Heartburn may not be a “serious” condition, but tell that to anyone who’s had a bout of it lately.
No matter whether it’s from gas, acid reflux, or some other cause, heartburn is exceedingly uncomfortable, with symptoms like burning, bloating, and nausea being enough to put anyone down for the count.
Adding to the problem? Some over-the-counter remedies may not be all they’re cracked up to be. Ranitidine — formerly the active ingredient in the drug Zantac — was recalled in 2019 over concerns it contained a cancer-causing impurity. Although Zantac has since been ruled safe and returned to store shelves with a new active ingredient, it still raises questions about the effects that over-the-counter and prescription heartburn drugs might have on our systems.
If you’re seeking a more natural alternative, a more cost-effective option, or if you’re just trying to live your life a little more in tune with the planet, these home remedies could make for effective alternatives to the familiar drugs.
For heartburn sufferers, this pungent root may be the closest thing to a silver bullet found in the natural world.
Studies have shown that special chemical compounds found in ginger can have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Why is that important for heartburn sufferers? Inflammation is viewed as a key culprit behind acid reflux, one of the main causes of gastrointestinal distress in the general population.
If that wasn’t enough, ginger also has natural antacid, anti-nausea, and anti-gas properties.
Experts recommend taking ginger in small doses. Make it into a tea or make it a regular in your cooking routine.
Licorice root has been found to possess soothing qualities to the skin. This has made it a popular natural acne-fighter, but more importantly for those with heartburn, it helps comfort and protect the esophageal lining against stomach acid.
But don’t go buy a bag of black Twizzlers and expect your heartburn to disappear. Instead, reach for deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL, a supplement that in one small study was shown to outperform antacids over a two-year period in stopping the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
But take care, DGL can have negative effects in your body, like creating higher blood pressure. Be sure to talk to your health care provider before taking DGL.
Apple cider vinegar
Many people believe that diluting a shot of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drinking it after meals can help neutralize stomach acid.
At this point, however, there’s no significant science to back up this claim. Still, homeopathic remedies don’t gain wide followings because they don’t work, and it stands to reason that the placebo effect would not impact every single user.
This is one remedy to take with a grain of salt. But given that apple cider vinegar is considered safe, what do you have to lose besides your symptoms?
Changes in your behavior may not be what you think of when you think of home remedies, but they do qualify — and they can make a huge impact on your heartburn.
Another thing that distinguishes these behavioral changes from specific remedies is their backing in sound scientific evidence. Be it smoking or even the clothes you wear, all of these changes can yield serious dividends.
Some of these lifestyle changes include:
- Limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Lose weight
- Don’t eat late at night
- If you smoke, consider cutting back or quitting
- Wear loose clothing
Sometimes heartburn can feel debilitating. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to treat it. This is particularly true for pregnant women, for whom over-the-counter options are off-limits.
Remember that your body and your situation are unique, so not every option will necessarily work for everyone. Some trial and error might be needed before landing on the remedy (or combination of remedies) that is most effective for you. There’s also nothing saying you couldn’t use natural and over-the-counter remedies together.
As always, talk to your health care provider before starting any new medicine or other treatment. If your heartburn is a major problem, your doctor may recommend a prescription-strength option. But for the majority of heartburn sufferers, natural remedies could be an effective and less expensive way to go.
BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.
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