Acid reflux is a condition in which the natural digestive acids secreted in the stomach during the digestive process flow backward into the upper digestive tract. The lining of the stomach is tougher and better able to resist damage due to the action of these acids, but this is not the case with the more delicate mucous membranes of the food pipe. So when stomach acids frequently wash over the esophageal lining, they can cause immense damage.
Chronic acid reflux more than twice a week results in a condition called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). The first line of treatment for this condition is usually over-the-counter medication in the form of antacids. These provide temporary relief for occasional attacks of acid reflux, but if the symptoms persist, it can lead to internal bleeding, ulcers, and certain forms of cancer in severe cases.
Apart from medication, certain effective natural remedies for acid reflux and GERD have long been known in traditional medicine and are the immediate home remedies used to relieve the symptoms and prevent further flare-ups of the condition. The following are some of them:
- Peppermint oil, which is found in many confectionery items and tea leaves, is highly effective in treating issues of the mucous membranes and is also used in aromatherapy to relieve stress. Additionally, it has been proven to relieve the symptoms of acidity, but it should be avoided in combination with other over-the-counter antacids.
- Ginger is one of the most effective natural digestives as it helps regulate and balance acidity and promotes digestion. You can add julienne of fresh ginger to salads, make ginger juice, or have sweet ginger candy for its benefits.
- Caraway, garden angelica, nettle, and thistle are effective natural remedies for acid reflux and GERD as they promote alkalinity.
- Licorice, turmeric, and chamomile help speed up the digestive process and also have antacid properties.
- Eating cooked berries like blueberries and strawberries is also beneficial as they have antioxidant properties that help prevent GERD.
- Marshmallow and fennel are used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda to combat acidity and promote digestion.
- Slippery elm bark helps absorb stomach acids.
- Meadowsweet leaf helps soothe and heal the stomach lining, preventing ulcers.
- Catnip is known to reduce stomach spasms and the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, making it an effective natural remedy for acid reflux and GERD.
- Herbs like milk thistle root, burdock root, and fringe tree bark promote liver function and improve digestion.
- Calendula petals help relieve heartburn, which is associated with acid reflux and GERD.
- Fenugreek seeds have been traditionally used in Ayurveda to promote digestion and relieve the symptoms of gastritis.
- Carrot, cabbage, and celery are highly effective in treating the symptoms of acid reflux when consumed as juices.
- Turmeric root is naturally antibacterial and helps fight the harmful gut bacteria that cause acid reflux.