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5 Natural Approaches to Easing Heartburn

Have you ever felt a burning sensation in your lower chest that gets worse when you bend over or lie down? Contrary to what the condition’s name may suggest, heartburn doesn’t actually affect the heart, and it is often very minor.

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Instead, heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, which is when stomach acid comes back up the esophagus. If you are one of the 15 million or so Americans who experiences occasional heartburn, read on to learn about natural solutions that may work for you.

Photo credit: Urban Wired via Flickr

1. Baking Soda

Many people have a box of baking soda in the kitchen but never put it to good use. This is an effective heartburn remedy because the sodium bicarbonate compound has a high pH (alkalinity) and can neutralize stomach acid. Try mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and drinking it. You can take this treatment a few times per day. However, don’t use it for prolonged periods of a week or more because it is high in salt and may cause swelling.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has so many uses in natural remedy recipes, and it’s great for heartburn too even though it is acidic. Many people have found that pure, raw, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar balances out their stomach acids and helps prevent acid reflux. Simply mix a tablespoon of it with a glass of water before meals for prevention.

3. Ginger

Ginger is another great natural food to have around the house for both eating and home remedies. Raw ginger can be eaten to soothe nausea and heartburn. Or you can make a ginger root tea by adding a few slices of ginger to water and allowing the mixture to simmer on the stove top for about 30 minutes. This remedy is recommended before a meal that would normally give you heartburn.

4. Yellow Mustard

Mustard isn’t just for hamburgers and hot dogs anymore. Since it’s an alkalizing food, mustard helps neutralize stomach acids that come back up and cause heartburn. For the best effect, eat a teaspoon of mustard straight without mixing it into anything. This remedy works well when you’re just starting to feel the symptoms of heartburn coming on.

5. Lemons and Lemon Juice

The last natural heartburn remedy that we’ll mention here is lemon. Lemons and lemon juice contain natural acids that are stronger than vinegar. Lemons also have lots of vitamin C and other healthy nutrients. You can squeeze lemon juice into a glass and drink it straight. Or dilute the juice with a small cup of water to make it a little easier to drink. This remedy is used to prevent heartburn before a meal and also to get rid of it once symptoms begin.

In addition to these home remedies, lifestyle changes may also help keep your heartburn in check. This includes maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol. Individuals who regularly experience heartburn should avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes around the mid-section as well, since this restriction can make the condition worse. To determine what your heartburn triggers are, keep a journal with notes about what you eat, wear, and the activities you engage in to better understand your individual causes of heartburn.

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