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Home / Wellness

Five natural remedies for acid reflux

 When acid flows backwards into the oesophagus in rythmic waves this causes a reflux (Image: Shutterstock)

Before rushing to the pharmacy for some medication, you may want to read this first. Chances are you already have a remedy at home. But before we get to that, let’s understand what acid reflux is first and what it does to the body.

If you have a bad taste in your mouth, heart burn, hoarseness in your voice and may be a sore throat, you may be battling acid reflux.

When acid flows backwards into the oesophagus- the tube that carries food into your stomach in rhythmic waves, it causes a reflux. This can also cause pain and a burning sensation in the chest and throat.

Coffee, spicy foods and genetics are some of the main causes of acid reflux.

Before resorting to treatment, you must first determine whether what you are experiencing is a heart burn or a severe form of reflux which may cause GERD.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD may occur due to a number of reasons and is accompanied with some coughing, difficult swallowing, bad breath and chest pain. However, the most common symptom is heart burn.

If not treated or managed, GERD can lead to esophagitis, esophageal cancer and other diseases. GERD is a chronic condition where acidified liquid content from your stomach is regularly pushed up into the esophagus.

So, what does this mean? Well, you may have to make some lifestyle changes with regards to certain foods, like no more smoking and going easy on alcohol as you try one of these home remedies:

 Apple cider vinegar will help restore acidity levels in your stomach (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Although there is no conclusive evidence that this works, the reason it is recommended is on the basis that your heartburn may be as a result of contents flowing back to the oesophagus because there isn’t enough acid.

    By drinking some apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, it helps restore the acidity levels in your stomach back to normal as it aids in digestion.

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    To a cup of warm water add three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and drink before mealtime or going to bed.

     Baking soda is one of the best alkalines for neutralizing acidity (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Baking soda
  • An inexpensive remedy that works is basking soda. This is one of the best alkalines for neutralizing acidity.

    This however should not be a solution you reach out to every time you have acid reflux. Bicarbonate of soda is high in sodium and may lead to alkalosis which may in turn trigger cardiovascular diseases.

    If you’re also on a low sodium diet it is advisable to talk to your doctor first before using this remedy. In a cup of warm water add a tablespoon, stir and drink.

     Herbal teas will help reduce acid reflux symptoms (Image: Shutterstock)
  • Herbal teas
  • Replace coffee and alcohol with decaffeinated herbal teas such as green tea, fruit teas, chamomile and licorice tea. mint teas are to be avoided at all costs as they may cause heart burn to certain people.

    Take any of these teas while distressing and relaxing. Although herbs are a natural way to reduce the symptoms, enough studies haven’t been carried out to prove whether or not it works with GERD>

    If tea isn’t your thing, you can also consider tinctures and supplements.

  • Licorice
  • Used in soothing stomach ailments, the deglycyrrhizinated licorice works best because the glycyrrhizin, the compound that can raise blood pressure has been removed.

    It works by reducing inflammation in the oesophagus when your immune system causes a reaction to fight off infection. In this case, it can worsen the influx.

    It comes in multiple flavors and you can take it in the form of a tablet. If you can’t find one, take some ginger.

     Foods rich in fiber will aid digestion and lessen acid reflux (Image: Shutterstock)
  • High fiber foods
  • To lessen acid reflux from occurring, introduce a fiber rich diet that will aid digestion. Start introducing some oats, brown rice, broccoli and other whole foods and organic fruits and vegetables slowly into your diet.

    Stick to low fat foods and proteins as well.

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