Millions of people everyday suffer from acid reflux. A very annoying condition that tends to pop up after consuming alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, smoking, fried or fatty foods, eating too quickly, or eating and then lying down too soon. For some, its constant, and this can be a real problem.
In conventional medicine, this is treated with antacids, PPIs or H2 blockers. These essentially stop the stomach from producing HCl (stomach acid). Sure, short term this can be great. But over longer periods of time (more than two weeks), this causes a wide range of unwanted side effects. For one, low stomach acid allows pathogens to move through the digestive tract freely, and it interferes with the absorption and production of essential vitamins and minerals (like B12).
Not to mention, acid reflux is sometimes the result of too LITTLE acid, not too much. This seems a little crazy, but if the production of acid is low, then your LES (lower esophageal sphincter) will sometimes open involuntarily, allowing whatever stomach acid you have to enter your throat and cause a burning sensation. If this happens to you more than twice a week, it can be classified as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). There are easy ways to check if you have too much or too little, but below are some natural remedies that will help with either case.
Aloe Vera Juice
The compounds in aloe vera juice are anti-inflammatory in nature, and can help to control the secretion of excess stomach acid, soothe any irritation and improve digestion.
DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice)
Whether or not you take this as the supplement, or drink an herbal tea with licorice root in it, this will create a thin coating of mucus along the esophageal wall and stomach, which protects you from rising levels of stomach acid.
For some people, licorice might be too strong of a taste. In that case, try swallowing a tablespoon of raw organic local honey right before bedtime to help neutralize excess stomach acid.
Cabbage or Carrot Juice
An instant cure for acid reflux, and cabbage juice also is amazing for gut health!
I would not use this long term, as it can have some unwanted side effects with chronic usage. But once every now and then is perfectly fine. Just mix 1/2 tsp of baking soda in some water and drink it down slow and smooth, not allowing any air to be ingested while you do so.
Adding black pepper to your daily diet can help to stimulate the digestive system. If you're looking to prevent acid reflux, try mixing 1/2 tsp into water and drink in the morning and at bedtime.
This fruit has a high pH, which helps to stimulate the production of mucus in the stomach lining, which will really lower your chances of an acid buildup that can turn into reflux.
Mother Natures antacid. Chew on a few of these instead of reaching for a Tums.
Coat the lining of the stomach and esophagus and eradicate any excess HCl buildup immediately.
Just like how milk is high in calcium, so are raw almonds. A handful can help do the same thing that milk does, which is great for those who have a dairy sensitivity or allergy.
Whatever you decide, finding the root cause of your acid reflux should be your priority. There is an imbalance somewhere in the body that is causing this condition. Working with an integrative health practitioner or functional medicine doctor can be a great first step when trying to work out your issues. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!