Home Remedies for Heartburn
Updated: Oct 16, 2022
What are some simple home remedies for heartburn?
In many cases, heartburn and acid reflux can be prevented with simple diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some of the top ways to relieve heartburn without medication:
Control your Stress
Perhaps you’ve heard of the mind-gut connection. It’s real. Chronic and systemic stress or all stressful life events can make heartburn symptoms worse. Try meditation or yoga to control your stress, or check out these supplements that help with stress management caused by different sources.
Eat Slowly and Enjoy your Food
I have noticed those who are on their phones while eating or talk or sip on water during meals tend to experience more heartburn. My suggestion is that instead of gulping down three large meals, try eating several smaller meals and more slowly throughout the day.
More importantly, pay attention to what you are eating. I am personally sometimes guilty of not eating mindfully and too fast which perfectly explains why I feel bloated or indigestion after certain meals. Practicing to chew well will give your body time to digest each meal and prevent the fullness in the stomach that can cause stomach contents to escape into the esophagus.
Cut out Triggering Foods
Once you’ve identified the foods or ingredients that trigger your heartburn, be careful to avoid them. Remember integrative healthcare professionals can help identify what foods might be triggers for you always ask questions.
Don’t eat close to bedtime
Gravity is working against you when you’re horizontal, therefore stomach contents have a better chance of breaching that lower esophageal sphincter when we lie down. Make a habit of giving yourself three hours to digest your food before going to bed.
Lose Weight if necessary
If you’re overweight especially if you’re carrying extra pounds around your belly work to lose some weight. Excess abdominal fat puts pressure on your digestive organs and can lead to heartburn.
Drink Water, Stay Hydrated
One of the most important but overlooked home remedies for heartburn is simply water!
Researchers have found that drinking water is an effective way to increase the pH level in your gut, alkalize and relief heartburn. In fact, it works faster than proton-pump inhibitors!
Eat More Protein, Less Fat
A study that looked at the timing and contents of different meals found that eating a lot of fat at lunchtime aggravates GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). On the other hand, high-protein food in the evening appears to improve it.
Natural Supplements for Heartburn
In addition to these diet and lifestyle tips to fight heartburn, some supplements can help as well. Here are some tried and true natural heartburn remedies.
Melatonin is known as the Sleep Hormone but it is also greatly involved in gastrointestinal function. Two studies have found that it’s effective in treating GERD symptoms possibly even more effective than the popular heartburn medication omeprazole.
Iberogast which has been commercially available in Germany for 40 years, is my favorite home remedy for heartburn. Research shows it can help improve GERD symptoms and I recommend it to anyone who with heartburn often. I learned so much about it back when I was working in a Pharmacy and supplement store. This versatile herbal medicine includes nine herbs:
Iberis amara (candytuft)
Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile)
Carum carvi (caraway)
Mentha piperita (peppermint)
Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice)
Melissa officinalis (lemon balm)
Chelidonium majus (Greater celandine)
Silybum marianum (milk thistle)
Angelica archangelica (angelica)
Iberogast formula is so potent that it is even indicated for reliving gastric and abdominal discomfort associated with functional and motility-conditioned gastrointestinal disturbances such as functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome.
Alginate, pectin, and carbenoxolone
These so-called “raft-forming” compounds form polymers when they come into contact with stomach acid. They float to the surface of the stomach contents (like a raft) and provide a barrier for the esophagus, helping prevent heartburn.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
Baking soda is a common home remedy for heartburn. It works by neutralizing the acidity of the gut, much like over-the-counter antacids. While it is effective, it’s important to be mindful of using it for a long time.
If you’re reaching for heartburn relief a few times a week or more, talk to your integrative healthcare practitioner. Frequent or chronic heartburn can have long-term health effects. But with theses tips and the help of a natural health expert you can curb heartburn for good.
As a final note, it is very important to check the medication you regularly use and be aware of all the side effects. I always emphasize this point as both my parents’ digestion has been affected by heart and osteoporosis medication.
Some medications, both prescription and over-the-counter can cause heartburn. If you’re taking medications such as antibiotics, Bisphosphonates used for loss of bone density, Quinidine (used for irregular heartbeat), pain relievers , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) Aspirin, Naproxen (Aleve), Ibuprofen, antidepressants, Calcium channel blockers and nitrates, Narcotics (opioids), sleep medication, sedatives or tranquilizers, progesterone or supplements for low iron and potassium levels, ask your doctor or pharmacist if the drugs could be the cause of your discomfort
Always ask your healthcare practitioner about medication and the effects they might have.