Scientifically Proven Natural Remedies to Fight Heartburn
Heartburn is dreadful. We’ve all experienced it at one time or another.
It gives us a love/hate relationship with our favorite foods, we love them but hate what they do to us. You eat your favorite hot wings and not long after you have that acidic, burning feeling in your chest and throat.
It’s embarrassing and uncomfortable — especially if you experience gas with your heartburn.
You’ve tried over the counter solutions and they don’t seem to help. Medications are the last resort you want to use, so here you are googling for natural or home remedies for heartburn.
First of all, we are glad to have you here at Atrantil and welcome to our site. Secondly, we hope you find some relief after you go through our list of natural remedies for heartburn — if we missed one that works for you, leave it in the comments to help someone else out!
What is Heartburn?
Before we dive into our suggestions, let’s talk about what is happening inside of your body to cause this uncomfortable feeling.
We typically imagine our heart engulfed in flames when thinking of heartburn — which is completely understandable by its name. Even though it feels like you might be turning into a dragon, you won’t actually be breathing fire.
Heartburn is a gastrointestinal problem where your stomach acids escape and travel up your “food pipe” or your esophagus. The actual problem isn’t in your chest or throat, it’s coming from your stomach.
Heartburn can present in many different ways, but the most common symptoms that people experience include:
- Trouble swallowing
- Burning sensation in the throat and chest
- Chest pains
How Does Heartburn Happen?
Your stomach is connected to your esophagus. There is a muscle between the two called your gastroesophageal sphincter. After the food you eat goes into your stomach, the gastroesophageal sphincter pinches closed to prevent the acids that dissolve your food from escaping.
Think of your stomach as a balloon. When you’re blowing air into a balloon you pinch the part you’re blowing into so air can’t escape. If you release your fingers just a little bit, air does escape back out of the balloon. Essentially the gastroesophageal sphincter acts the same way your pinched fingers do.
This phenomenon is called acid reflux and it’s what causes your heartburn. If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you should consult your doctor, you may have a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
What Causes Acid Reflux/GERD?
- The gastroesophageal sphincter is too relaxed
- Hiatal hernia
- Delayed gastric emptying
- Impaired mucosal defensive factors
Different foods and daily habits can contribute to all of these — adding to or worsening your heartburn symptoms.
Caffeinated, acidic, fatty, and spicy foods can all add fuel to the fire.
Lifestyle problems like obesity, smoking, and drinking alcohol all contribute to a weakened gastroesophageal sphincter.
How to Naturally Fight Heartburn with Home Remedies (That Actually Work!)
You’ll find a lot of different claims that work, but here at Atrantil, we want to provide you with science-backed information. We don’t want to just give you more of grammy’s medicine cabinet remedies, we want to give you what has been proven to actually work.
Kick Your Bad Habits
Quit smoking and overeating.
Both of these things contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle and to a plethora of diseases. Kick those bad habits now.
While smoking hasn’t been found to be linked to heartburn, it can cause hardening or plaque buildup in your arteries. The plaque buildup generally leads to chest pains that may be mistaken for heartburn when there’s actually a larger issue at hand.
On the other hand, obesity has been linked to an increased occurrence of heartburn. Losing weight in a healthy way, by making better food choices can help to reduce weight and potentially reduce heartburn.
Adjust Bedtime and Sleeping Positions
Researchers found that increasing the period of time after you eat dinner and go to bed helps to reduce GERD symptoms like heartburn.
It was also found in numerous studies that sleeping in a reclined position helps to reduce heartburn and improve sleep quality. You can use cushioned blocks if you don’t have a reclinable bed feature.
Believe it or not, this one really has been proven by science. Chewing gum after your meals helps to reduce the acid exposure to your esophagus.
While they aren’t quite sure why, it is believed that the extra saliva produced when chewing gum helps to keep the acid at bay.
Opt for a Low-FODMAP Diet
During a cross-over, double-blind placebo study, it was found that when the controls on the low-FODMAP diet were tested against a placebo group that the low-FODMAP group experienced less heartburn.
If you need some delicious, low-FODMAP recipes check out our blog!
Typically we think of this plant for burns and glowing skin, but it can actually help to calm the flames in your chest. Aloe vera syrup improved GERD symptoms and was deemed to be a safe and natural alternative to medications.
Avoid Caffeinated and Acidic Drinks
Coffee is both acidic and caffeinated so it really gives you a double-whammy.
Heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD are unique to each individual on what triggers their symptoms. If the drinks listed don’t bother you, then feel free to have your morning cup o’ joe.
Some other suggestions we’ve come across but weren’t able to confirm through study databases include:
- Pineapple juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Vegetable juice
**Always consult your doctor before adding new things into your routine to make sure they don’t conflict with any medications or conditions you have.**
What are your go-to remedies for heartburn? Drop ‘em in the comments below to help your fellow readers out! :)