Whether it’s a bowl of chicken soup to quell a cold or ginger to cure an upset stomach, most everyone has a repertoire of home remedies they rely on—and there are many benefits to enlisting the help of homegrown treatments. For one, they typically offer a natural alternative to medication which can help you avoid reflux medication side effects and they’re generally comprised of ingredients that you already have in your pantry.
In this post, we’ll be taking a look at five home remedies for heartburn that you can use to calm your symptoms efficiently and effectively. From lifestyle adjustments to heartburn-suppressing foods and herbs, we’ll explore everything you need to know about finding heartburn relief without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Heartburn, also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), happens when stomach acid bypasses the lower esophageal sphincter and travels back up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat. When the lining of the esophagus is permeated by stomach acid for a long period of time, it ultimately injures the lining of the esophagus, and can worsen if left untreated. This uncomfortable physical phenomenon is quite common—an estimated 60 million Americans experience heartburn 1 at least once per month—and the condition is often associated with certain foods and drinks, stress, and general health.
Heartburn vs. GERD
Heartburn, GERD, and acid reflux are terms that are often used interchangeably, but in order to find the heartburn remedy that’s most effective for you, it’s important to understand their differences. Let’s take a look at some key indicators that will help you determine if you’re experiencing heartburn or GERD, and in turn, which course of action is best-suited for your situation.
Heartburn: Symptom of acid reflux that’s typically characterized by a burning sensation in the chest or throat.
Acid Reflux: A condition that occurs when stomach acid passes through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and travels into the esophagus, leading to heartburn symptoms.
GERD: The chronic form of acid reflux—generally diagnosed when acid reflux symptoms occur twice or more per week.
Now that you know what heartburn is and its relation to acid reflux and GERD, let’s take a look at some of the causes of heartburn2:
Foods that are acidic or high in fat, such as:
Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, sedatives, and blood pressure medicine
Tobacco and alcohol
Being pregnant or overweight can apply added pressure to the stomach and abdomen, triggering heartburn symptoms
Understanding which heartburn triggers to avoid is one way to approach heartburn relief, especially when you’re striving for long-term results. In addition to knowing and avoiding these, there are also certain lifestyle adjustments you can make in order to help you minimize the severity and frequency of your symptoms.
Lifestyle Remedies for Heartburn
There are several home remedies for heartburn that we’ll dive into in the next section of this post, but making lifestyle changes often yields the best long-term results. Here are a few healthy tips to help you find heartburn relief:
Maintain a healthy weight
As we briefly mentioned, being overweight can cause added pressure to build up near the stomach and abdomen. This pressure can ultimately manifest as heartburn and may pose other more serious issues later on down the road. For some, losing weight is an effective and natural remedy for heartburn.
Note: Make sure to discuss weight loss with your physician in order to find the best plan for your health.
Avoid tight-fitting clothes
Tight-fitting clothes can also put pressure on your stomach and trigger uncomfortable heartburn symptoms. One of the easiest ways to find acid reflux pain relief is by simply opting for looser attire!
Try not to lay down right after eating
Your stomach needs time to process and break down food after you’ve eaten, and the easiest way for it to go about this is to rely on gravity to perform some of the work. When you lie down, acid from your stomach can easily flow upward into your esophagus causing heartburn, whereas, sitting or standing upright presents the advantage of gravity helping to keep acid in the stomach where it belongs.
The more food you’re consuming, the harder your stomach has to work to digest it. To lighten the workload on your stomach and find acid reflux relief, try to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than a few large meals.
According to the National Library of Medicine, several studies have found a connection between nicotine, alcohol, and heartburn symptoms. Some studies of nicotine use have cited exacerbated heartburn symptoms as smoking causes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax, and as a result, allow stomach acid to flow into the esophagus causing heartburn.
Home Remedies for Heartburn
While lifestyle changes do offer heartburn relief, especially in the long-term, sometimes it’s too late to take preventative actions. In that case, you’re probably searching for home remedies for heartburn to minimize your symptoms. Below, you’ll find five natural remedies for heartburn relief4:
Although foods high in fat tend to trigger heartburn symptoms, certain nonfat milks can create a temporary barrier protecting the stomach lining from acid. Low-fat yogurt can also have similar effects.
Alkaline ingredients, because they’re the opposite of acidic solutions, can help to balance out stomach acid contents and therefore, ease heartburn symptoms. Ginger is not only a high-alkaline ingredient, but it’s also anti-inflammatory which can also minimize irritation to the stomach.
3. Apple cider vinegar
If you’re looking for quick heartburn relief, you might try sipping apple cider vinegar. Although there’s no current data to support the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar as a natural remedy for heartburn, many people swear by its results. Because vinegar is acidic, make sure to dilute the solution with water.
4. Chewing gum
When you’re experiencing heartburn, what you're feeling is potent stomach acid irritating the esophagus and lining of your stomach. One way to soothe your heartburn symptoms is by trying to neutralize acidity with alkaline with ingredients like ginger which we mentioned before. An even more natural remedy for heartburn: saliva. Chewing gum5 not only helps promote salivation which neutralizes acidity, but it can also help soothe the esophagus and wash acid back toward the stomach.
5. Herbal remedies
If you’re hoping to avoid acid reflux medication or over-the-counter heartburn medicine, you might consider these herbal remedies to help you find heartburn relief:
Heartburn can be a disappointing last course after a meal out, a painful nighttime distraction, or a consistent health issue if you’re dealing with conditions such as GERD or NERD. The unfortunate reality is that heartburn is quite common among adults, and while there are medications that can help mitigate symptoms, some come with negative side effects or simply may not be available the moment you need heartburn relief.
Use this post to help you identify lifestyle changes and home remedies for your heartburn, and of course, be sure to contact your physician regarding symptoms and specialized treatment plans.
How our Acid Reflux Relief System can help
Our Acid Reflux Relief System is specially designed to provide relief from heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, and other associated conditions. In fact, clinical studies have revealed that individuals who used the Acid Reflux Relief pillow showed significant improvement in:
Our three-part Acid Reflux Relief System is engineered to support the physician-recommended posture—left side, at an incline—for optimal sleep with acid reflux. For more information on how MedCline can help, head over to our FAQ page for in-depth details on our products and more.
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MedCline was founded in 2011 by Carl Melcher, M.D, who was a life-long sufferer of GERD. Dr. Melcher wanted to help the millions of GERD patients with a natural treatment alternative utilizing positional therapy. Since development, the Reflux Relief System has been validated in 7 clinical trials. Aiming to help other medical conditions with positional therapy, MedCline has also developed a Shoulder Relief System for those who suffer with chronic shoulder pain at night. Both MedCline Relief Systems are providing much-needed relief for those suffering from nocturnal acid reflux and/or nighttime shoulder pain to get quality, restorative sleep leading to a higher health-related quality of life.