Acid reflux is a common medical condition in which digestive acids rise from the stomach into the esophagus. This causes the esophagus (the passage between the pharynx and the stomach) to become irritated, resulting in a burning sensation which, in the most acute cases, can last for up to 48 hours.
While acid reflux is rarely a serious issue, it is always an unpleasant one and can ruin the lives of people who suffer from chronic cases. In fact, drugs for acid reflux are a billion-dollar industry in the United States alone. However, these drugs are almost always created from unnatural ingredients and often create more problems than they fix in the long-term. Fortunately, nature has provided us with several natural remedies for acid reflux that can treat the condition far more naturally, and gently, than pharmaceutical drugs.
It is hard to find a food product more versatile than baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate. This soluble white compound, which was used as far back as Ancient Egypt, makes an effective deodorant, toothpaste, facial cleaner, and even laundry detergent. However, baking soda is also highly effective at treating acid reflux since its alkaline nature can neutralize excess stomach acid in no time.
To use baking soda for this purpose, dissolve a teaspoon of it into a cup of warm water and drink the mixture slowly. Be prepared for some burping, since adding baking soda to water releases carbon dioxide, causing an impressive fizz.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It might seem strange to recommend a highly acidic product like apple cider vinegar to treat a condition marked by excess stomach acid, but it really does work. One theory is that the acetic acid in the vinegar reduces stomach acidity (i.e. increases its pH), since acetic acid is much weaker than hydrochloric acid. Another theory is that acetic acid can buffer and maintain stomach acid at a pH level of around 3.0, which is strong enough to continue digesting food, but too mild to aggravate the esophagus.
Interested in using apple cider vinegar to treat acid reflux? Mix two or three teaspoons of it into a cup of warm water and drink it. Some people report that drinking this mixture before a heavy meal can actually prevent acid reflux from occurring afterwards.
The gastrointestinal benefits of ginger root have been known for centuries, and it remains one of the most popular and well-known remedies for treating stomach-related conditions such as nausea, indigestion, and morning sickness. We now understand that this is because ginger contains compounds similar to the enzymes found in our digestive tracts. However, due to its ability to lessen stomach acid, ginger is also ideal for treating acid reflux.
Although ginger can be consumed “as is,” most people prefer to consume it as a tea. To do so, soak the root (or mix ginger powder) into a cup of hot water and drink it once it has cooled. The ginger will reduce the existing acid build-up and also stimulate our digestive enzymes, thereby preventing future build-ups as well.