12 Heartburn Remedies Plus Causes & Prevention Tips

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IngredientsHeartburn or pyrosis is a painful and burning sensation in the esophagus, just below the breastbone usually associated with regurgitation of gastric acid. The pain often rises in the chest and may radiate to the neck, throat, or angle of the jaw.

It’s is a major symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); acid reflux is also identified as one of the causes of chronic cough, and may even mimic asthma.

Despite its name, it actually has nothing to do with the heart; it is so called due to a burning sensation near to where this vital organ is located – although some cardio problems may give rise to a similar burning sensation.

Compounding the confusion is the fact that hydrochloric acid from the stomach comes back up the esophagus because of a problem with the cardiac sphincter, a valve which misleadingly contains the word “cardiac,” referring to the cardia as part of the stomach and not, as might be thought, to the heart. Source: Wikipedia.

Treatment:

Everybody’s different so what works for one may not work for another. Once you’ve found a remedy that works–stick with it.

  1. Chamomile Tea: Sip during attacks as well as after meals to prevent it from happening in the first place.
  2. Peppermint Tea: Same as above.
  3. Baking Soda & Water: This will help neutralize stomach acid but should only be used moderately, regular use could dramatically increase one’s salt intake (baking soda is high in salt). Mix 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of baking soda per glass of water. Due to the high salt content in baking soda, pregnant women shouldn’t use this treatment.
  4. Ginger: Cook into food, sip Ginger tea or chew a fresh piece for relief.
  5. Celery: Eating a stalk of raw celery can help (excellent choice for pregnant women).
  6. Almonds: Chew on raw almonds until discomfort eases–just a handful should do it.
  7. Apple Cider Vinegar: Is there anything that ACV can’t tackle? A teaspoon to two tablespoons (whatever is needed) of apple cider vinegar should stop this in its tracks. Another option is to mix apple cider vinegar with honey (2:1 ratio).
  8. Mustard: Take a spoonful (or two if needed) of mustard when discomfort hits…will take a minute or two to bring relief.
  9. Pickle Juice: Take a drink or two of this to settle the stomach.
  10. Pineapple: Eat a slice or two of fresh pineapple when it hits or right after meals.
  11. Yogurt: Eating a couple spoonfuls of yogurt when you feel it coming on can help ease it away. If one regularly suffers from this, try adding yogurt to the diet on a regular basis–it’s good for you in more ways than one (excellent choice for pregnant women).
  12. Lemon Juice: Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to half a glass of water and drink.

Symptoms:

  • Burning feeling or sense of pressure inside the chest
  • Burping
  • Bitter or sour taste in the mouth
  • Rising bile in the throat

You may be suffering from acid reflux disease if symptoms are persistent and experienced on a daily basis, check with a doctor.

Title

Pay attention to diet, if a common culprit is found every time this occurs avoid eating it in the future. Some habits and foods that are common triggers:

Foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee & caffeine beverages or foods
  • Soda beverages
  • Fried & fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions

Habits:

  • Smoking: This activity can affect the digestive system and the esophagus. If a regular smoker suffers from this, consider quitting or at least dramatically reducing the amount of cigarettes smoked.
  • Shed Tight Clothing: Wearing clothes or belts that are tight around the waist can trigger it.
  • Snacking Before Bed: Avoid eating 2 or 3 hours before going to bed or laying down to give the body time to digest the food eaten.
  • Lose Weight: If you are a few pounds overweight or even obese, losing weight can help stop regular occurrences of discomfort.
  • Exercise: Going for a walk after each meal will help the body digest. If that’s not possible for every meal, do it at least once a day after the heaviest meal (usually supper).

Note: These are simply tips and information that I’ve collected, they’re not professional medical advice and not intended to replace professional medical care.

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Published: August 18, 2009

What Readers Are Saying:
36 Comments to “12 Heartburn Remedies Plus Causes & Prevention Tips”
  1. Barry says:

    Heartburn Cure: Drink 32 oz of room-temperature water as fast as you can. Works every time for me..

  2. E says:

    I don’t understand how all of those acidic “cures” can help. It’s too much acid to begin with, isn’t it? Pineapple? Fruit *gives* me heartburn.

    • Tessa says:

      I have the same problem as you with acidic foods causing my heartburn attacks, my husband suffers from it too but he needs the acids from vinegar or lemon juice to settle his heartburn. I use baking soda and water or yogurt myself. I don’t know why there’s a difference for people but there is.

      • Monika says:

        Some people suffer from lack of stomach acid, some have excessive, hence the difference in how you find relief.

      • Jessie says:

        About acidic fruits.
        Some citrus, like lemons and grapefruit actually turn alcaline when digested, even though they are acidic at first. So they may help. Haven’t tried it for heartburn, yet. People on alcaline diets eat lots of them.

        Might be useful.

    • TipNut says:

      As I understand it, people can have heartburn for two different reasons: too much production of acid in the stomach or not enough. That’s why some find relief with the acidic remedies while others won’t.

    • S-man says:

      Fruits that are high in Acid that can cause Heart burn are the following:
      - Oranges
      - Pineapple
      - Carambola (Star Fruit)
      - Grapefruit
      - Lemons
      - Tamarind (Tropical Fruit)

      Here are Fruits that are very low in Acid that may not bother you much!:
      - Apples
      - Watermelons
      - Apricots
      - Raisins

      Hope these helpful tips can help! :)

    • B says:

      I read that it has something to do with our blood type, so people with different blood types react differently to different acids

  3. todd says:

    I discovered that heartburn for me was totally diet related. I suffered for years, eating Rolaids like candy. Here’s how I got rid of it: I added things to my diet that support digestion and eliminated white flour and sugar (I had already eliminated high fructose corn syrup). In my case, it had nothing to do with spicy or fried/fatty foods, or tomatoes. Additions to my diet included real fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt (plain, or perhaps sweetened with real maple syrup, not the HFCS kind) or kefir. I used to wake up in the night with heartburn, go grab some kraut, and it was gone. Now I’m pretty much “cured,” I don’t have to eat so much fermented food as long as I avoid flour and sugar. I like tart/sour foods, so this was no problem for me. I continue to eat fermented foods because I like them.

  4. Tessa says:

    Here’s my tip: I bought two king size pillows for my bed so I can get some height when I lay down. My problem was at night when I would wake up frequently with a sour taste in my mouth and throat from acid reflux. Since I started sleeping with my upper body raised from the large pillows, I sleep much more soundly with little trouble.

  5. dordes says:

    I suffer from heartburn and I tried many remedies but 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with water helps.

  6. SAT says:

    Heartburn is a medical condition that can be caused by some very serious medical conditions. Peppermint can actually make the condition worse if you have a hiatal hernia because peppermint causes the sphincter to relax and allow more acid back into the esophagus. The one size fits all approach here is dangerous. If you do not know the cause of your “heartburn” you cannot safely and adequately treat it. A single episode is probably ok to try your home remedies on. But recurring symptoms need to be evaluated. In women you can actually have heart disease, since women present differently than men with this disease. Tessa sounds as if she has a hiatal hernia and I would bet that she is a bit overweight as well. So weight will help. Other people actually have a bacteria that can be quickly treated with antibiotic, and so on. An occasional excess due to diet is different from someone with recurring symptoms. I know that people are having a hard time right now economically. Be careful with home remedies and anecdotal stories when it comes to your health.

    • SAT says:

      it should say weight loss in the eighth line.

    • BK says:

      You make a good point that it is important to find out what the underlying issues are and address them. If a hernia is determined to exist, management is critical (I have one). I would like to suggest that initially, however, naturally fermented foods (not pasturised ones from the store) are a better first option to eliminate the pylori bacteria, as they are proven to help re-balance the digestive system bacteria. As antibiotics and medications disrupt the system in other ways, they should only be used if dietary changes to eliminate bad gut flora and increase good gut flora are not effective. Although you don’t reference it, interestingly my own specialist pointed out that surgery is unreliable and should only be used as a last resort because of that. Diet is a huge component in managing hiatal hernia and reflux; todd’s advice is quite excellent, and will also help eliminate excess weight as you suggest.

  7. ginger says:

    My husband has suffered with heart burn for years and even had to have throat cancer surgery due to gerd.It is a very dangerous thing and those who have gerd need to see their doctors to make sure it hasn’t done damage to throat or esauphagus. He was fortunate that his doctor caught it in time and removed a small malignate tumor. He still has gerd and has slept with his head elevated and also he takes apple cider vinegar and also uses “Life Saver peppermint candy and it works very well. So please if you are suffering with heart burn more than once or twice a week see your doctor.

    • al smith says:

      ginger, I just saw my dr. yesterday. I’ve been taking 3 omeprazoles a day for a few years(prescription, another dr.) This dr. gave me a prescription for Nexium.
      $100.00 for my share after $600 from my insurance co.
      May God bless us all.

  8. Francis R. says:

    Yogurt worked great for my 8 year old son. It was his first time having heartburn. After 2 tsp. of yogurt he said he felt better.

  9. Phylly says:

    Elevating the head of the bed & sleeping on two pillows helped me.
    Also sleep on your left side. Sleeping on right side you may have “silent” heartburn, with no symptoms. It backs up in the throat and esophagus, causing problems later on.

  10. Ramona Robertson says:

    dill weed is good for the digestive system and vinegar for heartburn. dill pickle juice will stop heartburn
    almost instantly

  11. David says:

    I mix a half tablespoon of powdered calcium carbonate (food grade – bought at a health food store), in a 16 oz bottle of drinking water. Calcium carbonate is the same acid reducer in Tums, but without all the sugar and other additives. Plus it doesn’t have any of the sodium like baking soda does. I shake the bottle well and take a couple of swigs of it before going to bed and have been gerd-free for months.

  12. Melissa says:

    Thank god I took 3 tums did not work my husband gave me 1 pepcid complete and I feel better already

  13. Melissa says:

    Pregnancy shouldn’t be so painful

  14. Linda says:

    one ginger biscuit then it’s bye bye heartburn for me.

  15. Maria B says:

    When I have heartburn I drink a glass of milk. It soothes my heart burn within a few minutes.

  16. Gwen says:

    Bread really bothers me and anything that is really sweet, a glass of warm milk usually always makes me feel better. I can not drink coffee or anything minty… one cup of tea in the morning and that’s it, somedays I can’t even drink that. I was on Ranitidine, then Rabeprazole and they weren’t working, I’m now on Nexium and it is quite a bit better, still have to be carefull what I eat, and somedays are worse than others.. oh and I am not over weight… I’m underweight if anything. This is definitely not fun at all!

  17. hendi says:

    avoid eggplant’ tomatoes’ all kind of citrus.for me controloc (nycomed) works great

  18. Jane B says:

    I have two more options for relief of heartburn.
    My husband & I have been eating curly parsley before each meal & anytime that the symptoms arise. Works like a charm. If you google parsley you will find out that it is good for alot more than heartburn.
    The other option is mint leaves taken with a sip of carbonated water. We discovered this when a Greek restaurant that we visited did not have any parsley, the chef recommended this. It worked for the time being but no where near as good as parsley.
    cheers to good health.

  19. Jon says:

    Some heartburn triggers for me are: smoking, air pollution from vehicles, soaps, dish detergents, powder laundry detergents, air freshners. Best to avoid these for buy simple and natural ones without all the perfumes/fragrances/chemicals. Chew your food as best you can and eat less since your body isn’t digesting the food right or enough which basically is a form of malnutrition, a waste of food and money. Stress is a common heartburn trigger. Be aware of excessive carbon-dioxide due to the exhaled air in a room, you need some fresh air to reduce this level.

    • Peggy smith says:

      Jon to me it sounds like u have a little bit of mcs going on as well. Multiple chemical sensitivity. I also have it. It is awful.

  20. Natalie says:

    I am SO surprised that the one remedy that has worked in our family hasn’t been mentioned : PAPAYA ENZYME! This has worked on ANY digestive ailment, including ulcers, gas, bloating, acid reflux, nausea, and heartburn. My mom worked for our local health department for 17 years, and was a natural health advocate. One can find the tablets (which are chewed and taste similar to chewable Vitamin C) at any drugstore or Wally World for under $5. Especially helpful to those on high-protein diets, or people who experience post-surgical/anesthesia related digestive issues. She would always bring a bottle to those in the hospital, saying “I guarantee they’ll need it “. Pop a few either before or after a meal, or whenever you’re feeling off-kilter. It’s even safe for pregnant moms and colicky babies (crush 1/2 tablet and add to spring nursery distilled or filtered water. Shake well.) Works quickly (30 minutes or so) . You might want to be by yourself, as you WILL belch and /or pass gas ALOT. Hope this helps. God Bless.

  21. kago kaku says:

    thnx a lot… :D i will try to follow those tips.

  22. Ian c says:

    Hi all, I suffered for years with heartburn and went from a Zantac a week to 2 omeprozoles a day. Then after a medical at work, the examiner told me to get checked for h pylori stomach bug.
    My doctor told me it was highly unlikely that I had it but after a blood test it was confirmed.
    10yrs of suffering heartburn came to an end after treatment. And lots of other symptoms I had like depression,fatigue,headaches every day and skin problems(face) and swollen stomach all disappeared within a year. The bug can infect us via contaminated water but can be passed on to others via kissing. Consuming ant-acids only masks the problem and prevents proper digestion. I looked like I was pregnant because my tablets were only reducing my bodies natural way to digest food. Not good when your a male and people keep asking when are you due. Lol

  23. mystery princess says:

    well im about 45 pounds overweight. i get this maybe weekly. im on a diet where i loose about 5 pounds a week. anyway. i just had heartburn and this method tastes awful. but works. 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and an 8oz glass of water works. it tastes like bland salt and tap water. it works instantly. i had a gass stomace ake, then took tums which created heart burn. i feel great now tho. so baking soda and water. also you can put it in a smaller glass if you cant drink 8oz at a time! it will taste more strong tho. same with bigger glasses but weaker taste. you cant taste it at all with a 20oz glass. hope this helps

  24. Not important says:

    Yeah, I’ve just had Gaviscon antacids, not working, but walking in circles around the kitchen while groaning in pain? Sure, that seemed to have worked after an hour. Thanks body, after all that I get half an hour of sleep before work if I’m lucky.

    Next time, I’ll avoid scoffing at the Chinese buffet.
    I say it every time :/

  25. Gary McGill says:

    I heard about using celery, and doing things naturally has always appealed to me.
    I tried celery, and it worked instantly.
    I think I figured out why, as well. When I first heard of this, it totally made sense to me.
    The vascular system inside the celery is so profound that because of its very nature, absorbs the gastric juices. It works like a sponge via vascular suction, which can be demonstrated using the old Italian cumumber trick by slicing off the end of the cuke and rubbing the end to pull OUT any bitterness via the vascular bundles. In under a minute there is all the white froth that causes the bitterness.

    Ergo, the celery that you cut and stand up in water in the fridge is kept fresher because of the vascular bundles holding the water, unlike any other vegetable.
    When you chew the celery, there is some displacement of the vascular contents, and in spite of all the vascular truncation from chewing, that would be part of the residual effect of why celery works better than literally everything I’ve tried in my life for this situation.

    I would try celery if you haven’t.
    What do you have to lose? It’s just celery.

    For the coffee drinkers, I have heard that a chemical in coffee relaxes the esophageal sphincter and leaves it open for all stomach acid to come back up causing scarring. If this is the case, a drink choice modification is in order.
    (easy for me to say, I know.)

  26. Joy says:

    i had the same problem with h. pylori for 12 years, at least. My symptom was throat infections with high fever. AWFUL! The doctors had told me it was from allergies causing sinus infections. Finally, I realized it was always after a bout with indigestion and laying flat, but I have silent indigestion so it was hard to figure out. Walk in clinics can now run a simple breath test to determine if you have it. If you have it, and don’t treat it, you have a higher chance of developing esophageal cancer. So, check it out.


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