Symptoms like burning in your throat or chest, nausea, or “wet” burps after eating are often signs of acid reflux. While the main culprits are digestive issues and poor eating habits, there are temporary ways to relieve the discomfort. Besides taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, there are natural ways to alleviate the symptoms.

What Is Acid Reflux?

When you eat, your chewed food gets swallowed and enters your esophagus. From there, it passes through a valve, a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and into your stomach. Normally, once the food passes, the LES closes leaving the stomach to do its job—mixing acids with the food to digest it properly.
If the LES doesn’t close all the way, or opens too often, stomach acids move back up into your esophagus. It’s those acids that are causing the pain; they are causing inflammation.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more official term for what we used to call heartburn, and now also call acid reflux. Over three million cases in the United States are being treated each year for GERD.

Why Do I Have Acid Reflux?

Some people become diagnosed with a digestive disorder called a hiatal hernia. More often, however, acid reflux can be caused by a variety of factors. They include: overeating and then lying down; obesity; eating overly acidic foods (ie. tomatoes, garlic, chocolate); eating fatty foods, drinking alcohol, too much coffee, and sodas; smoking; taking aspirin, and being pregnant.

How Do I Get Relief?

For a long-term cure, the most logical course would be to examine your diet and eating habits, and then probably alter them. In the meanwhile, you want immediate relief from the pain, nausea, and burning. There are several natural options that should hopefully help you feel a little better.

Eat licorice. Some studies have shown that licorice stimulates the release of natural healing chemicals. Those with ulcers and gastritis chew on licorice before eating. It can also be taken in the form of a chewable tablet.
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon to 8-ounces of water. It’s possible you may not be creating enough acid, and your LES gets lazy. Try a glass before meals and bedtime. If symptoms get worse stop the ACV.
Try baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate neutralized stomach acid. You can add a spoonful to a glass of water before meals.
Drink aloe juice. Natural properties in the aloe plant help reduce inflammation. Small amounts diluted in water may help relieve symptoms.
Add mustard. Putting mustard in your salad dressings, in cooking recipes or directly on foods can help neutralize stomach acids.
Add Ginger. This root is known for reducing inflammation, especially in the stomach. You can shave the root or add powder to foods and smoothies. It’s also healing when used in tea.

Other natural suggestions are incorporating herbs or essential oils to teas and foods. Some recommendations are peppermint, chamomile, nutmeg, and lavender. For more tips on feeling your best and healthiest, check out