Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. Instead, it happens when stomach acid refluxes or flows up to the esophagus and irritates it with a burning sensation. Heartburn is a common complaint—one in 10 Americans experiences some symptoms of heartburn at least once a week. Are you one of them? Do have often feel a burning discomfort rising from your chest area up to your throat that prevents you from enjoying your food? If you’re one of them, there are various ways to treat this problem. You can use medication, home remedies or make diet changes.
Most people use TUMS or some form of antacid pills, but here are some home remedies that you can use to naturally treat the problem.
Knowing what trigger off your heartburn is the very first proactive step you can take. Be conscious of what food sets off the acid refluxes. Is it spicy food? Maybe some sauerkraut, ketchup or dill pickles? Could be hot dogs, chicken wings or French fries? Different people have different food triggers. There are however, certain food categories that can contribute to heartburn: fatty foods, acidic foods, spicy foods and caffeinated, carbonated, or alcoholic beverages. By avoiding these types of foods or going easy on them can help to nip the problem in the bud.
There are certain herbs you can stash in your refrigerator to help you quell the burning. Parsley is one of them. Not only is it full of antioxidants, it is a cleansing herb and helps the digestive tract function properly. Add parsley to your cooking, chew on a sprig or two after eating or make yourself a nice cup of parsley tea.
Another favorite herb of mine is fennel. If you frequent Indian restaurant, you will find bowls of candy-coated fennel sitting on the counter when you check out. Pinch a handful and eat them—they fight stomach acid and clean out your breath. I use it often in my cooking and you can do the same. It also comes in tea form, so brew yourself a cup.
Other herbs to consider include cumin, cinnamon and devil’s claw.
Love to munch on something after a meal? I do too. I love nuts and dried fruits and a cup of hot tea. Almonds and hazel nuts (use the unsalted ones) are alkaline and will help to neutralize acid, to give you temporary relief. Raisins and dried figs can do the job too. They’re also high in alkaline and chewing them also produces saliva to help digestion.
Other high alkaline foods include Barley grass, broccoli, celery, cilantro and raw spinach.
Carry a pack of gum with you. Just make sure it’s not mint, peppermint or spearmint. The act of chewing produces saliva which helps to digestion. Saliva contains bicarbonate, our body’s own natural antacid to neutralize acids.
Manage heartburn with these natural remedies. If you experience regular or constant heartburn, you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Consult your doctor and ask for advice.