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Heartburn and Acid Indigestion
Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion is a common problem. It is a burning sensation in the chest caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus. Occasional episodes that are relieved with treatment are normally no cause for alarm. However, if you suffer from frequent episodes (more than two times a week), do not find relief after treating or have difficulty swallowing you should seek medical attention. Below are natural remedies for heartburn and acid indigestion.
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Do not lie down and avoid bending over after eating or when experiencing heartburn because this will increase the flow of stomach acid into the esophagus.
Add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water, stir and drink. If you know you are going to eat something that will cause an episode, mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a 1/2 glass of water and sip during your meal.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to 4 ounces of water, stir until it is completely dissolved and drink. Wait at least 2 hours before repeating and do not exceed seven 1/2 teaspoons (three 1/2 teaspoons if over 60 years old) in a 24 hour period. If you are on a low-sodium diet, you should avoid this natural remedy.
To help prevent acid indigestion, drink a small cup of goldenseal tea before a meal. To prepare, pour 1 cup of hot water over 2 teaspoons of dried goldenseal herb, cover, steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain.
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried meadowsweet flowers, cover, steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink after eating a big meal.
At the first sign of heartburn, take a chewable papaya tablet. You can buy these at most health food stores.
Chew gum. This stimulates the production of saliva, making you swallow more often. Saliva neutralizes the stomach acid. Sugar-free gum is best for your teeth.
Before you eat, take a couple of capsules of ginger root to help keep an episode from occurring.
Other natural remedies for heartburn and acid indigestion include:
• Maintaining a healthy weight. Excess weight in the abdomen can press against the stomach, causing acid to back up into the esophagus.
• Avoiding tight clothes around the waist. This can also add pressure to the abdomen.
• Eating small, frequent meals. Eat slowly and stop eating 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
• Avoiding foods and beverages that trigger heartburn. Common culprits include chocolate, coffee and tea containing caffeine, colas, greasy, fried and fatty foods, dairy products, peppermint and alcohol.
• Giving up cigarettes if you smoke.
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Mayo Clinic: Heartburn - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heartburn-gerd/DS00095
Mother Nature: Heartburn - http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/47/73.cfm
Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, Bottom Line's Healing Remedies (2006)
Uncommon Cures for Everyday Ailments (from the editors of Bottom Line/Health) 2006
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Photo by Calico Jack McGurk/Flickr
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