If you have crossed teenage and you love eating out, there is a considerable chance that you would have experienced a bout of acidity attack. The reason acidity is such a common feature is hardly surprising – the stomach produces acids, which form the basis of our digestive system.
The food we eat, no matter what we eat, gets digested with the acid that gets secreted in the stomach. Whenever we eat, whatever we eat, leads to the inner lining of your stomach being stimulated to secrete acid that engulfs the food that has now reached the stomach.
And you would be able to feel acidity in different ways – it could be sort of pain in your stomach or even uneasiness, or it could be the burning sensation that you get above the stomach and below the breastbone. In some cases, people experience what could be called ‘acid regurgitation’, where the acid from the stomach reaches up the through the digestive tract to the oesophagus and you get to have a taste or feel of it in your mouth, a condition particularly common if you were lying down in horizontal position.
Acidity could also be denoted by feelings of hunger suddenly and frequently – this actually may not be hunger but the effects of acid in your stomach. Persistence of pain in the upper abdomen, or feeling of a bitter taste in the mouth, coupled with nauseating or vomiting sensation, a period of lack of appetite, a stabbing sensation that you may not be able to pin-point but may be traversing throughout the gut, could all be roughly translated into ‘Acidity’.
Sometimes, the acids secreted in the stomach tend to ‘leak’ through the muscles and find their way into the oesophagus. And it so happens that the cells lining the walls of the oesophagus are not designed to resist the corrosive action of the acids secreted from the stomach, unlike the protective action of the mucus within the stomach. The result is that, when the acid traces its way back into the oesophagus, the cells lining the oesophageal walls get corroded, leading to the burning sensation that is broadly termed ‘acidity’.
Hence, bouts of acidity would be more common and prominent in the case of people whose oesophageal walls tend to be corroded by acid – this condition is called ‘acid reflux’. When people bend over, or when the pressure on the stomach is high, as in the case of pregnancy, there is an increased chance of the acid getting to the oesophagus, corroding its walls and causing acidity – people with a history of ulcer are more susceptible to acidity attacks, as are people in high stress jobs.
Various Home Remedies For Acidity
The best home remedy for acidity is to bring in alterations in your conditions and habits to begin with. If you are a heavy smoker, you might consider bringing inhaling less smoke than what you are used to.
Chemicals present in cigarette and in cigarette smoke are known to relax the sphincter muscles that protect the food – and acid – from getting into the oesophagus. With a relaxed set of sphincter muscles, there is an increased possibility of acid getting to oesophagus, causing acidity.
Avoiding certain foods that are known to relax the sphincter muscles is something that you need to give serious thought towards. There is no strict guidance as to which foods relax the sphincter muscles, or which ones aid in acid secretion, or which ones tend to aggravate ulcerated conditions, but a range of food are considered major causes of acidity. The best natural cures for acidity would involve identification of foods that are likely to be causes of acidity. In general, caffeine is known to trigger acidity, as are peanuts.
You may want to use less spice and chilli in your food, along with the predominant use of bakery products with high fat content. Having food too hot or too cold may not be advisable; chocolates tend to cause acidity, as are alcoholic drinks. The best way would be for you to try for yourself and observe which food products cause more acidity and which ones are soothing, for each one’s system is unique in its own way. You would also be better off avoiding fasting or feasting – too little or too much of food is not something that would alleviate acidity. If you love pickles or food that has a high content of salt, you would have to sacrifice it for recovery from acidity. Having a check on what you eat would be among the first home remedies for acidity.
You may also want to exercise caution when it comes to certain drugs usage, as there are drugs that are known to relax the sphincter muscles and lead to acid reflux, causing acidity. You need to exercise extreme caution in the case of anti-inflammatory drugs, or ‘pain killers’, as they are notorious in causing as much harm to the digestive tract, as the good they do towards reducing inflammation or pain.
Drugs such as ibuprofen, Diclofenac, theophylline and nifedipine are just to name a few. In any case, as long as the medicines are not supposed to be had before food, it would be advisable to have food before you take medicines. You should also consider taking vitamin supplements or antacids along with drugs, if you have a history of acidity, ulcer or acid reflux, as a home remedy for acidity.
The most natural remedy for acidity would be to lose weight. Weight gain has been associated with acid reflux for the simple reason that increase in weight puts more pressure on the stomach, leading to acid reflux and causing acidity.
If you can manage to reduce your weight, especially around the stomach and abdomen, you would be much better off in terms of bouts of acidity.
Check your posture and your attire. If you think you experience more acidity when lying down in certain positions, or when bending forward, which could add to the pressure on the stomach and cause acid reflux, take care to avoid or not to stay in such positions for long. If you are used to wearing tight fitting dress that puts pressure on your belly region, you may wish to switch over to loose-fitting ones as a simple treatment for acidity.
One easy and effective home remedy for acidity is to check the way you eat. If you are someone who doesn’t like to spend much time eating, and would rather gulp it fast, you need to change. Eating fast is not friendly on the stomach – eating slowly and biting your food hard, munching it in the mouth and chewing it well is a good natural remedy for acidity.
The first step in food digestion starts at the mouth with the saliva, and hence, eating slowly with a lot of chewing addresses acidity by aiding digestion, being effective natural remedies for acidity.
Dinner Timings and Acidity
Avoid having a full stomach’s meal at nights. It might help to go to bed with little food in the stomach; however, you have to see for yourself if this works for you. If it does, try to avoid taking food during the two to three hours before you go to bed. You may also want to see if you can have a heavier pillow for your head or lie down with your head at a raised position, as this would help in keeping the acid back in the stomach, without rising up the oesophagus.
Having a lot of buttermilk is a good home remedy for acidity. In the case of buttermilk, milk is fermented by bacteria and milk sugar is converted into lactic acid – the bacteria in action here is Streptococcus lactis. Drinking buttermilk, rather than plain milk, is a very good home remedy for acidity. Drinking a lot of buttermilk helps in healing ulcer that may be a cause for acidity.
Apple is a good stabiliser of the digestive system. Having apple regularly, either in fruit or as apple juice, helps in controlling acidity. It is also a good way to deal with other problems related to the digestive system, such as diarrhoea.
Having an apple a day is a good natural remedy for acidity. You could also have pomegranate as fruit or in juice, as it is found to have excellent effects on people suffering from acidity.
One simple natural remedy for acidity would be to drink a lot of water, as it tends to flush the toxins away and cleanse the system. And the best natural remedies for acidity would be to eat a lot of fresh vegetables, while avoiding junk food or fried food.
Have fresh vegetables and salads in more quantities than usual, which help in the natural recovery of the cells in the digestive system, which may have been damaged by acid action.
Honey is known to be good on the body and for the human digestive system. You could mix two table spoons of apple cedar vinegar with two table spoons of pure, natural honey in a glass of water.
Mix them all well and drink the mixture before you have your meals. This is known to be a good home remedy for acidity.
A well known home remedy for acidity would be to munch a bunch of Holy Basil leaves (Tulsi). Tulsi is grown in many parts of India as a household herb with amazing healing properties. Tulsi is known to be an effective antacid and is a natural home remedy for acidity.
Vegetarian Diet for Acidity
You may want to have a lot of vegetables in your diet, and if possible, switch over to vegetarian diet if you happen to be non-vegetarian. Switching over to vegetarian diet has proved to be an effective natural remedy for acidity, as vegetables, especially the green leafy ones, have the power of healing the body and are generally high in vitamins and mineral content, which tend to be good for the digestive system.
Ice Cream for Acidity
Here is an acidity home remedy that you would enjoy. If you love ice creams, take the liberty to go for a cup of Vanilla flavoured ice cream when you have acidity – vanilla ice cream is an effective home remedy for acidity, though you may want to watch your weight and compensate for it by a few minutes of additional work outs. Having a glass of vanilla milk shake, with a cup of vanilla ice cream beaten with milk and drunk cold and soothing, is a simple home remedy for acidity, if you need immediate relief.
Cumin seeds have long been regarded as effective home remedies for acidity, along with a host of other medical conditions that humankind has been afflicted with. Cumin seeds are also known to help get rid of gas troubles and flatulence, being rich in essential oils, magnesium and sodium.
Cumin seeds could be roasted lightly and added to a variety of cuisine, to give that unique aroma to food. Cumin seeds could be used in soups and salads as useful home remedies for acidity. Cumin seeds could be boiled in a cup of water and consumer after meals, as a simple treatment for acidity.
Cabbage Juice for Acidity
Have you enjoyed the taste of cabbage in curry or in other forms? If you have, you could make it an effective home remedy for acidity, by boiling cabbage in water till the essence soaks in it. You could let the juice of cabbage cool down and keep sipping it, perhaps with an added dash of salt and pepper to taste, as delicious and nutrient rich home remedies for acidity.
If you like consuming yoghurt, you should perhaps increase the quantity of yoghurt you consume, to cure acidity. You do not have to deliberately drink cups and cups of yoghurt for the purpose, but it would do if you could think of adding a splash of yoghurt to many edible stuff that you like to have.
Yoghurt goes well with spicy as well as normal cuisine alike, and you should consider mixing your food with liberal doses of yoghurt as effective home remedies for acidity.
There are a few who may not be fans of ginger, but this ancient root is full of goodness that would stand your health in good stead. When it comes to home remedies for acidity, you could scrape ginger and add it to your favourite cuisine and consume after cooking it. Even if you avoid eating the tiny bits of ginger that you have mixed on to food, the essence of ginger would have still seeped into your food, which in itself is a reliable home remedy for acidity. You may also want to mix the pulp of ginger with mashed coriander leaves and consume tiny balls of the mixture with water or buttermilk, as effective natural remedies for acidity.
Lifestyle and Diet
While treating acidity with home remedies is one thing, taking up a diet that would not let it come back to bother you is another. Here is a list of things you may want to include, or exclude, from your diet to live a life free from acidity.
Bay Leaf Tea
If you have been prone to acidity, you would know that certain foods trigger acidity and acid reflux. Caffeine is one such ingredient that is capable of triggering about of acidity just when you wanted to relax. You may choose herbal tea for acidity instead. Herbal tea, such as the one made from bay leaf, is caffeine free and has been known to bring down acidity levels as in the case of acid reflux.
Bay leaf derives its health properties from a range of active components that it is made of, such as alpha and beta pinene, methyl chavicol, chavicol, and myrcene, a combination that is found to have antiseptic and antioxidant properties, known to promote digestion and also thought to help in the fight against cancer. Bay leaf is also rich in Vitamins A, C and B complex and a host of other minerals such as manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, potassium and calcium. You may boil bay leaf for a period of ten minutes in water to get bay leaf tea with a bitter taste and a strong aroma, known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Chamomile belongs to the daisy family, producing beautiful flowers. Chamomile is known to have lots of medicinal properties as it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, acting on the digestive tract and helping out in the digestive process. You could use chamomile tea as an effective substitute for regular tea and as an easy home remedy for acidity.
Chamomile tea is free from caffeine, an ingredient that is known to irritate the digestive system and trigger acidity. Chamomile could be added on to boiling water to make a soothing tea that would be an effective substitute for normal tea and a useful home remedy for acidity.
Chamomile and Cinnamon Tea
We have seen the goodness of chamomile; and you could get the most out of chamomile tea if you add the benefits of cinnamon to it. Cinnamon is nothing but the bark of its tree, having a strong flavour and used traditionally in Asian cuisine. Cinnamon is known for its health benefits, among which its ability to soothe the digestive tract and helping in conditions such as indigestion and the bloating of the stomach.
Cinnamon has essential nutrients in-store, such as protein and fibre, apart from minerals such as calcium and manganese, apart from being a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin K. Adding cinnamon to chamomile tea gives it a peculiar flavour, while the components of cinnamon have the capacity to break down fat, making it a useful substitute for caffeinated drinks.
Pomegranate is known for its delicious taste and loads of health benefits that it offers. Apart from its smooth taste, it is also a rich source of fibres, along with other elements such as Punicalagin, an antioxidant, Vitamin C, B5 and K, as with other minerals such as calcium, copper, manganese and potassium. It is the high levels of fibre content that makes pomegranate juice the ideal liquid intake as natural remedies for acidity.
When you have a bout of acidity, you could ideally go for pomegranate mashed and mixed with cold milk and a bit of added sugar for taste, to form a delicious and soothing milk shake that could keep you feeling good and safe in your stomach.
Cut Down on Junk Food
If you love junk foods, you would have to miss them badly. The best diet for acidity would invariably involve less fat and less oil than what you might ideally like it to be. While not everyone would want to call chocolates junk food and while there are many good things about chocolate, unfortunately for those who suffer from acidity, chocolates are no fun. If you drink and smoke, you would have to learn to live without them as diet for acidity. You may want to have small but regular meals without skipping them, have early breakfast and early dinner, each of which would go a long way as diet for acidity.
Stay Away from Stress
You may not know it, but stress has a way of getting to you when you had just taken your eyes off the ball. People get stressed on a variety of reasons and some are prone to getting stressed for no reason at all. A healthy lifestyle definitely does not have room for stress, and stress does not go well with a healthy digestive system. You need to know how to manage stress or how to stay away from it.
You may want to change to a more relaxing lifestyle, take a break from your busy schedules, escape into the tranquil and the idyllic, spend more time with your family and friends, try to shift to a job that has less pressure, change over to a profession, if possible, that has fewer stress loads, and stick to a regular lifestyle and respect your biological clock as much as possible, to lead a life that is less stressful and more enjoyable. Stress management for acidity control is an essential aspect that cannot be ignored or overlooked.