Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or more commonly known as Acid Reflux, refers to a condition where the food that has gone into the stomach rises back from the stomach on to the oesophagus, the pipe that connects the buccal cavity and the stomach, leading to symptoms as in the case of heartburn and a burning sensation behind the chest bone.
Acid Reflux Causes
There are muscle fibres that surround the spot in the food pipe where the oesophagus leads into the stomach, called lower oesophageal sphincter. The function of these sphincter muscles is to prevent food that arrives in the stomach from getting back into the oesophagus. However, in instances where the sphincter muscles do not effectively prevent backward movement of food from the stomach, there is a likelihood of solid and liquid food as well as stomach acids escaping back from the stomach into the oesophagus. The causes of acid reflux could be smoking or alcohol consumption, obesity, pregnancy or a medical condition known as Hiatal hernia.
Acid Reflux Symptoms
Heartburn or burning sensation in the chest region, worsened by bending down, eating or putting pressure on the abdomen, a nauseating sensation after food, aftertaste of food felt after eating by regurgitation of food, wheezing, hiccups or coughs are some of the common symptoms of acid reflux or gastroesophagael reflux disease.
Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux
One of the age-old practices that still prove effective and worthwhile in terms of home remedies for acid reflux is apple cider vinegar. With no fat and minimal calorific value attached to it, apple cider vinegar is a good source of acetic acid, which makes it such a useful remedy for digestive disorders and conditions such as acid reflux. Apple cider vinegar is known to neutralise acidity by bringing about a reasonable alkaline balance in the body.
The best way to use apple cider vinegar as home remedy for acid reflux is to mix 1 or 2 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and take the blend before food. Apple cider vinegar, it is suggested, would be good to use if it were raw and unpasteurised. You could have the mentioned dosage of apple cider vinegar before every meal as a safe remedy.
a. Precautions with Apple Cider Vinegar: Ensure that you mix apple cider vinegar with a glass of water or with juice and not have it raw, to ensure that it does not damage the stomach or the oesophagus. Further, it would help to use apple cider vinegar before food rather than use it as an antacid when you have acid reflux.
Baking Soda for Acid Reflux
One of the other popular home remedies for acid reflux would be to use baking soda as a natural antacid. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a perfect alkaline solution that could be used to neutralise the acidity levels in your stomach. The stomach acid that is neutralised by the alkaline base of baking soda would be less likely to splash up and enter the oesophagus, making sodium bicarbonate or baking soda an effective solution for acid reflux.
Even if there were to be instances of acid reflux after consumption of baking soda, since the acid medium in the stomach would have been neutralised by the alkaline medium, there would be less chances for the regurgitated matter from the stomach to inflict any harm on the oesophagus. If you would want a better tasting solution that raw baking soda, you might want to add a bit of honey to the solution to make it more palatable. Baking soda would be at its best as home remedy for acid reflux when it is had immediately after mixing it in water, when the fizz is still on.
a. Precautions with baking soda for acid reflux: You may not want to try baking soda for acid reflux if you have any dietary restrictions with regard to consumption of salt or sodium. One teaspoon of baking soda has as much as 1200 mg of sodium, which may turn out to be more than what you had bargained for if you had dietary restrictions with regard to sodium consumption.
Aloe Vera for Acid Reflux
Aloe Vera has been touted as a wonder herb that is capable of healing the human body and aiding in getting rid of so many ailments for centuries together – and not without reason. Aloe Vera is a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent, capable of solving many issues related to the digestive tract, among others. Aloe Vera helps in the healthy absorption of proteins in the body, while eliminating many of the harmful bacteria that inhabit the digestive system.
Aloe Vera has been proved as being effective in healing duodenal ulcer and in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Further, Aloe Vera is also known to strengthen the muscles of the digestive tract, ensuring that their functional levels are at their very best. Aloe Vera has been used as an effective home remedy for acid reflux since the herbal extract is known to slow down gastric movement, thereby aiding in improved digestion of food in the intestinal tract.
Further, Aloe Vera also has an inhibitory effect on hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach, reducing the levels of acidity in the stomach. The combined effect of stronger muscles lining the digestive tract, improved functionality of the different organs in the digestive system, improved digestion levels and reduced acidity in the stomach mean that Aloe Vera could safely be used as one of the trusted and tested home remedies for acid reflux.
Glutamine for Acid reflux
Glutamine, the naturally occurring amino acid in the body that is produced and stored in muscle tissues and in lungs may not be always available in abundance in the system. In such cases, an external supplement of glutamine may be just what is needed to counter the effects of glutamine deficiency. One of the symptoms of glutamine deficiency is acid reflux, along with high levels of intestine permeability leading to a condition called leaky guts.
Typical glutamine deficiency scenarios would be associated with high fever or physical trauma caused by severe infections or burns. Glutamine is also found to play an important role in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions, which include conditions associated with the digestive system such as ulcerative colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Glutamine is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties that go a long way towards reducing the inflammation of the intestines. You could use glutamine as one of the effective home remedies for acid reflux, by including protein-rich food in your diet, such as chicken, fish, beef and beans, along with eggs, parsley and spinach.
Licorise for Acid reflux
Licorise is an herb that has been known for centuries as an effective home remedy for acid reflux as well as for a host of other medical conditions. Black licorise has been traditionally used as an effective cure for peptic ulcer, on account of its anti-spasmodic properties, calming down muscular spasms. Further, the herb is also known to be able to increase blood flow to muscles and tissues in the digestive system and promote healing in the long run.
It is recommended that the best form of using licorise for acid reflux would be to go for the Deglycyrrhizinated Licorise, popularly known as DGL Licorise. The reasons to go for DGL have to do with the hypertensive properties associated with the compound glycyrrhizin, which could lead to increased blood pressure. Licorise devoid of glycyrrhizin is known to be effective in controlling gastric spasms that are associated with acid reflux, along with its other properties of acting as an anti-inflammatory agent on the intestinal tract and its ability to heal the damaged tissues of oesophagus on account of acid reflux, since it coats the layers of the stomach and the intestine with a protective gel.
The simplest way to use DGL licorise as part of home remedies for acid reflux would be to chew around a quarter or half a gram of the herb for around half an hour just before meals. Since acid reflux would also occur at nights when you have gone to bed, you might also want to try chewing on the herb before bedtime for good results.
Apple for Acid reflux
Apple is one of the most recommended home remedies for acid reflux and there is good reason why it is so. Apart from being a storehouse of vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B Complex group of vitamins, it is also rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, selenium and fluoride, making it as rich a diet as you could get.
The goodness of apples in terms of home remedies for acid reflux is derived from the fact that they are capable of neutralising the acid state of the stomach and the digestive tract as characterised during acid reflux to bring an alkaline state, reducing the harmful effects of acid reflux on the oesophagus. Further, the vitamins and minerals present in the apple also play a key role in building up tissues and healing the damaged cells of the oesophagus on account of acid reflux.
You may want to choose the sweet organic apples over the sour ones and snack on half an apple after your meal to see how effective it is. You may want to adjust your dosage based on the responsiveness of your system to the apple that you consume. You could substitute your regular evening snack with a bite of crunchy apple or you could munch on it before bedtime.
Honey for Acid Reflux
The pure, raw, natural honey is known to be one of the best home remedies for acid reflux. Honey is an antibacterial agent and is a powerful organic antioxidant. And honey is bestowed with healing properties as well.
Taking in a teaspoon of raw honey is good for acid reflux, as honey tends to cover the lining of the oesophagus and the stomach in a fine layer, protecting it from the harmful effects of acids secretions that irritate the oesophagus. Further, the healing properties of honey along with its antioxidant benefits go a long way in repairing damaged cells and tissues lining the oesophagus.
The antibacterial properties of honey also come in handy in dealing with the bacteria and germs found in the intestines and the digestive tract, commonly attributed for causing peptic and gastric ulcers. Honey is also found to treat the lower oesophageal sphincter muscles that might have been damaged or may be malfunctioning in the case of acid reflux.
The best way to use honey as a home remedy for acid reflux is to consume a spoonful of honey around 20 minutes before your planned lunch or dinner. And you would also be well advised not to drink other liquid before you have your food after you have had your dose of honey. Even if your acid reflux symptoms were not heartburns, you could still be suffering from acid reflux, which could be reflected by coughs, wheezing and difficulty swallowing. In any case, having the prescribed dose of natural honey would make you feel better.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
As mentioned earlier, apple cider vinegar has the capacity to bring about a good alkaline balance in the body and hence has the capability to bring down the level of acidity in the stomach. However, with rich contents of acetic acid, apple cedar vinegar is best used diluted with another liquid, preferably water, or even better, with honey.
The good thing about mixing apple cider vinegar with honey is that you would be able to reap the benefits that honey could bestow you with, in terms of home remedies for acid reflux. Honey is an antioxidant that has the inherent property of protecting cells and tissues from the harmful effects of free radicals in the body.
Further, given the natural healing abilities of honey and its antibacterial properties that could eliminate harmful bacteria from the intestinal tract, along with its ability to coat the oesophagus with a thin film, helping the damaged tissues to heal faster, it makes much sense to mix apple cider vinegar and an equal quantity of raw honey in a glass of water and consume it around 20 minutes before your scheduled meals, for effective relief from acid reflux.
Apple and Honey
Apple is one of the best multivitamin food sources that you could get, with vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B complex group of vitamins, along with minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, selenium and fluoride.
Apple is good at neutralising the effects of acid in the stomach and bringing about an alkaline state, while working on the loads of harmful bacteria present in the digestive system, clearing them up to bring about a safe and healthy environment within the digestive tract.
While apple in itself is good in all these aspects, you could only hope apple to do an ever better job by smothering the crunchy bits with dollops of honey. While you could revel in the celestial taste that leaves you in a state of bliss, you would also realise that honey has gone to work together with apple to relieve you of symptoms associated with acid reflux, giving a smooth sensation on the oesophagus and facilitating faster healing of the damaged tissues.
Buttermilk for Acid Reflux
One of the simplest and most straight forward home remedies for acid reflux is buttermilk. The diluted form of yoghurt and one of the natural derivatives of milk, buttermilk is rich in lactic acid bacteria and probiotics, some of the good bacteria that are beneficial for a healthy digestive system.
These bacteria have a healthy reputation of strengthening and vitalising the gastrointestinal tract, which is an important attribute of buttermilk and its contents in terms of relieving of the symptoms of acid reflux. One more aspect associated with the strengthening of the gastrointestinal walls is that it would facilitate bowel movement, reducing instances of constipation, which would, in turn, help in alleviating symptoms of acid reflux. Further, buttermilk would also bring down the level of acidity in the stomach, which would again contribute to reduced instances of acid reflux, protecting the oesophageal tissues in the process.
Carrot Juice for Acid Reflux
One of the home remedies for acid reflux that has been followed traditionally over the years is carrot juice. Acid reflux requires elements that would reduce the levels of acidity while bringing about an alkaline balance in the stomach. Carrot juice has alkaline minerals that are beneficial to conditions associated with acid reflux. Further, carrot is also known to have healing properties, which would help to soothe the oesophageal walls that might have been damaged by acid reflux.
Carrots are rich in calcium, and calcium is said to play an important role in the strengthening of the lower oesophageal sphincter muscles, thereby reducing further scope for acid reflux. You could take a cup of carrot juice in water every day, to reduce occurrences of acid reflux.
Ginger Root for Acid Reflux
Ginger has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic form of medicine towards treatment of various ailments and disorders, especially those related to inflammation and the ones that are associated with the digestive system. Ginger derives its healing properties from its constituent, a compound called gingerol, which gives the root its pungent flavour and taste.
Ginger is known to absorb stomach acids, thereby reduce the levels of acidity prevalent in the stomach, working as one of the effective home remedies for acid reflux. Ginger, known for its ability to calms nerves, could be consumed as it is, sliced up and added on to food to add flavour and spice, could be grated and chewed to let the juice of ginger slide down the throat and provide instant relief from symptoms of acid reflux.
The anti-spasmodic properties of ginger provide good relief from stomach spasms. You could cut a piece of the root, boil it in water for its essence to seep in, and add the essence on to your regular cup of tea to make it stronger, tastier and even more tantalising for your taste buds and refreshing for your senses, even as you enjoy good relief from acid reflux. You could also add ginger powder that is readily available as an effective substitute for raw ginger roots.
Fennel Seeds for Acid Reflux
You would have perhaps come across those simple and humble looking fennel seeds kept on the checkout counters of restaurants. If you thought they were meant as mouth fresheners to freshen your breath up after a spicy snack, you were partly right. But the other half of the healthy mystery surrounding the heap of sees lies in the compound called anethole found in the fennel seeds.
The compound has antispasmodic properties that helps calm the digestive tract down. Fennel seeds do a good job as home remedies for acid reflux when they are taken in with food, eaten raw and munched after food, or added to a cup of water and boiled to form a tea that alleviates acidity and reduces chances of acid reflux.
Anise Seeds for Acid reflux
Anise seeds are one more kind of seeds that are rich in the compound called anethole, as found in fennel seeds. These are aromatic seeds that are used in cuisine and are also known for their goodness on the digestive tract. Apart from proving to be one of the useful home remedies for acid reflux, anise seeds or aniseeds are also good ways to control other issues associated with the digestive system, as in the case of bloating, flatulence and indigestion.
Aniseeds are rich in vitamins of the B-complex range, along with having high content of calcium, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Aniseeds are also rich sources of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, vitamins that are renowned antioxidants that help protect tissues and cells from being damaged by free radicals. A teaspoon of anise seeds could be boiled in two cups of water and the mixture could be left to soak for around 5 minutes. You could then stain the blend and add honey for taste as well as for adding the goodness of honey in treating conditions and symptoms of acid reflux. You could drink this tea twice a day for good relief from acid reflux.
Acorus Calamus for Acid Reflux
This is a popular herb, with the common name of sweet flag, known for its healing powers and medicinal properties that come in handy as home remedies for acid reflux. The herb was found to have anti-bacterial properties against many bacteria and fungi.
Acorus calamus was also known for its antioxidant properties, protecting cells and tissues from the harmful effects of free radicals. Further, the herb is also found to regulate stomach acid production, thereby control the level of acidity in the stomach and treat acid reflux and related symptoms.
Milk Thistle for Acid Reflux
Milk thistle is an herb used as a home remedy for acid reflux. It is a medicinal plant that has many health benefits to its credit, with the herb chiefly being used in treating digestive disorders as well as ailments associated with the liver and in the case of type-2 diabetes. Home remedies for acid reflux have to do with the use of milk thistle in combination with some of the other herbs that have similar properties in dealing with digestive disorders. Milk thistle leaves could be eaten as salads or could be cooked with spinach.
Mustard for Acid reflux
One of the commonly available home remedies for acid reflux would be mustard, the little seeds that have immense potential to bid adieu to your acidity and acid reflux symptoms. The advantage with mustard is its alkaline properties that are capable of neutralising the effects of acid, thereby providing relief from acid reflux.
All it takes is a teaspoon of mustard to be taken in would go a long way in treating acid reflux. However, you may want to see how this home remedy for acid reflux works for you, as you evaluate if this is the remedy that your system would be in agreement with.
Cardamom for Acid Reflux
Cardamom is one of the home remedies for acid reflux that are known for their special flavour and essence that they add to cuisine. Cardamom could be peeled and the seeds ground to be added to sweets to add a unique flavour and taste. However, more than the flavour and the taste, cardamom is known to prevent excessive gas formation – gas formation is known to cause distension of the stomach, which is found to lead to acid reflux.
Asafoetida for Acid Reflux
Asafoetida is widely used in Indian cuisine and is one of the popular home remedies for acid reflux. Asafoetida is known to aid digestion and cure other ailments associated with the digestive system such as relieving gas and healing stomach ache. Asafoetida has high levels of calcium, which could come in handy in the strengthening of the lower oesophageal sphincter muscles, proving to be effective cure for acid reflux.
Cinnamon for Acid Reflux
Cinnamon is not just a spice that adds flavour to food, but is also one of the popular home remedies for acid reflux. You could make herbal tea with cinnamon stick that is ground and made to powder or you could add cinnamon to brown rice to quell acid reflux.
Other Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
Fresh Fruits for Acid Reflux
Fruits such as figs, papaya and pineapple are full of digestive enzymes, proving helpful in a range of digestive ailments and disorders, including those associated with acid reflux. A healthy dose of fresh fruits form delicious home remedies for acid reflux.
Fresh Salads for Acid Reflux
Fresh salads, especially with vegetables that are organically grown, are loaded with antioxidants that play a vital role in the protection of body cells and tissues, which could come in handy in the healing of the oesophageal layers that may have been affected by acid burns and acid reflux.
Vitamin D for Acid Reflux
One of the important aspects of Vitamin D is its ability to optimise production of peptides with antimicrobial properties in the digestive system, which are known to aid the elimination of many infections in the body. Sufficient availability of Vitamin D helps in curing infections in the digestive tract and in the oesophagus, working as home remedy for acid reflux.
Light Diet for Acid Reflux
Eating heavy and having the stomach full is one of the main causes of acid reflux. Stay light as simple home remedies for acid reflux.
Chocolates and Acid Reflux
People prone to acid reflux would be better off avoiding chocolates altogether or try to minimise consumption as home remedies for acid reflux. Causes of acid reflux may not necessarily have to do with chocolates themselves, as it could be the sugar or the high fat content that triggers a bout of acid reflux.
Sugar and Acid Reflux
Sugar has been known to be one of the reasons for acid reflux, though the sensitivity of the digestive tract to sugar has been found to vary from person to person. Cutting down on sugar and sugary substances may prove to be some of the useful home remedies for acid reflux.
Avoid Milk and Dairy Products for Acid Reflux
It has been observed that the nutrients in the milk tend to provoke secretion of stomach acid. Avoiding milk and milk products and choosing buttermilk instead would be one of the effective home remedies for acid reflux.
Avoid Painkillers for Acid Reflux
Pain killers have the ability to cause damage to the digestive tract and cause many undesired side effects on the digestive system, which could lead to acid reflux. Cut down pain killers even if you cannot eliminate them.
Avoid Coffee for Acid Reflux
Coffee is found to increase acid secretion in the stomach and should be avoided as part of home remedies for acid reflux.
Avoid Alcohol for Acid Reflux
Alcohol is known to relax the already weak lower oesophageal sphincter muscles, along with increasing stomach acid secretion, a combination that you would want to avoid when you take up home remedies for acid reflux.
Avoid Carbonated Drinks for Acid Reflux
Aerated drinks and carbonated drinks could cause stomach distension, pushing acid up the oesophagus and causing acid reflux.
Sleep Upright for Acid Reflux
If you have acid reflux at bedtime, the best home remedy for acid reflux would be to sleep lying on your back with head raised on a pillow, as this would help minimising the amount of acid that is pushed up the oesophagus.
Do Not Sleep Immediately After Food for Acid Reflux
You may want to leave at least an hour’s gap between your meal and the time you go to bed as part of your home remedies for acid reflux.
Stress Management for Acid Reflux
Stress is a major cause of acid reflux, one that is often ignored or overlooked. Home remedies for acid reflux would start off with stress management, where you are able to maintain a cool head as you try to face situations and find solutions.