It’s a realization that hits you all at once. Maybe you tried to avoid the foods you know cause problems, but you had a slip-up, and now the slow-burning sensation of heartburn is back and enveloping your chest. No matter which way you try to turn or shift your body, you can’t get comfortable, and you can’t relieve any of the pressure building up.
Heartburn happens to many people for many different reasons, all of which are simply unpleasant. It happens when stomach acid decides it wants to creep up your esophagus and make its home there. It’s not always every day that you will have heartburn medication on you, and even if you do, sometimes it feels like it doesn’t do enough to relieve the sensation.
If you struggle with heartburn, it can be beneficial to know what other options for remedies are out there. There are plenty of ways you could make changes, both dietary and lifestyle, that would help to alleviate the discomfort of heartburn and get you feeling like yourself again!
Home remedies are a great way to help heartburn, but knowing what ingredients you might need is the first step. We’ve put together a list of the top eight home remedies that you can do to relieve your heartburn, so keep reading if you want to learn more!
As mentioned above, heartburn occurs when stomach acid goes up into the esophagus, and the burning sensation that you feel results from this happening. This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter fails to close off the esophagus from your stomach, and bile gets through. Many things can trigger heartburn, especially foods that are highly acidic or saturated in fat. Foods that can trigger heartburn are:
- Beverages with caffeine like coffee
- Spicy foods
- Large quantities of any food
It’s not only food that can impact heartburn. There are lifestyle choices that can contribute to the burning sensation, so it’s important to consider all possible aspects that could affect it. If you are a smoker, you might be more prone to heartburn because tobacco relaxes the muscles in your esophagus. Your best bet is avoiding smoke altogether.
Pregnant people might also experience more heartburn because of the added pressure on the stomach and abdomen. If you take too many ibuprofen or blood pressure medications, you might notice that you experience more heartburn than usual.
Getting to the bottom of it may be easy, or not so much, but these remedies are here to help!
Symptoms of Heartburn
You will most likely know when you are experiencing heartburn because your chest and upper stomach will be very uncomfortable. Symptoms to look out for are:
- Burning sensation in the chest or throat after eating or late at night
- Chest pain
- Worsening pain when you lay down or bend over
- Bitter taste in your mouth
- Unexpected weight loss
You may randomly experience heartburn after eating highly acidic food or eating lots of fatty foods. If pain persists despite using medication, it’s happening more than twice a week, and you are constantly feeling nauseous or even vomiting, you should contact your doctor to figure out what is going on.
Most people will tell you to grab an over-the-counter antacid medication for heartburn relief and try to avoid the foods that can induce heartburn. If you find that taking medication doesn’t do as much as you want, you might want to know a few home remedies that can help in between taking more medication. There are plenty of home remedies that you can try to relieve some of the symptoms, and luckily for you, we’ve gathered them right here into this list!
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
Otherwise known as Licorice root, this herb is often used in medicine. When consumed, licorice increases the mucus coating along the lining in the esophagus, which can help limit the effects that stomach acid has during heartburn. Licorice carries the compound glycyrrhizin, an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and has antimicrobial properties, and has been tied to alleviating heartburn symptoms.
You can find licorice root in both a pill and liquid form, so it’s quite easy to consume quickly if you can feel the heartburn coming on!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Sometimes, when you are experiencing heartburn, it results from too little acid in the stomach, and by introducing apple cider vinegar into your body, you are adding more acid. This may seem counterproductive, but creating an equal balance of acid in the body should help limit any uncomfortable pain you may experience.
The longer that food sits in your stomach without being digested, the more likely it can assist with the pain, so having acid to break down the food in the stomach is important.
You can add apple cider vinegar into your water with some honey and drink it. Most people have some apple cider vinegar just lying around, so check your cabinets before running out to the store to buy a new bottle!
If you are not a fan of apple cider vinegar, you can swap this out for freshly squeezed lemon juice. The acid from the lemon juice will do the same thing as the apple cider vinegar, and try to balance out your acid levels and help digest any food sitting there inside of you.
Pineapple is another one of those acidic foods that you might be wondering why it’s on the home remedies list. But pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain, while acidic, has an alkalizing effect on your body as you begin to digest it.
If you have an active stomach ulcer, eating pineapple and other citrus and acidic fruits will cause you pain. But eating pineapple in moderation can help to lessen the acidic properties in your stomach bile that assist in your heartburn symptoms.
One of the more popular and easy-to-do home remedies for heartburn includes baking soda. Baking soda has an alkalizing effect on the body. It's often already in your home and works similarly to over-the-counter antacids.
Simply mix some baking soda in with water (and honey for flavoring) when you are experiencing heartburn, and you will notice a difference! It should not be the only remedy long-term, but can provide temporary and quick relief.
Sodium bicarbonate is not meant to be ingested for long periods daily, so it needs to be monitored or understood that when you are taking it, you are doing so only a little at a time and when you need it. It will not cure your heartburn but only relieve some of the symptoms.
Aloe Vera Juice
We often think about aloe vera being strictly topical to treat rashes and sunburns, but that’s not actually the case! Aloe vera juice is different from the gel, so make sure you note that when buying products. The gel isn’t to be consumed orally, but the juice is! The juice is loaded with vitamins and minerals that work to detoxify the body as you consume it. While there haven’t been many studies done, there are promising findings that show that it is safe to use aloe vera juice to treat heartburn.
Again, just make sure you purchase the juice, as the gel will not go down that well!
Bananas are a low-acid fruit that can easily be consumed to help relieve heartburn. They will help to soothe the irritated lining of your esophagus, and as you begin to digest them, they will provide fiber to your digestive tract to improve its functioning. Bananas are alkaline fruit high in potassium that help line the stomach so that it is more durable.
However, if the banana is not ripe, it might end up doing more harm than good! Make sure that the bananas you are consuming are ripe to get all the benefits out of them.
One way that heartburn is remedied is by the production of saliva. Saliva coats the esophagus and creates a barrier between the lining and the stomach acid, and neutralizes the acid.
This is where chewing gum comes in. You should avoid peppermint gum as this can increase your acid reflux and make heartburn symptoms more severe. If you feel heartburn coming on, chewing on your favorite sugar-free gum will help you protect your body from the pain!
You know how we all think to grab a ginger ale when we are feeling an upset stomach? Well, now we can upgrade to ginger tea! Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and can reduce inflammation which might help with acid reflux and heartburn. It reduces the likelihood that stomach acid will flow up through the esophagus and cause heartburn to occur.
You can add ginger to your diet with tea, by adding shavings on top of dishes, or by adding the spice to some of your favorite meals!
Bonus Tips To Help Acid Reflux or Heartburn Symptoms
If you wear tight clothing or a belt when you eat your meals, this could affect your acid reflux because of the compression it is causing on your stomach. Try wearing loose clothing to relieve any pressure being put on your stomach. As much as large meals tend to be appetizing, try eating smaller meals to help you avoid heartburn symptoms.
When you eat, it's best not to eat food that may trigger heartburn at least three hours before bedtime as it can affect your sleep, and acid reflux symptoms could worsen. Sleeping slightly upward can help symptoms if you experience pain while trying to sleep.
How Vessel Can Help with Heartburn
If you want to learn more about your body and health, sign-up to use Vessel Health’s services today. When you use our Wellness Card, you can gain insight into what is going on in your body. We tell you your different nutrient levels and what lifestyle changes you could make to improve your health.
For those that struggle with heartburn, finding home remedies can be extremely helpful, but knowing what’s going on inside of you can really alter how you feel on a day-to-day basis.
When you’re given the tools to understand your body, you can then make conscious decisions to improve your health. Talk to a Vessel Nutritionist if you are worried about heartburn and want to find out more ways to improve your overall health!
Mikaela Frame See all the author’s articles