Acid reflux is a common ailment where food and acid splash into the esophagus causing belching, heartburn and even chest pains.
However, before reaching out for prescription drugs, try these home remedies which are easily available and quite effective when applied at the initial stage or practiced regularly:
1. Chew raw almonds
Feeling sour in the mouth? Munch on some raw almonds. They contain calcium and helps balance the acid in your system.
2. Drink Aloe Vera juice
Aloe Vera juice is anti-inflammatory and will take care of your digestive disorder.
3. Drink warm water with lemon juice/ACV
It’s understandable that both fresh lemon juice and apple cider vinegar (ACV) are acidic, but when you drink them in warm water, they balance the pH levels of your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), located at the low end of the esophagus where it meets the stomach, thereby giving you relief from acid reflux.
4. Drink baking soda in water
Mix one tablespoon baking soda in half cup water. Though it doesn’t sound delicious, The American College of Gastroenterology recommends this remedy since baking soda is known for neutralizing excess stomach acid.
5. Eat an apple
Apples contain pectin and polyphenols that improve lipid metabolism and lower the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. Researchers of the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise at Florida State University suggest eating an apple a day will actually keep the doctor away.
6. Brew chamomile tea
Chamomile flowers have anti-inflammatory properties. Various studies have shown that chamomile reduces acid reflux, cramps, nausea, and general stomach pain. So brew a cup of chamomile tea and start sipping whenever you feel not-so-right in the stomach.
7. Chew a gum
When chewing gum, our salivation increases. Researches have shown that chewing gum for 30 minutes after a meal may reduce acidic levels in your esophagus.
8. Lose some weight
Stay in shape. Obese people are likely to get more incidents of acid reflux than those slimmer. Take a “low fat, high protein” diet.
Eat smaller meals at regular intervals to prevent putting excess pressure on your stomach. Sit straight for about three hours after meals to stop back-flow of acids.
A study published on the official website of The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) shows: “The overall prevalence of GERD symptoms is high (37%) in overweight and obese subjects. A structured weight loss program can lead to complete resolution of GERD symptoms in the majority of these subjects.”
9. Quit smoking
Studies have found that smokers are more prone to acid reflux than non-smokers. According to WebMD, “Nicotine, a key part of tobacco, is thought to relax the ring of muscle in the lower esophagus that keeps acid in the stomach, where it belongs. When that ring relaxes, acid can trickle up and cause that burning sensation.”
10. Sleep on your left
It has been found that when you sleep on your right, it promptly relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter that defends the body against acid reflux.
A study in the Journal of American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine has found that when you sleep on your left side, acid reflux symptoms can be relieved. Keep your head elevated with extra pillows to prevent back-flow of acids.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.