* Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux is a common condition that occurs when hydrochloric acid from the stomach rises into the esophagus and irritates the delicate tissue lining.
Causes of Heartburn
* There are a number of causes of heartburn including conditions such as peptic ulcers, pregnancy, obesity, allergies, and stress. Also the consumption of spicy food, alcohol, coffee, ‘acidy’ food such as citrus or tomatoes and fried or fatty food may cause or exacerbate heartburn. Smoking cigarettes may also exacerbate heartburn.
* Quit Smoking – smoking is known to cause and exacerbate heartburn. See smoking for information on how to quit.
* Address Obesity Problems – obesity increases the risk of suffering heartburn as well as a range of many other potentially fatal disorders. Regular exercise and dietary changes help to overcome obesity.
* Stress Management – the mind has a powerful influence upon one’s health, and techniques such as meditation, yoga or breathing exercises should be a part of your daily stress management program to reduce the incidence of heartburn.
* Dietary Changes – Do not eat before retiring. Wait at least three hours after eating before lying down or sleeping.
- Eat smaller meals and eat more slowly.
- Drink a large glass of water if you feel heartburn coming on.
- Avoid foods such as chocolate, fried, fatty or processed foods, alcohol and carbonated drinks as they exacerbate heartburn.
- Foods that may help include papaya, papaya seeds (only a few) and pineapple as these contain enzymes that help digestion. Try to include more raw food in your diet.
ALOE VERA, ALOE, ALOE BARBADENSIS – helps to heal the intestinal tract where gastric acid has caused damage. Use aloe vera from a health food store only and according to label instructions.
CHAMOMILE MATRICARIA, GERMAN CHAMOMILE, ROMAN CHAMOMILE. – helps to soothe inflammation and improves digestion. Also used for stress and anxiety. Use according to label instructions. Do not use for prolonged periods or if allergic to ragweed.
GINGER – used for indigestion and heartburn. Use according to label instructions or take ginger tea. Do not use for a prolonged period during pregnancy or if you have gallstones.
KAVA KAVA – helps to relax, used for stress and anxiety. Use according to label instructions.