If you have ever woken up in the middle of the night with burning pain that radiates fromÂ your throat down to your upper abdomen, then you know what heartburn feels like. ItÂ can be scary the first few times because you often assume it is much worse than it is.
But even though it isnâ€™t a serious condition, it can be very uncomfortable and sometimesÂ last for quite a while. There is good news these natural remedies will help with your heartburn.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn occurs when the acid in your stomach starts to irritate the esophagus. YouÂ might experience the burning in your chest, throat, or upper abdomen area. SomeÂ people experience the pain in one location, while others have it throughout this entireÂ general area. Heartburn can be acute, where it is only from eating or drinking certainÂ things. However, some people experience chronic heartburn, where it keeps continuing.
How is it Different From Acid Reflux?
Heartburn is often confused with acid reflux, but these are two different conditions withÂ different causes and different side effects. You can have them both simultaneously, orÂ just one of them at a time. With acid reflux, the burning sensation actually comes fromÂ acid coming back up from your stomach to your esophagus. This causes burning inÂ your throat area, often stinging more than with heartburn.
Acid reflux itself can cause heartburn, but it can also lead to a sore throat, cough, and aÂ sour or bitter taste in your mouth. Some of these remedies may help with acid reflux, butÂ they are mostly reserved for heartburn only.
What Causes Heartburn?
It is typically caused by things like pressure in the stomach from constipation orÂ pregnancy, from eating too many citrus foods, or from sleep or various medications. IfÂ you are getting chronic heartburn, where it keeps continuing to return and you canâ€™t getÂ a handle on it, than just choosing these natural remedies may not be enough.
In that case, it is better to start keeping a journal of when you experience heartburn soÂ you can see if there is a pattern. You should be able to tell if it is from a medicalÂ condition like GERD or acid reflux, if you are eating something that causes it, or if itÂ might be from the medications you are taking.
Luckily, many of the remedies for heartburn are completely natural and healthy for you.Â They range from taking certain herbs to eating or drinking remedies that are good forÂ reducing the pain associated with heartburn. Here are some of the top remedies that willÂ put a stop to the heartburn.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
is a popular option for people who tend to get chronic heartburn. What you want toÂ do when you have heartburn regularly is try to balance out your pH levels. You need toÂ lower the acidic levels in your stomach in order to stop the burning, which is what youÂ can do with apple cider vinegar.
While this is a type of acid, it actually helps to improveÂ that pH level and hopefully make you feel a little bit better.Â You still want some acid in your stomach, but it should be a pH level of about 2-3, notÂ over 5 which is common with people who have regular bouts of heartburn.
Make sure if you decide to use apple cider vinegar, you get it unfiltered so that you haveÂ extra probiotics in it as well. You can dilute it with some water and drink a full glass of it.Â Let it sit for several minutes to wait to see if it helps. Repeat the process if needed.
ForÂ chronic heartburn, you might want to drink this before every meal that is going toÂ contain acidic ingredients. You can also try other foods or beverages that contain apple cider vinegar, like addingÂ to a natural juice you have made. Apples are also good with heartburn, so you mightÂ make your own apple juice and add some of the apple cider vinegar in there as well.
2. Baking Soda
For more of the severe cases of heartburn, baking soda is usually a good option. TheÂ baking soda is going to help soak up some of that acid and help to neutralize the extraÂ acid causing heartburn in your esophagus or stomach.
Baking soda is safe for the majority of people to ingest, and just about everyone has it inÂ their home. However, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor if you have chronicÂ heartburn or if you are thinking of trying baking soda mixed with water. It may be a littleÂ harsh for some people, depending on how sensitive you are to such things.
It might not taste great, but definitely give it a try if other remedies arenâ€™t working or thisÂ is all you have access to. What you want to do is add just a half teaspoon of bakingÂ soda to about Â¼ glass of water. Stir it to combine and then drink the water. Like theÂ apple cider vinegar, you can repeat this if you need to.
Believe it or not, you can have yourself a licorice snack and it will help you with yourÂ heartburn. The thing here is that you want to have the real licorice, not licorice that isÂ mostly sugar or preservatives. Licorice not only helps to lower the acid in your stomachÂ leading to the heartburn, but it can also provide a natural way to heal other issues goingÂ on in your digestive system.
Just be aware that too much licorice can have some bad side effects. You should onlyÂ eat a moderate amount of licorice when you have heartburn. If you have high bloodÂ pressure already, licorice might not be your best option.
The regular black licorice is usually the best option. It might not be an acquired taste forÂ everyone, so donâ€™t get a big package if youâ€™re not sure if you will like it. Remember thisÂ is not the same as the red licorice snack you might be used to.
When it comes down to herbs for heartburn, ginger is one of the best ones for you. YouÂ may already be aware that ginger is great for digestion and many other problems withÂ your health in general, so it should come as no surprise that gingerroot can help withÂ your heartburn as well.Â Ginger is very soothing and healing for the stomach, with ginger ale being a popularÂ beverage for people with nausea and other stomach problem. However, for heartburn,Â gingerroot tea is actually what will help the most.
You want to make this tea either whenÂ you already have heartburn, or shortly before eating a meal. This can help to keep theÂ acid burn down quite a bit.Â This works best when you use fresh gingerroot, which can be found at any supermarketÂ or natural food store in the produce or herbs section. To make gingerroot tea, add a fewÂ slices of gingerroot to about 2 cups of water, then let it simmer together.
Remove theÂ ginger before you drink the tea.Â You can also try adding more ginger to other foods and recipes if youâ€™re not too sureÂ about drinking the tea. Just make sure you are using fresh ginger root, as this is where aÂ lot of the health benefits come in when using it for heartburn.
5. Slippery Elm
Another herb that you might want to try for helping with your heartburn is called slipperyÂ elm. This might be an herb that you are less familiar with, but it is definitely at effectiveÂ for this medical condition. Slippery elm is a type of tree, but the entire tree isnâ€™t used forÂ an herbal remedy. It is just the inner part of the bark that has health benefits.Â This part of the bark is used for many different medical conditions, from diarrhea andÂ constipation to urinary tract infections and bladder problems.
It is very effective at manyÂ different digestion issues, and yes, can help with your heartburn.Â The way it helps is that the extract from the inner tree bark of slippery elm can help toÂ give you a thicker lining in your stomach, helping to protect it against acid in the future. This is why it is usually recommended as a long-term remedy if you have chronicÂ heartburn, as opposed to just being given if you get acute cases of it.
6. Milk Thistle
The next natural remedy we want to tell you about for heartburn is milk thistle. MilkÂ thistle is really simple to use since you will usually get it in a pill form from your localÂ drug store, so there is nothing to eat or drink just to benefit from this remedy. Milk thistleÂ is a type of herb that helps to reduce inflammation in the body and also is used as aÂ detox for the liver, plus being an antioxidant.Â Inflammation in the body is often associated with both acid reflux and heartburn, so itÂ can be a good remedy for you.
In addition to giving you relief for heartburn and acidÂ reflux, milk thistle can also help with lowering your cholesterol and be used to reduceÂ inflammation in other parts of your body, such as from arthritis.
If you just want to eat something delicious that also has the added benefit of helpingÂ with your heartburn, then youâ€™re in luck! Two fruits that are perfect for helping withÂ heartburn are bananas and apples.
You know the old adage â€˜An apple a day keeps the doctor away?â€™ â€“ the same can beÂ said for helping with heartburn.
Apples and fruit, in general, are already good for yourÂ general health. But having an apple every day can also help to reduce discomfortÂ brought on by heartburn, especially if you enjoy sliced apple before bedtime.Â Bananas are also excellent for helping with heartburn, thanks to their natural antacids.
Having a banana before a meal with acid can help to create a barrier in your stomach
that reduces that heartburn.
8. Aloe Juice
Next up is the aloe plant! Aloe is often used to help with sunburns, cuts, and scrapes,Â but this same healing tree can also be used for heartburn. Aloe has the ability to reduceÂ inflammation in your stomach lining and esophagus, which is often where the burningÂ sensation comes from. It is best to drink it shortly before or after a meal that you thinkÂ will cause heartburn, like tomato sauce on your pasta.
You can get a bottle of aloe vera juice in your supermarket or health food store, butÂ make sure it looks for a natural, organic juice. There is no need the added sugar. Making your own aloe juice if you have left from an aloe plant. You needÂ to scoop the gel out of the inside of the leaf by cutting it open, then put it in a jar. AddÂ about 2 teaspoons of the gel to a fruit juice of your juice, blending well. You can thenÂ drink it just like any other juice.
9. Lemon Juice
While it is true that food sources with a lot of acids, like citrus fruits, can lead toÂ heartburn, some of them can balance out your pH levels. Lemon juice is one of theseÂ acids, so it is good to have if you suffer from chronic heartburn.Â There are also tons of extra health benefits to lemon juice, like lots of vitamin C andÂ plenty of antioxidants.
Having a little lemon juice when you have heartburn can workÂ great for you.Â Be careful of lemonade, which is mixed with a lot of sugar, as it isnâ€™t necessary andÂ might not help as much as just lemon juice. You can also try adding some slices ofÂ lemon to your water and drink this before meals. Try to choose organic lemons if you goÂ this route as they are better for you.
Believe it or not, mustard can also help with your heartburn! Mustard is an alkalizingÂ food, which means it helps to balance out the pH levels of acid in your stomach andÂ esophagus that lead to heartburn. It is a weak acid, similar to vinegar, so it wonâ€™t makeÂ the acid worse but balance it out a little better. Plus, mustard is easy to add to differentÂ dishes, whether you use bottled mustard, the powdered form, or even mustard seeds.
While it may be tart and not sound super appealing, just a teaspoon of mustard you eatÂ straight from the bottle can do wonders for heartburn.
What to Avoid
Also, make sure that you are not eating or drinking things that can cause heartburn toÂ occur more often.
Citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges
Oil-based salad dressing
Beer, liquor, and wine
Some types of tea
Grains like pasta
As long as you reduce your consumption of these foods and drinks, and follow theÂ previously mentioned remedies you should have help for your heartburn.