach. Drink chamomile tea before going to bed to get relief from reflux symptoms.
14. Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is considered as effective home remedy for acid reflux. Weakly acidic nature of apple cider vinegar helps to buffer the acidity in the stomach and also balances the pH of the stomach environment. Mix a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it before meals to eliminate the symptoms of acid reflux.
Oats are considered as a whole grain food which is packed with large amount of fiber and nutrients. Oats helps in acid reflux by suppressing the hunger and also supporting healthy weight loss. Oats are alkaline in nature and also recommended as acid reflux diet. So start your day with a small bowl of oatmeal as breakfast to avoid reflux symptoms.
Bananas are considered as a healthy perfect snack for the people who are suffering with acid reflux. Bananas are alkaline in nature and counteracts the acid reflux by neutralizing the stomach acids. Have a banana whenever you feel the symptoms of reflux. [Also read: Health Benefits of Bananas]
Can lifestyle changes helps in treating acid reflux?
By practicing simple changes in diet and lifestyle helps in managing acid reflux.
- Drink plenty of water. Water helps in diluting the acid in the stomach there by reducing the effects of the acid.
- Try to avoid eating heavy meals before going to bed. Plan for the early dinners by eating at least 3-4 hours before going to bed.
- Avoid bed time snacks.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Reduce the consumption of oily, fried and spicy junk foods.
- Don’t skip your meals, which leads to overeating in the later times.
- Keep an eye on what you are eating. Try to avoid the eating foods that trigger the acid reflux like chocolate, citrus fruits etc.
- Being overweight can aggravate the symptoms. Try to shed some pounds in a healthy way by doing physical exercise.
- Instead of taking 3 large serving meals in a day try to replace with 5 small servings.
- Try to increase the head of your bed 6-7 inches off the ground which reduces the night time reflux by preventing the flow of stomach contents into the esophagus.
- Wear loose fitting clothes as tight jeans adds more pressure on the abdomen.
If your symptoms persists even after following these remedies for a week, consult your physician to discuss appropriate treatment.
Eat well and stay healthy!