There's nothing worse than coming to the end of a gorgeous meal and feeling that familiar fire in your throat! Heartburn is one of those ailments you don't want to experience too often but it often rears its head for some people time and time again. Luckily we've some handy natural ways to prevent heartburn that are good to know.
What is heartburn?
You might think heartburn is linked to the heart. But there's no connection whatsoever. Heartburn is actually a burning sensation in the chest caused by stomach acid that has made its way up towards the throat (acid reflux). And it's becoming more common thanks to changing eating habits, bad nutrition and not enough exercise.
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a long-term condition where acid from the stomach comes up into the esophagus.
Misconceptions around Heartburn & Stomach Acid
We often hear from customers that they suffer from indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn or GERD because they have ‘too much acid’ in their stomach. But it is in fact the opposite. It is widely recognised in the world of alternative medicine that acid reflux/heartburn is actually a symptom of low stomach acid. If there is enough hydrochloric acid initially for digestion, then the stomach does not over produce acid after eating or spasm. If no excess acid or spasm occurs, then no heartburn will occur.
As we age, our stomach acid and enzymes deplete. This is why older people suffer indigestion and heartburn more readily than children or young adults. Thankfully, there are some natural ways to prevent heartburn - we've got the lowdown below.
Natural Ways to Prevent Heartburn
If you've regularly got that fire like feeling in your throat, there are some steps you can take to tackle it without resorting to over the counter medications. We've rounded up 4 natural ways to prevent heartburn everyone should know about.
Consider taking a digestive enzyme with hydrochloric acid before meals
Digestive enzymes break down foods. If you take them before meals, you are giving yourself a better chance at digestion. If you have the ingredients to digest your food, you are less likely to go into spasm or produce excess acid. Digestive enzymes also help you to get energy from the food that you eat and reduce bloating.
Try herbal teas like yarrow, fennel or peppermint instead of ordinary tea or coffee
When it comes to natural ways to prevent heartburn, simply switching your regulars tea to yarrow, peppermint or fennel can make a difference. Herbs like yarrow and fennel contain bitters which stimulate your own bile production. Producing enough of your own bile throughout the day will help reduce heartburn and indigestion at mealtimes.
Take slippery elm powder mixed with water
Another natural way to prevent heartburn is a combo of slippery elm and water. When mixed with water and sipped, slippery elm forms a protective, soothing shield within the mouth, throat and stomach. Because slippery elm is a natural, plant substance, it is safe for pretty much anyone to use daily.
Keep your bacteria friendly
A healthy gut comprises of about 10kg of bacteria. An unhealthy gut has extra bacteria - the bad kind - which is often the cause of weight gain around the middle area. Keep your friendly bacteria levels up by taking a probiotic supplement. This will help overall gut health and immune health.
Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.
Author: Polly Morgan
Checked and updated:13 August 2021