Heartburn. Once you have experienced it you know exactly how it feels and how much you want quick relief from it. The first thing most heartburn sufferers think to reach for is the bicarbonate of soda and a water glass. While that homemade concoction often spells relief, there are other natural remedies for taking the burn out of heartburn.
Fight Acid With Acid
It seems illogical that apple cider vinegar is an effective homemade heartburn remedy. If your heartburn is due to overeating, it makes sense.
Many times, heartburn is not caused by too much stomach acid but by too little. What stomach acid is produced is forced to the top by the contents of an over-full stomach. Acid seeps through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus. This produces heartburn’s burning feeling.
Apple cider vinegar is a highly successful homemade remedy for heartburn. It assists your stomach’s hydrochloric acid in breaking down food for digestion. Many sites, including earthclinic.com, suggest sipping an apple cider vinegar and water tonic before or during meals. Earth Clinic recommends two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar for each sixteen ounce glass of water. A teaspoon of honey may make the drink more appealing.
Base Versus Acid
Another homemade heartburn remedy which was already mentioned is the baking soda and water solution. This mixture works very well if production of too much stomach acid is the reason for your heartburn.
Sometimes when I have heartburn from too much caffeine or too many fatty or fried foods, I dissolve a half-teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in eight ounces of water and drink it.
Baking soda has a pH level of 8.0 which makes it a fairly strong base. When diluted in water this neutralizes some of the hydrochloric acid. Soda and water operates in the same manner as the milder forms of antacid you can purchase without a prescription.
I use chewable antacid tablets once in a while when I feel the burn of heartburn. According to the label on the antacid bottle, each tablet contains 1000 milligrams of calcium carbonate, a base.
Chew and Swallow
Human saliva tends toward basic pH levels (6.3-6.6) so anything which stimulates the salivary glands can produce enough saliva to reduce a heartburn flare-up. Chewing gum as well as sugar-free hard candies are recommended for this reason.
Water can be sipped throughout a meal and serves the function of creating a full feeling sooner besides diluting stomach acids.
Seek Out the Fiber
Some sources suggest eating a handful of unsalted almonds when the pain of heartburn has you looking for a remedy. Having a green dinner salad as part of the meal will accomplish the same purpose. The greens in the salad are alkaline which will aid in reducing some of the stomach acid.
Although this may sound strange, chewing one teaspoon of dry unprepared oatmeal and swallowing it may help to cure heartburn. Eating one slice of plain, whole-grain high-fiber bread is an alternative.
Spice It Up
Spices which have been used to combat heartburn with different degrees of success include cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, ginger, mace, and cardamom.
Other Odds and Ends
Among the other suggested things you can take as a homemade remedy for heartburn are chamomile tea, figs, cabbage, carrots, and bananas. Papaya has the enzyme papain which assists in digestion and can be taken fresh or in juice or chewable tablet form.
Do not drink milk to reduce heartburn. Once a recommended course of action, milk is now thought to give only temporary relief. Milk stimulates the production of more stomach acid to digest it and can trigger another bout of heartburn.
Prevention, the Ultimate Goal
I immediately know when I have had too many cups of coffee or eaten too many fried, fatty, or spicy foods. Sometimes tomato products, citrus juice, or lemonade triggers an episode of heartburn. Stress is not a direct cause of heartburn but creates the situation in which a person may not eat or rest properly. Obesity and poor eating habits like eating too quickly, too much, or too close to bedtime are triggers for heartburn in some people.
Know your personal triggers for heartburn by keeping a heartburn journal. Write down all of the pertinent data relating to an episode and observe your journal entries for a pattern. In time, you will know which foods or drinks should be avoided. Also keep a record of the homemade heartburn remedies you have tried and which ones have worked for you.
If heartburn is becoming a daily crippling presence in your life, you should seek medical attention. Heartburn can indicate a more serious condition like a hiatal hernia or stomach ulcer.
“Apple Cider Vinegar cures – the best NATURAL home remedy for many health issues..” Earth Clinic- Folk Remedies and Holistic Cures. 1 Oct. 2008. .
Bicknell, Andrew. “Home Remedies for Acid Reflux Disease ? From Gum to Apple Cider Vinegar.” Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. 27 Oct. 2007. .
“Home Remedies for Heartburn.” Homemade Medicine. .
“Homemade Remedies For Heartburn.” Remedies For Heartburn..
” Homemade Remedies for Heartburn.” Homemade Remedies – do it yourself – for your health!. 4 Mar. 2009. .
Lenz, Heinz-Josef. “Remedies for Heartburn | C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition.” C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition. 2 Feb. 2009. .
“Treatments for GERD and Heartburn.” Digestive Health Community. 24 Aug. 2008. .