What is Heartburn/Acid Reflux?
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest. It is brought on by acid reflux and is experienced most often after meals. It can also disturb your rest or wake you up while you are sleeping. Fortunately, you do not have to take prescribed medications for this ailment. By making some lifestyle changes and using essential oils, you will not experience heartburn as often.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of heartburn/acid reflux include the following:
- Problems with swallowing
- Chronic cough
- Stomach pain or a burning sensation in the upper abdomen
- A persistent sore throat
- Regurgitation of liquids or foods accompanied by an acid taste in the throat
- Persistent problems with laryngitis or hoarseness
While a great many people are affected by heartburn, it is very common when a woman is pregnant.
The burning sensation that is felt in the chest is accompanied frequently with a feeling that food is stuck in the throat or a sour acid taste in the back of the throat. You need to see a doctor if you experience heartburn with shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, or pain radiating to the arms and/or neck. These other symptoms could be indicative that you are suffering from a heart attack.
Causes of Heartburn/Acid Reflux
Certain foods and beverages are known to cause heartburn or the burning sensation that is often felt in the chest. Usually, an over-consumption of alcohol, coffee, or orange juice will cause heartburn to develop. You may also experience heartburn if you eat fried and fatty foods or certain acidic foods, such as tomatoes or oranges. Spicy foods are also notorious for causing heartburn.
Pregnancy seems to aggravate the condition of heartburn. This is because the lower esophageal sphincter or LES is weakened during this time. After delivery, the LES resolves itself and women no longer experience heartburn. Pregnancy also distorts certain organs in the stomach and increases the abdominal pressure from the growing fetus.
About 25% of women who become pregnant will suffer from heartburn. No clear studies suggest the safety and efficacy of heartburn medications for treating pregnant women. Management of heartburn during pregnancy necessitates the use of organic substances, such as essential oils.
The esophagus, which is the tube that links the stomach and mouth, features a tight muscle band at the lower end. This band of muscles is known as the lower esophageal sphincter or LES. This sphincter closes after the food enters the abdominal area and prevents the food contents from re-entering the esophagus. If this sphincter relaxes or weakens at the wrong times, the acid in the stomach will back up into the esophagus and cause the burning sensation that is known as heartburn.
Some Facts about Heartburn/Acid Reflux
Heartburn can be diagnosed in one of several ways. It can be used by endoscopy, and upper GI series, or through ambulatory pH testing. Ambulatory pH testing measures the acidity in the esophagus by way of a small tube that is inserted into the nose and is directed into the stomach.
Heartburn is treated with changes in lifestyle and with over-the-counter and prescription medicines. In some cases, the condition is relieved through surgical intervention. If the heartburn is chronic, surgery may be the only way to address the problem.
To alleviate heartburn, it is helpful to stay at an ideal weight and to quit smoking and reduce the amount of alcohol that you drink.
Treatments for heartburn include the administration of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such antacids. These medicines are the first choice of treatment for many heartburn sufferers. The medicines neutralize stomach acid and are fast-acting. If an OTC medicine does not work, your doctor will prescribe a medicine.
H2 receptor antagonists are another way that heartburn is treated. These medications, which are sold over the counter, as well as by prescription, reduce the amount of stomach acid and provide relief for a longer period of time.
Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs are used to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach and are available by prescription or over the counter.
Essential Oils for Heartburn
Essential oils are used to treat heartburn and they have been successful in this respect. With respect to treating heartburn, essential oils are now undergoing a surge in interest and popularity. Because they have alluring scents and are derived from plants, they are seen as a calming influence when treating ailments such as heartburn/acid reflux.
The oils are made from a plant’s roots, flowers, seeds, and barks. They are naturally pressed so they can release their essence in the form of a medicinal oil.
When it comes to heartburn the following essential oils are the best you can try.
Ginger Essential Oil
This oil is used to relieve various kinds on intestinal distress and ginger is a popular remedy often used in the form of a tea to relieve nausea and upset stomach. It works because it can inhibit acid production and also helps protect the stomach against harmful bacteria.
Studies have found that ginger essential oil helps prevent post-operative nausea and may help ease nausea from motion sickness or during pregnancy. (1) It is also potentially very effective when it comes to treating heartburn and acid reflux. Ginger essential oil is also a safe and effective remedy for stomach ulcers and may also help ease the painful symptoms of GERD.
How To Use Ginger Essential Oil
Simply inhaling ginger essential oil via a diffuser can have a calming effect on your stomach and reduce feelings of nausea. Inhalation may also help ease the painful feelings of acid reflux and heartburn. You can also dilute your ginger oil with a carrier oil and massage it into your stomach. This can help ease a variety of other digestive troubles including bloating, cramps and indigestion.
Another option for preventing heartburn is to add two drops of ginger essential oil to a cup of hot water or a herbal tea and drink it up 20 minutes or so before your meal. You should always take care when using essential oils internally. Pregnant women should never use essential oils internally and anyone thinking of using this remedy should speak with their doctor first.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is a popular remedy blessed with anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and antiseptic properties. these properties make the oil an excellent, natural digestive aid. Peppermint oil is extremely versatile and is especially effective in treating various common digestive issues like, bloating, indigestion, stomach pain and heartburn.
How To Use Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil can be inhaled directly or used in a diffuser. It is extremely concentrated so it is important to dilute the oil well before applying it topically to the skin.
We do not recommend using peppermint essential oil internally since it may even lead to digestive trouble and heartburn rather than treating the issue. The best way to treat heartburn with peppermint oil is to dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to your stomach several times a day.
Lavender Essential Oil
This oil is both calming and relaxing. It is used as a staple in aromatherapy. Besides its relaxing qualities, lavender can also reduce the symptoms associated with stomach upset. Because the symptoms of an upset stomach and heartburn are similar, lavender oil is beneficial for anyone dealing with the formation of extra stomach acid.
When you apply lavender oil topically, it can help relieve heartburn, gas, bloating and the symptoms of GERD. As well as its physical benefits, lavender essential oil can help promote a good night of sleep which is very useful for people struggling to sleep because of their digestive troubles. (2)
How To Use Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is extremely versatile and there are plenty of effective ways to use it to combat acid reflux or heartburn.
Simply inhaling the oil directly or diffusing the oil around the home can have a positive effect. You may also add a few drops of the oil to a warm bath and let its healing powers wash over you.
If you are being kept awake by your heartburn or you find it difficult to get to sleep in general, you can try adding a few drops of lavender oil to your pillows before getting into bed.
Lavender essential oil is one of the most gentle acting of the essential oils but should still be diluted before you apply it topically. To treat acid reflux or heartburn, dilute your lavender oil in a suitable carrier oil and massage the solution into your chest and stomach.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is another effective remedy for a range of digestive troubles including acid reflux or heartburn. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties and can help destroy bad bacteria in the digestive tract.
It also helps promote the production of mucus in the digestive system which offers further protection and may prevent stomach ulcers. Research also shows that lemon essential oil can help prevent nausea and vomiting. (3)
How To Use Lemon Essential Oil
You can help prevent and ease acid reflux by inhaling lemon essential oil or by digesting a very small amount of the oil.
You can either inhale your lemon essential oil directly or add a few drops to a diffuser machine and fill the home with its invigorating, healing scent. Alternatively, add a single drop of lemon oil to a glass of hot water or a herbal tea and drink it up 20 minutes before your meal.
How to Use Essential Oils to Treat Heartburn/Acid Reflux
Essential oils are considered potent. Only a drop can be used to emit scents into a room. A carrier oil must be added when using an essential oil. Doing so will make it much safer to administer the oil topically. Only a few drops of an essential oil is needed for inhalation or when the oil is applied to a cloth.
The best way to treat heartburn using an essential oil is by inhaling the essential oil from a diffuser or from a bottle. If you wish to use a diffuser, you need to place a couple drops of the oil into the device’s steam pocket. Switch on the machine and the warm water will emit the concentrated oils. If you do not have time to use a diffuser or set one up, you can breathe the oil from a napkin or a towel.
Selecting the Right Carrier Oil
You should use an essential oil with a carrier oil to make sure that it does not cause irritation. Some of the best carrier oils to use include jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil. These three oils are the primary oils you want to consider when you are planning to use your essential oil in a massage blend but there are a number of other carrier oils available.
No scientific studies have proven that essential oils can be used for heartburn. The majority of experts do not recommend using essential oils internally. If you do take essential oils by mouth and feel nauseous or get an upset stomach, you should stop taking the oils.
Speak to an aromatherapist or a doctor before you use oils for heartburn. Using a premium and quality oil is imperative if you want to obtain the relief that you are expecting. Researching the various oils can help in this respect.
To choose a remedy, you need to do your research. The US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, classifies essential oils as safe. The quality of the oils is set by the manufacturers. You need to research the various brands to find the oil that is of a premium quality. Because the FDA does not test the oils for quality, you must go online and review the oils for yourself.
That means you need to do some online research. You need to know which oils are right for heartburn and the ones that you should leave alone. Look at any possible side effects that may occur or might interfere with your daily activities.
If you are not sure what oils to choose or how to dilute them, ask for help from an alternative health practitioner, an aromatherapist, or your doctor. While your doctor may not advocate essential oils for use, it is important that he or she knows that you are using the oils or any alternative treatment options. A doctor can help you use the oils safely by ensuring that they will not affect the efficacy of your other medicines.
If you wish to use essential oils because over-the-counter medicines do not ease your heartburn, make sure that your doctor knows about your treatment plans. When you use the right oils to treat heartburn, you will find that you will receive the needed relief. You just need to do your research online and know what you are doing with respect to use and dilution.
It is important that you choose oils that are considered effective for the use of heartburn pain. The best ways to use the oil are in the form of a massage oil or by inhalation. By taking this approach and watching what you eat, you will ease the difficulties associated with heartburn pain.
Go online today and explore your options with respect to the selection of essential oils. Learn all you can about aromatherapy to select the right cure for you.