When stomach acids back up into your esophagus, this creates the burning and severe discomfort known as heartburn. The most common way to relieve heartburn is through the ingestion of calcium. Calcium is the key ingredient that makes over the counter heartburn medicines effective. There are many prescription and over the counter medicines specially formulated to stop heartburn. But what if you prefer to use more natural forms of treatment? Are there home remedies that can successfully treat heartburn?
There are different herbs that have been shown to help relieve symptoms. A mixture has been made, called Iberogast and it consists of the following herbs: Peppermint, licorice, caraway, angelica, clown’s mustard plant, chamomile, lemon balm and milk thistle. Users of this claim that it is effective in reducing the pain and discomfort caused by heartburn.
Vitamin supplements which contain B6, B12, melatonin and folic acid have been shown more effective than some prescription heartburn medicines. Medical doctors do warn that caution should be used because you can overdose on some vitamins.
The old wives tale about drinking milk to soothe heartburn is based on some truth. Milk can work as a buffer against acids in the stomach. It is recommended to use low fat or skim milk, as the fat in whole milk will stimulate the stomach to make more acid.
Another old remedy is to chew gum. There are no ingredients in chewing gum that are acid blockers. The reason gum can help is because chewing it creates more saliva which is a natural acid blocker. You also swallow more often which results in the stomach acids being pushed back down.
Avoid eating high fat foods, and decrease the amounts that you eat. Adding fiber to your diet helps your digestive tract and will decrease the heartburn somewhat.
Do not eat before going to bed. Lying down with a full stomach greatly increases the chance of you having heartburn. Try not to eat anything within 3 to 4 hours of going to bed. A full stomach with undigested foods is an open invitation to heartburn.
Putting blocks or a similar type of support under the head of your bed and elevating it 6 inches higher than the foot has been known to help decrease the number of heartburn attacks.
If heartburn becomes more severe and seems to be unaffected by the different types of relief, you should see a doctor as this could indicate a more serious issue.