If you are one of many who experience frequent heartburn, also known as indigestion, you probably walk around carrying some sort of antacid, but you probably didn’t know antacids have side effects.
What are the side effects of antacids?
- Antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide may cause constipation, aluminum-intoxication, osteomalacia, and hypophosphatemia.
- Antacids that contain magnesium have a laxative effect that may cause diarrhea, and in patients with renal failure they may cause increased magnesium levels in the blood, because of the reduced ability of the kidneys to eliminate magnesium from the body in the urine.
- Black/tarry stools, slow/shallow breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion), deep sleep, pain with urination, stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
- Antacids may cause dose-dependent rebound hyperacidity and milk-alkali syndrome.
Some of these side effects are more than troubling. So to avoid these negative side effects, consider natural alternatives. I personally struggle with indigestion and have stumbled across four natural remedies that all kill my indigestion almost immediately.
Apple cider vinegar
The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar can provide several health benefits. For some people, acid reflux may be a result of too little stomach acid. Apple cider vinegar may be beneficial because it introduces more acid into the digestive tract. This acid is also effective against several types of bacteria and acts as an anti-microbial agent.
The most common recommendation is to mix one teaspoon to two tablespoons with eight ounces of water and drink before meals or when heartburn strikes. Some even suggest taking it on its own.
Many people recommend using organic, raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar because it retains the natural enzymes that are lost during pasteurization.
And if you don’t like the taste, consider getting it in capsule form like the product below.
Peppermint essential oils
Indigestion is also quickly silenced with some peppermint oil. The condition known as dyspepsia or minor indigestion, can occur due to someone containing inefficient enzymes required for digestion, or can occur if an especially acidic or rich meal is eaten by sensitive individuals. Peppermint oil has been found to be three times more effective than a popular drug used to treat the disorder. Peppermint oil works by reducing spasms, gastric acid, and relieving pain associated with poor digestion.
I personally opt for DOTERRA essential oils because they are safe to be consumed internally due to the extraction method. Steam distillation is the most common way to extract aromatic compounds (essential oil) from a plant. During the steam distillation process, steam passes through the plant material. The combination of heated steam and gentle pressure causes the essential oil to be released from microscopic protective sacs. As the vapor mixture flows through a condenser and cools, it yields a layer of oil and a layer of water. The essential oil rises to the top and is separated from the hydrosol (floral water) and collected. Since different plants require different pressures, times, and temperatures, using this particular distillation method makes it possible to adjust the temperature based on the plant type, making it a very effective and precise way to obtain the purest compounds.
I dilute about 2-3 drops of oil into 8oz of water and drink the whole cup to get rid of acid reflux!
Celery is considered a natural remedy for heartburn, because heartburn is caused by acid entering upwards through the esophagus, the theory is that alkaline foods, such as celery, can help alleviate or stop the symptoms by neutralizing the acid.
For best results buy organic, non-GMO celery, grown without the use of pesticides.
I generally eat 1-2 stalks of celery to get rid of heartburn.
Honey is anti-bacterial, meaning it prevents bacteria from growing in the digestive tract. It contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes that are essential to proper digestion. Honey contains potassium, which neutralizes stomach acids and coats the esophagus and stomach, preventing irritation from stomach acids. Honey also stimulates contraction of the LES, preventing acid reflux.
Honey can be used alone and in combination with other natural ingredients that treat and prevent heartburn. Always use raw, organic, unprocessed honey for acid reflux treatments.
The recommended dose to treat acid reflux is 1 teaspoon, If you don’t want to take one teaspoon of honey by itself, you can mix it with a glass of warm water or tea.
Try these natural alternatives and find what works best for you. I have found that if one of these alternatives does not work well for me another will so perhaps alternating will work for you too!