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Apr 07

How To Treat Heartburn Naturally

treat heartburn naturallyYou know you shouldn’t have eaten the chili or the sausage sandwich but you did, and now you have heartburn.Would you like to know how to treat heartburn naturally? An estimated 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and a significant number of them turn to nondrug options and decide to treat heartburn naturally. Fortunately there are a number of safe and effective options you can try.

What is heartburn?

Sometimes people use the term “heartburn” interchangeably with “GERD” (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or “acid reflux,” but they are not exactly the same. Heartburn is a symptom you experience when stomach acid rises into your throat. It is one of the symptoms of GERD, which is a chronic or severe form of acid reflux. Symptoms of heartburn can include

  • Burning feeling in your chest behind your breastbone, typically within minutes or an hour of eating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sour, acidic fluid at the back of your throat
  • A feeling like there is food stuck in your throat
  • Chest pain after eating

Here are four alternatives to harsh antacids to treat heartburn naturally.

Aloe. The juice of the aloe vera plant can soothe your irritated esophagus. This remedy is for adults and not recommended for pregnant women or children. The suggested dose is 2 ounces of aloe vera juice about 20 minutes before your meal.

Licorice root. To help tackle excess stomach acid, you can try deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which is the form of the herb that has had the glycyrrhizin ingredient removed. A suggested dose for adults is 380 mg taken three to four times a day between meals.

Probiotics. Supplements containing good or beneficial bacteria can do wonders for heartburn and GERD. The suggested adult dose is 2.5 to 3.5 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of a probiotic supplement that contains at least four different species of good bacteria. Take the supplement with each meal until your symptoms resolve. Probiotic supplements provide added benefits, since these good bacteria can balance your intestinal tract and promote immune system and overall health as well.

Slippery elm. This herb has an ability to soothe an irritated esophagus and stomach. Adults can take 800 to 1,500 mg three times a day in the form of tablets or capsules. If slippery elm tea is more to your liking, steep 1 to 2 grams of slippery elm bark in 8 ounces of boiled water for 10 minutes. Drink three to four cups daily. If your heartburn is accompanied by chest pain, you should see a healthcare provider. In addition, heartburn or acid reflux symptoms that persist or get worse should be evaluated by a physician. For more information on natural remedies for common ailments, see The Family Guide to Vitamins, Herbs, and Supplements.