Acid reflux is a common condition that people often refer to as heartburn. Natural remedies offer an easy and inexpensive way to treat the symptoms at home.
Acid reflux is common, accounting for about 8.9 million clinical visits annually in the United States.
Anyone who experiences persistent or frequently recurring acid reflux should seek medical help. Other people may find that home remedies are sufficient for reducing acid reflux and relieving the symptoms.
In this article, we list 11 home remedies that a person can try.
If acid reflux occurs frequently, a person may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause complications in the long term. Anyone who is concerned about their symptoms should speak with a doctor.
A person can try several home remedies to treat or lessen the symptoms of acid reflux.
1. Quit smoking
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. The LES stops stomach acid from flowing back up into the food pipe.
According to a
2. Calming techniques
Focusing on the discomfort that acid reflux causes can lead to anxiety and worsen how a person feels.
Someone experiencing anxiety can try box breathing techniques to manage the rapid breathing and dizziness that can occur with anxiety.
Although staying calm will not stop acid reflux, it can help someone avoid experiencing worse symptoms.
A 2013 article in the journal
3. Avoid trigger ingredients
A person can try eliminating trigger foods from their diet to see whether this reduces the symptoms of acid reflux.
Common trigger foods include:
- fatty foods
- spicy foods
4. Incorporate ginger into the diet
Based on the existing evidence, researchers suggest a daily dose of
Ginger is an easy ingredient to incorporate into the diet. People can try:
- adding it to hot water to make ginger tea
- including it in a stir-fry
- boiling it in a soup
- grating it raw onto salads or cereals
People who dislike the taste of ginger can mask it by including it in recipes with other strong flavors.
5. Eat earlier
A 2013 study found that participants who went to sleep within 3 hours of eating had a higher risk of GERD recurrence.
Leaving a longer gap between dinner and going to bed gives the body more time to digest the food. Sitting up also helps the body digest food properly.
The proper digestion of food can decrease the likelihood of acid reflux.
6. Maintain a moderate weight
Eating a balanced diet is key for a person’s general health, and it can also help them manage their weight.
The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that 74% of all adults in the U.S. are overweight or have obesity.
The Obesity Action Coalition says that acid reflux occurs more frequently among adults who have a high body mass index (BMI) or obesity. The reason for the link seems to be that excess fat around the abdominal area puts pressure on the stomach, making the body work harder to keep acid down.
People with a high BMI may find that reaching and maintaining a moderate weight helps them reduce the frequency of acid reflux.
It is important that people focus on safe ways to lose weight, as losing too much weight too quickly may also cause health problems.
7. Chew sugar-free gum after meals
Chewing also boosts saliva production, which helps neutralize stomach acid.
However, it is important to avoid chewing gums containing sugar, which may make the symptoms worse or cause dental erosion.
People should also avoid mint flavored gum, as mint can worsen the symptoms of acid reflux.
8. Wear less restrictive clothing
Tight clothing, such as belts, jeans, or other fitted garments around the stomach and waist, can put pressure on the abdomen. This pressure, known as intragastric pressure, may trigger acid reflux.
A person can try wearing loose clothing to relieve the pressure on their abdominal region.
9. Try herbal tea
Some drinks, including coffee and alcohol, may increase the symptoms of acid reflux. Replacing these beverages with decaffeinated herbal teas may help reduce the likelihood of acid reflux.
Herbal teas can also help improve digestion and ease symptoms such as dizziness or nausea.
Popular herbal teas include:
It is best to avoid mint teas, which
10. Introduce high fiber food into the diet
Fiber is an important part of every healthy diet. It can help a person feel full and aid digestion, easing the symptoms of acid reflux.
Fiber-rich foods that a person can start introducing to their diet include:
- whole wheat breakfast cereals
- porridge oats
- granary bread
- whole wheat pasta
- bulgur wheat
- brown rice
- potato skin (for example, on baked potatoes)
11. Keep a diary
Keeping a diary and tracking when acid reflux occurs can help a person feel more in control of their body.
Alongside their symptoms, they can note the foods that they have eaten and any changes to their behaviors or habits. This approach can help a person identify any triggers for acid reflux, which they can then avoid where possible to prevent acid reflux from recurring.
However, triggers for acid reflux vary from person to person, and they may not always be obvious.
If someone is unable to identify and eliminate factors that cause or worsen acid reflux, or if they have concerns about their symptoms, they should contact a doctor. They may have GERD or another health condition. A doctor can diagnose the issue and help them devise a treatment plan.
Natural remedies can be a quick, cheap, and effective way to treat acid reflux.
Small changes to the diet or daily habits may relieve symptoms without the need to see a doctor.
However, it is important to be aware of worsening or persistent symptoms of acid reflux, which may indicate that someone has GERD or another condition.
Anyone concerned about their symptoms should consult a doctor.