12 Effective Natural Treatments for Heartburn and Stomach Ulcers
Many people confuse heartburn and stomach ulcer, which are two common digestive problems. Stomach ulcers symptoms and heartburn symptoms are very similar, both are causing burning sensation in the stomach, but these are two different conditions.
These two conditions cause a serious problems for many people and affects their daily life. I would like to share with here, natural treatments for heartburn and stomach ulcers that may help you in relieving the symptoms of each condition. You will also find a great recipe for anti reflux smoothie which is easy to make and delicious too!
Do you have an ulcer or heartburn?
Stomach ulcers are painful open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach and small intestine. This open sore is getting worse by your stomach acid, but is usually not caused by the acid itself. A great majority of ulcers are caused primarily by an infection of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). They also develop in response to many factors, including the use of certain medications, as well as lifestyle and dietary factors. Ulcers are treated through changes in lifestyle, medications, antibiotics and surgery, but this article will present you natural alternatives for treating stomach ulcers which will be discussed later on.
The most common symptom of ulcers is burning pain that can be felt anywhere from the top of the sternum all the way down to the navel. Other symptoms include pain that wakes you up at night, or a pain 2-3 hours after eating and mild nausea that may go away with vomiting
Heartburn, on the other hand, is a painful burning sensation just below or behind the breastbone. It usually comes from the esophagus which is the upper central region of the abdomen. The pain often rises in your chest and may spread to your neck or throat and can also accompanied with a bitter taste in mouth. Normally when food or liquid enters your stomach, a band of muscle at the end of your esophagus closes off this area. If this band does not close tightly enough, stomach acid can back up (reflux) into the esophagus. This partly digested material can cause heartburn and other symptoms.
Symptoms of acid reflux that don’t happen with ulcers are dry cough and sore throat that cause trouble swallowing, increased burning sensation after eating some trigger foods and tasting acid or food in the back of the mouth. These symptoms often become worse when you lie down.
An accurate diagnosis is important, so in any case, you should visit your doctor to find out whether you have acid reflux or an ulcer, and consult with him/her before taking any supplements to make sure they don’t interfere with other medications you take.
Natural treatments for heartburn
Avoid caffeine, including caffeinated soft drinks, tea and chocolate. All these foods allow stomach content to reflux back. Other foods that you should avoid are tomatoes, spicy foods, onions, citrus fruits, alcohol, tobacco and fried or fatty foods. It is also recommended to avoid large meals that slows digestion that increases the pressure in the stomach. You can consume many other foods that are part of the bland diet.
Many people drink milk to ease heartburn, but milk may cause up more heartburn. Drinking milk and eating a big meal at dinner can be disastrous before sleep. According to the myth, milk coats the stomach or help heartburn. However this is not true, and the higher fat content in the milk, the worse. Instead of milk, go for water.
According to some researches, heartburn is a sign of an internal water shortage. It is advised to drink water in between meals and not during meals. It’s also advised to eat slowly and chew well.
Enzymes and Probiotics
After you got your food under control, the second step is to consume digestives enzymes and probiotics. Digestive enzymes are made in our body naturally, but as we get older, many of us make less of them. Luckily they can be taken as a supplement and they have been shown to be very beneficial to treat heartburn. It is advised to take enzyme supplement that also contain hydrochloric acid (HCI), or alternately you can take HCI supplement alone. The most common form of HCI supplement is called betaine-HCI. Take the enzymes and HCI with every meal, dosage is dependent on improvement.
Probiotics known as “good bacteria” and promote healthy digestion. The probiotics help to maintain the balance between the good and the bad bacteria in the gut, and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. They also boost the immune function and increase resistance to infection. They also contain enzymes that help digest dairy products like lactose in milk. You can find probiotics in yogurts that contain active cultures, but you can also increase the content by using probiotic formula. Take it as a pill or in powder form and stir into water or yogurt.
Aloe Vera Juice
Although there isn’t any scientific evidence that aloe vera juice may help ease heartburn, aloe vera juice has been used along history to treat acid reflux, as well as other medical symptoms. Drink 1/4 cup of aloe vera approximately 20 minutes before a meal or whenever you experience heartburn. If you don’t like the taste of aloe vera juice, you can mix it with water or tea.
The juice is believed to help soothe the esophagus from the burn of the acid traveling back up from your stomach. Taking aloe vera by mouth is not recommended for children or pregnant women, or if you have diabetes, kidney failure or thyroid disease (unless otherwise specified by your doctor). Also common side effects of drinking aloe vera juice are diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Aloe vera contains many nutrients and is thought to have many healing properties. You can find more information about aloe vera, as well as other herbs, in my e-book the Herbal Remedies Guide. This guide will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV is one of the most popular natural remedies for acid reflux, and this is strange, because how can it be that ACV which is so acidic possibly helps to relieve heartburn symptoms? After all, we were recommended all the time to avoid acidic foods if we suffer from heartburn. Well, there are several theories about how ACV works for heartburn, and one of them is that ACV aids digestion by helping break down fats, but regardless of how exactly it works, many people have reported about the effectiveness of ACV.
It is recommended to mix one or two teaspoons of ACV with a glass of water and drink before meals or when heartburn strikes. Also read my article about 10 uses for ACV for great health and at home. Using ACV is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
Other people swear that the best way to beat heartburn is with a little bit of baking soda. It is recommended to mix 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water. The taste is not so good but it helps to neutralize some of the acid by consuming the baking soda which is a base. It will increase the pH of the liquid in your stomach which will help ease the heartburn. It is not recommended to use baking soda on a regular basis as it is high in salt and could cause side effects like swelling and nausea. You can also click here to find 9 uses for baking soda as a kitchen remedy.
Anti reflux smoothie
Below is a suggestion for anti reflux smoothie – As most enzyme supplements contain a mix of enzymes like bromelain, found in pineapple, and papain from papaya, prepare your own smoothie:
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 cup diced fresh papaya
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup pineapple juice or water
Mix all in a blender and drink.
Natural treatments for stomach ulcers
This form of zinc dissolves in the stomach and adheres to the wound (ulceration) on the stomach lining. Zinc Carnosine helps to heal the wound and repair the tissues and thus improves ulcer symptoms, including heartburn. It is recommended to use it for 8 weeks to see result. Recommended dose is 75 mg daily in divided doses.
Researchers have identified a strain of probiotic bacteria that may be useful in treating ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori. The regular intake of probiotic microoganisms has been demonstrated to prevent several disorders including diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease. Also read my article about 9 reasons to take probiotics.
Our lungs manufacture the amino acid glutamine and also store some of it. Taken as a supplement, glutamine helps to reduce the amount of inflammation caused by an Helicobacter pylori infection.
Aloe Vera juice
Aloe Vera has long been known as a powerfully soothing salve for the skin. Aloe vera juice, when taken internally, can soothe the most irritated stomach conditions, including ulcers. You can also find aloe vera juice at your local health food store. Keep it refrigerated and follow the instructions on the bottle, or go with what your body tells you that it needs.
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) powder
A special extract of licorice known as DGL is a remarkable medicine for peptic ulcers. To protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum take deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which has excellent soothing and healing properties. Recommended dose is 200 to 400 mg daily dissolved in 200 ml warm water.
Cabbage is one of the most medicinal vegetables you can find. It contains powerful medicinal properties and one of its best known uses is as a natural remedy for stomach ulcers. One quart daily of fresh cabbage juice, taken in divided doses, can be very effective. Start slowly and increase the amount gradually to avoid stomach upset.
Avoid all coffee and other sources of caffeine as well as alcohol and tobacco. Avoid milk and milk products as well, as they increase acid discharge. Eat smaller amounts of foods more frequently and don’t let your stomach go empty for long periods of time.
Read my other related articles:
1. Stomach Spasms: Causes and the Best Natural Treatments
2. Pain in Belly Button: Causes and Natural Treatments
3. Stomach Pain after Eating – Causes and Natural Treatments