There are ways to naturally reduce acid reflux. One way is to avoid the triggers of acid reflux.
- Citrus fruits
- Tea (herbal teas are OK)
- Certain supplements or medications such as antidepressants and sedatives
- Eating before going to bed – simply being vertical helps your stomach contents stay in your stomach
- Eating large meals
- Frequently eating greasy, fried, and fatty foods
- Drinking lots of bubbly (carbonated) beverages such as soda
There are certain lifestyle modifications that you can make to help with acid reflux. First of all, if you have a little weight to lose, this would be a good time to do it. You can read some of my other posts on exercising and weight-loss to help with this. Being overweight pushes up on your stomach. Also, eat well to promote healthy bacteria in your gut. Eating foods that contain good bacteria including yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha tea, and miso.
Good eating habits also helps to alleviate acid reflux. Make sure you cut out bad fats, including hydrogenated oils and saturated fats. Instead eat good fats such as olive oil, flaxseed, coconut, and sesame oils. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The fiber they contain act as an acid buffer, and they contain lots of vitamins and minerals that help the digestive tract. Quit eating refined sugars and carbohydrates. This excess sugar and lack of fiber promotes the bad bacteria that is often found in the lower intestine to grow up into the small intestine causing abdominal problems. You can always supplement with probiotics to help with the intestinal bacteria.
Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum 30 minutes after eating can help wash away acid.
Chiropractic can often help heal your gastric reflux. To begin with, chiropractic care can help treat hiatal hernias, a common cause of gastric reflux. A hiatal hernia is when your stomach gets lodged up into the diaphragm. This pinches the stomach and causes its contents to regurgitate into the esophagus. Often chiropractors can adjust for a hiatal hernia and help to alleviate the symptoms of reflux. Secondly, as I stated in a previous post, the nerves that come out of the upper spine innervate the stomach and esophagus. If those nerves are irritated by a problem with the spine, the organs they irritate may not function optimally. So eliminating nerve irritation can help promote the healing of the stomach and esophagus and make sure they function normally.
Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonderful remedy for acid reflux.
- Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to 1/2 glass of water.
- Sip this glass of water while eating your dinner.
Ginger Root is known to absorb stomach acid and have the secondary effect of calming the nerves. For an effective natural remedy from the symptoms of acid reflux, try the following:
- Purchase ginger root capsules from a natural health food or nutritional store.
- Regularly take one capsule immediately after dinner.
Fennel seed is an aromatic but powerful herb that helps in digestive conditions and has many other benefits. Fennel seeds contain a compound known as Anethole, which is known to suppress spasms of the stomach or gastrointestinal tract spasms. Therefore, it is considered to be an effective remedy for Acid Reflux.
- Take half a tea spoon of Fennel Seeds and chew them slowly after your meals.
Anise and Lavender Tea
You can make this tea to reduce the amount of acid you have in your stomach. Note that some variants of this remedy suggest adding peppermint, but this is NOT recommended since peppermint is known to relax the LES (described earlier), which is exactly what you don’t want to do.
- Mix together equal amounts of aniseed and lavender.
- Boil 2 1/2 cups of distilled water.
- Pour the boiling water over a teaspoon of the herbal mixture.
- Let this tea sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Strain the tea and add a little bit of honey as a natural sweetener.
- Drink up to 8 oz of this tea in the morning and 8 oz in the evening to get relief from acid reflux or heartburn.
Experts say licorice has stomach-healing properties that can get to the root of the problem rather than just calming symptoms. But be careful – eating too much could have serious side effects. One alternative is to take licorice extract. The extract is better than plain licorice because there is a substance in licorice (glycyrrhizinic acid) that may increase blood pressure. This substance is removed in the extract. The extract is called deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL. DGL actually increases the number of mucus secreting cells in the upper part of the stomach and esophagus that protect the lining from stomach acid. Chewable DGL seems to work better than the pills. Take 700-800mg 2-3 times per day between meals.
Mixing a half teaspoon into a glass of water can help neutralize stomach acid. But it shouldn’t be used for chronic heartburn because it’s high in salt.
Research suggests that adding a couple of tablespoons of this herb to a glass of water can help coat and protect the stomach.
This plant can reduce inflammation in the stomach. Some experts suggest drinking aloe juice, but use caution, because it can also be a laxative.