Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation and pain in the stomach and chest (behind the breastbone). The burning sensation is caused by acidic stomach juices rising into the esophagus when the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not close properly. This is why heartburn often occurs after eating fatty, fried, or acidic foods.
Other common symptoms of this problem are gas, nausea, bloating, difficulty breathing and a sour taste in the throat and mouth. A variety of natural treatments can provide relief.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for heartburn.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, provides quick and easy relief from heartburn.
- Just mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it.
- You can also mix a few drops of lemon juice in this solution.
Being a natural antacid, baking soda works within minutes, giving you instant relief from heartburn pain.
2. Fennel Seeds
Chewing fennel seeds several times a day will freshen your breath while also controlling the production of stomach acid. You can also drink tea made from fennel seeds. To make this herbal tea:
- Add two teaspoons of fennel seeds to a cup of boiling water.
- Allow it to sit for 10 minutes
- Then strain it into a cup and drink it slowly.
Mint is effective in treating heartburn due to its soothing properties.
- Take a cup of water and add one tablespoon of crushed mint leaves to it.
- Leave it for about 30 minutes.
- Finally, drink this water 2 to 3 times a day.
You can also chew fresh mint leaves from time to time to treat heartburn.
Fresh ginger provides relief from heartburn in two ways – it absorbs acid in the stomach and helps calm the nerves that contribute to heartburn. You can use ginger as a spice in cooking, eat raw ginger pieces or drink ginger tea. To make ginger tea:
- Add one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to one cup of boiling water.
- Let it steep for a few minutes.
- Drink this herbal tea several times a day.
This natural herb can be consumed in its raw form also to prevent heartburn from recurring.
If you suffer from acid reflux that causes heartburn, vinegar can help close the esophagus, preventing acid from rising. Of all the different types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar usually works best.
- Simply add one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
- Drink it before each meal.
6. Aloe Vera Juice
The juice extracted from the aloe vera plant is a popular home remedy for heartburn. Aloe vera juice controls heartburn by reducing inflammation and healing the intestinal tract. For best results, drink half a cup of the juice before eating a meal. Be careful not to drink too much of it in one day as it can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Drinking a large glass of chilled milk can be a simple solution for early or mild heartburn symptoms. Milk relaxes the valve between the stomach and esophagus. If you don’t have milk, you can try other types of dairy products. This home remedy is best for people who experience heartburn on rare occasions.
8. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm has been used medicinally for centuries to treat different types of diseases including heartburn. It will thicken the mucous lining in your stomach, reducing acid production. Add one teaspoon of slippery elm powder to a cup of hot water and drink it throughout the day until your heartburn goes away.
9. Cabbage Juice
Cabbage juice has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate various kinds of digestive problems including heartburn.
- To make the juice, grind fresh cabbage in a blender or juicer and add a pinch of salt and pepper for flavor.
- Drink it in the morning on empty stomach to prevent heartburn.
You can also try juices made from vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, radishes or beets to reduce the production of stomach acid that is a primary cause of heartburn.
Almond lovers will be happy to hear that this tasty nut is also effective in treating heartburn. Immediately after a meal or snack, eat three to four almonds. You can choose raw, roasted or salted almonds to suit your taste buds. Chew them until they are reduced to a flour-like substance. This will release the oil and juice from the almonds, which calms production of acid in your stomach.
Individuals will respond differently to these remedies. Be willing to experiment until you find the best solution for you. If you have persistent or severe heartburn, consult a doctor immediately to be sure it is not a sign of a more serious condition.
Diet for Heartburn
Your diet is the single most important influencing factor in the development of acid reflux and heartburn and also in its outcome. Dietary changes are absolutely essential, whether or not the condition has developed as a result of a faulty diet or due to some other health condition.
- Your first step should be to eliminate or drastically reduce your intake of foods that increase or contribute to acidity. Acidic foods such as citrus fruit and tomatoes and foods such as garlic, leeks, onions, mustard, vinegar, pepper, and cabbage should be avoided.
- On the other hand, increase foods such as bananas, papayas, apples, and watermelon that help reduce acidity by naturally neutralizing acids in the stomach. Fruits such as peaches, grapes, and berries should be eaten in moderation as too much can cause heartburn as well.
- Spicy and oily foods should be cut out of your diet as they can trigger acid reflux almost immediately. Dairy products such as sour cream, cottage cheese and even milk can increase the production of stomach acids so they should be consumed in small quantities only.
- Foods that are high in fat and sugars can cause hyperacidity. Snacks and junk food like donuts, fries, cakes, muffins, and chocolates can irritate the esophagus and put lead to obesity (another cause of heartburn).
- Whole grain breads and cereals can put too much pressure on the digestive system and should be avoided. If you are allergic to gluten and wheat products, these items may cause further complications.