Heartburn is very common and painful. It triggers when stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus, you get a slight hiccup followed by a burning sensation in your chest and throat.
There are many medications that might help you calm but natural home remedies and lifestyle changes may be another way to get relief.
Are the Home Remedies Safe?
There isn’t much research into herbal remedies for heartburn but According to Mary Rouser, DNP, a nurse practitioner specialising in gastroenterology- “Unless your oesophagus has damage, it’s fine to try natural remedies for acid reflux “
1) Wear Loose-fitting clothes
When you know you are about to have a big meal, then you should stay away from figure-hugging outfits. Tight fitted clothes can put extra pressure on your stomach causing stomach acid to rise into the oesophagus and this causes acidity. Try to wear loose clothes, to avoid pressure around your mid-abdomen to relieve occasional symptoms.
2) Take your meal 2-3 hours before bedtime
It is tempting to take a nap after a good meal. But it is recommended to take your meal two to three hours before your sleep to prevent stomach acid from rising up into the oesophagus.
3) Watch how to eat
You should enjoy your meal in mode. Eat slowly, and chew properly each bite of your meal. When you eat a big meal, it will take extra time to get digested and this can cause acidity. So instead take smaller and frequent meals, and chew them properly. Take time to eat.
4) Manage your weight
Excess abdominal fat can press against your stomach, as a result, it forces acids up into the oesophagus. So it’s important to keep track of what you eat and follow a low-calorie diet plan and reduce those extra pounds to get rid of heartburn.
5) Reduce the use of Alcohol and Tobacco
It is recommended to toss-up alcohol and tobacco to help prevent further episodes of acidity. As when you smoke it weakens the muscles that prevent stomach acid from rising up into the oesophagus. And for many more health reasons, it’s always the perfect time to quit the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes.
6) Elevate the Head of your bed
If you are suffering from heartburn while going to bed. Try elevating the head of your bed by at least 15 cm. This will help keep your oesophagus above the stomach, preventing stomach acid from rising up and causing heartburn at night.
Myths on Food and Beverages
1) Milk help Relieve Acidity
No. Certain nutrients present in the milk such as fat stimulate the stomach to produce more acid. Hence consumption of milk might cause the acidity to worsen.
2) Tea helps to Relieve Acidity
No. Tea can cause acidity to worsen. It may increase gastric acid secretion.
3) Fruits and Vegetable help Relieve Acidity
Some do! Increasing the intake of fibre from fruits and vegetables can help against acidity. However, Some vegetables such as tomato, garlic and onion may aggravate acidity while others such as broccoli, cucumber and spinach help to neutralise acid directly.
4) Herbal Remedies helps relieve acidity
Herbal remedies are successful for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and non-Western Medicines. Based on certain studies, various herbal remedies listed below aids in preventing heartburn:-
• Fennel- Fennel have a multitude of gastrointestinal benefits. Fennel tea keeps our digestive tract healthy and happy. This tea not only helps in digesting food but also prevents bloating. It is also advisable to chew “sauf” after big meals to fasten digestion.
• Cinnamon- Cinnamon works as a natural antacid for stomach acidity. Cinnamon improves digestion and absorption, it heals infections in the gastrointestinal tract.
• Cumin Seeds- Cumin Seeds are a great acid neutraliser. It aids digestion and relieves stomach pain. Put one teaspoon of cumin seed into hot boiling water, boil for 3-4 minutes and pour the concoction into the glass, let it cool down and consume it after the big meal for fast digestion.
• Ginger- Ginger has excellent digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. Whenever you suffer from acid reflux, grab a slice of ginger and chew it. Or grate the piece of ginger into the hot boiling water, let it boil for few minutes, and pour it into the cup, and drink it up to get rid of the symptoms of heartburn.
• Jaggery- Jaggery aids in digestion and makes your digestive system more alkaline in nature thus reducing stomach acidity. Simply have a small piece of gur after a big meal to reap its benefits.
What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus irritating the tissue while Heartburn or Acid indigestion is a symptom of acid reflux, so named because the oesophagus lies just behind the heart, and that is where the burning sensation is felt.