If you’ve ever experienced heartburn, which is the primary symptom of acid reflux, then you know how painful it can be. The feeling of a fiery ball of acid traveling up your chest into your throat can make you want to scream. Sort of like this guy:
In order to put that fire out and relieve your symptoms, you must first understand why you’re experiencing them in the first place. Check out the inforgraphic below for a better understanding.
The Cause of Acid Reflux
When reading through this infographic, you may have stopped and questioned why having too little acid in your stomach would cause acid reflux. That’s because many people believe acid reflux is caused by having too much acid in the stomach. While it’s easy to understand why someone would think that, the truth is stomach acid is very important for breaking down the food we eat and to properly absorb it. If your stomach acid is too high, that will actually stop the body from breaking down the food you eat. The fact is, problems begin to arise when acid comes out of your stomach where it’s supposed to remain (the diagram above gives a perfect visual explanation).
There are a number of natural remedies that help fight acid reflux. While I mentioned some in the above infographic, let’s break them down even further (and talk about a few additional remedies).
1) Apple Cider Vinegar
The number one thing you can do to ease acid reflux is balance out the pH levels in your stomach. You can do this by consuming apple cider vinegar right before you eat. Try adding one tablespoon of ACV to a glass of water.
2) Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes help you fully break down the food you eat. Take one or two capsules before you eat. You can even take these with the ACV!
3) Betaine Hydrochloric Supplement
Take a betaine hydrochloric supplement with pepsin to help better digest your food. Take as many as you need to get the slightest burning sensation. Some people only need one capsule, others need more.
You can take HCL with pepsin on a regular basis to heal your GI tract, improve low stomach acid and fight acid reflux.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, you should only take this supplement when you are eating a meal with protein. If you are not eating protein with a meal, you don’t want to use it.
4) Ginger Tea
Drinking a cup of hot water with 2 or 3 slices of ginger root 20 minutes before a meal can help relieve acid reflux symptoms. Ginger has also been found to prevent the formation of ulcers.
5) Aloe Vera Juice
Drinking the juice of an aloe vera plant can help reduce inflammation and fight acid reflux symptoms. Try drinking 1/2 cup of this juice before you eat a meal.
6) Baking Soda
While this isn’t recommended as a regular, long-term solution, drinking an 8 ounce glass of water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda can help ease the burning sensation of heartburn and neutralize stomach acid.
7) Take a Probiotic Supplement
Taking a probiotic supplement helps replenish the gut with good bacteria.
8) Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, are rich in probiotics and help balance gut bacteria.
9) Eliminate Processed Foods, Coffee, Alcohol and Nicotine
Processed foods, coffee, alcohol and nicotine can act as triggers for acid reflux, so you’ll want to eliminate them from your regular diet.
10) Chew Your Food Well
Eating slowly and chewing your food well stimulates the production of saliva, which helps break down the food you’re eating.
11) Intermittent Fasting
According to Dr. Josh Axe, intermittent fasting allows your GI tract to rest and can help balance out stomach acid. Intermittent fasting doesn’t mean you have to go several hours to days without any food. Throughout the time of your fast, you can eat bone broth and drink soothing teas.
Make sure to consult a doctor about relieving acid reflux symptoms naturally.