As many as 50 percent of Americans suffer from acid reflux, the hallmark symptom of which is heartburn—a burning sensation behind your breastbone that may sometimes travel to your throat. In some cases, the pain is so severe that it is mistaken for a heart attack.
Heartburn is caused by acid regurgitation (popularly known as acid reflux) that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle that allows food to pass into the stomach) relaxes, allowing the digestive juices produced in the stomach to move up the digestive tract.
Here are six home remedies to eliminate that painful heartburn and acid reflux.
1) Aloe Juice
Juice of the aloe plant naturally helps reduce inflammation and may ease the symptoms of acid reflux. Aloe vera is rich in phytochemicals such as anthraquinones and saponins which have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Aloe promotes a favorable balance of healthy gut bacteria and wipes out other infection-causing bacteria associated with flatulence.
How To Take It: Drink about ½ cup of aloe juice before meals.
2) Ginger Root Tea
Ginger has been found to have a gastroprotective effect by blocking the acid and suppressing the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (responsible for producing acid reflux symptoms as hypothesized by Dr Barry Marshall, an Australian physician).
How To Take It: Add two to three slices of ginger roots to two cups of hot water and steep for half an hour. Drink about 20 minutes before your meal.
3) Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is known for being effective in providing relief from insomnia. However, chamomile can also improve digestion and reduce excessive secretion of gastric juices. Bisabolol, a volatile oil present in chamomile, has anti-inflammatory properties and relaxes the muscle lining of the digestive tract that helps eliminate gas and flatulence.
How To Take It: Make a strong herbal infusion by steeping 2tsp dried chamomile flowers in a cup of water for 10 minutes. Keep the cup or pot covered while steeping, so the oils are not lost. Drink a cup of chamomile tea before bed to get good sleep and improve digestion.
4) Slippery Elm Tea
The inner bark of slippery elm is loaded with mucilage, which has the ability to relieve inflammation and soothe inflammation. It contains antioxidants that can address inflammatory bowel conditions and stimulate nerve endings in your gastrointestinal tract. This helps in mucus secretion which protects your gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity.
How To Take It: You can prepare a tea by pouring 2 cups of boiling water over 4 gms of powdered bark and then steeping it for three to five minutes. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends drinking this tea three times a day.