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.
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. Highly recommended apple cider vinegar can be bought here (UK) and here (US)
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 here (US) and here (UK).
More convenient chewable tablets are available, but more difficult to come by; you can get a highly recommended variety here (UK) and here(US).
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. I prefer this make here.
Yellow Mustard: 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.
Red Apple: 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.
Full Disclosure: This page contains a number of links (Affiliate links) to products and services which, if purchased, generate a small commission. Part of this commission goes to maintaining this blog, and part is donated to organisations providing support for sufferers of gerd and esophageal cancer. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The page may also display ads from AdChoices, which we do not necessarily endorse.
Disclaimer: This information on this site is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other health care professional, and in no way explicitly states or implies the provision of advice or guidance. ALWAYS check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment. I am not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for ANY form of damages resulting from the use (or misuse) of information contained in or implied by the information on this site.