10 Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #1 – Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is hands down the most popular home remedy for acid reflux on Earth Clinic, with over 270 positive votes. It’s recommended far and wide on the internet and home remedy books. There seem to be two schools of thought on dosing. Some people find indigestion relief by consuming between 1/2 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of ACV in room temperature or warm water right before a meal. Others prefer a similar dosage upon rising in the morning and before going to bed at night. Some people put a couple tablespoons in a quart of water and drink it over the course of the day, but I’d be hesitant to keep sipping an acidic drink all day long. Start with a smaller amount of ACV and work up to larger amounts if needed. The flavor is pretty strong, even in water, and some people find it very unpleasant. You can also mix ACV into tea in place of lemon. Organic is best, because apples are a pretty heavily sprayed crop.
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #2 – Pickle Juice
Many of us have an open jar of pickles in the fridge. If you don’t like vinegar on its own, you can get your vinegar with a little flavor bump via pickle juice. Just take a shot with meals, or any time you’re hit with heartburn. Check out my neighbor’s recipe for “No Canning Required Dill Pickles” for the easiest homemade pickles you’ve ever made.
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #3 – Apples
Whether you choose fresh apples, apple sauce or apple cider, apples provide relief to many when heartburn acts up. Some just use them when symptoms hit, others have added more of them to their diets. One EarthClinic user notes that chilled applesauce really helps relieve the burn. My guess is that the natural pectin in apples coats and soothes an upset stomach.
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #4 – Aloe Vera
Just as it soothes burns on the outside, this anti-inflammatory plant can soothe “burns” on the inside. It’s available in juices, gels and capsules, or you can juice your own aloe vera plants. Just cut open a leaf and scoop out the inside pulp. Consume after meals, on an empty stomach between meals or just before bedtime. *Do not use while nursing or pregnant.
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #5 – Lemon
Try some lemonade made with real lemons or a glass of lemon water with your meal for a more pleasant way to add a little acidity to your meal.
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #6 – Mustard
Mustard is a popular option for acid reflux treatment on myhomeremedies.com. It seems most folks down a spoonful after a meal to get rid of acid reflux, with yellow mustard being preferred over other mustard types. This could be linked to mustard’s vinegar content, which give it some acidity, plus the mustard seeds themselves contain anti-inflammatory compounds and phytonutrients. Maybe our ancestors were on to something other than just good flavor when they paired up this spicy condiment with heavy foods?
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #7 – Ginger
You can use commercial ginger teas, or simply slice some fresh ginger and steep it in hot water, then slowly sip. Other people nibble a bit of crystallized ginger, suck on ginger candiesor chew ginger gum.
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #8 – Papaya and other Digestive Enzymes
Papayas, fresh or dried, contains enzymes that help your body break down heavy meals. You can also purchase papaya enzyme in convenient tablet form, sometimes in combination with other enzymes. Enzymes are taken with a meal, as recommended on the packaging. For fresh or dried papaya, a small portion should do the trick. My neighbor, Betty (of Betty’s Dill Picklesand Buttermilk Rye Bread), says that papaya enzymes worked great for her.
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #9 – Probiotics and Live Cultured Foods
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, as we age things tend to slow down a little, and it’s not uncommon for our guts to get out of whack. Healthy humans are made up of more bacteria cells than human cells, so when you take medications that kill bacteria, you can really mess things up. To help rebuild a happy, healthy microbiome inside your belly, where much or our digestion is actually done by bacteria (true fact), we can consume foods or supplements that contain healthy bacteria that we need or introduce them in supplement form. These healthy bacteria are also known as “probiotics“, and contribute to good health in many ways. This is not likely to provide fast relief, although personally I do find that drinking kombucha with meals helps settle my stomach, especially when the food is a little questionable. You can read learn how to brew kombucha at home in the post, “Kick the Soda Habit – Brew Your Own Kombucha“, and we also have a number of Live Culture Food Recipes in the Recipe Index.
Home Remedy for Acid Reflux #10 – Reduce Stress
I haven’t seen anyone talk about this, but I *know* my husband has more trouble with his acid reflux when his stress levels go up at work. That “stomach churning feeling” really does churn up your stomach, and sometimes tear up your esophagus. Figure out some way to let go of your stress and tension. Get some time out in the garden (you’ll probably eat better, too). Take a walk, stretch, meditate, talk about your troubles with a supportive friend or family member. Let it go! Whatever it is is not worth sacrificing your health.
Triggers to Avoid for Acid Reflux
Just a quick note on this, as most folks who live with acid reflux have some idea of what triggers the pain, such as spicy foods, fatty foods, coffee, alcohol, or simply too much food. Here are some acid reflux triggers that you may not be aware of.
Medications (Prescriptions and OTC), including:
- Osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphenates—including blockbusters like alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), and risedronate (Actonel)
- Blood pressure medication (calcium channel blockers and beta blockers)
- sleeping pills and sedatives
- Iron supplements
- antibiotics (as we discussed earlier)
- potassium supplements