Natural remedies for acid reflux or heartburn include controlling your diet, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and chewing gum, states WebMD. Medication may be necessary in more severe or frequent cases, but many people successfully treat acid reflux without drugs.
Heartburn is a common and very unpleasant condition that occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus, according to WebMD. The resulting burning pain sends many people running to the medicine cabinet. However, there are some natural remedies that have been shown to work and some that haven’t.
For example, milk, a commonly used natural remedy for acid reflux, is not effective. Although milk can buffer stomach acid temporarily, offering relief from the burning sensation, the nutrients and fat in milk stimulate more acid production, WebMD explains. Chewing gum is a more effective tactic because it stimulates saliva production, and saliva neutralizes stomach acid naturally. Chewing gum also causes more frequent swallowing, which pushes the acids out of the esophagus.
Other natural treatments for acid reflux include avoiding foods known to cause heartburn, such as caffeine, chocolate, or tomatoes; eating smaller portion sizes; eating more slowly; and stopping eating a few hours before bedtime so the stomach is empty when you lie down, says WebMD.