Why spend cash on meds when there seem to be plenty of home remedies for heartburn around. A scan of the internet turns up a host of short term, but effective, ways to relieve acid reflux, many of which use common household ingredients which you’ll be able to reach out for in the middle of the night.
The most popular home remedies for heartburn are Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, Chewing Gum, Yellow Mustard, and a Red Apple.
Unfortunately, however, what works for one may not necessarily work for others, and if your symptoms are not relieved by any one of these, try another. As is usual with home remedies, do be careful about what you take and how much, and if you’re in any doubt about the cause of your discomfort, consult a physician.
I’ve listed the common home remedies for heartburn below in rough order of popularity:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Whilst this is counter-intuitive, taking an acid solution seems to be effective against acid reflux in many people. There is a body of medical opinion which concludes that acid reflux is caused by too little
stomach acid (this will be subject of another post). Most people seem to take a teaspoon of this vinegar in a glass of water with honey during, or after, a meal. I am currently trying this; I’ve written about all the other health benefits of apple cider vinegar here
. it is remarkably pleasant, and it does seem to reduce the feeling of burning after a meal.
I came across a lot of references to drinking Pickle juice bringing temporary relief; I assume this is basically the same type of acid (but probably more readily available and cheaper).
In the contrast to the apple cider vinegar, baking soda neutralises the acid temporarily, due to its highly alkaline nature. One teaspoonful in a glass of water seems to do the trick for some people, including me when the pain is particularly acute, though reports of gaseous bouts following drinking appear common! Also, limit your long term intake as there is a high salt content.
Baking soda is available at any corner shop or supermarket, and you can buy a highly rated aluminium free variety online.
More convenient chewable tablets are available, but more difficult to come by.
I have not been able to find out the exact reason this does give relief, but there is no doubt that it increases saliva which may have a protective effect on the esophagus. For some people, mint flavours trigger reflux, so I suggest you use a fruit based gum. I actually swear by chewing gum after meals – it consistently works for me in reducing discomfort.
A small amount of yellow mustard (1 tsp in a glass of water) has a rapid effect on relieving symptoms of acid reflux and is one of the more popular home remedies for heartburn. The yellow colouring in mustard is said to be tumeric, which has been widely used for digestive disorders for a long time. I have not tried this yet, but I intend to.
Let me know if you have tried any of these, and what the effect has been, and share any others you have found to be effective.
A slice of red apple seems to help a lot of people with the symptoms. There doesn’t appear to be any particular chemical or physiological reason for this. It doesn’t work for me.