If you are looking for a natural way to relieve your heartburn or acid reflux you might want to consider using the alternative therapy of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is a treatment based on the use of concentrated essential oils that are extracted from various herbs, plants and spices. These oils have different therapeutic properties and our bodies obtain the beneficial effects of the essential oils through inhalation and by absorption through the skin.
Just because aromatherapy uses natural products it does not mean that aromatherapy is totally safe, essential oils can produce allergic reactions or interfere with prescription medication and if taken orally they could damage your internal organs. Some oils should not be used if pregnant or nursing children and others should not be taken in suffering with certain medical conditions. Because of this you should always consult your doctor or medical professional before beginning any treatment.
Essential Oils for Treating Heartburn
There are quite a few essential oils that are considered to be beneficial in the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux.
Anise (aka Aniseed or Sweet Cumin)
How to Use Essential Oils for Heartburn Remedy
Make a massage oil
You do this by diluting the essential oils in a neutral carrier oil such as almond oil and then rub the oil into your stomach area, chest and throat. By this method the oil will be absorb through the skin and by inhalation. If it would not be practical to rub the oil over your body you could just rub the oil into your hands and breathe in the aroma.
Before using any oil on your skin for the first time you should carry out a skin patch test on a small area of skin to check for any adverse reaction.
Use a diffuser
There are several different types of diffusers which diffuse the essential oil into the air for your to breathe in. There are those which use a nightlight (a small type of candle) to evaporate the water containing the essential oils in a small bowl above the nightlight. Probably the cheapest method is to use a ceramic ring which is placed on an electric light bulb. You place a few drops of the essential oil in the ring and the oil is evaporated by the heat from the light bulb.
There are also plug in diffusers where you place a few drops of essential oil on a disposable pad and plug it in. You can spend a lot of money on an electric freestanding diffuser many of which come with added features such as calming lighting effects or ionizers.
By direct inhalation
You sprinkle a couple of drops of oil onto a handkerchief and inhale or you could make your own aromatherapy inhaler by putting a teaspoon of salt into a tiny dark glass or PET plastic bottle and adding a few drops of the essential oil to the salt. All you then have to do is take the top of the bottle and breathe in the vapor.
Using a foot bath or hand bath
You fill a large bowl with warm water and add a couple of drops of your oil and put your hands or feet in the water. The warm water causes the blood vessels to dilate and the oil is absorbed via the skin. You may also be able to inhale the oil.
A small towel can be soaked in a bowl of warm water to which a few drops of oil have been added. You squeeze the excess water out of the towel and place it on the stomach until it cools and you can repeat if needed.
There are so many different Ayurvedic Heartburn and Acidity Remedies that I’ve found during my research and some are quite simple and straight forward so they don’t contain enough information to take up a post by themselves so I’ve put ten of them together in this post.
Caraway Seeds – Chewing a few Caraway seeds can help provide relief from excess acid.
Aniseed – This is another herb which helps aid digestion. It can be taken by adding one teaspoon to a glass of boiling water which is drunk first thing in the morning to prevent acidity.
Coconut Milk – You drink coconut milk four or five times throughout the day to combat acidity.
Mint – Sipping mint juice slowly after every meal can prevent heartburn.
Eating Cooling Foods – Foods such as cucumber, banana or watermelon should be eaten every hour to relieve the burning feeling in the windpipe or esophagus.
Castor Oil – You mix some odorless castor oil with lukewarm milk and drink it.
Milk – Drink skimmed milk to obtain relief – the fat content in other milks could cause heartburn so although they would still provide a soothing relief from the burning pain in the longer term they could lead to the heartburn continuing.
Clove – Chew a clove in your mouth after each meals.
Chicory – You take this as a tea to gain relief from acidity and heartburn. Boil around one and a half cups of chicory root in water for about five to ten minutes and allow to cool to room temperature before drinking.
Lemon – Mix the juice of one lemon with a cup of water and add equal quantities of salt and sugar. This should be drunk about an hour before eating and will also help relieve constipation which can also cause heartburn and acidity.
I’ve still got several more Ayurvedic treatments for heartburn to post about and I was thinking about combining these into one post. One of the treatments I was going to include in this combined post was the use of Tulsi or Holy Basil to treat acidity and heartburn but as I started to go into s little more depth in my research I soon realized that this very special herb deserved a post all to itself.
For around three thousand years Tulsi has been considered to be one of the most powerful herbs in India and it is written about in the Ancient Indian Scriptures.
…wherever Tulsi grows there is no misery. She is the holiest of the holy. Wherever the breeze blows her fragrance there is purity. Vishnu showers blessing on those who worship and grow Tulsi. Tulsi is sacred because Brahma resides in the roots, Vishnu resides in the stems and leaves and Rudra resides in the flowering tops.”
Tulsi is sacred to Vishnu, a Hindu God and it is the most worshipped plant in India being used in morning prayers and most family have their own well tended and nurtured plant as it is believed to provide divine protection. Beads made from the stem of the plant give clarity and protection during meditation.
Tulsi has traditionally been used to help a wide range of digestive disorders including ulcers and heartburn and some animal studies are suggesting that there may in fact be a scientifically proven basis for these treatments. Tulsi reduces the irritation of the stomach lining by neutralizing the effect of peptic acid and it increases the amounts of protective stomach mucous produced.
So How Can You Use Tulsi to Help Your Heartburn
The simplest treatment is take a few leaves, chew them well and then swallow.
You can also make preparation which you take every morning and every evening. You use one part Tulsi to two parts raw Ginger and two parts Jaggery and make this mixture into small pellets which you chew.
You could drink a couple of cups of Tulsi Tea
Although Tulsi is also commonly known as Holy Basil it isn’t the same as the Basil which we use as a culinary herb but the good news is that the two plants are very closely related and ordinary Basil does appear to be effective in treating heartburn too.
Tulsi did not get to be such a revered and worshipped plant because it helps heartburn disappear. It is considered to promote health and long life and has antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral properties. It can protect against radiation, lower blood sugar, help treat asthma and allergies
If you would like to try using Tulsi but are unable to find any where you live you could consider growing your own and seeds are easily found online.
You use jaggery to treat heartburn and acidity by sucking a small lump in the mouth until it dissolves and then repeat this treatment every hour until the acidity has passed. I think that this must be one of the most enjoyable Ayurvedic treatments for heartburn and acidity that I’ve found since jaggery is an unrefined sugar, although it does look a little different to the sugar that I’m used to! It also goes by other names and is often known as gud or gur.
Ayurvedic texts provide details of the nutritional properties and health benefits of jaggery and the jaggery used in Ayurvedic medicine is made from palms rather than sugar cane. Jaggery is absorbed more slowly than and is more wholesome and nutritious than refined sugar and it is traditionally made by boiling raw palm sap in a large shallow round bottom pan.
Jaggery contains 28 grams of mineral salts per kilo and is rich in iron and other vitamins and minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Selenium, Manganese and Zinc; by comparison refined white sugar has around 0.3 grams.
The reason jaggery is good for heartburn is due to the high potassium and low sodium that it contains so it helps maintain balance. It is also considered to be a purifier which can clear and cleanse your stomach and is also good for treating bile disorders.
Jaggery is also consider good for your lungs and is considered helpful for asthmatics. It is also used by workers who work in dusty or smoky conditions to clear their windpipes. It is also a treatment for headaches and migraines and the high iron content mean it can be used for the treatment on anemia.
Jaggery can be purchased online from a number of different sources if you would like to try using it as a home remedy. You can of course also use in cooking.
You can find natural heartburn remedies in almost every avenue of complementary and alternative medicine or therapy. Ayurvedic medicine is no exception and Amla or as it is also known the Indian Gooseberry has been one of its most widely used and revered herbs for more than 3,000 years. This probably explains the origin of the old Indian saying “As gold is to the minerals, Amla is to the herbs.”
Ayurvedic Practictioners often recommend Amla for digestive problems and there is some scientific research published in “Phytomedicine” in September 2002 which demonstrates that Amla reduces acid production in the stomach and prevents the development of gastric lesions. As well as being beneficial for the treatment of heartburn, because Amla is high in fiber it is also often prescribed as a remedy for constipation.
Amla is often used as a daily tonic as provides high levels of vitamins and minerals. Historic texts advise that the herb was used as it “promotes longevity and induces nourishment”. When you know that Ayurveda translated from Sanskrit means “the complete knowledge for a long life”
High levels of Vitamin C
Phenols such as quercetin, ellagic and gallic acids
Vitamins B , Niacin, Thiamin and Riboflavin
It has both antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory properties and it could probably be called a “super food” without any difficulty.
Amla is a greenish- yellow fruit which grows on a deciduous shrub that can be found in both the Middle East and India. It is prepared for Ayurvedic treatment by first drying the fruit. The dry fruit is then ground and wet with fresh amla juice before drying again. This sequence is then repeated a number of times to provide a very concentrated powder.
As well as medicinal use Amla is also very widely used in hair and beauty treatments. For example, Dabur Amla Hair Oil is used by over 35 million customers in India. It is credited with treating dandruff, preventing hair loss and premature graying.