Most everybody will have experienced the discomfort of heartburn at some point in their lives. in fact, some 20% of Americans are dealing with it on a regular basis. Fortunately, it is not a difficult condition to prevent or treat. Some simple dietary changes can eliminate the problem for most people as can a number of effective herbal remedies.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition that causes a burning sensation in the chest. The pain often gets worse just after eating a meal, during the evening or when you lie down or bend over. Heartburn is a digestive issue related to GERD or acid reflux and is often simply referred to as indigestion.
Although is is called heartburn, the condition and other similar complaints like GERD are not related to the heart. They are actually digestive health conditions caused by stomach acid being regurgitated into the esophagus. The name heartburn is actually related to the symptoms which include pain or throbbing in the chest.
Most people suffer from occasional heartburn and it is not usually a major cause for concern. A few lifestyle and dietary changes can prevent and treat the condition for the vast majority of people. However, when heartburn becomes more frequent, you should seek medical help since it may be a sign if another underlying condition.
Symptoms of Heartburn
There are a number of common symptoms associated with heartburn including the following :
- A burning sensation and pain in your chest
- Pain that appears to move upwards from the stomach to the throat
- Discomfort behind the breast bone and the upper abdominal area
- Upset stomach following a meal
- A bitter taste in the throat and mouth and the feeling that acid is stuck in the throat
- Feeling nauseous
Causes of Heartburn
Heartburn occurs when a valve controlling the lower esophogal sphincter or LES fails to keep stomach acid where it should be. The LES usually controls the valve which allows food to enter the stomach and gases to escape. If the LES isn’t functioning properly, for example by staying sealed or opening too often, the acid can seep out of the stomach and cause acid reflux.
The movement of stomach acid into the esophagus and throat can result in the familiar burning sensation and pain. This burning feeling is caused by digestive fluids irritating the esophagus lining and the throat. If these juices remain in the throat or esophagus, it can result in inflammation and further pain.
There is no single why people suffer from heartburn or acid reflux. Instead there are a number of potential causes including the following :
- Eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages. Common culprits include alcohol, coffee, citrus drinks, fatty foods, spicy foods and chocolate.
- Being overweight
- Eating too much too quickly
- Stress or anxiety
- Certain medications including anti-inflammatory medication
Herbal Remedies for Heartburn
Heartburn is often related to diet and lifestyle and it is usually fairly easy to avoid with some dietary consideration. You should also try to relax and avoid triggers like smoking, alcohol or coffee.
While many people treat heartburn with antacid medications, certain herbs can also help calm the stomach and prevent heartburn or acid reflux from happening.
Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years to treat a range of medical issues including digestive troubles like heartburn. Herbs have a gentle acting effect on the digestive system and many can do wonders for your symptoms.
Certain herbs also have natural anti-inflammatory conditions that can help soothe inflammation while they can also help bring balance to the digestive system. Many herbs can be taken in the form of supplements like tinctures while many can also be used to make a delicious, soothing tea.
Not only do these herbs help ease your digestive troubles, many also calm the mind and can help combat the stress and anxiety that can cause heartburn to develop.
Chamomile tea is very well-known for its ability to calm the nerves and help people get to sleep. (1) It can also be drunk to help soothe the stomach and neutralize acid.
Try drinking a cup following a meal and before going to bed and both your mind and stomach will benefit. It makes the ideal natural remedy for bouts or heartburn and GERD.
Basil is a culinary delight that most everybody uses in the kitchen but it also has a number of excellent health benefits. Basil leaves can soothe a variety of digestive complaints including heartburn and acid reflux but also nausea, gas and indigestion.
The easiest way to use basil for heartburn is to chew on a few fresh leaves but you can also use the leaves to make a healthy and soothing tea that can calm the digestive system.
Meadowsweet, known scientifically as Filipendula ulmaria, in an herb with a number of medicinal uses including a number of digestive health issues. It is used to treat digestive upset and may also help ease the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.
The herb contains various active compounds including glycosides, flavonoids and essential oil. Meadowsweet has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe inflammation and may also help neutralize acid in the esophagus.
To treat heartburn and other digestive issues, it is best consumed in the form of a tea. Add three or four teaspoons of fresh meadowsweet flowers or two teaspoons of the dried flowers to a cup of boiling water. let it steep for 10 minutes and add honey to taste.
Marshmallow root is another excellent herbal remedy for all sorts of digestive troubles including acid reflux and heartburn. Known scientifically as Althaea officinalis, the herb contains mucilage that can soothe irritation and inflammation in the esophagus.
To treat heartburn, simply make a cup of soothing marshmallow root tea and drink up whenever you feel heartburn coming on. Drinking a cup of marshmallow tea after a heavy meal can help prevent indigestion or heartburn from happening in the first place.
Cinnamon is another herbal remedy with a wide range of medicinal uses including treating digestive health complaints like heartburn and acid reflux.
To make a cup of therapeutic cinnamon tea, take a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and add to a cup of boiling water, Let it steep for at least ten minutes, strain and drink up when needed.
Ginger is another herb with a very wide range of health benefits. Studies have demonstrated that ginger can help treat a number of digestive health issues including nausea and vomiting. (2) It contains various beneficial compounds including gingerols and pheonls that can help soothe the digestive system and may help prevent and relieve heartburn.
It may also help reduce the acidity levels in the stomach and prevent the acid secretions that cause heartburn and acid reflux.
The fresh juice of ginger may help remedy your digestive troubles but it can also be used in the form of a soothing tea. Fresh ginger is a better option than the fried herb because it contains higher levels of gingerol and other active compounds that are good for your digestive health and overall well-being.
Simply add a tablespoon or so of fresh ginger to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for tn minutes. It tastes delicious on its own but feel free to add honey and lemon to taste.
Dill, Caraway and Fennel
All three of these herbs contain essential oils with high levels of anethole. This makes the herbs like dill, fennel and caraway a great natural remedy for a range of digestive troubles including indigestion, heartburn and GERD.
These herbs have a range of other benefits for digestive health. they can reduce muscle spasms and help improve peristalsis. Many people have had success with these herbs for treating inflammatory conditions in the gastrointestinal tract, colic and acid reflux.
To treat heartburn with any of these herbs, they work great when drunk as a tea. Add two teaspoons of the herb of your choice to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. strain and drink whenever you need.
Turmeric is another herb with a good range of health benefits. it contains a substance called curcumin which has excellent anti-inflammatory properties as well as many other benefits. It can do wonders for your digestive health whether used in cooking or taken in the form of a supplement.
To boost your digestive health and treat heartburn, try drinking it in the form of a tea. You can also combine it with ginger to make an extremely healthy ginger and turmeric tea.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera is best known for its ability to treat the skin and soothe inflammation. While it is a great remedy for cooling down sunburn, aloe vera juice can also calm down the acid reflux and help provide relief from heartburn.
Other Home Remedies for Heartburn
As well as the herbal remedies we have looked at, there are various other excellent home remedies for the condition.
- Do not overeat : heartburn usually occurs after eating a large meal.
- Lose weight : Acid reflux and heartburn are often caused by excessive pressure in the abdomen. Losing weight may well relieve your symptoms
- Try a low-carb diet : Acid reflux can be caused by poor digestion of carbohydrates and an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Studies suggest that a low-carb diet could help.
- Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine : Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine can make your symptoms worse.
- Try essential oils : certain essential oils like ginger, peppermint, lemon and lavender essential oils can help. To find out more, click on the following link. essential oils for heartburn.
- Chew some gum : Chewing gum can increase the production of saliva. This can help clear stomach acid from the esophagus.
- Despite its name, heartburn is nothing to do with the cardiovascular system but is actually a digestive health condition similar to acid reflux.
- It is caused when acid from the stomach enters the esophagus and the throat resulting in discomfort and pain.
- Heartburn is usually nothing to be worried about and can usually be avoided with some lifestyle and dietary changes.
- Avoid triggers like spicy food, citrus food, coffee and alcohol. You should also quit smoking.
- Stress and anxiety can also cause heartburn and acid reflux as can being overweight.
- There are also a number of herbal remedies that can help treat heartburn. These include chamomile, meadowsweet, ginger, fennel, basil and marshmallow root.
- If you suffer from heartburn on a frequent basis, you should see a doctor to rule out any more serious underlying conditions.
Have you ever used any herbal remedies to treat heartburn or acid reflux? Did they work for you and would you recommend them to others?
Please let us know about your experience. We would be delighted to hear from you.