Toss the Alka-Seltzer – Beat Heartburn Naturally


Heartburn is a painful condition resulting from the partial regurgitation of gastric acid into the esophagus.  It’s so prevalent—for some it may occur once every couple weeks, while for others it can be a daily occurrence—that over-the-counter supplements like TUMS have become household names.

From the view of Western medicine, heatburn, or acid reflux, results from the production of too much stomach acid, which at first seems to make sense, as that’s what it can feel like.  Consequently, Western doctors and the pharmaceutical industry most commonly prescribe drugs called proton pump inhibitors, which suppress the body’s ability to produce stomach acid, and cause a variety of side effects like bone loss.

In addition, by disabling the stomach’s ability to produce an acidic environment, these commonly prescribed drugs enable bacteria often responsible for low stomach acid, like helicobacter bacteria, to populate and thrive, not only making the condition worse, but lowering your defenses to ingested bacteria that your stomach acid could normally kill.  While proton pump inhibitors do work to quell heartburn temporarily, in reality, they only exacerbate the problem, setting you up for drug dependency because the reason for the problem is only inflamed.

Counterintuitively, heartburn is actually most often caused by an insufficiency of stomach acid, not an excess.  According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, up to 95% of people with acid reflux are lacking in adequate stomach acid.  The stomach acid backing up into the esophagus during a heartburn episode would be far more painful if the stomach acid had its more proper, lower pH level, meaning if it was at its proper level of acidity.  So long as your stomach does not have the acidic juices needed to break down the foods you eat, the partially digested matter can sit there far longer than it normally would, raising the risk of partial regurgitation and wearing away your esophageal lining each time, so much so as to make you sensitive to even lightly acidic stomach juices with enough esophageal wear.

Rather than turning to pharmaceutical drugs that only make the condition worse, consider taking the following steps to restore your stomach’s ability to produce sufficient hydrochloric acid.

  1. Increase your consumption of full-spectrum sea salt, notably Himalayan and Celtic sea salts, because it delivers the chloride needed to make hydrochloric acid.
  2. Second, supplement with probiotics, the healthy flora that populate your bowels.  Two particularly helpful strains are Bacillus coagulans and acidophilus bifidus.

These two steps can amend the problem over time.  In addition to that, more rigorous, and more thorough ways to help and resolve the issue is to lower the toxic load on your digestive organs, notably your colon and your liver.  This can be done with a series of colonics and liver flushes, covered in more detail in this article.

Until then, you can temporarily raise the acidity level of your stomach when eating in two ways.

  1. You can take two to three tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar with “the mother” with meals.
  2. You can supplement your meals with a dose of digestive enzymes that  includes betaine hydrochloride (HDL).

If you forget and you feel heartburn coming on, you can take the apple cider vinegar or digestive enzymes with HDL at that time, and find relief in as little as ten to fifteen minutes.

Jonathan Cho