The digestive system is a complex part of your body that is designed to turn the food into nutrients. This then turns into energy that we can use. When everything is functioning optimally you should feel energized after eating. But, there are so many stages of the digestive system where things can go wrong and this can lead to conditions such as IBS, bloating, acid reflux, and heartburn just to name a few.
Too properly digest and breakdown our food, the gastric glands in our stomach produce acid. It is mainly hydrochloric acid which aids in the digestive process. However, what if our gastric glands are producing too much acid? The symptoms you may suffer from include acid reflux & heartburn which can actually lead to dyspepsia, ulcers or gastric inflammation. Good thing for us is that there are actually quite a few home remedies to reduce stomach acidity which we will go through shortly.
Firstly, if you only experience heart burn symptoms from time to time, this is generally fine and no cause for concern. But if you get it on a regular basis or one of the other symptoms listed above, there may be an issue that your body is trying to tell you about. You may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a chronic digestive illness most commonly characterized by a burning sensation in the lower chest area. This is caused by the occurrence of stomach acid or acidified contents from the stomach backing up into the esophagus.
If you go to your doctor, in most cases you will be prescribed antacids. Surprisingly however, there are actually many things that you can do on your own to help reduce your stomach acidity without the need to take these prescribed antacids. Home remedies to reduce acidity also eliminates the risk of your body becoming dependent on antacids.
These home remedies to reduce acidity are natural, easily accessible and can be had at little or no cost at all. So what are they?
The first of the home remedies to reduce acidity is to drink lots of water. Most people do not drink enough water and are in a constant state of mild dehydration. And when we say drink water, we are talking about plain water. Not soda, not coffee, not sports drinks, and not juices. Adding more water to your day is especially important at the first sign of stomach acidity as it can help neutralize and flush out the excessive acids produced by the stomach. If you are prone to acid reflux, replacing your next soda, alcoholic beverage, or sweetened iced tea with water. It can go a long way in helping maintain the balance of acidity in your stomach.
Cinnamon is another ingredient that can be used to reduce acidity. It has so many benefits for us which includes keeping our digestive system healthy. Cinnamon has antacid qualities that help expel gastric gasses from the stomach. Try adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of hot water or add cinnamon to your next herbal tea. Drinking this two or three times a day will keep your digestive system much healthier. You may not like the taste at first, but it definitely grows on you. Or try adding cinnamon powder to your soups, breakfast oats, salad, or smoothie.
Bananas are also a great remedy for acidity. They are rich in potassium which helps keep the acid in your stomach at normal levels. Bananas increase the production of the mucus lining in the stomach which makes it less susceptible to harmful effects during stages of high acid production. And they are high in fiber which help speed up digestion and can help prevent the occurrence of acid reflux.
Buttermilk can be bought at your local grocery or you can even make it yourself. It contains lactic acids that does a great job neutralizing the acidity of the stomach. By drinking 2-3 glasses a day while you are suffering from acid reflux should reduce the symptoms. For an added booster, try adding in some crushed coriander or fenugreek seeds which can help further. These can also add to the taste of the buttermilk if you don’t like the taste normally.
These not only reduce the effects of stomach acid, but basil leaves are also known to have anti-ulcer properties. Basil leaves also help to stimulate the stomach to produce more mucous to coat its lining. Which means more protection from acid buildup in the stomach. Chewing a few basil leaves when suffering from acidity can help alleviate the discomfort associated with acid reflux. Be sure to chew them thoroughly. If you can’t stomach chewing basil leaves, try brewing basil leaves in a hot cup of water. Leave to steep for a few minutes. Use honey to sweeten if needed.
If you are suffering from a painful burning sensation then baking soda may be for you. Try mixing half of a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink. This greatly reduces the pain associated with acid reflux by neutralizing the acids in your stomach. Word of caution though, this is not a recommended treatment for regular use. It’s only for those moments of intense pain caused by stomach acidity.
Another home remedy that helps to reduce the symptoms of stomach acidity is ginger roots. It too helps produce mucus in the stomach and aids in digestion. If you are looking for immediate relief, try chewing on a piece of ginger root and swallow the juice. Do not swallow the root.
Mint leaves help improve digestion while at the same time lowering your acid content in your stomach. These leaves also has a great cooling effect on the body which helps reduce the burning sensation of stomach acidity. And as an added bonus, mint leaves taste great! Try chopping up some mint leaves and let sit in a cup or hot or cold water for a few minutes before drinking.
Tulsi helps stimulate your stomach to produce more mucous in your stomach. This combined with its antiulcer properties, tulsi helps reduce the effect of gastric acids. Best to try and chew a few tulsi leaves for a few minutes. Then just watch your symptoms relieve.
Avoid Tight Fitting Clothes
That’s right, avoid tight fitting clothes. Tight fitting clothes can contribute to your heartburn. Clothes which are tight around your waist or middle section can worsen heartburn. It’s the same story for really tight jeans or belts, when you sit down, the waistband is going to put pressure on your abdomen section. Why this is an issue is because when you have lots of pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, it makes it much more likely for your stomach contents to be pushed through and as a result, you may experience reflux.
Chewing gum doesn’t usually do much good for anything. But when it comes to GERD, it is worth trying it. Chewing gum can actually help especially if you have a piece of gum after a meal. Chewing gum stimulates the saliva glands in our mouths which increases the amount of saliva. This helps by neutralizing your stomach acids.
There are so many home remedies to reduce acidity that are really simple to incorporate into your daily life. There are also things that you should be avoiding in your day to day life. Certain food or habits can act as triggers for GERD. Avoid sodas, sports drinks, sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, and smoking to prevent the gastric glands from producing excessive acids. Spicy foods also have the tendency to trigger acid reflux in people. Try keeping a food diary so when acid reflux episodes occur, you will quickly learn what the cause of it was.
Finally, stress is another big trigger of heart burn. So if you are feeling stressed, take some deep breaths and if possible, do some physical exercise.
While these home remedies to reduce acidity are known to work, it is definitely helpful to become more aware of your everyday habits that may be contributing to your symptoms. For best results, you will need to change some lifestyle factors to prevent the frequent occurrences of symptoms associated with stomach acidity.
Do you suffer from acid reflux? What has worked and not worked for you? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.