12 Best Home Remedies for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Some of the most effective home remedies for gastroesophageal reflux disease include the use of mustard, apple cider vinegar, ginger tea, Aloe vera juice, baking soda, chamomile, almonds, bananas, chewing gum, and slippery elm, as well as certain lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, sleeping on your left side, and maintaining a healthy weight.
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What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
You may not recognize the name gastroesophageal reflux disease, but this condition has many other shorter named that are much more common, including GERD, gastric reflux disease, acid reflux disease, and simply “reflux”. This common condition can range in severity and consists of stomach acid rising up into the esophagus and damaging the tissues and walls there, causing discomfort and pain. This is probably the most common digestive or gastrointestinal problem in our species, as between 10% and 20% of the western world suffers from this condition in one form or another. The cause of acid reflux disease (as it will be referred to for the rest of the article) is that the esophageal sphincter doesn’t close properly, which allows the acid to come up. This functional failure can be a result of obesity, the use of certain steroids, hernias, sleep apnea, and various other risk factors.
The major symptom of acid reflux disease is heartburn, which anyone can suffer from time to time, but chronic, painful heartburn is the biggest warning sign that you may be developing acid reflux disease. Other symptoms include vomiting, nausea, painful swallowing, coughing, or chest pain, but the major red flag is the heartburn, as that is the direct sensation of that stomach acid on the esophageal tissues. There are plenty of medications and treatments that can reduce the discomfort and regularity of acid reflux disease episodes, but many people would prefer to take care of this problem at home, which is entirely possible. Home remedies for acid reflux disease are well known and provided that your case isn’t already very severe, you can usually calm the symptoms of the disease quite successfully with the following home remedies.
Home Remedies for GERD
Apple Cider Vinegar
Although it may seem slightly counterintuitive to put more acidic substances into your body while trying to fight down acid from the stomach, apple cider vinegar is a wonderful home remedy for acid reflux disease. The reason is that many people suffer from acid reflux disease because there is too little acid being produced to adequately digest the food in the stomach. Therefore, adding highly acidic vinegar will stimulate more acid production so the stomach balance can be found and the entire system can perform normally.
Baking soda mixed with a glass of water might not seem particularly pleasant, but it is a quick and effective remedy for acid reflux disease. Baking soda is a base substance, which means that it neutralized the acid in your stomach when it rises up into the esophagus, thereby eliminating that burning sensation that you feel when acid reflux flares up.
Popping a few almonds as a daily snack can help to eliminate those painful episodes of acid reflux, because almonds are a highly alkaline food, which balances your body’s pH and prevents the acidity in your stomach from growing too great and irritating the other tissues of the gastrointestinal system.
Aloe Vera Juice
Most people think of applying aloe vera to sunburns or to reduce inflammation, and that is precisely why it is used as a home remedy for acid reflux disease. When you feel that rising burn from your stomach and want to quickly soothe your stomach and esophagus, the anti-inflammatory nature of aloe vera juice can almost completely eliminate the discomfort in a very short time, as the organic compounds in aloe vera juice are famed for working very quickly.
Our saliva is sort of the natural cleanser that we consume and swallow every single day. However, if we don’t have a lot of saliva production, any acid that comes up into the esophagus or other digestive tracts remains there. By chewing gum, which is a natural stimulant for saliva, we can consistently wash out our tracts to ensure that the acid there is gone, making future bouts of acid reflux disease more tolerable and less severe. This might be the simplest remedy with the biggest payoff.
Apples and Bananas
Both of these basic fruits have certain naturally occurring antacids that work very well against the acids in your stomach and esophagus. Eating fruit every day is already a key to good health, but if you’re suffering from acid reflux disease, then these two common varieties might just be your best bet.
This herbal extract is slightly less common as a remedy for acid reflux disease, but it has naturally anti-inflammatory properties and has been praised for its ability to eliminate irritation and discomfort from the digestive tract. Use of slippery elm (bark, unpowdered) is banned/restricted by some countries such as UK so consult your local health specialist before use.
Ginger Root Tea
Brewing a pot of ginger root tea is never a bad choice when suffering from acid reflux disease. The wealth of nutrients and unique organic compounds found in ginger root have a soothing, sedative effect on the stomach and esophagus, reducing pain and discomfort and eliminating inflammation by buffering against the acid. Ginger is one of the most commonly turned to remedies for stomach disorders.
Smoking has been linked to weakening the lower esophageal sphincter, which controls the passage of acid into the esophagus. The exact mechanism for why this happens is somewhat unknown, but smoking is already a terribly dangerous habit, so if you are struggling with acid reflux disease, then cut back on the cigarettes!
A responsible intake of alcohol is fine, but anything excessive causes major issues in your stomach, including a weakening of the LES and increased chances of acid reflux disease. Everything in moderation, because alcohol in excess can disrupt not only your gastrointestinal system, but also your liver, complicating every other process in your body!
This mineral-rich and slightly vinegar-infused food is actually perfect for treating acid reflux disease. Mustard neutralizes the acid that may come up your throat and successfully calms the irritation due to its natural alkalizing nature.
Left Side Sleeping
Although there is not a traditional right side or wrong side to sleep on, studies have shown that people who sleep on their right side or stomach tend to suffer from more severe occurrences of acid reflux disease. However, if you choose to sleep on the left side, it seems that the body reacts better and is less likely to kick acid back up into the esophagus.