We all have heartburn at one time or another in our lives. When we eat too much as a kid (eyes bigger than our tummys), when we eat something that disagrees with us…although we love it, which is why we eat it! When we’re pregnant, everything is pushing against everything else and there is very little room for food, let alone digesting it! And as we grow older…heartburn and also indigestion becomes our friend…again!
Symptoms of Heartburn
Burning sensations in chest
Difficulty in swallowing
Bloating and abdominal distention
Nausea and vomiting
Feeling of fullness and satiety
Sour or acidic taste in throat
The heat and pain of heartburn occur when your stomach releases acid up into your throat. This is called Esophageal Reflex. The resulting burning sensation ans spasm occur next to, but not on your heart. Heartburn can be caused by several things, as mentioned above, but it most commonly happens when there is too much acid in your stomach or you have a hiatus hernia.
Other things that can cause Heartburn:
Drinking too much (or any) alcohol
Eating acidic foods
So, you can’t stop living…or eating…but you can help relieve your heartburn the natural way, with herbs!
Herbs for Heartburn
Herbs that decrease stomach acid are:
Licorice root, Meadowsweet, Chamomile, Lemon.
It’s a commonly used herbal remedy for heart burn. It helps reduce HeartBurn in three ways:
It helps neutralize the acidic contents of stomach thus prevents the damage caused by acid.
It improves the functioning of lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
It has got potent anti-bacterial effects thus help cure heart burn in the cases of bacterial infections.
Herbs that absorb excess stomach acid are:
Slippery Elm, Marshmallow, Flax & Fenugreek Seeds.
Marshmallow is one the popular herb being used for treating heart burn naturally. Marshmallow has protective effect on stomach. It covers mucosal lining of stomach and esophagus which acts as a shield against damaging action of stomach acid. Take a tea spoon of powdered marshmallow and mix it in a cup of warm water. Drink the mixture 3-4 times a day to get relief from the acidity.
Herbs that protect the stomach from acid are:
Chamomile, Marshmallow, Licorice, Slippery Elm, Calendula, Garlic, Wild Yam and St. John’s Wort.
Herbal licorice is beneficial for all those people that are suffering from chronic heartburn. Licorice has gained medicinal importance in the treatment if heartburn. Licorice contains an active ingredient called glycyrrhizin which brings about the following health benefits:
It improves blood circulation to the damaged mucosal cells of stomach and esophagus making the healing process rapid.
Licorice acts as anti inflammatory herb by abating inflammation caused by digested food particles and excess acid.
Another important action of licorice is to block the secretion of gastric acid thus it acts as a natural antacid.
It is not recommended for hypertensive patients to avoid the use of licorice as it raises the blood pressure in such patients.
1 tsp. EA Chamomile Flowers, Lemon Balm leaves, Licorice Root
1/2 tsp. Slippery Elm Bark
1/4 tsp. EA Fennel seeds, Catnip leaves
1 1/2 C. Boiling Water
1 1/2 C. Carrot or Apple juice
***Combine herbs and pour boiling water over them. Steep for at least 15 minutes. Strain herbs and add juice. Drink 1 C. after each meal. Store in the refrigerator.
The pain of indigestion!
Many people assume that their stomach problems are caused by too much acid. But poor digestion, especially of proteins can just as easily result from too little stomach acid.
Change your lifestyle to limit Indigestion:
Limit alcoholic beverages
Limit carbonated beverages
Avoid all foods that are known triggers
Limit foods high in acid such as citrus fruits and tomatoes
Avoid late-night eating
Limit spicy foods
Do not eat too quickly
Do not overindulge in fatty foods
Drink fluids after meals, not during
Keep a food diary to help identify indigestion triggers
Eat several small meals a day rather than three large ones
Eat slowly and chew thoroughly
Reduce or avoid all foods and beverages containing caffeine
Peppermint Oil Pills OR Tea
Another natural way to help with indigestion is peppermint oil pills. The oil is coated in a special capsule that breaks down in the intestines and not the stomach. The simplest way to use peppermint oil would be in tea. Old, yes…but tried and true. The Department of Internal Medicine conducted a double blind study on the oil and the results where outstanding. 83% where relieved in one way or another by peppermint oil. Check out the results of the study here.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
Another problem common amongst people who suffer from indigestion are the lack of enzymes from the pancreas. A good rule of thumb is if you have abdominal bloating and discomfort, heartburn, or gas formation with in about 15-30 minutes after you eat, this could be the lack of hydrochloric acid secretion. If you suffer from the symptoms a little later like lets say 45 minutes, then this could be a sign of low pancreatic enzymes. There are plenty natural remedies for indigestion with natural enzymes. You can find high quality, natural enzymes HERE at Wellness Resources!
Probiotic bacteria supports a healthy digestive system, which helps problems such as belching and indigestion. Many common foods naturally contain probiotics or are enhanced with these healthful microorganisms. You may improve digestive problems, excessive burping and related issues such as diarrhea or constipation by adding probiotics to your diet. Looking for Probiotics? Wellness Resources can help!
***Warning-Belching and indigestion may be signs of a more serious condition, rather than just a bacterial imbalance in your colon. See your doctor if you take probiotics and the symptoms do not disappear within a few weeks. Burping and an upset stomach could be signs of an ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Try Herbal Bitters
3 tsp tincture of Gentian Rhizome
1/2 tsp tincture of Dried Orange Peel
1/2 tsp tincture of Cardamom Seeds
***Combine ingredients. Drink!
This article was written by Kat from Simply-Living-Simply and can be viewed here.