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Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest that worsens after you eat or in the evening. Below we’re going to cover 7 of the best home remedy heartburn options that you can turn to when you’re dealing with these symptoms.
We’ll also talk more about what to know about the common condition of heartburn in general, whether you have occasional mild heartburn or it’s more severe when you experience it.
What’s the Best Home Remedy for Heartburn?
We detail our picks for the best heartburn remedies and alternatives to prescription medications.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy heartburn solution. Apple cider vinegar may help neutralize stomach acid. If you’re going to try it, you can take it in capsule or gummy form. You can also combine ACV with water to alleviate heartburn.
Proponents of using ACV as a natural remedy for heartburn say that it can help improve the beneficial bacteria balance in your gut, which may alleviate symptoms of reflux and promote better digestion.
Other reasons people use ACV include helping with weight loss and blood sugar control.
If you’re going to try this natural remedy, you should mix around a teaspoon up to a tablespoon of vinegar into a full glass of water. Try it directly before or after meals. If you have severe acid reflux or GERD, you should avoid ACV as a drink.
ACV can erode tooth enamel if you don’t dilute it with enough water.
2. B Vitamins
B vitamins include folate, vitamin B6, and riboflavin. There’s some evidence taking B vitamins in supplement form or increasing your intake from food can help reduce your risk of reflux esophagitis. Reflux esophagitis is inflammation in the esophagus, often caused by acid reflux.
In research, raising the intake of folate and vitamin B6 was associated with a lower risk of Barrett’s esophagus and esophagus cancer.
In an older study, a supplement containing B vitamins like B12, folic acid, and vitamin B6 helped as an over-the-counter heartburn treatment.
Melatonin is a hormone our bodies naturally produce to control our sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin as a supplement is primarily used to help with insomnia and improve sleep quality.
There’s some evidence it may also help with heartburn and acid reflux too.
For example, in one study, people taking melatonin either with other heartburn medicine or melatonin for four to eight weeks had lower GERD symptoms. Researchers also believe lower natural melatonin levels may be linked to a higher risk of digestive disorders, including acid reflux and peptic ulcers.
Melatonin may help protect against inflammation of the esophagus, preventing the long-term health effects of GERD, like Barrett’s esophagus.
What’s good about melatonin because it can specifically help with nighttime heartburn since it will also help you sleep.
Iberogast is a specific type of supplement that is known as one of the best home remedy for heartburn options. In terms of herbal remedies, Iberogast can be as effective, if not more so, than many popular heartburn medications.
Iberogast is beneficial for not only heartburn and acid reflux but is also used as a natural remedy for irritable bowel syndrome (BS).
The supplement is a blend of herbal extracts, including milk thistle, peppermint, and licorice root.
There have been clinical studies and reviews looking at the effectiveness of Iberogast and find that it tends to be well-tolerated and helps reduce symptoms of indigestion.
In a study of hundreds of people, within 15 minutes taking Iberogast significantly helped digestive symptoms. These symptoms included heartburn, upper stomach pain, and loss of appetite.
In an animal study, Iberogast was found to be as effective as an antacid to reduce stomach acidity.
Probiotics are helpful bacteria in your digestive tract. We’re increasingly learning what a vital role probiotics have in our physical and mental health, as well as the function of our immune system.
Taking a probiotic supplement may help reduce symptoms of acid reflux as well.
In a review of 13 studies, 79% observed probiotics benefited the symptoms of GERD. These symptoms include reducing heartburn, stomach pain, and nausea.
In a 12-week study, using probiotics and heartburn medicine reduced the risk of treatment relapse compared to a group taking only heartburn medicine.
Taking a probiotic is an excellent natural remedy heartburn option because it also reduces the risk of changes in your gut flora caused by long-term use of proton pump inhibitors.
Along with being one of the best natural remedies for heartburn relief and dealing with symptoms of heartburn, chamomile is also generally soothing.
In-vitro and animal peer-reviewed studies show chamomile has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
When you’re dealing with heartburn, it’s often because acid reflux is causing stomach acid to move back up into your esophagus. This movement of stomach acid creates esophagus inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects of chamomile can be soothing.
In a review of studies from 2006, an herbal preparation including chamomile reduced gastric acidity more than over the counter antacid and other over the counter treatments.
Chamomile can also reduce stress. High stress levels are linked to GERD, which is a more severe type of acid reflux. In general, if you’re feeling a lot of stress, you’re likely to notice it can worsen your symptoms and is considered one of the most common heartburn triggers.
7. Licorice Root
Licorice root has a long history in ancient and traditional medicine. Licorice is native to Asia and Southern Europe. The medicinal use of licorice root goes back to ancient Egypt. The root extract has also been used in traditional Greek, Middle Eastern, and Chinese medicine.
One everyday use of licorice root in modern times is for symptoms of indigestion, including heartburn and acid reflux.
In a 30-day study of adults with indigestion, taking a 75-mg licorice capsule twice a day led to significant symptom improvements compared to a placebo. There’s also evidence licorice root helps with symptoms of GERD.
Peptic ulcers are sores that are painful and develop in your stomach, small intestine, or lower esophagus. A peptic ulcer is often caused by inflammation from H. pylori bacteria. A study in mice found licorice extract protected against H. pylori-related ulcers better than omeprazole.
In a human study of adults after two weeks, consuming licorice extract in addition to a standard treatment significantly reduced H. pylori.
Licorice, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, even has other powerful health benefits like anti-cancer properties, and it may help with upper respiratory conditions.
What Causes Heartburn?
Heartburn is a feeling of burning in your chest. Most people experience heartburn right behind their breastbone.
The pain often worsens after you eat, when you’re lying down, or in the evening. Many people experience occasional heartburn and can manage it on their own with natural remedies or over-the-counter medicines.
If you have more frequent heartburn or it interferes with your daily life, you should talk to your healthcare provider.
Heartburn happens when stomach acid backs up into the tube carrying food from your mouth to your stomach. That tube is your esophagus.
When you swallow, typically, there’s a muscle band around the bottom of your esophagus that relaxes. When the band relaxes, it lets food and liquid flow down into your stomach before the muscle once again tightens.
If the muscle weakens or tightens abnormally, it can cause stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus, which is acid reflux. That then causes the feeling of heartburn.
Certain foods and drinks can trigger heartburn more so than others.
Tomato products, onions, citrus fruits, fatty and fried foods, alcohol, and chocolate can cause or worsen heartburn.
If you experience heartburn, be careful about high-fat food, greasy foods and acidic foods.
If you aren’t sure what causes your reflux episodes, consider keeping a food diary. This will help you understand the links between lifestyle choices and your upset stomach and other symptoms. Then, you can take steps to reduce the risk of heartburn once you know more about your acid reflux triggers.
If you’re pregnant or overweight, it can also increase the likelihood you’ll experience heartburn.
When you have heartburn that occurs frequently or interferes with your daily life and routine, it’s gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. GERD can damage your esophagus. The condition can also contribute to Barrett’s esophagus, which is a pre-cancerous condition.
Other Home Remedy Heartburn Solutions
Along with supplements, there are other things you can do to help if you’re dealing with heartburn, including changing certain lifestyle factors. Lifestyle adjustments that are simple and can help this common health condition include:
- Wear loose clothing. Sometimes tight clothing can compress your stomach, making heartburn worse in your everyday life.
- Work on your posture for heartburn relief. When you’re upright, it puts less pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter and helps manage your stomach acid production and stomach contents more effectively.
- When you lie down, heartburn often gets worse. Elevate your body when you go to bed to avoid heartburn at night and reflux at night. You should aim to elevate your body from the waist up, using something like a wedge pillow or a stack of additional pillows if you don’t have an adjustable bed.
- Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Drink it slowly to help neutralize stomach acid.
- Maintaining a healthy, moderate weight can help with heartburn. Excess pounds tend to create excessive abdominal pressure, potentially worsening severe heartburn. This is also why heartburn during pregnancy is a common complaint.
- Avoid eating common trigger foods, including spicy food and fatty foods, which contribute to heartburn symptoms and acid reflux symptoms. Dietary habits can play a significant role in producing stomach acid and how often you experience bouts of heartburn.
- Chewing sugar-free gum can help alleviate heartburn symptoms naturally.
Final Thoughts—Home Remedy Heartburn Solutions
There are a lot of heartburn home remedies and lifestyle intervention options you can try to get fast relief without turning to prescription or over the counter medications. If heartburn is becoming a recurring problem affecting your quality of life significantly, speak to your healthcare professional. You may have a chronic condition for which there are effective treatment options available.