This is how the Mayo Clinic defines heartburn:
Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest, just behind your breastbone. Heartburn pain is often worse when lying down or bending over.
Occasional heartburn is common and no cause for alarm. Most people can manage the discomfort of heartburn on their own with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications.
More frequent heartburn that interferes with your daily routine may be a symptom of something more serious that requires help from a doctor.
This is how I describe heartburn:
A roaring fire creeping up from the pit of your stomach, cloaking your heart in its ring of flames. Traveling all the way up to your neck and then taking a joy ride down your left arm.
It’s painful, extremely painful. I suffer from GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). It’s like Acid Reflux on steroids.
The first time I experienced it, I thought I was having a heart attack. My husband actually took me to the ER. I realized later on, that the hot dog with relish is what caused it. This was over 4 years ago, and even though I’ve changed my diet and take medication, I still suffer from heartburn. Even the mildest form can be so painful and debilitating, it stops me right in the middle of whatever it is I’m doing.
Over the years I’ve tried some home remedies that have proven to work. Some are better than others, of course. Here are my favorite 5 home remedies for heartburn.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Dilute 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar into an 80z glass of water and drink it before each meal. **If you feel that it makes your heartburn worse, discontinue use.** Do not use more than three times a day.
2. Baking Soda
This one is my favorite. It works right away and lasts for a longer time period.
Dilute 1/2 teaspoon into an 8oz glass of cool water, drink it fast. It will relieve your heartburn for the entire day.
If you don’t like the taste of the baking soda mixed into the water, here is how my husband takes it: stick the spoon with the baking soda into your mouth and quickly wash it down with the glass of water. This helps to minimize the taste in your mouth.
3. Ginger Root Tea
Ginger helps soothe many stomach woes, from nausea to heartburn. This remedy is best used if taken before meals.
Slice up 3-4 quarter sized slices of ginger. Brew covered in 2 cups of water for about 30 minutes. Drink a cup of fresh tea 20-30 minutes before a meal. The ginger acts as an acid buffer.
Mustard, much like vinegar, has alkaline properties. It helps neutralize the acids in your stomach. It works best, right in the middle of an “attack.”
Just take it straight. There’s no diluting this one! If you’ve been dealing with raging fire in your stomach and throat, the bitterness of the mustard won’t phase you.
5. Chewing Gum
The Journal of Dental Research recently conducted a study that showed people with GERD, or chronic heartburn, actually experienced relief after chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal.
It worked, because chewing gum stimulates our salivary glands, and increases the flow of saliva. This helps wash out whatever is acid is left in the gut more quickly, thus improving the symptoms of GERD and heartburn.
So, after a meal chew on a piece of sugar-free gum for about 30 minutes and say bye bye to heartburn.
Remember folks, these are just temporary remedies and shouldn’t be used for more than a week at a time. If symptoms persist please seek medical assistance.