Heartburn is a condition of burning sensation in the upper part of the chest or in the stomach. Occasionally it hits all of us as an after effect of attending a wedding where we gorge on two to three continuous heavy meals. If it persists for days together, it calls for our serious attention. Home remedies with changes in diet and lifestyle adjustments for a week or more help us get out of this uncomfortable situation. This article gives you an insight into the causes, symptoms, remedies, diet and lifestyle alterations to get rid of heartburn.
Cold and fat-free milk works as a fantastic home remedy for heartburn. Keep some milk handy in the fridge all the time. When the symptoms of heartburn arise, drink some milk. You can take it in sips, it can be discontinued when you start feeling better.
It gives an instant relief, the cold milk is a great soother of the stomach since it is alkaline in nature. If you feel that the milk is heavy on the stomach, you can dilute it as much as you want, still it will work.
Baking soda is there on almost every kitchen shelf . Its chemical name is sodium bicarbonate, it is alkaline in nature so it neutralizes the excessive acidic activity in the stomach. Take half a tsp of this powder, mix it well in a glass of water and drink soon after an episode of heartburn. You can also take it five to six times a day without waiting for the next episode to start. Children below the age of six should not be given baking soda.
Cinnamon And Ginger
Both cinnamon and ginger are considered very good home remedies for alleviating the symptoms of heart burn. The volatile oils of cinnamon have antibacterial properties. Ginger contains gingerols and shagaols which improve the production of important gastric juices like bile, saliva and other gastric secretions. Ginger also helps contract the stomach for the food to move further in the digestive tract.
The recommended method of taking ginger and cinnamon is to eat 5 to 6 peeled thin slices of ginger, dipped in lemon juice and sprinkled with cinnamon powder and salt. Excessive amount of ginger may increase the heartburn, so eat only a few slices.
Dried calendula flowers can be used to make tea for heartburn relief. Steep 2 tsp of dry calendula flowers in 250 ml of hot water. Cover it and let it be there for 15 minutes. Mix some sugar if desired and take it after your meal. It should be taken after every major meal, say twice a day should be good enough.
Sometimes the effect of heartburn can travel upwards to the throat especially in GERD. Honey is useful to look after the throat related aspects of GERD. When the acid starts rising upwards honey can soothe the throat and bring about relief. Honey should be added to Chamomile tea and taken to alleviate the symptoms of heartburn.
Diet For Heartburn
Any light diet with fiber is good for controlling and managing heartburn. Among the fruits the best ones are the apples, bananas, peaches and pears. It is best to eat boiled vegetables with very little oil and spices. You can even eat salads, they help in controlling heartburn, among them carrots are the best. Beans, lentils, peas, and nuts all are good to alleviate the symptoms of heartburn.
The foods that have fiber and are easy to digest do not put strain on the stomach. The stomach does not have to produce much acid, when the quantity of acid is less in the system, the chances of it rising up also decrease.
Foods To Avoid For Heartburn
The citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, lemons and limes should be eaten only as much as you feel can suit you. Tomatoes also may cause heartburn. Sour chutneys, sauces, spicy snacks and fast foods are laden with sour taste. These add to the acid levels of the stomach, so they are best avoided. Deep fried and even shallow fried items need to be stayed away from. Rich meals contain a lot of cream and butter should not be eaten at all.
Chilly, capsicum and black pepper are not meant to be consumed till the symptoms subside. Stop eating them completely if you feel that your heartburn has been too much.
Lifestyle For Heartburn
Sit After Meals
Sit upright for at least an hour after each meal. That will stop the acid to rise up in your food pipe. If your heartburn wakes you up from sleep try sleeping in a reclining position. Your head should be at least 7 to 8 inches higher than your stomach.
Meals should be eaten much before you have to sleep. When you eat food the stomach becomes active and starts producing acid to digest food. This acid becomes troublesome as long as the food does not get digested. If the food gets digested before you sleep, you will be able to sleep peacefully.