GERD is an abbreviation for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, a condition that causes the stomach’s acidic content to back up into the food pipe. The most common symptoms of GERD include nausea, regurgitation and a burning sensation that results from the acidity of the liquid content. Other symptoms experienced include pain in the chest area, a sore throat as well as coughing. These symptoms cause the irritation of the oesophageal lining, making it a source of pain and discomfort. This condition is referred to as a chronic digestive disease. The precise cause of GERD remains unknown to-date, but research shows that certain risk factors include obesity, pregnancy, genetics and reduced functioning of the oesophageal muscles responsible for preventing regurgitation.
While GERD has symptoms that are typical of heartburn/acid reflux, it is important to make a distinction between the two. Acid reflux is pretty common, and most people will experience it from time to time. If, however, the acid reflux occurs at least thrice weekly, and also interferes with your daily routine, then it is important to get proper diagnosis as this is a likely indication that you are suffering from GERD. Many affected persons are able to carry on with their lives by making simple lifestyle changes and using prescribed medication. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may be necessary to undergo surgical intervention. For mild cases however, home remedies provide a reliable option for the natural treatment of GERD.
1. Baking Soda:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of baking soda and 1 cup of warm water.
Baking soda is a common home remedy for a number of conditions, among them GERD. Baking soda, also referred to as sodium bicarbonate, is one of nature’s antacid that is used to provide quick relief when the symptoms of GERD strike. This remedy is both effective and easy to use, but caution must be exercised as prolonged use of baking soda is not recommended owing to the health risk of the same. Additionally, baking soda must not be used by those suffering from high blood pressure simply because it contains Sodium. For a person with increased blood pressure, sodium tends to worsen the symptoms and places them at risk of more complications.
- Place the teaspoon of baking soda in a glass.
- Pour in the warm water and stir to dissolve.
- Once the baking soda has completely dissolved, drink it for quick relief.
- Use this remedy sparingly, and remember that prolonged use is discouraged to avoid more complications.
2. Licorice Root:
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of licorice root, 1 cup of water in a pan and a strainer.
Licorice root is recommended for the natural treatment of GERD, thanks to its herbal healing properties. This herb is known to soothe he mucus lining around the stomach, and this forms a protective barrier from the burning sensation caused by the acidic contents that flow up the oesophagus. Other healing benefits include licorice root’s ability to reduce inflammation in the stomach as well as overall improving gut function.
NOTE: Use this remedy following consultations with your medical doctor as licorice root may potentially cause drug-drug interaction.
- Place the licorice root in a pan and add the water before bringing the mixture to boil.
- Let the mixture boil for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat and let it steep for 5 minutes.
- Pass the mixture through a strainer to get rid of the herb and drink on an empty stomach.
- The best way to do this is to take the root mixture at least half an hour before mealtimes for it to be effective.
- This remedy may be replaced by licorice herbal supplements which are available at many health stores.
- Remember to consult your doctor before embarking on this remedy.
3. Aloe Vera Juice:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of aloe vera juice taken at least half an hour before meals.
Aloe vera juice is fondly referred to as Mother Nature’s healing remedies. Its ability to reduce inflammation and prevent the lining of the food pipe from getting damaged makes aloe vera juice an ideal home remedy for the treatment of GERD. Aloe vera juice also allows the scarred food pipe to heal rapidly, and this is intended to provide relief. It is recommended that aloe vera is taken in small amounts; excess intake of aloe vera juice causes the remedy to act as a laxative with not-so-pleasant effects.
- Take the aloe vera juice at least half an hour before mealtime to help alleviate the symptoms of GERD.
- It also helps to take small portions of food as opposed to large amounts of food as this is known to reduce the intensity of the symptoms over a period of time.
4. Slippery Elm:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 4 Teaspoons of ground slippery elm, 2 cups of hot water and a strainer.
Slippery elm, just as the name suggests, has excellent demulcent properties. This simply means that the herb has a high concentration of mucus content. Naturally, the stomach lining is covered in a layer of mucus that serves to protect the stomach tissue from getting digested by the hydrochloric acid produced. By increasing the amount of mucus in the stomach, it is possible to reverse the effects of GERD as well as alleviate the symptoms of the same. In addition to this, slippery elm also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the inflammation in the stomach and food pipe. This creates a soothing sensation that provides much needed relief from GERD.
- Place the ground slippery elm in a pan and pour in the hot water.
- Allow the mixture to steep for 5-10 minutes to get the remedy’s healing properties.
- Take this mixture thrice daily until you are able to note improvements as far as the intensity of GERD symptoms is concerned.
5. Cumin Seeds:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 cup of hot water and a strainer.
Cumin seeds are recommended for the natural treatment of GERD, thanks to their ability to stimulate the process of digestion. Additionally, the seeds go a long way in reducing the stomach’s acidity, which in turn provides relief from the disease. In cases where the reflux is accompanied by gas, cumin seeds are also helpful because they help prevent gas accumulation and reduce discomfort. All that is needed for this remedy is one teaspoon of cumin seeds and one cup of water.
- Place the cumin seeds in a pan and pour in the water before bringing the mixture to boil.
- After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let the seeds steep in the water for another 5 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and drink the tea after mealtime.
- Repeat this procedure at least thrice daily.
- It also helps to add cumin seeds to your diet for its healing properties.
Time Required: 10 Min preparation with soaking overnight
What You Need: 4 Teaspoons of marshmallow, 4 cups of water and a strainer.
Marshmallow works quite similarly to slippery elm, largely because of its demulcent properties and its ability to soothe the stomach lining. Marshmallow is high in mucus content, and this helps preserve the integrity of the stomach lining. This protective layer of the mucosal lining is key to speedy recovery from GERD. Prepare the herbal remedy by following the simple set of directions below.
- Place the dried marshmallow in a pan and add four cups of water.
- Soak the herb overnight to allow the active ingredients to seep into the water.
- The next morning, strain the herb and drink the resulting solution.
- Use this remedy until the symptoms of GERD are cleared.
7. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons of organic raw apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of warm water.
One of the most popular home remedies for the natural treatment of GERD, raw organic apple cider vinegar is recommended because it helps balance the production of acid in the stomach. This in turn, reduces the burning sensation caused by the reflux. Over a period of time, regular use of apple cider vinegar (ACV) also aids the process of digestion, and this helps reduce the discomfort associated with GERD. Water is added to this remedy to dilute the ACV as its undiluted form can easily cause irritation of the food pipe. It is also important to mention that the recommended type of Apple cider vinegar is that which is organic and unfiltered as it does not contain additives.
- Add two teaspoons of raw organic ACV to a glass of water and stir to mix evenly.
- Drink this mixture at least half an hour before mealtime.
- Use this remedy regularly to help speed up the process of recovery from GERD.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of fennel seeds, 1 cup of water and a strainer.
Use fennel seeds to treat GERD naturally and help reduce the symptoms brought about by this disease. Fennel seeds are rich in a compound known as anethole whose anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the pain and inflammation in the stomach and food pipe. Additionally, the seeds have been shown to calm stomach contractions which helps reduce discomfort in the stomach. These seeds may be used in two ways: either chewed whole or boiled in water and strained as described in the steps below.
- Place one teaspoon of the fennel seeds in a pan and add a cup of water.
- Let the seeds boil for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat.
- This will allow the seeds to steep for 10 minutes after which you will strain and discard the fennel seeds.
- Drink the liquid you just strained after meals.
- Repeat this thrice daily.
- Alternatively, chew on the fennel seeds after meals to help alleviate the symptoms of GERD.
In addition to these home remedies, there are helpful tips that aid in the management of GERD. These include avoiding heavy meals especially before bedtime, avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux such as caffeinated drinks, alcohol and spicy foods as well as wearing loose-fitting clothes. Research also shows that obesity is a contributing factor for GERD, and as such, it is advisable to shed some weight.