Heartburn has various causes from things you ingest to underlying medical conditions. Going to the doctor to get a prescription to manage heartburn might be your first instinct to solve your heartburn problem. 

Yet, our bodies have an incredible natural ability to heal themselves if we avoid prescription medications that often only mask underlying issues. If you regularly suffer from heartburn, consider taking a naturopathic medicine approach and trying one of the following eight tips to get the best heartburn relief.

1. Avoid Starchy Carbs

Starchy carbohydrates are those that are highest on the glycemic index. They include products with refined sugar and flour and massively boost insulin levels, potentially leading to stomach damage. Removing these things from your diet can offer quick relief for heartburn and indigestion. Instead, eat low glycemic carbohydrates with lean protein and healthy fats.

2.The Catch 22 of Taking Antacids

  • Prevents the uncomfortable feeling of heartburn
  • Prevents proper digestion of proteins and minerals which the body needs
  • Isn’t necessarily treating the problem; most people actually have low acid which is causing a feedback to tell the lower esophageal sphincter from closing to prevent acid from coming into the throat. 
  • Sets you up for problems down the road such as osteoporosis

Taking an antacid on occasion for minor heartburn can be helpful. Yet, long-term use can mask underlying causes of heartburn and have other dangerous side effects. What you need to do is retrain the parietal cells in the stomach lining to produce the correct amount of hydrochloric acid to digest your food and close the sphincter, talk to a Naturopathic Doctor and get your gut-health back in order.

3. Don’t Go to Bed Too Soon After Eating

Some people commonly experience heartburn at bedtime. In many cases, this can be a result of going to bed within an hour or two after eating. Those who have chronic heartburn feel pain when stomach acid slips into the esophagus. This occurs most often when lying down after a meal because gravity does not help keep digestive juices in the stomach. It’s best to give your body three hours to digest your dinner before heading to bed.

4. Lose Some Weight

Overweight and obese adults suffer from heartburn more frequently than those who remain at a healthy weight. Excess abdominal fat can force acid from the stomach into the esophagus and make heartburn worse. One of the best heartburn relief methods is to follow a healthy diet and exercise program to take off some weight.

Aloe vera leaves being juiced and prepared to be used to heal heartburn

5. Consume Aloe Vera, Pineapple, or Vegetable Juice

Each of these juices has different benefits that can heal heartburn naturally.

  • Aloe Vera juice provides the same cooling effect on your esophagus as it does on sunburns, providing relief for acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Pineapple juice is a natural antacid because it contains bromelain, a mixture of enzymes that controls hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach. A small amount of pineapple juice after a meal can reduce heartburn.
  • Vegetable juice is not acidic, but alkaline, so it can help counteract acid levels in the stomach and reduce heartburn.

6. Stock Up on Fruit

Certain fruits can help heal heartburn because they work as natural antacids. Try these three favorites:

  • Apples reduce acid production in your stomach and can also reduce feelings of heartburn in less than ten minutes after having a couple of bites.
  • Bananas also contribute to reducing acid reflux and heartburn. If you don’t have fresh bananas, you can also use dried banana chips.
  • Grapes can relieve heartburn, indigestion, and nausea after ingesting 10 to 20 grapes as a snack.

7. Immerse Yourself in Aromatic Herbs & Spices

When you think of herbs and spices, you might think of trigger foods that cause heartburn, but not all herbs and spices lead to heartburn. In fact, some have properties that can relieve and heal heartburn naturally. Many of the following herbs and spices are best ingested as a tea, but some exceptions exist. Keep reading to learn about which herbs and spices offer the best heartburn relief.

  • Basil. You can chew on fresh basil leaves to control digestion and balance the acid in your stomach, which ultimately heals heartburn.
  • Chamomile. When you enjoy a cup of chamomile tea, it helps to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Chamomile also relieves stress, making it a great before bed choice.
  • Cinnamon. Cinnamon falls in the hot and spicy category of spices that  can cause heartburn. Quite the opposite is true. Enjoying a cup of cinnamon or cardamom tea cools the burning sensation that comes with heartburn.
  • Fennel. Fennel seed, anise, and caraway teas reduce acid reflux. Just add a couple of teaspoons to a cup of boiling water and enjoy after your tea steeps for 10 minutes.
  • Garlic. Chewing on a garlic clove when you experience heartburn can offer relief, even though many assume it is a trigger or cause of heartburn.
  • Ginger. The benefits of ginger on the digestive system have been well documented. If you feel heartburn or indigestion, grind, or grate fresh ginger and mix it with lemon juice and honey in a cup of warm water and enjoy. You can also suck on a piece or two of candied ginger to help with heartburn.
  • Turmeric. If you’ve ever enjoyed curry, you have likely had turmeric. Using it regularly in your cooking can help reduce heartburn, but you can also take turmeric in capsules.

8. Try Special Oils

Not all oils have a pleasant taste and many essential oils are not safe for consumption. Yet, one essential oil can help heal your heartburn naturally. You will find that many over-the-counter heartburn remedies contain peppermint, making it the perfect natural healing tool for heartburn. You can add several drops to a diffuser to help relieve indigestion or heartburn or enjoy chewing on fresh peppermint. Coconut oil is another remedy for acid reflux, but it works indirectly. Some experts believe that coconut oil is an appetite suppressant that causes people to eat smaller meals, so overeating doesn’t trigger heartburn.

Heartburn is uncomfortable at the very least and painful for some. Pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter treatments have side effects and can lead to long-term complications. Meeting with a naturopathic physician who offers several holistic health services gives you the opportunity to heal heartburn naturally without causing more issues with your body. Contact Dr. Karen Threlkel Today in Washington DC to learn more about healing your mind, body, and soul!

About The Author:

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National College for Naturopathic Medicine (now called The National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Maryland. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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