I feel fairly confident in assuming that ALL of you have probably experienced the pain of heartburn and acid reflux at some point. I used to get severe heartburn quite frequently when I was pregnant, and I still get it occasionally when I eat spicy foods. And of course, there are plenty of other factors that can trigger heartburn and other types of indigestion that vary from person to person.
Today’s post is all about heartburn, and how to avoid the pain and suffering that goes along with it! The first line of defense against heartburn is prevention, so we’ll explore some helpful tips & tricks for avoiding heartburn in the first place. Then we’ll move onto a list of nearly two dozen heartburn remedies you can use at home to soothe heartburn and acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder or GERD.)
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With as many tips as I’ve packed into this post, there’s sure to be at least a few heartburn remedies that work perfectly for you! :-)
Common Symptoms of Heartburn/Acid Reflux/GERD
- A burning sensation in the chest and upper abdomen, particularly after eating a meal
- The feeling of “throwing up in your mouth,” or the taste of a sour acidic liquid being regurgitated in your throat
- The sensation of food being stuck in your throat
- Unrelenting, long-lasting hiccups
- Dry cough, often caused by the feeling of needing to clear something stuck in your throat
- A feeling that food is not settling down into your stomach, leaving you feeling uncomfortably full
If you’re feeling these symptoms more than once or twice a week, if you experience them often while sleeping, if you find yourself needing to take antacids or other heartburn medication multiple times during a normal week, or if thing like over the counter antacids (or the household remedies listed below) aren’t helping to calm the symptoms of your acid reflux, you may have GERD and you should consult a doctor to get long-term relief.
Now if your symptoms are less serious or frequent, keep reading to discover some of my best tips for stopping heartburn with things you already have in your home!
Tips & Tricks For Avoiding Heartburn
- Stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime to give your stomach time to empty before you lie down to sleep.
- Eat slowly and take smaller bites.
- Follow a diet and exercise program to shed extra pounds, as excess abdominal fat can force stomach acids up into the esophagus and make heartburn worse.
- Quit smoking, as smoking can reduce the effectiveness of the muscle that keeps stomach acids out of your esophagus.
- Ditch those tight jeans, since they can put added pressure on the abdomen.
- Avoid specific foods that trigger your heartburn (such as the ones listed below!)
Foods & Drinks That Can Cause Heartburn
- Spicy foods
- Fatty, oily, and fried foods
Now that we know how to prevent acid reflux and which heartburn-inducing foods to avoid, let’s talk about treating heartburn. Because try as you might, there are certain times when acid reflux just sneaks up on you out of the blue! Try out some of these natural antacids to find the best one for you.
23 Natural & Effective Heartburn Remedies
1. Aloe Vera Juice
Just as aloe vera can provide a cooling effect on sunburns, it can also cool down acid reflux and provide heartburn relief. Aloe vera juice has been used in Europe for centuries as a remedy for heartburn! Make sure to find an aloe vera juice that is specifically labeled for internal use.
2. Pineapple Juice
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps control levels of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. This causes it to act as a natural antacid. Drink 4 ounces of pineapple juice after a meal to help reduce hyperacidity and heartburn.
3. Vegetable Juice
Vegetable juices including potato, celery and cabbage are very alkaline, making them helpful for correcting stomach acid levels. And papaya juice contains papain, a digestive enzyme that has a soothing effect on the stomach and helps break down proteins.
Apples are one of the best antacid fruits you can choose to help get rid of heartburn. A single slice of apple can calm acid production and reduce the burning sensation in as little as 5 minutes! Braeburn and Gala apples work particularly well.
Bananas are another antacid fruit that can be helpful in fighting heartburn. Both fresh and dried bananas can help reduce acid reflux.
Grapes are very good at relieving indigestion, upset stomach, and heartburn. Eat 10 to 20 grapes for quick relief whenever you experience any type of digestion issue.
Herbs & Spices
Basil leaves can help relieve heartburn, as well as soothe other digestion issues like nausea and gas. Chew 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves to regulate digestion and normalize stomach acid.
Chamomile tea has been used for a long time to help neutralize stomach acid. It is not only a natural antacid but also a stress reliever and great for winding down before bedtime!
Teas made of crushed cinnamon or cardamom can help cool the burning sensation associated with heartburn. Just add 1 teaspoon of either crushed or ground cinnamon to 1 cup boiling water. Steep for a few minutes, then strain and drink.
According to herbalists, tea made from fennel seed, anise, or caraway can reduce acid reflux. Add 2 teaspoons of fennel seed (or anise, or caraway) to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain and drink.
Although some people blame garlic as a cause of heartburn, it can actually be used to get rid of heartburn. Using it can be as simple as chewing on a clove of garlic when heartburn occurs. You can also store a few cloves of garlic in apple cider vinegar, and drink a sip of the liquid when heartburn occurs.
Fresh ginger is one of the oldest heartburn remedies, and can also be an effective treatment for nausea. When you begin to feel the effects of indigestion, combine 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of honey in 1 cup of warm water and drink.
13. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil is a common ingredient in over-the-counter heartburn medicines, and it makes a great home remedy too. Diffuse several drops of peppermint essential oil to help soothe heartburn and indigestion. You can also suck on a piece of peppermint candy for relief.
Turmeric, a spice commonly found in curried foods, can help stimulate digestion and prevent acid buildup. If you don’t want to use turmeric in your cooking, you can also find it in capsule form to take as needed.
15. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which helps to wash away excess stomach acid in the esophagus. You can choose any kind of sugar-free gum, but fruit-flavored options might be better for those who find that mint aggravates their heartburn issues.
DGL (or deglycyrrhizinated licorice) can help soothe heartburn by increasing mucus production, which helps protect the esophagus and stomach from acid. DGL usually comes in convenient chewable tablets you can take as needed to soothe acid reflux.
17. Candied Ginger
Similar to fresh ginger, candied ginger can also be used to get rid of heartburn. Just chew a piece after your meal to help stave off discomfort.
Fridge & Pantry Staples
Almonds are especially good for digestion because their high oil content helps to neutralize stomach acid. Eat a handful of almonds and wait about 30 minutes for your heartburn to disappear.
19. Apple Cider Vinegar
As surprising as it sounds, acidic apple cider vinegar can help calm heartburn and promote digestive health. Stir 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into 1/2 cup of water and drink immediately after a potentially heartburn-inducing meal. You can also find apple cider vinegar tablets if you’d prefer not to drink it.
20. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural antacid that can alleviate heartburn caused by acid reflux. Stir 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into 1 cup of water, and drink to neutralize acid. (Avoid using this remedy if you experience heartburn regularly, as it is high in salt.)
Drink 1/2 cup of ice cold buttermilk to help soothe heartburn. (Regular whole milk can help too, but the effects may not be as quick.) Adding fermented milk products like buttermilk into your regular diet can help correct acid reflux problems over time.
Mustard is surprising and little-known remedy for heartburn. It’s supposed to work because of its turmeric content (which is what gives mustard its distinctive yellow color.) To soothe heartburn, add 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard to 1/2 cup of water and drink.
Potato juice not only helps to neutralize excess stomach acid, but it can also help heal the lining of your esophagus. Juice one raw potato and add to an equal amount of cold water. Stir well and drink right away for the best result.
If you have frequent or severe heartburn, talk to your doctor. It could be a symptom of a more serious condition.