Proven Home Remedies for Heartburn (Acid Reflux) & Natural Antacids

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How to get rid of Heartburn (Acid Reflux) & Natural Antacids
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Natural antacids can help to quickly get rid of the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. Homemade antacids neutralize the stomach acid that causes burning chest pains, a persistent sore throat, and a sour taste in your mouth. Natural home remedies for heartburn include ingredients like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, and calcium.

If you suffer from acid reflux and heartburn, then there are certain foods that can help with stomach acid. For example, high fiber foods, non-citrus fruits, and bananas can help to prevent some of the reasons for heartburn. Also, there are acidic foods that you should avoid if you frequently have a burning sensation in your chest. Some of the heartburn foods that create more stomach acid and you should avoid include tomatoes, fatty foods, spicy foods, and coffee.

The causes of heartburn are generally associated with lifestyle factors that allow stomach acid to escape back up the esophagus. Stomach juice that comes back up to the throat can cause a chronic cough, burning in the upper abdomen, or a feeling of something being stuck in your throat.

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In this article, I will discuss the various reasons for heartburn and what you can do to get rid of heartburn pain. You will also find out the best natural antacids for acid reflux treatment to help ease feelings of discomfort in your chest and throat.

What is Acid Reflux (Heartburn) and What are its Symptoms?

Acid reflux is often referred to as heartburn and can cause a burning feeling in your chest behind your sternum. Doctors from PubMed Health say that occasional symptoms of heartburn are quite normal and affect around 20% of the general population.1

According to gastroenterologist Dr. Jay W. Marks, the reason for heartburn is acidic juice from your stomach that flows back up (or refluxes) the esophagus. The leakage of acidic stomach juices up your food pipe happens when the entrance to your stomach doesn’t shut properly. The acid causes inflammation of the esophagus and the acidic liquid can also damage the esophageal lining.2

Heartburn that becomes a chronic condition is called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short.

Symptoms of acid reflux

The most common symptom of heartburn or acid reflux is a painful burning sensation in your chest. However, acid reflux and GERD can also cause the following symptoms:2 

Natural Antacids – What Are They?

Natural antacids are used to neutralize the acid in your stomach juices to alleviate the symptoms of heartburn and GERD.

Many people with occasional symptoms of acid reflux choose to use natural antacids for heartburn relief, as some commercially available antacids have some side effects. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that some antacids cause diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.3

How do natural antacids work?

Home remedies for heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux can help to quickly alleviate some of the causes of heartburn.

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For example, natural antacids that help to balance stomach acid mean that there is less acidic stomach fluid that can escape back up your esophagus. This can help to prevent chest pains and a sour mouth that are often associated with heartburn.

Some home remedies for heartburn help to soothe irritation and inflammation in your throat and food pipe. This can help to prevent damage caused by the acidic juices and even assist in healing an irritated throat and esophagus.

Other natural remedies for digestive issues can also relieve trapped gas and address the causes of bloating. Having less gas in your stomach means that it’s easier for the muscle between your stomach and esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) close fully and prevent stomach acid escaping and irritating your digestive tract.

Types of natural antacids including homemade antacids

What are the types of natural alternatives to antacids that you can use to treat acid reflux pain and discomfort? Here are a few remedies that have an antacid effect that many people have found effective.

  • Yogurt as a natural antacid. Raw, natural yogurt contains healthy bacteria that can improve your digestive health. Doctors say that the beneficial enzymes in raw yogurt help to improve the microflora of the gut. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium which has been connected with improvement in reflux symptoms.
  • Baking soda. Baking soda is a tried and tested method to relieve reflux symptoms and stop a burning feeling in your chest. Baking soda neutralizes stomach acid to prevent heartburn pain and discomfort.
  • Ginger. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help to boost your digestion and stop indigestion. Doctors from Harvard Health say that ginger has been used for centuries as a natural heartburn remedy.4
  • Aloe vera. Another natural soothing remedy that can be used as a burning throat remedy is aloe vera. Aloe vera juice not only helps to relieve irritation in your food pipe, it can improve your digestion and help your stomach work better.
  • Apple cider vinegar. One natural remedy you can drink for heartburn is diluted apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar also contains probiotics, and there is anecdotal evidence that regularly drinking apple cider vinegar can help to reduce heartburn symptoms.

How to Get Rid of Heartburn and Acid Reflux with Home Remedies

Let’s look in more detail at home remedies that have an antacid effect and help to get rid of heartburn and acid reflux quickly. You will also find out results from scientific studies on how these natural remedies treat acid reflux symptoms.

Baking soda water

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a cheap and natural antacid that helps neutralize stomach acid. Baking soda drinks can help to stop a burning feeling in your stomach after eating food. You may find that you no longer have a feeling of something stuck in your throat.

Information published by the National Library of Medicine reports that baking soda is used as a heartburn treatment. Drinking baking soda with water has an alkaline effect on the body. Baking soda can relieve symptoms of a sour stomach and acid indigestion.

Drinking baking soda mixed with water can help to normalize excess stomach acid (hyperchlorhydria).

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If you are using baking soda as a natural antacid for heartburn, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t use it long-term. Drinking too much baking soda can increase your sodium levels and may interact with other medications.

How to use baking soda for acid reflux treatment:

  1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in an 8-oz. glass of water.
  2. Slowly drink after each meal to help increase the pH level of your stomach juices and prevent stomach acid irritating your esophagus.
  3. Do not exceed the dose of 7 half-teaspoons in a 24-hours. If you are over 60, don’t take more than 3 half-teaspoons in a 24-hour period.
  4. Also, don’t use baking soda for heartburn as a long-term treatment.

Probiotics

There is some evidence that taking probiotic supplements can help to improve the health of your digestive system and prevent acid reflux symptoms.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that many fermented foods like plain yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut contain natural levels of probiotics. These can help alleviate various digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and even reduce the severity of colds.6

According to the Cleveland Clinic, probiotics are helpful to stop heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux.7

For more information on using probiotics to improve symptoms of GERD and acid reflux, please read my article on the many reasons to take probiotics.

Calcium

Calcium is another natural heartburn remedy that can help stop burning chest pains caused by acid reflux or indigestion. Calcium is also an ingredient in many over-the-counter (OTC) antacids for heartburn symptoms.

The journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences published a study on the benefits of using calcium to relieve acid reflux pain. The study found that chewing calcium carbonate neutralizes stomach acid and stops stomach juices refluxing up the esophagus. It was found that calcium helps to tighten the muscle valve that stops stomach acid escaping. This has a significant improvement in reducing symptoms of heartburn naturally.8

How to use calcium to stop heartburn:

Some people suggest taking 250 mg calcium citrate powder dissolved in a glass of water. You should take one glass of dissolved calcium citrate after each meal and before going to bed. This can help to reduce symptoms of heartburn in the morning.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a well-researched natural remedy for treating signs and symptoms of inflammation and irritation. Drinking aloe vera juice can have an anti-inflammatory effect on your digestive tract and lessen the impact of stomach acid irritation and reflux.

According to the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, aloe vera can help to stop acid reflux, food regurgitation, nausea, belching, and other heartburn symptoms. It was found that after 4 weeks, taking aloe vera syrup in the morning and before going to bed improved the symptoms of GERD. The researchers concluded that aloe vera is an effective treatment for treating GERD and reflux diseases.9

Drinking aloe vera juice has many health benefits like treating symptoms of IBS, boosting your immunity naturally, and improving vascular circulation. In my article about the health benefits of aloe vera juice you can find more information about daily recommended dosage as well as some precautions.

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Apple cider vinegar

You can drink apple cider vinegar for heartburn and acid reflux because it contains beneficial bacteria that can help digestion.

A small study about the beneficial healing properties of apple cider vinegar on acid reflux symptoms showed that there was some improvement in feelings of burning chest pain after eating a meal. Many who consumed apple cider vinegar after eating found that drinking diluted vinegar alleviated their heartburn symptoms. It was found that apple cider vinegar could help people with GERD who don’t respond to traditional antacids.10

How to use apple cider vinegar for heartburn:

  1. Dilute 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar in an 8-oz. glass of water.
  2. Consume the apple cider vinegar remedy first thing in the morning or just before one of your meals.
  3. Drink one or two glasses diluted apple cider vinegar daily to help reduce heartburn symptoms.

For many people, it can be difficult to get used to the strong taste of apple cider vinegar. You could add a teaspoon or two of raw natural honey to improve the taste. Consuming apple cider vinegar and honey also has many health benefits. In fact, research into the medicinal properties of honey has shown that it also helps to reduce symptoms of acid reflux.11

Consume foods that help with stomach acid

Another way to treat acid reflux at home without medicines is to include foods in your diet that help with stomach acid. Certain foods can help to reduce stomach acid, prevent gas, and prevent you suffering from a sour stomach.

Researchers from the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders reported on some of the best foods to reduce reflux symptoms. Some of these are:18

  • Non-citrus fruits like bananas, apples, melons, and pears because of their high fiber content.
  • Lean protein sources that are grilled, broiled, or poached because they put less pressure on the stomach muscles.
  • Consume complex carbs like whole grains and oatmeal because they are high in fiber.

Scientific studies have shown that foods rich in fiber help with stomach acid and can reduce heartburn and indigestion symptoms. Scientists proved that fiber-rich foods are associated with low levels of stomach acid which can protect against GERD symptoms.12

The Best Ways to Get Rid of Heartburn Fast

What should you take to quickly get rid of occasional symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux? One of the best and quickest ways to treat acid reflux naturally is to drink a glass of baking soda and water. The neutralizing effect of baking soda helps to stop burning sensations in your chest fast and the other symptoms of acid reflux.

How to Prevent Acid Reflux

For many people who suffer from GERD or regular bouts of heartburn, it’s important to prevent excess stomach acid escaping up the esophagus. Let’s look in more detail at what doctors advise on how to treat heartburn naturally.

Foods to avoid

To prevent aggravating the symptoms of acid reflux, you should avoid certain food that can irritate your stomach or increase acid production.

According to Dr. P John Simic on eMedicineHealth, some foods that can cause heartburn at night or during the daytime include:13

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  • Citrus fruits and tomatoes
  • Onions and garlic
  • Spicy foods
  • Fatty foods
  • Caffeinated drinks (and also decaffeinated varieties of coffee, tea, and cola)
  • Alcohol

Lifestyle changes

Apart from making changes to your diet, you can prevent recurring episodes of heartburn by making positive lifestyle changes. Many doctors are in agreement that lifestyle factors are some of the best ways you can positively affect acid reflux symptoms.

Dr. P John Simic recommends the following lifestyle changes for heartburn and GERD:13

  • If you are overweight, lose weight and then maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Don’t eat any large meals within 3 hours of going to bed.
  • Avoid alcohol and stop smoking.
  • Maintain a good posture when sitting or standing.
  • Don’t do physical exercise on a full stomach.

Eat small frequent meals

To reduce symptoms of GERD and heartburn like pain under your ribs, persistent sore throat, and a bitter taste in your mouth, you can try eating small frequent meals throughout the day.

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic advise that eating small meals at frequent intervals in the day help to reduce stomach pressure. Eating regular healthy meals throughout the day ensures that you get enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep your body healthy.14

Does Milk Help Heartburn (Acid Reflux)?

When looking for home remedies for heartburn, many people ask if milk helps heartburn symptoms. According to Dr. Minesh Khatri on WebMD, milk can help some symptoms of heartburn but aggravate others.15

For example, Dr. Khatri says that milk can act as a temporary buffer to stomach acid. This can have an anti-acid effect and temporarily stop burning chest pains. Milk also contains calcium which is important for healthy bones and muscle development. However, the fat content of milk can cause the stomach to produce more acid and make the symptoms of acid reflux worse.

If you want to try milk as a natural antacid for acid reflux, Dr. Khatri says you can try drinking a glass of fat-free skim milk as a snack between meals but don’t overdo it as overfilling your stomach may increase heartburn.

Heartburn, GERD, and Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can put extra pressure on the muscles in the stomach and frequently cause symptoms of acid reflux while pregnant. Also, the same foods that cause heartburn in any person affect pregnant women just as much.

According to Dr. John Cunha on MedicineNet, some ways to alleviate heartburn symptoms during pregnancy include some of the following:16

  • Raise the head end of your bed by 6 to 8 inches. This helps to take the pressure off your stomach and prevents heartburn in the morning.
  • Lay on your left side while sleeping as this makes it harder for stomach juices to escape into your esophagus.
  • Don’t bend over after eating.
  • Avoid foods that increase heartburn symptoms and consume more foods that prevent excess stomach acid.
  • Chewing gum can help relieve heartburn symptoms during pregnancy.

When to See a Doctor

Usually, you can successfully treat occasional bouts of heartburn pain using the home remedies on this page. However, if acid reflux becomes a chronic condition, you should see a doctor. Your doctor can prescribe medication to manage the symptoms of GERD and get rid of the discomfort that it causes.

Dr. Jennifer Robinson on WebMD recommends going to see your doctor for heartburn if you also have one or more of the following symptoms:17

  • You have difficulty swallowing solid food or pills.
  • You also have unexplained weight loss along with acid reflux symptoms.
  • You have a constant feeling of something stuck in your throat.
  • You still have heartburn symptoms for more than 2 weeks after taking natural or OTC antacids.
  • Along with chest pain, you have a feeling of pressure in your chest that spreads to your left arm (symptoms of a heart attack can sometimes mimic heartburn symptoms and vice versa).
  • You have extreme stomach pain and symptoms of digestive upset.
  • Symptoms of acid reflux become more frequent and severe.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. NCBI. Heartburn and GERD.
  2. MedicineNet. GERD (acid reflux, heartburn).
  3. NIDDK. Treatment for GER & GERD.
  4. HealthHarvard. What is GERD?
  5. NCBI. Sodium bicarbonate.
  6. MayoClinic. Do I need to include probiotics and prebiotics in my diet?
  7. ClevelandClinic. Probiotics.
  8. Dig Dis Sci.2004 Nov-Dec;49(11-12):1862-7.
  9. J Trad Chin Med. 2015 Ded;35(6):632-636.
  10. ASUEdu. Is apple cider vinegar effective for reducing heartburn symptoms?
  11. Indian J Med Res. 2013 Dec; 138(6): 1020–1021.
  12. Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment.2014 Apr-Jun;13(2):191-202.
  13. eMedicineHealth. Acid reflux.
  14. ClevelandClinic. Nutritional guidelines for the treatment of GERD.
  15. WebMD. Natural remedies for heartburn.
  16. MedicineNet. 16 natural remedies for heartburn during pregnancy.
  17. WebMD. When to call the doctor
  18. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Diet changes for GERD.
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2 Responses to Proven Home Remedies for Heartburn (Acid Reflux) & Natural Antacids

  1. Helena Da Silva says:

    Hello

    My name is Helena Da Silva, i read about the heartburn and i like all the information and i will try all the ideas to prevent it because i have heartburn. But also my stomach is always bloated. I would like some information how can rid from that bloated belly.

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