What are the most effective heartburn home remedies?

Before we can explore what the best home remedies are for heartburn, we first need a better understanding of what heartburn is. Oddly enough, it has nothing to do with the heart! When stomach acid comes in contact with the esophagus (usually after a meal), it can cause irritation resulting in a "burning" sensation in the chest or throat. Symptoms can include not only the burning sensation, but also difficulty swallowing, and possibly a sour taste in the mouth.

There are plenty of over the counter medications for heartburn relief, usually antacids. Antacids most commonly contain magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, or calcium bicarbonate. The benefit of over the counter medications is that they come in a variety of strengths and forms. Some people prefer pills or chewable tablets, while others prefer consumption in liquid form. Of course with the convenience of over the counter drugs, comes the cost. Which is why some people prefer to treat heartburn or acid reflux with home remedies.

If you suffer from occasional heartburn and would like to try treating it at home, here are a few tips:

1. Baking Soda Water: Many over the counter antacids contain low doses of sodium bi-carbonate which is actually baking soda. Mixing half a teaspoon of baking soda with a full glass of water can help immediately neutralize stomach acid, relieving acid reflux. Since baking soda is extremely high in sodium, it should be used very sparingly and only if you are looking for a quick fix for rare heartburn outbreaks.

2. Chamomile Tea: Brewing a cup of chamomile tea is one of the safest ways to not only prevent, but also relieve heartburn. It is low in caffeine but high in calcium, one of the active ingredients in many of the over the counter heartburn medications.

3. Ginger: Ginger has been used as a remedy for heartburn for centuries. Cook it into food, drink it as a tea, or eat it raw to help sooth gastrointestinal disorders.

4. Papaya tablets: If you are just looking for a natural alternative to traditional OTC medications, papaya tablets can be purchased at your local health food store, and should relieve mild acid reflux.

Heartburn Prevention Tips

Rather than treat it after heartburn strikes, why not take a few steps to prevent it from occurring in the first place:

1. Monitor Your Diet: Identify and eliminate the foods that cause your most severe heart burn regularly. If you are certain you will be eating that type of food, take precautions like drinking chamomile tea before eating.

2. Eat And Remain In An Upright Position: Heartburn is often brought on by poor posture while eating, or lying down immediately after eating. Keeping upright for a few hours after eating will help keep your stomach acid where it belongs.

3. Avoid Alcohol When Eating: Alcohol not only causes the stomach to produce more acid, but it also relaxes the muscles in the esophagus exacerbating the effects of heartburn.

4. Don't Chew Gum or Smoke: Both cause you to swallow unnecessary amounts of air which causes excessive burping and reflux.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE.