Q&A: Surprising Natural Remedies For Heartburn

stick of gumQ: Are there natural remedies for heart burn? – R. C.

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A: Heartburn (also called acid indigestion) happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Though very common, it’s important to treat your heartburn because over time the reflux can damage the esophagus.

Here are a few natural remedies to help relieve symptoms:

Chewing gum

Chewing gum isnt just good for bad breath. Several studies show that chewing gum can help relieve the burning sensation that is heartburn’s calling card. Gum chewing increases saliva production and swallowing, helping fluids go back down into the stomach. The saliva is also more alkaline, helping to neutralize stomach acid. Try fruit or cinnamon flavored gum; mint flavors may cause symptoms to feel worse. Keep those teeth healthy by trying sugar-free gum.

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Baking soda

Drinking a little baking soda mixed with water can help neutralize stomach acid. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water, mix and drink. As a word of caution, Jacqueline Wolf, MD, author of the book A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach, advises to not drink this on the regular. Side effects can include swelling and nausea because of the salt.

DGL licorice tablets

Licorice root has been used to help heal respiratory, throat, hormonal and gut issues for centuries. Experts recommend DGL (deglycyrrhizinated) licorice tablets for heartburn, which has the glycyrrhizin removed. Glycyrrhizin has been shown to cause high blood pressure and edema. Take one to three DGL tablets about 30 minutes before you eat.

Aloe juice 

There isn’t sufficient scientific evidence that taking Aloe juice orally can help relieve heartburn (and other issues such as diabetes and high cholesterol), but many turn to this home remedy to relieve symptoms. Drink no more than a tablespoon before meal. Be warned: Aloe juice may also have a laxative effect.

READ: 3 Signs Your Heartburn Needs A Doctor’s Visit

Keep in mind, these remedies are not recommended for extended use. If you are frequently experiencing heartburn, or have no relief from natural or over-the-counter treatments, see your doctor. You may need prescription medicines or surgery.

 

Dr. Renee WHITE COAT HS Frame head onlyIf you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ‘Ask Dr. Renee’. Follow me on Twitter @AskDrRenee and on my website.