There are plenty of heartburn home remedies available right in your kitchen only if you recognise them. Heartburn is experienced by all foodies on a regular basis and these might come in handy. It’s experienced by most of us after some party or wedding where we over-ate out of sheer love in our hearts for the host. But it is a misnomer and has actually got no relation with the heart.
Acid reflux or heartburn is an uncomfortable sensation of burning or warmth in the central region of chest behind the breastbone. It might be accompanied with some amount of water-brash, nausea, regurgitation of food or even vomiting. Sometimes there might be radiation of the discomfort and pain to the lower jaw, left arm and to the back. It is basically the re-entry of the food up the oesophagus or food pipe after it has reached the stomach and got mixed with the acid in stomach.
Because of the radiation symptoms similar to angina it is necessary to distinguish the two quickly. Heartburn itself might be a symptom of a medical condition called Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) where there is repetitive acid reflux leading to symptoms and changes in the oesophageal lining (oesophagitis). The causes of heartburn are generally a heavy meal, lying down immediately after a meal and obesity.
Keep in mind these few tips to cut down on the amount of heartburn itself –
– Instead of 2 large meals, have 4-6 smaller meals spaced out over the day and allow your digestive system to function more effectively.
– Chew well. Chew at least 20-30 times before you swallow as the stomach gets overloaded when you keep adding food into it without proper mastication which is a process of digestion in itself.
– Avoid wearing very tight clothing like corsets etc which force the food out of the stomach.
– Lie with the head at a higher level than the stomach (about 6 inches) after a gap of at least 30 minutes after a meal.
– Avoid stooping after a meal for some time.
– Stop smoking, drinking excess alcohol, tea or coffee and highly seasoned or spicy foods and watch your heartburn reduce by at least 50%.
– Put on your running shoes and start a moderate daily exercise routine. This will help in reducing the abdominal fat that is forcing all the food up into your food pipe.
– Avoid medications like tranquilizers, muscle relaxants and anti-cholinergic drugs.
Whatever be the reason, there are plenty of heartburn home remedies available to give quick relief before you rush to your doctor.
1. Have a glass of cold water or add ½ tablespoon of baking soda to it before having. You may add some lemon juice to make it more palatable. It is a miracle remedy for heartburn.
2. Add 1-2 dried chamomile leaves to 1 cup boiling water. Sip on this concoction slowly. It soothes the acidity.
3. Drink a glass of juice of aloe vera, honey and some ginger. It eases the intestine and helps heal them.
4. Having just 2 tablespoons of honey in a glass of cool water works well to neutralise the acidity.
5. Have a teaspoon of apple cider or regular vinegar followed by a glass of water to cut down the heartburn. It tricks the body into thinking there is a lot of heartburn and strongly stimulates the salivary glands to release a lot of saliva which neutralises the stomach acids.
6. Chewing gum! Yes chewing gum, flavoured or plain mint is the best way to curb the heartburn. It helps swallow a lot of saliva and that remedies your heartburn.
7. Fennel seed oil is known to help those heartburn episodes for reasons unknown. It is inexpensive and very popular as a heartburn remedy.
8. Chew on some celery or mustard seeds. The chewing stimulates a saliva build up and acts by nullifying the acidity. Mustard acts faster as it contains vinegar and works the same way.
9. Hypothyroidism has been strongly associated with heartburn. Evidence shows that many of us lack enough iodine necessary for optimal thyroid function. Thus consuming good old sea salt or adding iodine supplements to your diet might help. Alternatively you can consume iodized water or salt.
10. Pineapple contains Bromelain which is thought to improve protein digestion and reduce inflammation. Thus, next time you might consider having some pineapple.
11. Protein shakes are good alternatives if you suffer from heartburn in the uncommon morning hours. Take a glass of shake with minimal water.
If the heartburn still continues as frequently or worsens then you might want to drop by your family physician to rule out more serious conditions like hiatus hernia among others.
– Dr. Rachita Narsaria