Natural Heartburn Remedies from India




This is a guest post from Hema

She took the trouble to write a really lengthy comment in reply to Sheila so rather than have all her hard work hidden in a comment I’ve turned her comment into a post and this is what she said.

I have treated acid reflux, GERD, and heartburn by homeopathy and acupressure. You can see if it works for you.

Homeopathy:Try a combination of Acid Sulphuricum 30 + Carbo Veg 30 + Nux Vomica 30 4 pills ever 2 hours for one day, then every 4 hours next day, and 4 times daily for 4 days.There are no side effects in homeopathy.

Here are some home remedies too:

  • Drinking milk or eating milk products are helpful in relieving symptoms of acidity.
  • Foods such as pickles, vinegar, fried foods, hot spicy foods, chocolate, pastries, and raw salad vegetables like onion, radish, cabbage, and peppers should be avoided.
  • Clove also helps to relieve the symptoms of acidity. Suck one piece of clove slowly to relieve the symptoms. It also helps to reduce the onset of disease that arises due to acidity.
  • A cup of vanilla ice cream or a glass of cold milk also helps to get relieve heartburn and acidity within minutes.
  • Almonds are also a good source for relieving the heartburn and acidity. Eat several almonds when heartburn symptoms persist.
  • Lemons also help to prevent heartburn. Cut a lemon into thin strips and dip in salt. Eat before meals to prevent heartburn.
  • Take some mint leaves and chop these and then boil in a cup of water and sip slowly after meals. If a person drinks Fresh mint juice every day he will never experience acidity.
  • Jaggery or gur taken after every meal also helps to reduce the acidity. Keep a piece of gur in the mouth and slowly suck it till acidity decreases.
  • Eating bananas is also helpful in preventing the symptoms of acidity and heartburn. To prevent acidity it is advised to eat a banana daily.
  • A mixture of 2 tsp of natural apple cider vinegar and 2 tsp raw honey in a glass of water before meals fights with acidity.
  • Basil (tulsi) leaves helps to get relief from burning, nausea and gas. Chew some leaves of tulsi to decrease the acidity.
  • Coconut water 4-5 times a day decreases the symptoms of the acidity and the heartburn.
  • Harad (Terminalia chebula) if taken after every meal prevents the symptoms of the acidity.
  • 1 tsp juice of chebulic myroblan mixed with 1 tsp of amla (Indian gooseberry) juice helps to prevent acidity and heartburn.
  • Boil one cup of water. To this add 1 tsp of Aniseed (Saunf). Cover and leave overnight. Strain the water in the morning, add 1 tsp of honey. When this is taken 3 times a day it prevents acidity.
  • To 1 boiled liters of water add 1 tsp Caraway seeds (shah jeera). Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Sip while warm. Take this liquid 2-3 times a day for 5-6 days. It will decrease the acidity.
  • Take a glass of water, add a pinch of baking soda and drink it. It gives immediate relief from acidity.
  • Take a glass of warm water, add a pinch of hing (asafoetida) and have it every morning to prevent acidity.
  • Eat a serving of cucumber or watermelon 4-5 times in a day to fight against acidity.
  • Fennel helps to relieve abdominal pain, colon disorders, gas, and gastrointestinal tract spasms. It is an effective remedy for acidic stomach conditions (heartburn).
  • Ginger is very useful for digestive disorders. It help to relieve indigestion from rich foods.
  • Make a fine powder by adding equal amounts of ginger powder, black pepper, dried mint leaves, asafetida (hing), anise seeds, coriander seeds, cumin, fennel and common salt. Dosage: Take about 1 teaspoon of this powder with water, twice a day after meals.
  • It is advised to eat 8-10 glass to water daily. Drinking water gives immediate relief to symptoms like wind, distended stomach and acidity.
  • Chewing bubble-gum also disappears the acidity. This is an easy and best way to get rid of Acidity.
  • For heartburn drink a teaspoon of vinegar. It is because there is not sufficient acid in our stomach to digest food properly, thus gasses come back up and burn our stomach.
  • Calcium also helps to fight with the heartburn and acidity. Yoghurt or ice-cream gives immediate relief from acidity and heartburn.
  • 1 tsp juice of chebulic myroblan mixed with 1 tsp of amla (Indian gooseberry) juice daily relieves acidity.
  • Powder one clove and one cardamom; use the powder as a mouth freshener after every meal. No more acidity and no more bad breath.
  • After eating maintain an upright posture to prevent the reflex and to prevent the symptoms of acidity.
  • Sleep with your head and shoulder on a high pillow for elevation.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Do not keep large gap between meals. This produces gas / wind.
  • Eat dinner 2-3 hours before going to bed.
  • Last but not the least stop smoking and cut down on alcohol.

Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oils for Heartburn Remedy



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) 
  • Basil 
  • Bergamot 
  • Black Pepper 
  • Carrot Seed 
  • Chamomile Roman 
  • Chamomile German 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Coriander Seed
  • Dill
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel 
  • Ginger 
  • Juniper 
  • Lavender 
  • Lemon 
  • Mandarin
  • Marjoram 
  • Peppermint 
  • Rose 
  • Rosemary 
  • Sage 
  • Spearmint

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.

By compress

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.

Heartburn and Yogurt: Does Yogurt Cure or Cause Heartburn?


Yes yogurt does cure heartburn but yes yogurt also causes heartburn!

When you first think about this question you would have probably expected this question to have a very definite answer either one way or the other.  Simple logic would apparently require this, as how could the same food possibly both seemingly cure and cause the same condition.

However if you consider the matter in a little more detail you start to see how this could be possible as not all yogurts are the same, they have different levels of fat content as well as different levels of acidity and different ingredients.  Unfortunately a yogurt doesn’t have to contain just yogurt and if you read the ingredients list of a diet yogurt you might start to wonder just how much yogurt it contains.

So why does yogurt cause heartburn or acid reflux

Compared to milk, yogurt is a much more acidic food and depending upon the variety chosen it can be quite high in fat.  Some luxury yogurts have added cream or are given a more intense flavor by the addition of milk powder or other ingredients.  It is the fat content which does the damage as fatty foods have to stay in our stomach for longer because they are more difficult to breakdown and digest.   This means our stomach has to produce more acid over a longer period.

If you believe that yogurt is aggravating your heartburn and acid reflux symptoms you can either try switching to a type of zero fat yogurt with no unexpected added ingredients which also contains  probiotics or you may need to stop eating yogurt altogether as there do appear to be a small percentage of unfortunate  people who cannot tolerate yogurt without it causing them heartburn or acid reflux.

So why does yogurt cure heartburn or acid reflux

If you choose one of the fat free yogurts on the market that are totally natural and contain probiotics it can have a very positive influence on the systems of heartburn or acid reflux.  The probiotics restore the equilibrium of the acidity levels in the stomach and the cooling effect of the natural yogurt on the inflamed esophagus gives almost instant relief.

How do I know whether yogurt will help my heartburn or cause it.

Unfortunately there is no test you can take and you can only find out the answer to this question by trial and error.


Heartburn Home Remedy: Baking Soda for Heartburn or Reflux




Baking soda is an effective home remedy for heartburn and acid reflux which has helped soothe the symptoms of many sufferers but it is very high in sodium so it is not suitable for everyone to use nor it is suitable for long term use.

Baking soda works to ease the symptoms of heartburn and reflux because it neutralizes the stomach acids in exactly the same way as an OTC antacid but it should not be used by anyone taking prescription medication or with high blood pressure without first checking with your doctor or pharmacist.

Baking soda produces a chemical reaction when it combines with the Hydrochloric acid in your stomach and it breaks down to produce common salt, carbon dioxide and water. Just like an OTC antacid taking too much will reduce the acidity of the stomach to the situation where it is unable to digest food properly and this can then cause the body to compensate and produce more acid.

The use of baking soda as a heartburn and acid reflux remedy is so established that Arm and Hammer one of the major producers of baking soda provides directions for its use for this purpose.  Their recommendations, unless directed otherwise by your medical practitioner, are as follows:

  • If you are following a sodium restricted diet consult your doctor before use
  • If you are taking a prescription drug consult your doctor or a pharmacist before use, as antacids may interact with certain prescription drugs
  • Do not give to a child under the age of 5
  • Add exactly 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda  to 1/2 glass (4 fl. oz.) of water and take every 2 hours
  • The baking soda must be completely dissolved in the water before drinking or this could cause serious injury
  • It is also important not to take this remedy when your stomach is overly full
  • If you experience severe stomach pain after taking this product you should consult your doctor
  • Do not exceed 7 x 1/2 teaspoons in any 24 hours unless over 60 when this should be restricted to 3 x 1/2 teaspoons
  • Do not use the maximum dose for more than two weeks
  • If the symptoms last more than two weeks stop using the baking soda to treat the heartburn and consult your doctor

 

Important information

Baking powder and baking soda are not the same.  Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate but baking powder is not. Baking powder does contain sodium bicarbonate, but it also includes cream of tartar which is an acidifying agent, together with a drying agent which is normally starch.

Taking baking powder for your heartburn symptoms would have no effect as the baking powder would neutralize itself.

 

If you are looking for natural methods to relieve heartburn you might also like to read these articles: 

Home Remedy for Reflux and Heartburn at Night: Bed Wedges




Most heartburn sufferers are likely to experience heartburn symptoms at night, but this is not really surprizing as lying down on your bed can often put considerable pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter(LES), as the contents of your stomach press against this valve. If you have a weakened or damaged LES this pressure then causes the LES to fail, allowing the acidic stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus and cause the burning sensation that is stopping you sleeping at night.

One of the simplest home remedies to help prevent reflux or heartburn at night is gravity. By ensuring that your head is higher than your stomach you can prevent the pressure on your LES and keep your evening meal firmly where it belongs, which is of course in your stomach.

You can keep your head elevated either by sleeping in a chair, which many chronic sufferers of heartburn have done in the past not really knowing why this helped prevent their pain and discomfort, or your can make some alterations to your bed that will allow you to sleep in your bed with your head raised above your stomach.   There are a couple of ways to adapt your bed, you can just place bricks or sturdy blocks of wood under the legs at the head of the bed or in my view a much more practical option is to use a bed wedge instead.

A bed wedge can be used in two ways. It can either be used on top of your mattress or if it is firm enough can be placed under the mattress instead.

Foam bed wedges come in many sizes and prices and at the lower end of the market the foam bed wedges made by Mabis Healthcare and Duro-Med Industries (DMI) are very popular with a high number of positive reviews on Amazon.com.  Their wedges are available in different heights, 7 inches, 10 inches  and 12 inches and you can buy the wedges in two colors; the 7″ x 24″ x 24″ comes in white at $28:67 and in blue at $22.61; the 12″ x  24″ x 24″ comes in white at $37:12 and in blue at $40:13.  These prices are all considerably less than some of the specialist heartburn pillows that are on the market.  If you are travelling a lot you might find an inflatable bed wedge very helpful.

You can also buy plastic wedges which are designed to be placed under your mattress.  The Wellness Wedge  costs $54.87 and contains two stackable 3″ wedges.

Although I’ve written about bed wedges because they can elevate your head and assist in relieving heartburn you can also use these wedges to

  • elevate your feet and legs
  • help prevent snoring
  • help ease breathing difficulties
  • read or watch TV in bed