Home Remedies For Heartburn, Causes, Precautions & More

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Heartburn is a very common health condition which affects many people on daily basis. Heartburn is also referred to as acid reflux and acidity. It is characterized by feeling an intense burning sensation in the chest area.

Sometimes one may feel the same sensation in the throat as well. The burning sensation occurs due to the acid produced by the stomach. Although it is quite common, heartburn could be an indicator of a more serious digestive problem. 

This article brings to you the various aspects of heartburn including the causes and some effective home remedies for heartburn which will prove to be helpful in its management.

HOME REMEDIES FOR HEARTBURN

  • Aloe Vera juice

You will need:

  • 2 large leaves of Aloe Vera
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2-3 slices of ginger

How to:

  1. Remove the outer covering of the leaves with the help of a knife
  2. Make sure you remove any latex as well. The yellow colored layer is the latex and does not need to be in the juice.
  3. Once you have the cut-out leaf, extract the gel using a spoon or a knife. You will not get a fluid-like gel but rather big and firm pieces of gel.
  4. Add the gel to a blender and then add 4 cups of water. Add the slices of ginger as well.
  5. Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour into a glass and consume fresh.

How this works: Aloe Vera gel contains anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe the symptoms of heartburn. The tissues of the stomach can get damaged due to the acid and Aloe Vera juice helps to create a cooling sensation.

  • Bananas

You will need

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

How to

  1. Cut the banana into smaller pieces.
  2. Mash the pieces in a bowl.
  3. Add milk to the mashed banana and mix well.
  4. Eat the mashed banana immediately to reduce the acidity.

How this works: bananas are natural antacids. They help to neutralize the acid present in the stomach and provide quick relief from the symptoms.

  • Buttermilk

You will need:

  • 1 glass of cold buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel powder

How to

  1. Mix some fennel powder with cold buttermilk and have it.

How this works: buttermilk provides instant relief from heartburn as it helps to neutralize the acids. Fennel powder helps to provide a cooling sensation and reduces irritability.

  • Cumin powder

You will need

  • 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • A rolling pin
  • 1 glass of cold water

How to

  1. Heat up a pan
  2. Once the pan is sufficiently hot, put the cumin seeds on it and roast them until they are brown.
  3. Make sure you do not burn the seeds.
  4. Once they are roasted, allow the seeds to cool slightly.
  5. Now place the seeds on a smooth surface and with the help of a rolling pin, convert the seeds into powder.
  6. Take the freshly prepared cumin powder and swallow it with the help of cold water.

How this works: cumin seeds have cooling properties and help to soothe the oesophagus and the stomach. The seeds also help in digestion and therefore will help the food to break down faster and prevent any further acid reflux.

  • Fennel tea

You will need

  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 1 cup of water

How to

  1. To 1 cup of water, add the fennel seeds.
  2. Allow the water to boil for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Let the tea cool down.
  4. Have the tea at room temperature.

How this works: fennel helps to provide instant relief from the symptoms of acid reflux and also aids digestion. You can prepare this tea beforehand, to allow it to cool and have a few sips after every meal to prevent acidity.

  • Potato juice

You will need

  • 1 raw potato
  • 1 pinch of turmeric
  • 1 cup of cold water

How to

  1. Peel the raw potato and shred it.
  2. To extract the juice, simply put the shreds into a cheesecloth and twist the cloth to get the juice.
  3. To half cup of potato juice, add ½ cup of cold water.
  4. Add a pinch of turmeric and mix.
  5. Consume this juice to get instant relief from heartburn.

How this works: potato juice is alkaline in nature. Therefore it helps to neutralize the pH of the stomach and reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.

  • Baking soda

You will need

  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 glass of cold water

How to

  1. Simply mix baking soda with the water and consume immediately to get relief from acidity.

How this works: baking soda is an alkaline salt. It helps to neutralize the acids in the stomach. However, this remedy is very potent. It should not be used very frequently as it could upset the natural pH of the stomach and interfere with the digestion process.

  • Ginger tea

You will need

  • 5 slices of peeled ginger
  • 1 glass of water

How to:

  1. Add the ginger slices to the water.
  2. Allow the water to boil until it turns slightly yellow.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Allow the tea to cool slightly.
  5. Have before and after every meal.

How this works: ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to digest the food better and also prevent the excess production of acids.

  • Pineapple juice

Pineapple juice has certain enzymes which reduce the production of acid in the stomach. Pineapple juice can be consumed as soon as you begin to experience the symptoms. You can also have pineapple as a whole fruit.

  • Apple cider vinegar

You will need

  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of water

How to

  1. Mix the two ingredients together and drink when experiencing heartburn.

How this works: apple cider vinegar has a pH of 5. Hence it helps to lower the pH of the stomach and provide relief from the burning sensation. You may also consume apple cider vinegar every morning to avoid the acidity altogether.

CAUSES OF HEARTBURN

There can be several causes of heartburn. Some of the causes include diet changes while sometimes recurring heartburn could indicate some other health condition related to the digestive system.

  • Improper functioning of the valve
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One of the main causes of heartburn is the dysfunctioning of a muscular valve present right above the stomach. This valve opens and closes in order to let the food get into the stomach. Our stomach produces enzymes and acids for the digestion of food. However, if the valve present over it is not closing properly or opens up too often, it can lead to some of the acid reaching up to the food pipe. This produces a burning sensation which we call heartburn.  In some cases, it could be a result of certain factors like obesity, constipation or pregnancy. This is because these conditions put too much pressure on the stomach causing it to relax the valve and allow the stomach acids to reach up.

  • Large sized meals

Another cause could be eating large meals. When you consume too much food in one go, the stomach gets stretched and the valve is not able to close properly. This again leads to heartburn. If you already suffer from heartburn, then it is best to avoid having too much food in one go.

  • Having fat rich food

Food that contains a lot of fat takes more time to be digested. The body needs to process it longer and hence it stays in the stomach for a longer period of time too. To break down the fat globules, the stomach produces more acid which can not only trigger a heartburn episode but could worsen it as well.

  • Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine contain compounds which cause the muscles of the digestive system to relax. If consumed in excess, they can interfere with the proper functioning of the valve present over the stomach and lead to symptoms of heartburn.

PRECAUTIONS

  • Do not wear clothes which are body hugging. Avoid wearing jeans or any lowers which are too tight around your waist or the stomach area. Wearing comfortable clothes will reduce the chances of getting heartburn and will also make it easier to deal with it.
  • Don’t exercise right after having a meal. Allow your stomach to digest the food. Doing any physically intensive activity right after having a meal can trigger heartburn and cause the stomach acids to reach up your food pipe.
  • Stay away from spicy foods. This is especially important for people who experience acid reflux regularly. Having spicy food will not only trigger the production of stomach acids but also make the burning sensation much worse and harder to deal with.
  • Keep your weight under check. As mentioned before, extra body weight will exert pressure on the stomach. Keeping your weight under check will ease the symptoms as well.
  • Stay away from caffeine. Avoid having black coffee or too much tea. Smoking can also cause heartburn as it decreases muscle flexibility, thus enabling heartburn.
  • If you have been experiencing acidity very frequently then you must see your doctor in order to make sure that your symptoms don’t turn into a bigger health problem.

MYTHS AND FACTS

MYTHS FACTS
Heartburn is non-invasive. Experiencing heartburn symptoms occasionally is nothing to worry about. However, if you have frequent episodes after most meals, then it could lead to internal damage. Heartburn can lead to stomach ulcers and other digestion complications.
Bad food causes heartburn. No food is specifically the cause of heartburn. The cause of heartburn is a dysfunctional muscle valve present over the stomach. Certain foods can only trigger acid reflux but cannot be the root cause.
Over-the-counter medications are more effective than natural remedies. OTC Medicines only provide temporary relief. Regular consumption of medications can lead to experiencing side effects. They only deal with the symptoms and do not work to eliminate the root cause of heartburn. Regular use of antacids will harm the lining of the stomach whereas natural remedies provide the same relief with absolutely no side effects and dependence.
Milk is an effective remedy for acid reflux. Milk is not very effective because it does not provide immediate relief. In fact, it can aggravate the symptoms. This could happen because, during heartburn, the digestive system is already weak. Having milk will cause the stomach to produce more acid.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is heartburn very common condition?

Heartburn is quite a common ailment amongst elders and is usually nothing to worry about unless it is happening very frequently.

How long do natural remedies take to show effect?

 

Natural remedies can take about 10 to 15 minutes in order to ease the symptoms. The effect of natural remedies is usually more long-lasting.

Can children experience heartburn too?

Yes, children may experience this condition too. However, it is not advised to give children the medicated antacids. It is better to use home remedies for children.

What foods should be avoided to prevent symptoms?

Caffeinated drinks and spicy food must be avoided. Specifically, tomatoes and citric fruits like lemons, oranges or even kiwis could trigger heartburn.

Can stress lead to heartburn?

Stress has not been proven to cause heartburn. The resultant changes in the diet due to having chronic stress may, in turn, lead to digestive problems. Stress alone is not a cause of this.

What complications arise due to heartburn?

Heartburn, if left untreated can lead to health problems like stomach ulcers and inflammation. This, in turn, would lead to indigestion and more frequent episodes of acid reflux.

Does the sleeping position play a role in this?

Someone who experiences frequent episodes of heartburn is advised to lie down in an elevated position. This means that your upper body should be slightly raised then the lower body. Keep a pillow under the head while sleeping. Instead of lying flat on the back, lying down in a slightly elevated position will help to prevent the acid from coming up into the throat.

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