There are many home remedies for heartburn, but their effectiveness varies from person to person, so in this guide, we will explore some of them, and hopefully, you will find what works for you.
Heartburn is the unpleasant feeling you get when the contents of your stomach start returning to your throat. It can be very uncomfortable and painful, and sometimes, it can feel like a burning sensation, but it isn’t life-threatening and can be resolved at home.
What Causes Heartburn?
Despite what the name implies, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart; instead, it occurs when the gastric juice or acidic content in your stomach (hydrochloric acid (HCl), lipase, and pepsin) moves to your oesophagus and results in damage or irritation of the lining of your oesophagus.
The gastric juice in your stomach is there to aid the digestion of food, and your stomach can handle this acid, but your oesophagus cannot, so it can even cause injury.
So, to make sure the acid content of the stomach cannot go back up, there is a valve called the lower oesophageal sphincter between the stomach and the oesophagus. It relaxes so food and other things can pass to your stomach, but it contracts to prevent these things from going back up. However, if the valve starts to relax abnormally, your stomach contents can travel back to your oesophagus and cause heartburn.
Home Remedies for Heartburn
So now that you understand why you are experiencing heartburn, we can progress to the home remedies for heartburn that will give you quick relief.
Eat Slowly and Avoid Overeating
Having large amounts of food in your stomach can put too much pressure on it and force the lower oesophageal sphincter to malfunction, which will allow acid reflux. If you do this often, you will be more likely to experience heartburn, so one of the best ways to relieve and prevent it is to avoid overeating and eat slowly so your stomach can process your food properly.
Elevate the Head of Your Bed
Elevating your head and chest when you sleep will prevent the occurrence of acid reflux and heartburn. You can do this by simply raising the head of your bed; however, note that it is not advisable to pile up pillows for this.
Do not Lie Down Immediately After Eating
Lying down immediately after a meal with your stomach still full can trigger acid reflux and make heartburn more frequent. So you need to sit down for at least 2 to 3 hours after eating before you lie down so that your stomach will have time to digest your food. This also means that you should avoid late-night food because digestion becomes slower at night.
Bananas have low acid content, and it is very gentle on the digestive system; it is also believed that they are natural antacids, which reduce acidity in the stomach. The vitamins contained in them also help stop the gastrointestinal spasm.
Drink a Mixture of Baking Soda and Water
Baking soda has the ability to alkalize your body and significantly reduce the acidity of your stomach; it is one of the most effective home remedies for heartburn. Just mix it with water when you are having heartburn or acid reflux and drink it. In a few minutes, you will notice some good changes.
Wear Loose-fitted Clothes
If you frequently experience heartburn, you should not wear tight-fitting clothes and belts that put pressure on your stomach and contribute to heartburn.
Sip Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works for some people, but it does not work for others, and it can also make acid reflux worse for some people, depending on your body system. But it is worth the try because many have confirmed that it helps significantly reduce heartburn; mix a small amount with water and drink; it has been said to reduce stomach acidity.
If you experience frequent heartburn, then it is advisable to have some antacid medications at home, which can be in the form of tablets or syrup. They are the fastest home remedies for heartburn and can give you instant relief by reducing the concentration of acid in your stomach and oesophagus.
If you are Overweight, it is Time to Shed Some Weight
Being overweight can also put too much pressure on your stomach and facilitate the occurrence of acid reflux and heartburn, so even if this is not a fast approach, it is one of the steps you can take to eliminate heartburn. As much as possible, try to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
Studies have shown that chewing gum can stimulate saliva production and enhance swallowing, which can help dilute and clear off the stomach acid in the oesophagus. In general, chewing gum, especially those with mint, also has some benefits for digestion, so it will also help your food digest faster and reduce the occurrence of heartburn.
Liquorice root is one of the most effective home remedies for heartburn; it has great antioxidants anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. A study has shown that the herbal supplement can provide quick relief from heartburn and has been used as an antacid for many years.
See also: Home Remedy For Stomach Pain
These home remedies for heartburn are effective depending on your body system. Still, if your heartburn is caused by an underlying condition like a stomach ulcer, these remedies will only give you temporary relief.
So, if you experience recurring heartburn and start to notice signs like bloody vomit, severe chest pain, trouble swallowing, bloody stool and unexplained weight loss, you need to see a doctor for proper assessment and treatment.