Acid reflux, or heartburn, can cause a burning sensation in your esophagus after eating. It is often accompanied by indigestion and sometimes by chest pain. Though not a serious condition, heartburn can make you quite uncomfortable.
When you have a case of heartburn, stomach acid can back up into your esophagus, causing inflammation. This happens because the lower esophageal sphincter opens while you are eating and is supposed to close quickly to stop food and stomach liquids from going back into the esophagus. Sometimes this muscle doesn’t close fast enough and you get heartburn. This burning sensation in the back of your chest might give you the feeling that food is coming back up.
If you suffer from heartburn, try some simple diet changes first. Certain foods may be responsible for triggering an attack. The next step you can take is to try one of these four natural remedies and see if you can get some relief from your symptoms:
1) Licorice can help to coat the esophagus, protecting it from stomach acid. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is thought to be effective in treating heartburn and acid reflux when taken in chewable form. By coating the lining of the esophagus, licorice helps relieve inflammation caused by stomach acid. Studies have proved chewable DGL to be helpful in treating stomach and duodenal ulcers. One note of caution: licorice should not be taken for more than seven days in a row, as it can cause high blood pressure. Make sure you get deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) licorice. Take 200 milligrams three times a day in pill form or 20 drops three times a day of one part herb in five parts liquid (1:5 tincture).
2) The next time you have a heartburn attack, drink a large glass of water. If that doesn’t work for you, try a glass of raw potato juice. Just wash a potato and throw it in a juicer. Don’t remove the peel first. Drink immediately after you prepare the juice. Take three times a day. Another popular home remedy that many people vouch for is a vinegar tonic. Mix one tablespoon in a glass of water and drink during your meal.
3) Fresh papaya (with the seeds) can aid digestion, as can pineapple. Both contain special enzymes that help food break down in your stomach and keep this part of the digestion process running smoothly.
4) Don’t eat before bedtime. Try to wait at least three hours after eating before you lie down.
5) Check your medications’ side effects. Some prescription drugs can aggravate heartburn. Even over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen can cause heartburn. If you think it might be your meds causing the problem, then check with your doctor or pharmacist for alternatives. Do not stop taking prescribed medication with consulting your doctor first.
6) One more trick for easing heartburn: lie down on your left side. This keeps your stomach below your esophagus, helping to keep it acid-free.