Five Easy Homemade Remedies for Acidity
By Rimi Das
When the gastric glands of the stomach produce excess acid, it results in acidity. Acidity has a wide range of symptoms including bad breath, stomach problems, gas, and other related issues. Likewise, the causes of acidity are also manifold and can range anything from long gaps between meals to having an excess of tea or coffee to smoking to alcohol consumption. The excess secretion of acid results in a condition called acid reflux or heartburn, wherein, the excess amount of acids gush into the chest and eventually into the throat, causing a burning sensation in the chest or a sour taste.
What to Avoid for People with Acidity?
Heartburn from acidity can vary from one person to the other. However, there are certain foods and not to mention, drinks, which when consumed, the person becomes more prone to acid reflux symptoms. But if you are suffering from acid reflux symptoms, then it’s best that you avoid or reduce the intake of such foods. These foods include:
- Foods that have High-fat Content
Fat is known to slow down the metabolism process. So, consuming more of it not only leads to a full stomach, but it also puts more pressure on the LOS, and give way for the symptoms of acid reflux to kick in. So, it’s best you avoid certain types of fatty foods such as dried fish and chips and fatty meats such as pork, in case you’re suffering from acidity.
- Spicy Foods
Most findings tell us that spicy foods only tend to add fuel to the fire, as far as acidity is concerned. However, there is mixed evidence found regarding this. But not all individuals are tolerant of all kinds of spices. So, it would be good if you first found out what kind of spices you are tolerant towards, especially if you are suffering from acidity.
- Citrus Fruits
Orange, lemon or even juices of both these fruits tend to increase the symptoms of acidity. While these fruits or juices usually don’t tend to cause acid reflux symptoms as such, evidence suggests that it increases heartburn and worsens other acid reflux related symptoms in some cases.
- Garlic and Onions
Onions tend to worsen the symptoms of acid reflux. Garlic does too but in a less severe way. However, the combination of garlic and onions can prove to be very problematic.
- Peppermint and Chocolate
While peppermint or mint tea is often recommended after a heavy dinner for easy digestion, these could worsen the symptoms of acidity. This is because, mint tea or peppermint tend to relax the LOS (lower oesophageal sphincter), thereby allowing the excess stomach acids to flow back into the oesophagus.
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Chocolate on the other hand also seems to worsen the symptoms of acidity or acid reflux but is dependent on the dosage. However, most people can tolerate a small amount of chocolate without having acid reflux symptoms.
Alcohol worsens the symptoms of acidity both by increasing acid secretion in the stomach as well as relaxing the LOS.
There is some evidence as to coffee relaxing the LOS, and thus, worsening the symptoms of acidity, and not to mention, heartburn.
- Carbonated Drinks
Too much of fizz can build up gas in the stomach and cause bloating. This tends to worsen acidity symptoms by increasing the pressure on the LOS.
- Eating too much
The size of your stomach is no more than your clenched fist. So, trying to push yourself while having a meal only causes problems. Also, eating faster than usual can also sometimes lead to acid reflux symptoms. So, sit down and relax. Take a few deep breaths before you start eating, and chew your food slowly. This way you will realise that you are full before you can even think of overeating.
Home Remedies for Acidity
Acidity can be quite annoying. However, apart from medications, there are simple, home remedies you can try, to ease acid reflux symptoms. So, here are some simple yet powerful homemade remedies to ease acidity.
- Basil Leaves
Basil leaves are known to be soothing and relieve a person from flatulence. These properties of basil leaves make it a wonderful home remedy for people suffering from acid reflux symptoms. All you need to do is consume three or four basil leaves, the first instance you notice gas in your stomach. Alternatively, you can also try boiling them in a cup of water, and leave it to simmer for a while.
You can then take sips of it at frequent intervals. This is proven to be one of the most effective home remedies for acid reflux symptoms.
Fennel leaves have a multitude of benefits for the stomach. These are helpful, especially for all those people suffering from acidity or acid reflux symptoms. So, chew on some fennel leaves after every meal, so that you can prevent acid reflux symptoms, not to mention, keep the stomach and digestive tract happy and healthy. Also, fennel tea is useful, especially for people suffering from indigestion and bloating.
Cinnamon acts as a natural antacid, settling your stomach, besides improving digestion and absorption. Cinnamon tea helps heal any infections in the digestive tract and comes loaded with powerful nutrients, essential for the smooth functioning of the body.
Buttermilk acts as an alternative to antacids and helps ease acid reflux symptoms. It consists of that vital lactic acid, which can neutralise the acid in your stomach, thus preventing further acid reflux. Also, if you want this power drink to work more effectively than ever, all you need to do is add a sprinkle of black pepper and one teaspoon of ground coriander leaves and consume it to watch acidity disappear.
Jaggery comes loaded with magnesium, which is why it helps strengthen the intestine. Aiding digestion, it helps make your digestive tract more alkaline so that it can reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. Additionally, jaggery also helps maintain the body temperature, thereby having a cooling effect on your stomach.
Cloves help prevent gas formation in the gastrointestinal tract. This is one of the reasons they are used as one of the main ingredients in many traditional Chinese medicines, not to mention Ayurveda to help treat digestive disorders. Foods such as kidney beans and black gram tend to cause flatulence. However, adding cloves while cooking such foods can help ease the symptoms. Alternatively, you can also consume cloves as they are, or mix them with things such as cardamoms to get the most benefits for acid reflux, out of them.
- Cumin Seeds
Cumin seeds work great to not only neutralise stomach acid but help with digestion as well as stomach pain. Mix crushed, roasted cumin seeds to a glass of boiled water and drink the blend every day, after every meal.
The health benefits of ginger are manifold. In that, it has very good anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. Chewing a slice of fresh ginger, a spoonful of ginger juice two or three times a day, every day or a ginger drink consisting of ginger mixed with boiled water will go a long way in easing acid reflux symptoms.
- Cold Milk
Milk helps stabilise the acid contents in the stomach. However, it should be consumed knowing fully well that you are tolerant of it. This is because most people are intolerant towards milk because of its high lactose content. The calcium content in milk helps prevent acid buildup in the stomach.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Although acid reflux occurs due to excessive acid gushing into the esophagus, many times, it so happens that acid reflux is caused by too little acid in the stomach as well. Mixing one or two teaspoons of unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a cup of water, and having the drink once or twice a day will help keep the acids in the stomach to an optimum level, thus preventing the occurrence of acid reflux symptoms.
- Coconut Water
Not only does coconut water help turn the pH level of your body to alkaline, but it also helps in mucous secretion in the stomach, which helps prevent corrosion of different layers of the stomach, due to excessive secretion of acids. Additionally, coconut water is also rich in fibre, which helps in digestion, thus preventing the relapse of acidity.
Bananas come with a lot of health benefits. However, the one main health benefit of bananas as far as acidity is concerned is that they act as natural antacids, thus buffering against acid reflux. This is also one of the simplest home remedies for getting rid of acidity.
So, if you’re a person who is suffering from acidity on a regular basis, then try one of these home remedies to help ease the symptoms. Of course, not all these home remedies work for everyone. So, you will need to try each of the remedies first, to know what works best for you. Also, regular sufferers of acidity need to keep track of things such as the time of occurrence of the symptoms or their food habits, so that it helps them keep such foods under control, which are prone to get you those nasty heartburns.