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Herbal Remedies for Acid Reflux & Heartburn

November 4, 2012

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stomach, esophagus, acid reflux, heartburn



  It’s estimated that 20% of the population suffer from heartburn, indigestion or acid reflux at least once a week. Acid reflux and heartburn occur when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) allows acid from the stomach to flow back up into the esophagus. This causes pain, burning and discomfort in the chest.

            The LES naturally protects the delicate esophagus from stomach acid. It opens to allow food into the stomach and then immediately closes. The stomach produces hydrochloric acid to breakdown food. If the LES relaxes too much food and stomach acid can flow back up into the esophagus causing painful symptoms of heartburn. For mild cases of acid reflux over the counter, natural or herbal remedies can ease your symptoms. If you experience heartburn or acid reflux on a regular basis consult a physician to determine if your symptoms stem from a more serious condition or if your LES is not functioning properly.



The most common causes of heartburn and acid reflux are due to the foods we eat. If your heartburn or acid reflux is caused by food, remove those foods from your diet and your symptoms should cease. If they do not, consult your physician. Foods to avoid if you have acid reflux or heartburn include spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, vinegar, garlic, fatty foods, coffee, carbonated drinks, tomatoes, black pepper, chilies, alcohol, bread, foods high in sugar and raw onions. Eating these foods can aggravate your LES and cause acid reflux and heartburn. Be sure to eat slowly and chew each mouthful thoroughly. Undigested food can produce excess acid in the stomach. This produces gases, which can put pressure on a weakened LES and cause acid reflux and heartburn.

            The natural way to ease your heartburn symptoms is to remove the cause. Eat a sensible, well balanced diet and don’t overeat. Avoid acid reflux causing foods as much as possible. When you do experience symptoms treat them with herbal remedies. Beneficial natural and herbal remedies for heartburn and reflux include aloe Vera juice, chewable DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), marshmellow root tea, peppermint tea, aniseed or anise, lavender, digestive enzymes that contain pepsin or betain, papaya digestive enzymes, chicory root, and pineapple juice. Always check to make sure your herbal remedy does not conflict with any prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. Certified herbalists can determine if a remedy may cause side effects due to conflicts with other medications. Herbal teas, aloe Vera juice and digestive enzymes are available at health food stores and through alternative medical professionals.