Acid reflux, or heartburn, is a seemingly ordinary condition that could actually be a precursor to more serious health problems. Acid reflux is a condition wherein the acid present in the stomach rises up into the esophagus, which is the narrow tube connecting the throat with the stomach.
The presence of acid in the esophagus causes a burning sensation just behind the breastbone and is often accompanied by pain in the chest, neck, throat, and in the jaw. According to a recent study by researchers at the University of California, nearly 42 percent of the total population in the United States alone has suffered from heartburn at one time or the other in their lifetime.
While the majority of heartburn cases are caused due to poor dietary or lifestyle habits, acid reflux is also a symptom of a number of serious diseases such as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome, or even acute myocardial infarction and angina.
So if you are taking medication specifically to reduce acid reflux but continue to suffer from heartburn regularly, be sure to check up with your doctor before trying out any herbal remedies for acid reflux.
There are a number of ways in which heartburn can be treated. Minor cases of heartburn can be easily treated by taking an antacid while persistent heartburn is treated by using H2 receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors, especially among those who suffer from gastritis and GERD.
Herbal Remedies for Acid Reflux
There are a number of effective herbal remedies for acid reflux. Some of the herbs that can provide relief from the condition include:
Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe Vera juice has since long been used to treat a number of digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. Drinking 1/4 cup of aloe vera juice around 20 minutes before a meal is thought to prevent the occurrence of acid reflux. However, aloe vera is considered harmful if taken orally. Hence one should make sure that the aloe vera used before extracting the juice is free from aloe latex, aloin, or aloe-emodin compounds.
Marshmallow Tea: Another traditional herbal remedy for heartburn is marshmallow. The herb contains a thick, gluey substance known as mucilage. This substance has often been used to treat gastrointestinal inflammatory processes included heartburn. Herbalists recommended boiling one tablespoon of dried marshmallow root in water, steeping it covered, and then straining. A word of caution, marshmallow is known to lower blood sugar levels and this remedy is not for those who are taking diabetic medication.
Chamomile: Chamomile is one of the most popular herbal remedies for acid reflux. The herb is rich in calcium content and acts as a perfect remedy for heartburn by lowering the acid levels in the stomach and bringing relief from heartburn symptoms. Chamomile’s reputation as a powerful sleeping aid means that it is perfect for those who often suffer from nighttime heartburn.
Apart from these three popular herbal remedies for acid reflux, other remedies include slippery elm, lavender, peppermint, ginger root, black pepper, and catnip tea.
Besides herbal treatments, you can also try acupuncture for your acid reflux. Acupuncture helps address multiple kinds of dysfunctions in the body affected by gasotransmitters.
Of course, the best way to avoid acid reflux is to make those small but important lifestyle changes such as not going to bed soon after having a meal or losing that excess weight. Remember, if your heartburn symptoms persist even after you seek treatment (be it herbal or medicinal) be sure to contact a physician in order to make sure that it is not related to a deeper problem.…