Heartburn, as the name indicates, is a burning sensation (no, not in your heart) in your chest or throat, that is caused due to GERD; otherwise known as acid reflux. When stomach acid is in excess, it tends to rise up in the chest region, creating a feeling of utter discomfort and unease. The stomach contains an acid called hydrochloric acid (HCl), which, when produced in excess, can damage the internal lining and make your life miserable.
The common symptoms associated with heartburn are:
• Burning sensation in the chest
• Gastric issues
• Acidic taste in the mouth
• Awakening from sleep due to the discomfort
• Nauseous sensation
Amongst the various causes of heartburn, genetics is also a major factor. If your family has a history of GERD, you’re likely to adopt the disorder as well. Other major causes of heartburn include; fatty and spicy foods (you might want to go easy on that curry), eating late at night, certain carbonated beverages, gassy foods etc. While most people tend to ignore the symptoms, and shy away from treatments and visits to the doctors, there are some handy home remedies for all such people trying to evade allopathic treatments. Many people tend to make use of antacids to relieve their heartburn, but all medications come with their associated side effects and unwanted adverse events. Therefore, it is best to avoid their use whenever possible and switch to natural cures made available to us by mother nature. As the world of medical sciences advances, more people are switching towards natural and herbal remedies, in order to prevent their bodies from unnecessary exposure to harmful chemicals and their associated side effects.
Some convenient and practically effective home remedies for heartburn are:
You must have heard your mother advising you to drink milk on multiple occasions; one such situation arises when you feel that acidity is getting the better of you. This home remedy might be one of the most effective ones. Drinking a glass of chilled milk can almost instantly relieve you of the pain and burning sensation. You can also mix chilled water with milk in order to further give you a cooling sensation. Milk has numerous health benefits and this just adds to that long list. If you’re a chronic sufferer of heartburn , drink 2-3 glasses of chilled milk or milk and water daily to gain relief.
Ginger can definitely add taste to your everyday foods, but that’s not the only use you can extract from this gift of nature. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, absorbing the excess acid in the stomach and assuaging the acidity. Ginger can be used in your everyday meals, while chewing on pieces of ginger can also help. Ginger tea is an effective remedy for not just sore throat and cough, but also acidity.
3. BAKING SODA:
Baking soda is a natural antacid and works effectively to combat gastroesophagal reflux. Antacids are basically agents that work against acid by neutralizing them. It works within a short time and provides instant relief. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda in water, or any other natural drink that you prefer. To mask the unpleasant taste, you can add other ingredients such as lemon, honey etc. Bear in mind that this is a remedy for temporary or short-term relief. Baking soda is rich in salts and their consumption for chronic conditions of heartburn may end up damaging the person in the long run. It could lead to unwanted side effects like edema caused by salt retention and nausea.
Mint is known for its cooling effects, and providing a sensation of calmness. While mint is incorporated in numerous products for its properties, it can also be used to counter the burning associated with heartburn. Simply chew some leaves of mint to get instant relief. You can also add mint leaves crushed in a glass of cold water and drink it once the mint has infused adequately. It helps relieve heartburn and the pain that accompanies it. Mint also aids in indigestion and stomach upsets.
5. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:
Apple cider vinegar seems to make it to the list of every home remedy. That’s because nature has bestowed countless properties to this particular product, and we can extract various benefits out of it. Acid reflux is caused due to malfunctioning of sphincter that is responsible for the closing of the esophagus, thus leading to rise of stomach acid up the system. Apple cider vinegar helps stimulating the sphincter or the valve responsible for closing the esophagus, hence helping in curing heartburn. You may use it by adding vinegar to a glass of warm water and consuming it before meals.
6. ALOE VERA:
Aloe vera, like apple cider vinegar, has infinite advantages to the human kind. Aloe vera is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, and that is how it aids in heartburn by reducing the inflammation and thus the acidity. You can extract the juice of aloe vera and drink about a quarter cup of it, as drinking more than that can further worsen your case by leading to diarrhea and cramps.
Fennel has a peculiar sweet taste with a cooling after-effect. Much like mint, fennel can be used for the treatment of heartburn due to its refreshing and cooling properties. Fennel seeds can be ingested directly, or you may make a fennel tea by infusing fennel in a cup of water and bring it to a boil. Strain the infusion and drink it 2-3 times a day.
Almonds not only act as a nerve tonic for sharp memory and an active brain, but also help those fighting the terrors of heartburn. Almonds taste great, and people of all ages would enjoy using this remedy for just about any reason. Just chew on 4-5 almonds right after your meals, and make sure to chew them enough to completely reduce them to a flour like consistency.
9. SLIPPERY ELM:
Acid can be damaging to the stomach lining when produced in excess, leading to deterioration of the protective layer that protects the outside of your stomach. Slippery elm helps strengthen the stomach lining by thickening it, and thus helps in fighting off acidity. You may infuse the leaves in boiling water, and drink the infusion 2-3 times a day.
Although heartburn is a frequently encountered problem in the present day world due to our unhealthy diets and lifestyles, making certain changes in what we eat and how we bring about our daily routines will help you save yourselves from a whole lot of troubles. Adapting a diet that is rich in nutrients and low in fat and spices will not only save you from acid reflux, but also from a multitude of cardiovascular diseases and the likes. After all, you are a reflection of what you eat and how you live. So eat healthy, and stay healthy!