My good friend (whom I won't mention and who happens to be expecting), was the inspiration behind this post. As a person who is expecting, you can 'expect' a lot of things to happen and heartburn is one of them. Before we get down to the remedies of heartburn, we need to find out what we're dealing with.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a mild to severe pain in the chest that you may feel after eating a meal. It can be a burning or tightening sensation, and bending over or lying down can make it feel worse. The term “heartburn” is somewhat of a misnomer because the heart actually has nothing to do with the pain. Heartburn actually occurs in your digestive system, specifically in the esophagus. Heartburn is quite common. Most people will experience it at some point in their lives, usually after eating or at bedtime. You may take medication such as an antacid, to help relieve the pain if you experience it periodically. While over-the-counter and prescription medications are available, if you suffer only from occasional heartburn, lifestyle changes and heartburn home remedies may be the route you want to take.
1. Baking soda/sodium bicarbonate
A spoonful of sodium bicarbonate, or teaspoon-full to be exact, can help put an end to the gnawing, burning, sensation of heartburn caused by acid reflux.
You will need…
-1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon of baking soda
-a glass of fresh water
Mix either a ½ teaspoon or 1 single teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water that is no more than 1 glass. Give it a good stir and drink all of the mixture. You can repeat this as needed but should not exceed seven ½ teaspoon doses in a 24 hour period. Also, avoid using this as a remedy for more than a week straight, as it is high in salt and can have side effects such as swelling or nausea.
2. Avoid tight fitting clothes
Things cinched tightly about your waist or middle can worsen heartburn. If you have super tight jeans on, when you sit down, the waistband is going to sink into your abdomen region. Same goes for tight belts-and even shirts can be a problem for some. This is because all of the above puts extra pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, which make it more likely stomach contents, will push through and you’ll experience reflux.
3. Chew gum
This is because chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands, and increases the flow of saliva. Any acid that has built up in the gut is diluted and washed away or cleared out more quickly. Make sure you chew for 30 minutes and it must be sugar-free gum.
4. Make ginger-root tea
Ginger-root can help ease up a number of stomach woes, from nausea to acid reflux. Sipping a cup of fresh tea about 20 minutes before a meal can help calm down your tummy and act as an acid buffer.
You will need…
-3 quarter sized slices of ginger-root
-2 cups of water
Slice up 3 quarter sized pieces of ginger-root and simmer gently in 2 cups of water, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the ginger pieces, or leave them in, pour into a glass, and drink all of it about 20 minutes before a meal.
5. Snack on almonds
A natural remedy for heartburn from Reader’s Digest, eat some almonds after every meal, every snack, every time you ingest something basically. Try to track down organic almonds if possible. These tasty nuts do something to seemingly neutralize the juices in your stomach, relieving and preventing some instances of heartburn.
You will need…
-3 to 4 almonds
Directly after every meal, every snack, basically every time you ingest something, eat 3-4 almonds afterwards.
6. A cup of chamomile
Having a spot of chamomile tea about ½ – 1 hour before you plan on going to sleep can help reduce inflammation in your stomach, and possibly balance out the acidity levels as well. It also does wonders for relieving stress, which can trigger acid reflux, and will help you sleep through the night as well. You can use instant chamomile tea, or you can easily make your own fresh.
You will need…
-1 teaspoon dried chamomile flower petals
-1 cup of boiling water
-Honey or lemon (optional)
Boil one cup of water in a cooking pot, and then reduce the heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile petals, and let them simmer for 45 seconds. Remove from heat and let the petals soak for another minute or two before straining them. Pour the tea into a mug, and add a bit of honey or lemon if you wish.
7. Eat a banana or an apple
Bananas contain natural antacids that can act as a buffer against acid reflux. If you want to try out the simplest home remedies for heartburn first, try letting a few bananas ripen up nicely and eating one every day. Another option is to try an apple a day. Slice one up and eat it a couple of hours before bedtime to relieve or prevent discomfort.
8. Get more acid
When you have acid burning your esophagus, it seems quite counter-intuitive to ingest even more acid. In many cases though, acid reflux is caused by having not enough acid in your stomach, rather than having too much, as over-the-counter or prescription “acid blockers” imply (although that can also be the case, among other factors.)
You will need…
-3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
-1 cup of fresh water
Mix 3 teaspoons, or up to 1 tablespoon, of apple cider vinegar into 1 cup of fresh water, and drink. You can do this before each meal (probably the most effective,) before bedtime, or 2-3 times during the day. If you feel is worsens your reflux, do not continue to ingest it. Too much may also contribute to the problem.
I hope these tips will help you my dear friend :D and everyone else who suffers from heartburn. If the problem persists, you should visit your doctor and have it checked out. Your problem could be bigger and require more attention. Stay safe, happy and healthy! :) ;)