You might be familiar with the following scenario: You and your friends go out for a night on the town. For dinner, you have a rich meal and the night is alive with gut-wrenching laughter, then you have a few drinks, and maybe a few more. When you finally get home and head off to bed, you begin to feel a burning sensation in your chest right when you lie down.
This is the classic case of heartburn, and believe it or not, it can be quite debilitating if the symptoms prove to be severe.
You might also be surprised to learn that acute heartburn is a common cause of emergency room visits across the country. And this is because the pain associated can be extremely severe at times.
Fortunately, instead of paying for costly heartburn medication that may or may not work, there are several natural methods that you can try to alleviate your symptoms.
Avoiding the Wrong Foods
Heartburn is caused by a chemical reaction within the body, and this usually has to do with your diet and the body’s ability to break down the foods properly.
For example, medications such as Zantac have been used in the past to neutralize stomach acid which aids in digestion in order to prevent heartburn. However, Zantac has been linked to stomach cancer and is now the subject of lawsuits across the country.
Perhaps the first defense in preventing heartburn is to adjust your diet and avoid certain foods that can cause a flare-up of symptoms. In place of these foods, consider adopting a diet of healthy vegetables and fruits.
Foods that have a high-fat content, spicy foods, and foods with high acidic content, often can produce heartburn. In addition, acidic beverages such as sodas can also contribute to heartburn, as well as beverages such as coffee and alcohol.
Overeating is perhaps the main cause of heartburn. If your stomach cannot handle the amount of food that you’re filling it with, it will produce a greater amount of acid to compensate for the volume of food that you’ve introduced.
While avoiding overeating is the best method for the prevention of heartburn, if you do endulge one evening, there are a few natural ways to reduce your chances of developing heartburn.
One method that many doctors will recommend as a deterrent to heartburn is gum chewing after a meal. Saliva acts as a natural acid buffer, and the act of repeatedly swallowing will help to push any acid out of your esophagus.
It should also be noted that you’ll want to avoid peppermint gum, because peppermint oil can worsen heartburn.
Additionally, avoiding going to bed shortly after a meal can greatly reduce the development of heartburn. So, if you’ve had a large meal, stay up for a while and find something productive to occupy your time while your stomach settles.
Thankfully we all live on a planet where we have access to natural herbs and plants that we can use for medicinal purposes. And there are many herbs, roots, and plants that when ingested can counter the effects of heartburn.
Licorice root has often been associated with heartburn relief, and you can find this in its raw form or infused with teas and beverages that are gentle on the stomach.
Along the same lines, Caraway and German Chamomile are known to help alleviate the symptoms of heartburn if taken directly after a meal and have the ability to neutralize stomach acid.
Perhaps the most popular in recent years for quickly alleviating heartburn is aloe vera juice. The natural juices in the plant extract combined with water quickly neutralize stomach acid and can also coat the throat to give you a protective layer against the burning sensation that comes along with heartburn.
Heartburn is not a fun experience, especially if your symptoms prove to be severe. And while the best defense is to avoid overeating and specific foods, before you head to the pharmacy or to the ER, try a few natural methods instead.