If you have experienced the occasional bout of heartburn before, you know how uncomfortable the painful burning sensation can be. It is actually one of the most common problems people face. The pain may be caused by the backflow of your stomach contents into your esophagus (the tube through which food is transported to your stomach), known as acid reflux, or it may be caused by a more severe or chronic form of reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Upon eating, food naturally passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus. These muscle fibers make the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). If the LES is not closing well, it allows for food, liquid and hydrochloric acid to leak back into the esophagus. The inner esophageal tissue is not designed to handle the strong acidity which inflames the region. This causes the characteristic heartburn sensation. Chronically damaging the esophageal tissue often results in esophageal cancer and other more serious conditions. Luckily, an anti-inflammatory lifestyle has been shown to beat acid reflux naturally. Here we put together this list of some natural remedies for acid reflux:
Organic apple cider vinegar: Organic apple cider vinegar boosts the immune system, aids digestion and decreases the number of bad gut bacteria that cause acid reflux. It is an alkalizing food, which balances the body's pH level. Slightly alkaline is the ideal state you want your body to be in to be able to fight off microbes and cancerous cells. As for methodology, make sure to buy organic, raw, unfiltered vinegar that comes in a glass bottle. Down a teaspoon or two each morning, and chase it with water. Try holding it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. This stimulates the saliva production and initiates the stomach in producing digestive acid.
Fennel seeds: Vitamin and mineral rich fennel has been used as a digestive aid all over the world for centuries. Seep some crushed fennel seeds in boiling water to make a tea and sip it after a meal.
Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory that not only works on sunburns but also, when ingested, soothes an inflamed esophagus and stomach lining. Just mix two to three ounces with eight ounces of coconut water or fruit juice, and have that 15 to 20 minutes before eating.
Apples, bananas, and papaya: Citrus fruits are a definite ‘no’ for acid reflux, but the digestion-promoting pectin and pH-balancing tartaric and malic acid in apples are a definite ‘yes’. The papain in papaya is great for acid reflux, as well. So are bananas, which coat the lining of the stomach to soothe it and have a natural antacid effect.
Ginger: Ginger is well-known for its ability to treat nausea, but it is also a digestive miracle worker. Ginger is one of the oldest Chinese remedies for digestive issues and is a main ingredient for digestive herbal formulas. Try winding down with some ginger tea whenever your acid reflux strikes.Peppermint: Something that soothes acid reflux every time is peppermint, which is one of the most prescribed herbs for digestion. It helps with nausea, upset stomach, and all digestive disorders. Plus, it cools down that burning throat.
Sleeping upright: Late-night snacking is definitely a primary cause of acid reflux, as sleeping is. So, experts suggest to sleep as upright as possible and on your left side. This position does not allow stomach acid to empty back into the esophagus. Also, avoid eating two to three hours before bed.
Eating smaller meals: It is harder for your digestive system to break down larger meals, if you fill up too much. So it is likelier that your stomach acid will bubble back up the esophagus. Chew slowly and more frequently before swallowing; digestion begins in the mouth. The more you help your body from the beginning, the easier it will be for your health.