What to take to naturally treat heartburn; Heartburn is very common — and very unpleasant. It’s triggered when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. It can make you feel as though someone has lit a small bonfire in your chest, and it’s burning its way up to your neck.
You’re probably well aware that medications can help calm the burn, but natural heartburn remedies and lifestyle changes may be another way to get relief.
One commonly used “natural” heartburn remedy is calcium. It’s also the active ingredient in many over-the-counter antacids.
If you find yourself popping antacids like candy and you’re having heartburn more than a couple of times a week, or if you are using antacids for longer than two weeks, it’s time to see the doctor. You may have a condition called GERD — gastroesophageal reflux disease. Frequent heartburn can lead to long-term problems. It can cause inflammation and structures in your esophagus. In rare cases, it may even lead to cancer. But stopping the acid reflux can help prevent complications in the future.
Natural remedies for heartburn are recognized as effective means to solving heartburn issues. For further essentials of natural remedies, the question on its necessity need arise.
Why Do Natural Remedies Work?
The natural methods presented here are, in my opinion, actually better for you than PPIs, H2 blockers, or Antacids because most of them actually support your body in working properly. The unnatural options above actually stop your body from doing it’s job and contribute to ill health.
What do I mean? Well, acid reflux typically happens after eating right? Sometimes it happens right away or hours later when you lay down to sleep.
Most people think it has to do with too much acid… but turns out that’s a lie we’ve all been sold for a LONG time… and it’s the same lie that keeps us stuck on drugs to keep the symptoms at bay.
What to take to naturally treat heartburn
Here is a rundown of some other commonly used home remedies for heartburn, and the evidence for their effectiveness.
#1 – Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is an acid with a pH of around 5. Therefore it helps with heartburn by lowering the pH (making it more acidic) of the stomach contents to improve digestion and reduce the pressure build up we’re looking to avoid.
The pH of your entire stomach contents should be around 1-2 for proper digestion. Remember, this is a good thing, we want the acid levels stronger so that the food doesn’t ferment in your stomach.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is the best vinegar choice, in my opinion. Because, when you get an unfiltered brand like Braggs’s you’ll get the added benefits of the probiotics it contains.
So, you can help your health and many times get rid of heartburn. The ACV trick for heartburn is used by many people. While there’s no research to back it up, there’s also not really a downside to using it. Here’s how to do it:
Add 2 tsp of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to ¼ cup of water and drink. Repeat every 5 minutes until heartburn subsides.
Many people will even take a shot of it before meals to pre-empt the acid reflux.
#2 – Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has a pH of around 2, making it an acid stronger than vinegar. It also contains an added boost in lots of nutrients, especially vitamin C. So, not only can it help with heartburn, but it contains more nutrients than ACV and therefore makes a great choice when in pain.
However, just like the ACV remedy, the first dose might not be enough. And you may end up drinking 2 or more glasses of lemon juice, which can be not only annoying but hard.
It’s still worth a shot. Here’s how to do it:
Juice one organic lemon into a glass. If you can drink it straight, do it. Otherwise, add in ¼ cup of water and take like a shot.
Due to the organic lemon juice being so acidic, some people worry it might harm the enamel on our teeth. Unless you’re doing this daily, I don’t see it being a big issue. And, let’s be honest, if you need daily heartburn relief you really need the help at the very bottom of this post.
#3 – Betaine HCL
Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) is the main component of stomach acid. It’s secreted from cells in the lining of your stomach in response to eating and drinking. And due to stress, nutrient deficiencies, getting older, infections and other things the stomach can stop making enough.
This then leads to the fermentation of food and heartburn pains.
This is, in my opinion, the best natural remedy to help anyone with acid reflux. This is how I got rid of my pain — before I fixed my root causes.
It’s best to use Betaine HCL ahead of time. In other words, you can use this supplement on a daily basis to help your stomach work properly and NEVER have heartburn again.
IMPORTANT: Betaine HCL supplementation is not an option for anyone currently taking H2 blockers, PPIs, or long-term use of NSAIDs. I wrote a whole article that explains more risks, how to do it step-by-step and benefits. You’ll need to work with a practitioner to wean off of these drugs before testing out Betaine HCL as a solution.
The summary of this is: Betaine HCL is basically replacement acid for what’s missing in your stomach. It’s natural in the sense that it’s the exact chemical that your body makes. So, we’re just supplementing more of this chemical that your body actually needs.
If you’ve followed the directions in the article above and you have heartburn after a meal, you can take an extra Betaine HCL as soon as you feel it. Then, wait 20 minutes or so. If the pain is still there, try another pill.
If it’s still there, then it’s probably time to calm down the acid in your esophagus using the only natural remedy I approve of that lowers acid levels.
#4 – Baking Soda (Last Resort)
Baking soda is the home remedy for almost everything. And yes it can offer fast relief from heartburn as well. Baking soda is a base not an acid, meaning that drinking some of it will neutralize acid in your stomach or esophagus.
It’s non-toxic and actually can be helpful for some people as a supplement as it allows athletes to train harder and longer.
It’s not my preferred way of dealing with acid reflux, as it lowers acid levels. But in those extreme situations, where none of the above options have worked, it’s the perfect solution.
How to do it:
Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda in ¼ cup of water. Drink it. Wait 5-7 minutes. If you still have pain, repeat until burning is gone.
Here’s the thing, if you actually fix the root issue causing your acid reflux, you can stop thinking about taking antacids or at-home remedies. You can get on with your life and enjoy better health.