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5 Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux

Updated on April 10, 2010

Acid reflux disease can be a scary experience. Especially since the signs and symptoms can mimic a heart attack. How can you know which of the two you have? There is no real way for me to tell you which one you are having. If you are experiencing chest pain or tightness and you have not been diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) you should go to the emergency room and be checked out. Getting this wrong could be disastrous! If you have been diagnosed with GERD then you should be familiar with your symptoms and what your GERD flare ups feel like. If in doubt, go get checked out.

There are several drugs you can either be prescribed or get over the counter to help with acid reflux or heartburn. When I used to work in the emergency room we used to call it the "cocktail". It was mostly a mixture of pain reliever and stomach antacids. In spite of working in the medical industry, I am not a big fan of pharmaceuticals, not that I have not used them before, I just prefer not to. If you are feeling an onset of symptoms, there are several remedies you can use to help you get rid of those burning sensations in your throat, upset stomach, or to help with chest pain, provided it's not an actual heart attack. Here are 5 natural remedies for acid reflux you can use that have helped me.

1. Mint

 Mint is an herbal remedy for acid reflux.  It is used all over the world for medicinal purposes and has been used at least since the middle ages for heartburn.  Most people either eat it in mint form or drink it as a tea.  This "good herb" as it is called in South America, can be used in a tea and helps digestion.  Some cultures use it for weight loss in conjunction with vinegar.  Simply dip the mint leaf in vinegar and chew on the leaf.  It helps suppress appetite.  I have used it and it takes a week or two to start working, but it does help reduce your cravings. 

If you do decide to try mint, know that it is a diuretic, so consult your physician on whether this will interact with any medications you might take or medical conditions you might have.  It should be safe for most, as its usage is very wide spread, but please consult your physician if you have any concerns. 

2. Ginger

Ginger is a geared for helping with upset stomach and nausea. Remember when you had the flu and your mother used to get you ginger ale because you were sick? It is the ginger, not the carbonation that helps soothe your nausea. When I go that route, I try to drink a real ginger ale from a health food grocery store. It is much stronger than a regular ginger ale, but I find it works better.

If you don't want to go the soda route, after all, carbonation is not good for acid reflux, you can eat the ginger root itself. A friendly warning, ginger root has a very sharp biting hot taste, so be prepared. You simply cut off a small section of the root, you do not want a large chunk, it will overwhelm you, and you chew on it. You can also eat an organic ginger candy. We eat these for snacks. They took some getting used to, but now I really like them.   You can also take ginger supplements or drink ginger tea. 

3. Papaya

Papaya is a powerhouse fruit that is not used nearly enough in our society. Papaya is an excellent natural remedy for acid reflux disease.  It is not only a low acidic food, but contains an enzyme called papain that is designed specifically to help with digestion.  It also consists of potassium which is helpful in providing  an healthy bacterial setting for your intestines.  This eases the digestive process and helps your stomach not work as hard.  This is the underlying source of health to fix the disease process. 

Papaya also has more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.  vitamin C also helps with digestion.  You don't necessarily have to eat papaya to get it's benefits.  You can also buy a papaya enzyme supplement.  My family uses this to get our papain and it comes with a mint taste. 

4. Yogurt

Yogurt is another good choice to help your acid reflux because it has acidophilus in it.  Acidophilus promotes healthy bacterial growth in your digestive tract.  Healthy digestion is crucial to getting rid of acid reflux disease.  If you don't like yogurt, which I don't, you can buy acidophilus pills at most natural health food stores. 

5. Cherries

 Cherries are a powerhouse as a natural remedy for many different diseases.  Cherries and gout pain are probably what cherries are most famous for but they are also useful for acid reflux disease.  Cherries contain a lot of antioxidants so they are able to help repair damage done by this condition.  In and of themselves, cherries are not going to cure you, but they are a strong component of a healthy diet. 

Cherries are also a low-acidic food and this helps not to cause further damage.  Not only that, but they contain a lot of vitamin C and potassium.  The potassium and vitamin C help aid digestion and therefore help to treat this disease. 

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      pkat 2 years ago

      Your mileage may vary, but tart Montmorency cherry enzyme tablets cured my GERD. I had it so bad I was afraid to eat because it caused excruciating pain. Zantac didn't touch it, and I'm allergic to Prilosec. I read about these and figured I was only out a few bucks if it didn't work. That was 5 months ago. I went from not being able to eat anything to being able to eat whatever I want. Also, the lesions in my throat have healed. I'm a believer!

    • profile image

      jpramas 4 years ago

      papayas (5.2-6 ph) and ginger (5.6-5.9 ph) are both ok for acid reflux/GERD, but mint, yogurt and cherries are absolutely not ... as has been pointed out above, mint is a major GERD trigger in its own right ... and both cherries (3.25-4.54 ph) and yogurt (4.6-4.8 ph) are under 5 ph and therefore likely to be a trigger for most GERD sufferers ... also, the idiots who recommend vinegar as a "cure" for GERD should be sterilized ... vinegar (2.4-3.4 ph) is the equivalent of drinking battery acid for anyone who really has GERD, and there is absolutely zero science behind any GERD "cure" claims ...

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      fabrizio 6 years ago

      Avoid peppermint as treatment for reflux. Mint will relax the sphincter muscle between the stomach and esophagus, allowing stomach acids to travel backwards and irritate your condition.

      http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/peppermint-0002...

    • profile image

      jennibee 6 years ago

      Actually AVOID MINT for acid reflux. I've had gastric and reflux problems for years (and I'm only in my 20's) and pretty much every list I've gotten from doctors and "folk remedies" show mint as an herb to avoid like the plague. This is also backed by my personal experience and the experience of others I know with gastric issues.

      One that's not on the list and should be is cinnamon, I've incorporated it into my diet and it's been quite beneficial.

      PS: Mint and chocolate are both to be avoided, which sucks for me since I love those two flavors together :(

    • profile image

      Shane 6 years ago

      Hi I will have to try the papayas. And the ginger. I have tried the acv but it seems nothing is helping. 2 weeks ago I stopes dnking and smoking I exercise and have a good high protene diet I'm not over weight and am taking over the counter medication and still it's unbearable . I am at my wits end

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      sandy 7 years ago

      these natural remedies really effects acid reflux.using baking soda is a great idea.thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      treating acid reflux 7 years ago

      Nice Hub. It really gave me enlightenment. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 7 years ago from Michigan

      thanks for visiting bayoulady. Thanks for the validation. Lately, ginger chews and peppermint are my two favorite methods of getting rid of acid reflux when I have a problem.

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Great suggestions for acid reflux.When my daughter had chemo ten years ago,the clinic encouraged her to use ginger, peppermint, and cinnamon. I helped tremendously.

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 8 years ago from Michigan

      thanks, Happy Jane for visiting and the link!

    • profile image

      Happy Jane 8 years ago

      Nice hub, very informative, infact my next blog post will be on the healing properties of ginger for acid reflux so I will link back to you

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 8 years ago from Michigan

      Word, thanks for stopping by and the nice comment.

      Apple cider is used by quite a few people as well as baking soda. There is a fairly short youtube video on my lens 7 remedies for heartburn (link is below).

      The woman on the video is a biochemist and she shows a recipe with baking soda for heartburn.

    • WordPlay profile image

      Carla Chadwick 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the great info. This is well researched and written. :-)

      BTW, some people swear by apple cider vinegar (2 Tbs + a little honey and a pinch of baking soda in 8 oz. of water, three to four times a day) for GERD. I haven't tried it but I've read comments by some enthusiastic supporters of it on the Web. Mouth sores can be an issue with apple cider vinegar, but the baking soda is supposed to help with that.

    • tbfrascone profile image
      Author

      tbfrascone 8 years ago from Michigan

      Michelle, thanks for visiting. Glad you found the information useful. I have suffered from acid reflux for quite a while also and my naturopath doctor has me taking papaya enzyme every day. I find it helps a lot. Here's to similar results for you.

    • profile image

      Michelle 8 years ago

      Nice hub! I rated it and also sent to a few friends whom I know have acid reflux. I've had acid reflux for years and didn't know about the papayas and cherries. I'll be checking those out now.

      Thanks!

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