A heartburn is characterized by a burning feeling in the chest, caused mostly after a particularly heavy and spicy meal. Heartburn is caused when the juices secreted by the stomach for digestion is thrown back up along with the food into the esophagus and this causes the walls of the esophagus to burn under the acidity of the digestive juices.
Though not a threatening condition, heartburn can be very very distressing and prolonged exposure of the walls of the esophagus to these digestive juices will permanently damage the tissues. There are several ways by which heartburn can be controlled effectively and the damage prevented and the tissues restored as well. Here are some herbs that can be used for the purpose.
Herbal Remedy For Heartburn
The best cooling herb that comes to your aid when your digestive system is literally burning, aloe Vera is an excellent herb that can calm the distress if you have it handy at the right time. The herb can be planted in your garden as a quick remedy if you suffer from heartburn on a regular basis.
Remember to get the right variety of aloe with medicinal properties from among the hundreds of varieties available. Squeeze the juice from the plant and consume 1/4th cup after every meal. Aloe has skin regenerating and healing properties as well and helps in healing the damaged walls of the esophagus as well. Organic aloe juice is available in herbal shops for readymade consumption as well.
Fennel seeds are great for treating digestive disorders. Indigestion can lead to infections of the stomach and flatulence, which too are causes of heartburn. Fennel tea or tincture can be taken after every meal to calm the stomach and help in proper digestion of food. Fennel oil too is excellent for this purpose. The oil can be prepared by grinding the fennel seeds and adding this to safflower, almond or olive oil.
Transfer the ingredients into a glass container and place it under the sun for about five weeks. Make sure that you shake the container every day during this time. Strain and transfer into a dark bottle and store in a cool dark place. A teaspoon can be taken every day after meals. For making the tea, a tablespoon of fennel seeds can be added to one cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes and drink it cooled.
Licorice root is an anti inflammatory and antibacterial agent and has been in used for healing gastrointestinal problems for long. The herb, however, must be administered carefully due to the possible side effects and drug interactions that it may cause, especially when you have high blood pressure. Licorice also treats fungal infections of the stomach.
A tea can be prepared from the herb by adding it to boiling water and steeping for ten to fifteen minutes. Consulting a holistic practitioner is recommended before taking this herbal medicine. Readymade capsules of licorice too are available at a herbalist’s shop.
Sea weeds are known to be rich in minerals and hence great medicinal remedies for treating several ailments of the body. Their high mineral content can help in correcting imbalances in the body and also treating digestive disorders.
Sea weeds like kelp and hijiki which are known to be rich in pro digestive enzymes help in easy and effective digestion of food and this will prevent the occurrence of heartburn in people who are susceptible to the problem.
Any problem related to the digestive tract will have ginger as a constant fixture as a herbal remedy. The herb is a diaphoretic and also has several anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties along with its immune boosting, mineral rich, anti oxidant and analgesic qualities.
Ginger helps in better digestion of food and also clears gas form the stomach, thereby making space for the food and the digestive enzymes to work effectively and prevent the juices from getting thrown into the esophageal region unnecessarily.
A cooling a refreshing herb, peppermint may not be suitable for people with acid reflux diseases like GERD which too can cause heartburn. Otherwise, chewing a few leaves of peppermint is recommended after every meal to sooth the stomach and ease spasms associated with heartburn. Preparing a tea with peppermint and taking it warm or cool too is a recommended herbal remedy for easing heartburn.
Barberry Root Bark
Barberry root is a liver strengthening herb and acts as a detoxifying agent and mild laxative that can help when you have heartburn. The herb is a bitter remedy, though it can be very effective when you take the stem and the bark of the barberry root as a tea. A herbalist must be consulted for the right dosages for treating heartburn with barberry root bark.
The Chinese herb is used extensively as a blood cleanser and astringent. Gentian tea can be prepared by adding a teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiling water. Boil in a low flame for one hour and cool before drinking it after a meal.
French gentian is also known to be a good remedy for heartburn. It acts as a liver tonic, increases the production of bile that is necessary for proper digestion of fat and also strengthens the digestive system, thereby aiding in good digestion and preventing heartburn.
Parsley is an nutrient rich herb that is readily available in the market and hence an inexpensive and easy herbal remedy that can be use for treating heartburn. Parsley leaves can be used for brewing a tea by boiling the leaves with one cup of water in a low flame for fifteen minutes. Cool the tea before drinking it after every meal as cooling will help in easing the burning sensation as well while their medicinal action on the digestive tract and suppress the symptoms of heartburn.
Lemon balms being a calming and muscle relaxing herb is good for helping the stomach muscles to regain stability and prevent the digestive juices from moving into the esophagus. Chew on a few leaves of lemon balm after every meal to prevent heartburn.