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Home Remedies for Indigestion, Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Updated on November 15, 2016
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John uses Biochemistry and Physiology (PhD) skills to review health topics, disease prevention, home remedies for ailments & better health

Upset stomach and indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a common ailment cause by malfunctioning digestion of food in the stomach or small intestine. Most dyspepsia is relatively minor and short-lived and is caused by overeating, hot spicy food, high fat food, rapid eating without chewing properly, food allergies, and food contaminants or food that is stale or off in some way. It can also be caused by medications stress and anxiety. Persistent indigestion, especially accompanied by pain in the stomach or lower abdomen, may be signs of various serious medical conditions. In this case people are advised to seek medical attention. Mild indigestion can be accompanied by a number of symptoms including bloating, nausea, belching, reflux or heartburn. Normally the symptoms disappear quite rapidly, however there are a range of excellent hone remedies that many people find helps to relive the symptoms. Heartburn (and acid reflux) is quite different from indigestion and people can have both at the same time. Heartburn is usually characterized by burning pain that radiates from the top of the stomach towards the neck area. It is generally occurs when an upset stomach causes acids from the stomach to flow upwards into the esophagus area.

Home remedies for Indigestion

Discomfort or burning in the upper abdomen and nausea is often associated with overeating or eating strange foods that you are not familiar with. Learn to avoid foods that trigger your symptoms and this will vary between individuals. You may also need to revise unhealthy eating habits and practices, such as eating too much or too quickly and eating very rich foods with high fat contents. The following tips can provide relieve for the symptoms and may also help prevent it:

If you regularly and infrequently have bouts of indigestion and are having trouble identifying the cause keep a food diary. This will help identify the food items or other things that may be triggering indigestion. Remember to pay attention to your emotions which can also cause digestion problems. Once you identify he cause you should try changing what you eat and drink.

  • You may need to make lifestyle changes such as regular exercise or relaxation techniques. Many people find that allowing more time for relaxing before,during and after meals helps.
  • Don’t drink any beverage while eating. Beverages dilute the stomach juices needed for proper digestion. This helps with some people, but the opposite is also true as drinking during meals is essential for other groups of people
  • Lemonade and soda water provide gentle relief
  • Before each meal, add cider vinegar or lemon juice to a glass of water and drink it.
  • Eat smaller meals and don't eat too quickly, take your time.
  • Drink 1/4 cup of aloe vera juice.
  • Chew on anise seeds to relieve a sour stomach.
  • Drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of baking soda for immediate relief. This is a simple and effective home remedy for indigestion.
  • Eating an orange is another indigestion remedy as it gives rest to digestive organs.
  • Avoid lying down for three hours after eating.
  • In a glass of water, add 2-3 drops of mint essence and drink after every 4 hours to fight indigestion.
  • Avoid Overeating
  • Pineapple or orange juice taken at the end of each meal helps calm the stomach.
  • Take a walk 20-30 minutes after eating as exercise aids digestion.
  • Avoid spicy foods, particularly if you are not used to them. if they contribute to your indigestion.
  • Artichoke-leaf extract helps many people relieve indigestion. This extract and other herbs can be used to increase the file of bile to help digest fats.
  • Drinking ginger tea, or eating candied ginger or taking ginger root extract can calm the stomach. Adding ginger to foods can also help.
  • Peppermint or Chamomile tea are an excellent ways to calm the stomach, especially if you have eaten too much.
  • Eat some papaya or fresh pineapple to help digestion and for to relieve symptoms of overeating. You can but papaya tablets at health food stores.
  • Chew on a sprig of fresh parsley to relieve indigestion.
  • Don't smoke reduce or minimize consumption of strong tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages.
  • Probiotics products that contain the helpful bacteria (usually Lactobacilli or Bifidobacteria) that normally inhabit the human digestive tract can help with digestion, especially after mediation.
  • Avoid eating late at night and be very careful of left-overs and food that may be old and starting to break down.
  • Try to relax during and after meals to allow you to digest the food. Take breaks between courses to allow time for digesting the food.
  • Herbal tea consisting of mint, raspberry and blackberry helps remove indigestion.
  • Ground cardamom seeds mixed with cloves, coriander and ginger is an effective home remedy for indigestion.

Home Remedies for Acid Reflux, Heartburn

Acid reflux which is also known as heartburn or acid regurgitation, is a common ailment which occurs when the digestive acid in the stomach, escapes and flows upwards and backwards into the esophagus (the part of the gut that transports food from the mouth down to the stomach). This acid causes a bitter or sour taste in the mouth and heartburn, which is a burning feeling in the chest. These symptoms mostly only last for a few hours after a meal and then disappear(persistent pain requires diagnosis by a doctor). Most people experience acid reflux occasionally, usually after eating particular foods. For some people it can be more regular.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

  • Heartburn:
  • Chronic dry cough
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Bitter or sour taste in the mouth
  • Wheezing

What are the Causes of Acid Reflux and Heartburn?

  • Eating before bedtime
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating large meals
  • Obesity (extra pounds can increase risks)
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol or caffeine consumption
  • Fatty, fried, tomato-based foods, citrus fruits, spicy foods, chocolate, mint, garlic and onions
  • Various Medications
  • Hiatal hernia

Home remedies for Heartburn

  • Eat frequent smaller meals
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing, especially around your midsection
  • Try not lie down for at least three hours after eating
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid foods and beverages that trigger or worsen symptoms
  • Lose weight if necessary
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Keep a food log to determine which foods or beverages trigger the symptoms.
  • Reduce the consumption of alcohol and mostly drink only with meals.
  • Avoid stimulants such as tobacco, coffee (including decaffeinated coffee), caffeinated soda beverages and other stimulants can irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Take slippery elm extract, which can soothe irritated digestive tract tissues.
  • Add lots of fiber to your diet - at least 40 grams a day - including fruits, vegetables, whole grains.
  • Tilt the head of the bed by putting solid supports such as blocks, bricks, or boards under it, so that you head is raised above your feet when sleeping.
  • Practice a relaxation strategy, as stress and anxiety can worsen reflux symptoms.
  • Don' use two pillows when sleeping as this can make reflux worse.
  • Get regular exercise

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© 2012 Dr. John Anderson


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