Acid reflux is a pain. Literally, it really is. Thankfully, there are plenty of homeopathic remedies we can use to alleviate the symptoms and sometimes even cure the problem.
The remedies I prefer for resolving my heartburn woes are the following: calcium citrate, digestive enzymes, DGL, and apple cider vinegar.
Calcium citrate is relatively new in the acid reflux world. People often ask: why would I take the ACIDIC calcium citrate to resolve my acid reflux issues? Well the answer is, it’s method of action is actually on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES valve) and not your stomach acid pumps themselves. The reason you feel heartburn is not necessarily because of too much stomach acid, it’s usually because your LES valve is not working correctly and isn’t preventing your stomach acid from reaching your esophagus or throat. The thought behind calcium citrate is that the increased calcium flow in your blood works with your smooth muscles to help them function correctly.
Digestive enzymes are a natural substance that you can take to aid in faster digestion. Your body already produces these enzymes, but sometimes the conditions in your stomach (especially if you’re on PPIs) is not conducive to these enzymes functioning like they should and you aren’t digesting as fast as you should be. Ensuring proper digestion will help empty the contents of your stomach sooner, which means there’s less of a chance for a reflux to occur.
DGL is a form of licorice root extract that does an amazing job at promoting tissue healing and forming a protective layer in your digestive tract. It doesn’t necessarily act on acid or the LES valve itself but it will certainly make you feel better if you are having a rough reflux kind of night.
Apple cider vinegar is, along with digestive enzymes, another method of ensuring proper and fast digestion. Sometimes, the cause of your reflux isn’t because of too MUCH acid, sometimes it’s because you have too LITTLE stomach acid. The logic is: your LES valve will remain shut in highly acidic conditions, but in low acidic conditions it will open up. So by increasing the acidity in your stomach you effectively communicate to the LES valve that the doorway to the stomach needs to be closed. Generally, you’ll want to drink about 8 oz of water with a tablespoon of vinegar, adding a bit of honey to taste. Of all the homeopathic remedies for acid reflux, I’d have to say that ACV is probably the most popular.
Sometimes I dread meal time (even though I love food!) because I know that about an hour later after eating I’m going to be hit with all kinds of symptoms that are disconcerting: bloating, heartburn, possibly even a sore throat if the acid manages to reflux all the way up to your mouth (which can happen). But I no longer fear meal time because these homeopathic remedies have really helped resolve my reflux issues. Since starting the regimen above, I can comfortably say that I have my reflux under control.
Obviously certain dietary and lifestyle changes are needed in order to strengthen your lower esophageal sphincter (LES valve). It’s the usual doctor spiel: avoid tomatoes, onions, chocolate, peppermint. Don’t drink alcohol, and quit smoking. Yes, this stuff does indeed help, but it never really fully stops your acid reflux from occurring. Often times we are prescribed medications like Nexium or Protonix, which are proton pump inhibitors that focus on blocking your stomach from producing stomach acid. But I can’t help but feel like we’re disregarding some home remedies that work almost as well (if not better) than any PPI.
The problem here is that too much stomach acid more often than not isn’t the problem. The problem is a weak LES valve. Address that problem, and your issues will be resolved.