Chewing gum (especially the sugar-free kind) can be an easy and inexpensive way to deal with acid reflux. The acting of chewing increases the saliva production in your mouth, which helps dilute stomach acid in your esophagus and reduce the symptoms of heartburn. If possible, check the ingredient list and choose a gum that has sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) listed--it can help to neutralize stomach acid even more.
Baking Soda & Water
It’s not the most tasty remedy for acid reflux, but plain baking soda mixed with water can help alleviate heartburn symptoms. Because baking soda has a pH in the alkaline range, it helps to neutralize stomach acid, which is on the acidic end of the pH scale. To use this remedy, simply dissolve half a teaspoon in half a cup of water and drink.
Ginger seems like it would exacerbate acid reflux because of its spicy taste, but it’s actually a great natural option for dealing with heartburn. This tasty root has been used to treat all sorts of digestive issues, but it’s particularly good at reducing inflammation in the esophagus--one of the main indicators of acid reflux. Ginger is available in many different forms, but the easiest way to use it might simply be to slice a piece of root and chew on it until symptoms subside.
Licorice might be everyone’s least-favorite candy, but if you’re dealing with acid reflux, it might actually come in handy. However, you’re probably better off using licorice root as opposed to the candy made from it. In some studies, licorice root has been shown to increase mucus in the esophagus and stomach, which can help counteract the unpleasant effects of too much stomach acid.
Apple Cider Vinegar
If you can stomach the unpleasant taste, apple cider vinegar might be an easy home remedy for treating acid reflux. However, it’s best to use caution with this one. While some people swear by apple cider vinegar as a treatment for heartburn, others say it can actually make symptoms worse. So, your mileage may vary.
Aloe Vera Juice
You might be most familiar with aloe vera thanks to its ability to treat sunburn pain and other minor skin conditions, but it’s also proven to be useful for treating acid reflux. Aloe vera juice has anti-inflammatory properties, and according to some studies drinking it has reduced esophageal inflammation due to heartburn.
Bananas might not be the most exciting natural remedy for acid reflux, but they can work wonders. Because they naturally contain less acid than other types of fruit, bananas can be a good choice for people who want to eat healthy but deal with chronic acid reflux. While they can help reduce heartburn symptoms as they occur, bananas are best at helping prevent reflux in the first place.
Eating bark to treat acid reflux? It sounds crazy, but the bark of the slippery elm tree has been used for centuries as a way to treat many conditions--including heartburn. When mixed with water, the bark creates a gel-like substance that can help coat the esophagus and reduce inflammation. Unless you’re already familiar with the plant, it’s best to buy slippery elm bark from a retailer you trust as opposed to going out and looking for it yourself.
As painful as it might be to give up coffee, reducing your caffeine intake is another simple way to deal with acid reflux. When your caffeine intake is too high, it can cause your esophageal sphincter to relax and allow acid to flow back up into your throat. Reducing your intake of coffee, soda, and other caffeinated beverages might be enough to reduce symptoms, but if they persist, you may have to cut them out entirely.
Sleep with Your Head Elevated
If you’re dealing with acid reflux before bedtime, make sure your head is elevated and has plenty of extra support when you sleep. Keeping your head propped up allows you to use the power of gravity to keep stomach acid from rising back up into the esophagus.