Heartburn or acid indigestion is the term used to describe a burning sensation in the middle of your chest or the upper part of your stomach and it is mostly triggered by the type of food you eat (especially spicy, fatty, or acidic foods).
Now, you’re probably wondering how this whole heartburn works, right?
Well, you see there is a gate that leads to your stomach (it’s called the Lower esophageal sphincter-LES, which is a bundle of muscles at the low end of the esophagus, where it meets the stomach).
What LES does is that it opens to let food move from your oesophagus to your stomach, and it closes to prevent acid and stomach contents from travelling backwards from the stomach.
When it opens too fast or doesn’t close properly (which might be as a result of eating meals which are too large for the volume of the stomach or eating too quickly), stomach acid can rise up into the oesophagus and cause the burning sensation you experience during heartburn.
So, what homemade remedy(ies) can help you deal with heartburn?
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1. Fresh pineapple juice
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme which helps control levels of hydrochloric acid in your stomach.
You can try drinking a cup of pineapple juice to reduce hyperacidity and heartburn.
Ginger, one of the oldest remedies for heartburn, contains gingerol, an anti-inflammatory compound good for soothing digestion.
Either taken raw or as ginger tea (ginger cubes and warm water), Ginger helps keep food moving along the digestive tract and strengthens muscle tone in the digestive tract as well. This means it keeps the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) tight enough to prevent acid from coming up.
As little as a slice of apple can calm acid production and reduce the burning sensation of heartburn because apples are known to be good acid neutralizers.
4. Chew gum for heartburn
According to an article in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, chewing gum for half an hour after meals may help reduce heartburn because chewing gum stimulates saliva production and swallowing. This might help dilute and clear stomach acid from your oesophagus.
However, it’s advisable to choose a sugar-free, fruit-flavoured gum.