Heartburn – A Holistic Approach

heartburn a.k.a. acid reflux
Heartburn / Acid Reflux

As with many things in life, heartburn (renamed acid reflux disease by Big Pharma) is much easier to prevent than to treat after the fact. So we’ll start with prevention.

How to Prevent Heartburn

You can prevent heartburn by simply eating smaller portions, chewing food thoroughly, and allowing food to digest (a minimum of 2 hours) before going to bed. Personally, I’ve never gone to bed sooner than 3 hours after eating my last meal and I have never had heartburn.

Also, if you are prone to heartburn, you should avoid the following herbs and foods

  • Peppermint,
  • Garlic,
  • Citrus fruits,
  • Tomatoes and
  • Chocolate.

Depressing, I know. But it’s been proven that these foods can trigger heartburn in people who are predisposed to the condition.

Remedies that Prevent and Treat Heartburn

The herb Licorice Root is a well known folk remedy for heartburn. And the herbs Slippery Elm, Marshmallow, and Aloe Vera Juice are useful for soothing the lining of the esophagus, when taken 20 minutes before a meal.

The minerals Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium (in chelate form) have an alkalizing effect by combining with the acid from the stomach, with no known side effects. All three should be taken together between meals. This combination can prevent and treat heartburn.

Another natural antacid is Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 1 TBSP to 8 oz. water and drink during meal to prevent heartburn.

Antacids work fast; that’s why they are so popular for heartburn treatment. One fast and effective antacid is baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate. But, if you are on a low-sodium diet or you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, you should avoid using this more than once week. As its name suggests, it is heavily sodium based. There’s also Calcium carbonate, but the same restrictions for baking soda apply here as well.

Also, these two substances can cause a condition called Alkalosis, if used frequently. This is because both are easily absorbed into the blood and increase the blood pH. The symptoms of Alkalosis are nausea, headaches and weakness.

All in all, it’s best to simply prevent heartburn. The acids from the stomach can eat away at the esophagus (especially at night) and lead to esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ~Benjamin Franklin

I hope you’ve found this information useful. And if you have discovered any natural remedies for heartburn, please, share it with us, in the comments section below.

The video version of this article is now available in our Videos section, under 2012 and on our YouTube channel. 

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