Especially if a person’s diet is high in things like spicy food, fat or caffeine, stomach acid/heartburn can be a uncomfortable and all too common thing. Before reaching for the bottle of antacids, however, it is good to know that there are natural alternatives to help keep the acidity at bay. Ten of them are discussed below.
Bananas have a high pH, meaning that they are a low-acid, alkalizing food that make it a potent cure for excess stomach acid. In addition to this, bananas also stimulate the mucous production in the lining of the stomach which acts as a natural barrier and reduces the risk of further damage. In addition to all this, bananas are high in fiber, which is a natural support for good digestion.
Basil, like bananas, can stimulate the stomach lining to produce more protective mucous and is has long been used as a natural ulcer treatment. It can also help reduce uncomfortable gas formation and bloating and the best way to use it is to chew up fresh leaves immediately following a meal for quick and effective symptom relief.
Milk’s high calcium content allows it to absorb excess acid in the stomach and therefore prevent stomach pain and indigestion. If served cold, its temperature can also provide quick relief from the heat of heartburn. It is even more effective if taken with a spoonful of ghee, or Indian clarified butter.
Long used a freshener for the breath, fennel seeds have a pleasant, licorice-like flavor and contains compounds which fight the formation of ulcers and promote healing of the stomach lining.
In Ayurvedic medicine, jeera is used to help heal ulcers and calm irritation of the stomach lining. It aids digestion through the stimulation of saliva and relieves flatulence and other gastric troubles. It can be chewed or boiled in a decoction and drunk.
Clove is a carminative and it helps aid digestion by both stimulating saliva production and increasing the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract. The strong taste of the cloves is what stimulates the saliva and it is recommended that someone suffering from indigestion bite into a clove and let the juice begin to quickly give relief from heartburn.
This sweet-tasting spice has many properties to help digestion: it has a slightly cooling effect on an acidic stomach and also soothes the stomach lining to ward off the worst effects of heartburn.
Used commonly as a mouth freshener, this herb can also lower the acidity of the stomach and aid in better digestion. Its cooling affect can be very soothing for the heat of heartburn and its leaves can be chewed or drunk.
This warm and pungent root can improve the body’s ability to absorb needed nutrients and protects the stomach lining by stimulating mucous production. It can be chewed or drunk as a decoction.
Amla is rich in Vitamin C which has a healing effect upon damage done to the stomach and esophagus. It can also be used preventatively in powder form twice a day to ward off future problems.
So the next time there is a bout of heartburn in the house, reach for one of these centuries-old remedies before opening up that antacid bottle!
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