The digestive system is a complex part of your body that is designed to turn the food you eat into nutrients, which the body can then use for energy. When everything is functioning optimally you feel energized after eating however there are many stages of the digestive system where things can go wrong and this can lead to symptoms such as IBS, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux and more.
To breakdown and digest our food, our gastric glands in our stomach produce acid. It is mainly hydrochloric acid which aids in this process. In order to properly digest our food so that our body can absorb the nutrients, it needs to be broken down properly. However, what if our gastric glands are producing too much acid? The symptoms you may suffer from include acid reflux & heartburn and this can even lead to dyspepsia, gastric inflammation and ulcers. Good thing for us is that there are actually quite a few home remedies to reduce stomach acidity. More on that a little later on.
Firstly, if you experience heart burn from time to time, this is generally no cause for concern. But if you are getting heart burn on a more regular basis or another one of the symptoms listed above, there may be an issue that your body is trying to tell you about. You may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a chronic digestive illness characterized by a burning sensation in the lower chest area. This is caused by the occurrence of stomach acid or acidified contents from the stomach backing up into the esophagus.
If you go to your doctor, in most cases you will be prescribed antacids. Surprisingly however, there are actually many things that you can do on your own to help reduce your stomach acidity without the need to take antacids. This also eliminates the risk of your body becoming dependent on antacids.
The following 11 home remedies to reduce acidity are natural, easily accessible and can be had at little or no cost at all. So what are the best techniques to reduce acidity?
11 Home Remedies To Reduce Acid Reflux
Table of Contents
The first of the home remedies to reduce acidity is to drink lots of water. Make sure it is plain. And no, a soda does not count! Adding more water to your daily diet is especially important at the first sign of stomach acidity as it can help neutralize and flush out the excessive acids produced by the stomach. If you are prone to acid reflux, replacing your next soda or sweetened iced tea with water can go a long way in helping maintain the balance of acidity in your stomach.
Bananas are great for reducing acidity as they are rich in potassium. Potassium helps in keeping the acid in your stomach at its normal level. The fibers in bananas help speed up digestion and can help prevent the occurrence of acid reflux. Bananas also help in increasing the production of the mucus lining in the stomach which makes it less susceptible to harmful effects during stages of high acid production.
Cinnamon has so many benefits for us, and one of them is to keep our digestive system healthy. Cinnamon has antacid qualities and helps in expelling gastric gasses from the stomach. Try adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of hot water or add cinnamon to your next herbal tea. You could even replace your next coffee with one of these drinks. Let it steep for a few minutes and enjoy. Drinking this two or three times a day will keep your digestive system healthy. You may not like it the first couple of times you drink it, but it is a taste that you can get used to quickly and start enjoying. Or try adding cinnamon powder to your soups, breakfast oats, smoothies or salad.
Basil leaves not only reduces the effects of stomach acid, but it is also known to have anti-ulcer properties. Basil leaves also help to stimulate the stomach to produce more mucous to coat its lining. Which means more protection from stomach acid buildup. Chewing a few basil leaves when suffering from acidity can help alleviate the discomfort associated with acid reflux. Be sure to chew them thoroughly. Or if you prefer, you can brew basil leaves in a hot cup of water. Leave to steep for a few minutes. If you need a sweetener, try using honey.
Buttermilk contains lactic acids that does a great job neutralizing the acidity of the stomach. Buttermilk can be bought at the grocery or you can make it yourself. Drink 2-3 glasses a day until the symptoms subside. For a booster, try adding in some crushed coriander or fenugreek seeds which can also help. These can also make the buttermilk taste better.
Ginger root is another home remedy that helps to reduce the symptoms of stomach acidity by helping the production of mucus in the stomach. It also aids in digestion. If you are looking for immediate relief, try chewing on a piece of ginger root and swallow the juice. Do not swallow the root.
Baking soda is one of the best home remedies for acidity if you are suffering from a painful burning sensation caused by acid reflux. Try mixing half of a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. This greatly reduces the pain associated with acid reflux by neutralizing the acids in your stomach. Word of caution though, this is not recommended for regular use but only in moments of intense pain caused by stomach acidity.
Tulsi leaves are another great home remedy to reduce acidity. Tulsi helps stimulate your stomach to again produce more mucous. This combined with its antiulcer properties, tulsi helps reduce the effect of gastric acids. Best to try and chew a few tulsi leaves for a few minutes and watch your symptoms disappear.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of Tulsi.
Mint leaves help lower your acid content in your stomach and they also help to improve digestion. Mint also has a great cooling effect on the body which helps reduce the burning sensation. And as an added bonus, mint leaves taste great! Try chopping up some mint leaves and let sit in a cup or hot or cold water for a few minutes before drinking.
Chewing gum can be an annoying habit, but when it comes to GERD, it is worth trying it. If you suffer from chronic heartburn, chewing gum after a meal can greatly decrease if not avoid it. Chewing gum stimulates the saliva glands in our mouths which increases the amount of saliva. This helps by neutralizing your stomach acids. Try chewing a piece of gum after a meal.
Avoid Tight Fitting Clothes
Bet that you had no idea that tight fitting clothes could be contributing to your heartburn. Clothes which are tight around your waist or middle section can worsen heartburn. Same goes for really tight jeans or belts, when you sit down, the waistband is going to put pressure on your abdomen section. Why this is an issue is because when you have lots of pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, it makes it much more likely for your stomach contents to be pushed through and as a result, you may experience reflux.
There are so many home remedies to reduce acidity that are super simple to incorporate into your day. But there are also things that you should be avoiding in your day to day life. Certain food or habits can act as triggers for GERD. Avoid sodas and sugary drinks to prevent the gastric glands from producing excessive acids. Also, for some, spicy foods tend to trigger acid reflux in people. Try keeping a food diary so when acid reflux episodes occur, you will quickly learn what the cause of it was. Each day write down what you eat and how you feel. Smoking and alcohol consumption are also big triggers of stomach acidity. Whenever possible, try avoiding them to help reduce the occurrence of this condition.
Finally, stress is another trigger so take some deep breaths when you are feeling stressed or do some exercise.
While these simple home remedies to reduce acidity are known to work, it may be helpful to become more aware of everyday habits that may be contributing to your symptoms. You may have to initiate some lifestyle changes to prevent the frequent occurrences of symptoms associated with stomach acidity.
If you benefited from this article, then you’ll appreciate the 7 tips for an ultra healthy gut.
Have you overcome your high acidity levels? Which techniques did you use? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.