You know the tell-tale symptoms of heartburn: Burning in your chest and throat, a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away. It’s terrible. Even if you’re having trouble affording those expensive over-the-counter remedies, you can still get relief from chronic heartburn with these easy, natural remedies.
What Causes Heartburn?
Heartburn happens when the lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t close off properly, leaving corrosive stomach acid to back up into the throat and mouth. Weak lower esophageal muscles can be caused by frequently eating acidic foods, smoking, frequent alcohol consumption, certain medical conditions such as hiatal hernia, asthma or diabetes or prolonged use of NSAID pain relievers.
Natural Remedies for Heartburn
No matter what the cause of your frequent heartburn, there are natural remedies you can try that can ease the burn and help you get some rest at night.
Digestive aids have been reported to ease the digestive process and restore the acid/alkaline balance in the body. Digestive enzymes containing pineapple or papaya extract are said to help the body more easily digest proteins, which can control the over-production of acid.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an easy, natural remedy for heartburn that’s been used for hundreds of years. The theory behind apple cider vinegar is taking one tablespoon before mealtime encourages the lower esophageal sphincter to close and prevents acid backup from happening during and after meals. ACV also acts as a natural digestive aid and works to prevent acid over-production in those with weak digestive systems.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live naturally in our gut. They are also found in yogurt, kefir and fermented foods. They naturally help the digestive system heal from the corrosive effects of heartburn and can lessen the severity of attacks. Eating yogurt isn’t enough for somebody with severe heartburn. The best way to get the benefit from probiotics is to get them in supplement form.
Activated charcoal doesn’t get rid of the cause of heartburn but it will help soak up excess stomach acid when it gets too much. During an attack, a couple of activated charcoal tablets can ease the discomfort. Those taking prescription medication need to wait four hours before taking activated charcoal as this natural remedy for heartburn can decrease the effectiveness of medication.
This is another natural remedy for heartburn that doesn’t get rid of the underlying cause, but may help relieve symptoms during an attack. Scoop two teaspoons of baking soda into 4-6 ounces of room-temperature water and drink. This will absorb the stomach acid and ease the burn.
Chronic heartburn can lead to insomnia, throat ulcers and malnutrition. It’s important to get it under control no matter what method you use. If these natural remedies for heartburn don’t work for you, seek a doctor’s help right away.