Home Remedies for Heartburn
Heartburn is a common condition and can strike at any time. Thankfully, there are many ways to relieve heartburn symptoms when they flare up. Chewing an antacid such as TUMS is a first line option, particularly when you need fast relief; however, home remedies and changing lifestyle habits can help, too – dampening down the painful sensation you feel in your chest and throat.
Reach For TUMS
If you need fast heartburn relief, look no further than TUMS, which takes seconds to start neutralizing gastric acid in the esophagus, where the pain of heartburn generally starts.* It keeps working as it dissolves, going to work fast to relieve the pain of heartburn.
Home Remedies for Heartburn Relief
If you’re looking for natural heartburn relief, take a look at our tips below to discover a whole host of easy ways to help get rid of heartburn when it strikes – think everything from chewing your food more thoroughly to sleeping on your left side and many others.
Try Baking Soda or Apple Cider Vinegar
Some items in your kitchen can help to get rid of heartburn. Baking soda, for example, helps neutralize the acidity in your stomach and can temporarily alleviate acid reflux (of which heartburn is a symptom).2 Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight fluid ounces of water and sip slowly for temporary relief (note, though, that this is not a long-term solution or suitable if you are pregnant).2 Another remedy that some people swear by for reducing acid reflux is a teaspoon to a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed into a glass of water. However, there is no clinical evidence that this works.3
Chewing a piece or two of gum – go sugar-free to protect your teeth – can naturally help relieve heartburn by stimulating your production of saliva. Saliva is naturally alkaline and therefore helps neutralize stomach acid, thus eliminating the classic burning sensation associated with heartburn.4
Drink Ginger Tea
Ginger can help relieve nausea and reduce acid production.5 Try it as a tea – either using store-bought herbal tea or by steeping sliced fresh ginger root in just-boiled water for around five minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey if it needs sweetening, and sip it slowly.
Eat Heartburn-Friendly Food
Heartburn-friendly foods include vegetables, potatoes (but not fries), melon, bananas, oatmeal, seafood, lean meat, ginger and egg whites. How you cook these can also reduce your risk: bake or broil rather than fry. Substituting low-fat ingredients for high-fat ones will also help reduce your risk of heartburn.6 Find out about the different foods that cause heartburn.
Eat Dinner Early
Eat your last meal of the day in the early evening – allowing at least two to three hours for your food to digest before bed. If you lie down while your body is still digesting dinner, stomach acid can more easily flow up into your esophagus.7
Take Time to Eat Slowly
Many reflux and heartburn symptoms begin after meals and eating too much8 and too quickly9 are classic heartburn catalysts. Having five or six small meals a day is better than several large ones.8 Take time to enjoy your food, chewing slowly and eating it in a relaxed manner to head off heartburn.
Let Your Stomach Loose
Tight waistbands or belts that dig into your stomach place unnecessary pressure on your abdomen.10 Swallowing an antacid and undoing the button of your pants or taking your belt down a notch or two after eating will provide instant relief. Maintaining a healthy weight is, however, a better long-term solution.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, dropping a few pounds can help resolve heartburn symptoms – not least because you are less likely to eat high-fat foods on a diet. Losing as little as 2.5 pounds can help reduce heartburn symptoms, according to David A. Johnson, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine.7
Smoking triggers greater stomach acid production and reduces salivation (which, as we know, helps to neutralize stomach acid). Smoking also reduces the effectiveness of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) valve, making it more likely for stomach acid to rise into your food pipe and cause a painful burning sensation in your chest and throat.11
Snack on Licorice
Studies have found a type of licorice called deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) may increase the mucous coating of the esophagus lining, helping to reduce irritation caused by stomach acid.12 Find it in pill or liquid form in health food stores and drugstores.
Be Careful What You Drink
Alcohol, coffee, and whole milk can all lead to heartburn, as can peppermint tea. Sodas and carbonated drinks may relax the LES and make your stomach acid more acidic, increasing your risk of heartburn. Highly acidic citrus juices such as orange and grapefruit can also cause acid reflux and heartburn in some people.13
Adopt New Bedroom Habits
Do you have trouble sleeping at night due to heartburn? If so, try sleeping on your left side – this position seems to help. Experts also recommend keeping your upper body elevated to make it harder for acids to flow up the esophagus. Raise the head of your bed or use a thick wedge-shaped body pillow when sleeping to keep heartburn at bay.7
- Definition & Facts for GER & GERD. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults/definition-facts. Accessed 09/01/2019. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Baking Soda for Heartburn. Gastrointestinal Society 2019. https://badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/baking-soda-for-heartburn/. Accessed 09/01/2019. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Does apple cider vinegar help with acid reflux? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324034. Accessed 10/11/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Remedies: Chewing Gum for Heartburn. The New York Times. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/remedies-chewing-gum-for-heartburn/. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- What to drink if you have acid reflux. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314886. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- 7 Foods to Help Your Acid Reflux. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/diet-nutrition. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Nighttime Heartburn: 12 Sleep Tips. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/features/nighttime-heartburn-sleep-tips#2. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Common Heartburn Triggers. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/triggers#1. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Eating Food Too Fast Speeds Heartburn. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/news/20030523/eating-food-too-fast-speeds-heartburn. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Can a tight belt cause any physical harm? Men’s Health. https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19517112/can-a-tight-belt-cause-any-physical-harm/. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Smoking Can Lead to GERD. Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/gerd/gerd-and-smoking.aspx. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- Can You Use Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) to Treat Acid Reflux? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/dgl-for-acid-reflux. Accessed 09/16/2019. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
- 11 Foods That Can Cause Heartburn. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-cause-heartburn. Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
* Onset of acid neutralization does not imply the onset of symptom relief.