The digestive system is one of the most complex parts of the body and is designed to convert food into nutrients. In order to break down and digest food, the glands in the stomach produce mainly hydrochloric acid. To properly digest food so that the body can absorb the nutrients, it needs to be broken down properly. However, if the gastric glands are producing too much acid, it results in acid reflux & heartburn. Doctors in most cases prescribe over the counter antacids as the solution. However, many things can be done to reduce stomach acidity without the need to take antacids, eliminating the risk of the body becoming dependent on them. Here are eleven home remedies to reduce acidity that are natural, readily available and very inexpensive.
Cinnamon is full of health benefits. It acts as an antacid by getting rid of gastric gasses in the stomach. Try adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon in herbal tea and let it steep for a few minutes. By drinking cinnamon tea a few times a day or when experiencing heartburn, you will help prevent this from occurring by maintaining the health of the digestive system. Also try mixing cinnamon powder into cereal, oatmeal, juices or smoothies to change it up. Having trouble finding time to prepare smoothies? Try a Vitamix Blender for quick and easy usage.
Basil leaves reduce acid reflux and also have anti-ulcer properties. Similar to bananas, they assist in stimulating the stomach to produce more mucous for its lining. This results in more protection for the stomach from acid buildup. Try chewing basil leaves when suffering from heartburn to ease discomfort. Basil leaves can also be brewed in a hot cup of water or by adding it to herbal lemon tea. If a sweetener is required, try adding raw honey.
Buttermilk can be bought at the supermarket or made at home. It contains lactic acids that assist in neutralizing the acidity of the stomach. By drinking a few glasses, you can drastically reduce the symptoms. Try adding cinnamon powder for the ultimate heartburn reliever. Plus, it also helps make the buttermilk taste way better.
Ginger root is one of the best foods for aiding digestion. It helps to reduce the symptoms of stomach acidity by assisting in the production of mucous in the stomach lining. For immediate relief, try chewing on a piece of ginger root and swallow the juice extracted from the ginger. Do not eat the ginger root itself. Also, try adding a piece into a blender for an excellent smoothie.
If you are suffering from painful and uncomfortable heartburn caused by acid reflux, baking soda is one of the best natural remedies. This compound drastically reduces the discomfort associated with acid reflux by neutralizing the acids in the stomach. Try mixing half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. However, drinking baking soda is not recommended for regular use but only in moments of pain or discomfort caused by acid reflux.
Tulsi leaves are an excellent natural remedy to reduce acidity. They assist in soothing acid reflux by stimulating the stomach to produce more mucous and they also have significant anti-ulcer properties. These help in reducing the effects of gastric acids. Try chewing tulsi leaves for a few minutes or incorporating them into an herbal tea and watch the symptoms disappear. Consider using a french press for making the perfect tea.
Mint leaves are known for their digestive properties. They reduce the acid content in the stomach while improving overall digestion. Mint also has a soothing, cooling effect on the body, which alleviates the discomfort associated with heartburn. Try putting mint leaves in a teapot kettle for homemade mint tea. Also, try it in cold water with lemon with a mint lemonade.
Bananas are rich in potassium, making them an excellent natural remedy for reducing acidity. Potassium assists in keeping the acid levels in the stomach at a reasonable level. Additionally, the fiber in bananas boosts digestion, which helps prevent acid reflux. They are great at increasing the production of the mucous lining of the stomach, which makes the stomach less vulnerable to the harmful effects of high acid production.
Rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, turmeric boosts incredible health benefits as it is recognized as an alternative therapy for many gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux. Its most active ingredient, curcumin, is believed to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties, leading to turmeric becoming recognized as an alternative therapy for heartburn, inflammation, and stomach ulcers. One study concluded that acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) might possibly be caused by inflammation and oxidative stress and that GERD and acid reflux may be treated with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, such as turmeric.
Another study further proved the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin helped to prevent esophageal inflammation, therefore helping to reduce some of the symptoms and pain associated with acid reflux and GERD. However, more research is needed to determine if turmeric is truly a great remedy for acid reflux. Give it a try and see for yourself if it helps by mixing turmeric in a smoothie, in your favorite meals, or making hot turmeric tea, as it is still highly beneficial for one’s overall health.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Although it might appear ironic, apple cider vinegar is believed to help relieve symptoms of acid reflux as it is often caused by an individual not having enough acid in their digestive tract. Apple cider vinegar is also highly effective against numerous types of bacteria and has anti-microbial properties, as this home remedy helps to balance the stomach’s pH levels by neutralizing its stomach acid. Easy to incorporate into a diet, apple cider vinegar can be used in dressings, marinades, soups, desserts, and teas, or a patient can take one to two tablespoons to help relieve their acid reflux and to benefit their overall health. Due to it’s strong, acidic taste, try diluting it with water or honey to make it more palatable for your taste buds as well.
Fermented foods, also known as alkaline food, can be amazingly helpful for the digestive system due to the fermentation process many of these foods go through, as it is a process that breaks down raw vegetables into amino acids and peptides. This process raises the pH level of the food, producing a strong ammoniacal smell. Fermented foods, such as kimchi, have proven to relieve inflammation in the stomach and help to heal the stomach’s lining.
Another alkaline food, mustard, is also another home remedy that helps to relieve acid reflux symptoms and soothe heartburn by balancing the body’s pH levels, as well as being packed with minerals and small amounts of acid. Try just a spoonful to see and feel incredible results!
Chewing gum after a meal can significantly decrease chronic heartburn or get rid of it all together. By chewing gum, the saliva glands in the mouth are stimulated, which increases the amount of saliva. Increased saliva assists in neutralizing stomach acids. Try chewing a piece of gum after every meal to avoid acid reflux.
Avoid Tight Fitting Clothes
Tight fitting clothes around the waist of the middle section can contribute and worsen heartburn. By putting pressure on the abdominal area, it is essentially putting pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter. As a result, it is more likely for the contents of the stomach to be pushed upwards, resulting in acid reflux.
Sleeping On An Incline
Whenever you’re standing, the contents of your stomach remains at the bottom of your stomach, as well your stomach’s acid. However, whenever you lie down or go to bed, the acid begins to slosh around and extends from one end of the stomach to the other, increasing the risk of acid escaping. As a result, sleeping on an incline can greatly help with reducing acid reflux and other gastrointestinal problems. For those who suffer from acid reflux symptoms at night, disrupting their sleep quality and making it difficult to fall asleep, sleeping on an incline might be the home remedy that can fix this issue!
One study proved that patients who raised the head of their bed had significantly fewer reflux episodes and symptoms compared to those who slept without elevating their head. Elevating the head of the bed is an effective strategy that greatly improves reflux and heartburn symptoms at night due to the stomach acid not being able to slosh from one end of the stomach to the other, but rather remain put until it clears up. Try a wedge or a specially designed pillow at night to help you not only sleep better but find instant relief from acid reflux.
Basic common sense for many, but if certain foods or lifestyle habits trigger acid reflux or GERD for an individual, it is best to avoid it at all costs. Lifestyle vices include smoking and consuming alcohol, while the foods to avoid are generally spicy foods. For one, do not smoke or quit smoking if you do, as smoking causes the valve separating the stomach from the esophagus to relax, due to nicotine found in cigarettes. The relaxing of this valve can allow stomach acid to escape, causing symptoms and discomfort to occur. Avoiding alcohol as well can greatly help, as just like cigarettes, alcohol weakens the valve between the stomach and esophagus, and also causes the stomach to produce an excessive amount of stomach acid.
Avoiding spicy foods might be able to deter the effects of acid reflux, as many spicy foods trigger acid reflux symptoms, causing pain and discomfort, as spicy food can aggravate and burn the stomach’s lining. Some spicy foods to avoid include hot sauce, hot peppers, red chili pepper flakes, cayenne, chili powder, horseradish, and wasabi paste.