Imagine yourself in the middle of a romantic dinner. You have just finished eating. Under the light of candles, your partner gently smiles at you, holding your hand. You would love to smile back, but then, at this crucial moment, your chest is on fire. The feeling is terrible, you feel nauseous and you feel a taste of acid in your throat. You don’t know what to do. In the end, you return the smile with the grimace.
No matter what you do, at this point, your date is ruined.
If something similar has happened to you, you probably suffer from heartburn, a symptom of GERD and acid reflux.
The good news is, you can fix the problem. And all you need are some natural products.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn, like the name suggests, is a feeling of burning in your chest. It’s a symptom of GERD or more commonly of acid reflux. Usually, heartburn will appear after eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages. Often heartburn is accompanied with stomach pain, sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
Heartburn might look harmless but it’s more than a just unpleasant inconvenience.
It can even lead to cancer.
What Causes Heartburn?
There are many causes of heartburn. The main reasons are large meals and fatty foods. The worst thing you can do is to have large meals which are fatty. Those just beg for heartburn.
Some other reasons:
– Common foods, medicine, and drinks can cause heartburn:
- Drinks: alcohol, coffee, strong black tea, acidic juices and carbonated drinks;
- Medicine: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen;
- Food: acidic foods (tomatoes, grapefruit, and oranges), spicy foods, chocolate.
– Obesity and pregnancy may cause increased pressure in the abdomen and affect LES function. This lead to reflux, too.
– Smoking is another invitation for heartburn. Smoking relaxes lower esophageal sphincter (LES), causing it to relax from the stomach and allow acid to reflux into the esophagus. That goes without saying, but smoking+alcohol = double trouble.
Natural Remedies For Heartburn
The good news is that it’s easy to prevent heartburn. Often simple lifestyle change can help you get free from the fire.
If you do get a heartburn try some natural remedies first:
Herbs dandelion, ginger, boldo, thyme, and others can be your first weapon of choice. You can usually find them in a drugstore or specialized herb stores. They are available in capsules, powder or as a tea.
2. Baking Soda
A teaspoon of baking soda mixed with a glass of water might be all you need to get rid of that burning sensation in your chest. Baking soda simply neutralizes stomach acid and even if your LES gets lazy, there won’t be any acid to burn your throat.
3. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera can do more for you than just help with occasional sunburn. Aloe vera is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties and this is exactly what are you looking for if you are dealing with heartburn.
When your stomach gets irritated with acid, a glass of aloe vera juice might calm things down right away.
If you can’t find aloe vera juice in at a nearby store, then the easiest way is to simply break off aloe vera leaf and squeeze out the gel into a glass of water. Mix and drink it.
You can either add some mustard greens to your diet or eat a tablespoon of mustard when it burns. The high-quality mustard works best.
Mustard is an alkalizing food naturally and prepared mustard works even better. That’s because it’s processed with a vinegar which works wonders due to its alkaline compounds.
Simply eat no more than 3-5 almonds when you feel uncomfortable and you should be alright.
Be careful, though. Too many almonds may cause headaches and nausea.
6. Apple cider vinegar
This one might look like a counterintuitive remedy (actually it is counterintuitive to drink more acid when you already have a burning sensation and an acid taste in your mouth) but apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural ways to deal with heartburn.
It’s because acid reflux is caused not by having too much acid in your stomach but because of lack thereof. When stomach lacks acid it tells your LES to relax and then the acid goes into your esophagus. By drinking more acid you tell your LES to wake up and to start working again.
The best way is to mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with a glass of water and drink it.
Spirulina can be found both in tablets and powder form. To deal with the heartburn it’s best to take spirulina after meals, regularly. This is probably the most convenient remedy. You can bring spirulina tablets with you everywhere and take them if you need a relief.
Another great way to forget about heartburn is to add probiotics to your diet. Healthy bacteria found in probiotics can rebuild your own bacterial flora and improve digestion. Better digestion and bowel movements improve the way the LES works.
This is one of the few methods that can actually cure the problem and not only deal with the symptoms.
Another suprising remedy – bananas.
Bananas have natural antacids that can act as a firewall against acid reflux. Try to add bananas to your diet and see how they work. It is not necessary to eat bananas when you already experience heartburn. They should work as a protection for the day.
10. And finally… change your dietary habits.
Avoid large meals (if you can, try to eat less but more often) and fatty foods. Try not to eat heavy meals before sleep. If you are overweight try to lose weight and get some excercise.
If nothing else works, visit your doctor. Your problem might be serious and something more than natural remedy might be needed.