It happens to all of us occasionally – heartburn strikes! There is that terrible, burning sensation in your chest, and you may feel that acid burn right up in your throat. Not a lovely feeling. And if it happens at night, heartburn can even cause you insomnia. But, instead of always reaching for a prescription medication, are there natural heartburn remedies you can try instead? Yes! We’ve researched 10 tried and true ways to treat heartburn at home with common items you likely have around anyway.
These are helpful tips to try, but please always talk to a doctor about any new health issue you have. Heartburn could be a sign of something more serious.
1. Battle heartburn with baking soda
Baking soda is one amazing ingredient to have around the home! (We’ve also written about 10 Ways to Use Baking Soda to Clean your Home, so check that out for other ideas.)Once you’ve tackled your heartburn, you can go and clean the toilet with the same ingredient! Huh!) What we most often think of as a rising agent in baking, can also help treat heartburn naturally. Simply add about one teaspoon of baking soda to a small glass of water and stir well to dissolve. Then, drink up! Baking soda is naturally alkaline, so it can help to reduce acid. (But, if you’re watching sodium content then please be careful before trying this tip. Just one teaspoon of baking soda contains a whopping 1250 mg of sodium!! If you have high blood pressure, you also shouldn’t try this tip because of the very high sodium content in baking soda. But don’t worry, our other tips should be helpful for you!)
2. Drink a glass of milk
Again, milk is an alkaline – not acidic – substance, that can naturally help to combat either heartburn or acid reflux. Some people find a lot of relief by drinking a small glass of cold milk when their heartburn is acting up.
3. Prevent heartburn by reducing how much coffee you drink
Ahhh, sweet coffee! I love it too, but too much coffee – which is, again, very acidic – can create more problems for those of us with regular heartburn and/or acid reflux issues. Limit your coffee and overall caffeine intake to help prevent more problems with heartburn. And if you do have a cup of coffee, it helps to add milk to it rather than pure coffee alone. (Or milky coffees like lattes or cappuccinos will cause fewer problems than very strong coffee like an espresso.)
4. Limit how many citrus fruits (oranges, lemons) you eat
Delicious as they may be – and healthy too! – citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and mandarin oranges – are all packed full of acid. (This is why they’re damaging to teeth enamel too. Side tip: drink a glass of water after eating citrus fruits to limit the damage on your teeth.) Limit how many citrus fruits you eat, or how much citrus fruit juice you drink. Some people find that if they have a small glass of orange juice with food, they’re okay. (The food may help absorb the acid of the fruit juice.) But, some people are very sensitive to citrus fruits, and need to make them only an occasional treat.
5. Drink a little aloe juice
Now, aloe juice may not be an ingredient we all have in our pantries regularly. But, you may have an aloe plant somewhere in your home! Drinking a little natural aloe plant juice is a wonderful way to soothe away some of the discomfort of heartburn. You can also purchase actual aloe juice at health food stores. If you’re prone to heartburn, this might be a good item to keep on hand to treat it naturally when it strikes next. The juice is easy to drink, whereas the aloe gel that comes straight from the plant may not be quite as palatable.
6. Eat a banana
Bananas are naturally very alkaline, and they seem to soothe a lot of stomach problems and ailments! Eating a banana can help ease away the pain and discomfort of heartburn or acid reflux. And hey, they happen to be pretty yummy, too. Delicious snack plus heartburn treatment all in one little yellow package.
7. Eat a few plain crackers (soda crackers)
I remember my Mom suggesting this when I was a child, and it works! Eat a few soda crackers or other very plain crackers. It seems to help absorb some of the excess acid in your stomach and makes you feel a bit better.
8. Don’t eat so late at night
I know, I know! This sounds so judgey. But, if you cut back on late night snacking, you may find that you have fewer problems with heartburn in the middle of the night.
9. Raise your head up on a pillow (when trying to sleep)
Raising your head up a bit higher on an extra pillow will help prevent the additional acid from sneaking up your esophagus and causing you discomfort. This simple tip really works! But hopefully it won’t give you a neck ache the next morning!
10. Try a little Apple Cider Vinegar in water
This seems totally counterproductive, right? Why would you want to consume additional acid when you’re already suffering with too much acid in your stomach? And yet, many people find that their problems with heartburn are caused by too little acid being produced in their stomachs. For some people, a spoonful of natural apple cider vinegar (the good kind, with a ‘mother’ in the bottle) in a small glass of lukewarm or cool water can be very helpful. It can help balance out the healthy acid in your stomach.
We hope these tips have helped soothe your heartburn, and that you’ll be able to get on with your day, or even have a wonderful nighttime sleep. If you have other natural heartburn tips that are tried and true, please let us know about them!