Finding Home Remedies That Work Is Easier than You Think!
Acid reflux remedies can be a very effective way of dealing with heartburn and reflux pain. There are medications available for these conditions, but they have some significant drawbacks which can read about elsewhere on this site. Acid reflux home remedies can be very effective way to get relief from the pain.
One of the most common home remedies for acid reflux is calcium, in one form or another. It’s a component of many antacid tablets which are available over-the-counter without prescription. However, if you find that you’re consuming lots of antacid tablets, you should see a doctor – you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease. Furthermore, long-term heartburn needs attention as it can lead to inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) and more serious complications like Barrett’s esophagus.
Other natural remedies for acid reflux include herbal remedies, which are not widely known about. One of the most effective is a German product called Iberogast. This product contains nine different herbs, which are peppermint, liquorice, milk thistle, greater cell and dined, lemon balm, German chamomile, clowns mustard plant, Angelica and Carraway.
This is a very interesting mixture of herbs, put together after many years of development. And, very excitingly, if you look at Amazon, there are a lot of favorable reviews for this product. In fact out of 120 reviews, 75 are 5-star, and 18 are 4-star.
This acid reflux home remedy is not so well-known in North America, but has been used extensively in Europe for many years, so it deserves some investigation! I started off by looking at Amazon.com to establish exactly what people have said about this product. A typical reviewer taking Iberogast said he started to use it three months ago, at a point where he was having “awful” heartburn and acid reflux with accompanying nausea.
(In general, many people turn to Iberogast because their doctors have simply said there was no more to be done, often after prescribing proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. Certainly a lot of people taking Iberogast talk about how miserable their lives were due to the acid reflux symptoms. Clearly finding home remedies for acid reflux that actually work was very important to them.)
So the person in question ordered Iberogast from Amazon, and found that after two weeks of taking it he wasn’t experiencing any thing like as much acid reflux. At this point he decided to reduce his daily dose of proton pump inhibitor – PPI – by 50%, that is, from two tablets of protonix per day to one tablet.
After taking the acid reflux home remedy Iberogast for two months, his prescription for the proton pump inhibitors tablets ran out. Extraordinarily, he says he has not taken any PPIs since. He continues to take Iberogast. This man admits that he did make an effort to reduce his weight and stress levels, and adopt a more relaxed lifestyle, so it’s not entirely clear whether this product, Iberogast, apparently the best of the acid reflux home remedies, was entirely responsible for the improvement in his acid reflux symptoms, but it’s certainly an interesting review.
Another reviewer says: “I too have been having a positive experience with Iberogast.” He goes on to say that he’s a retired military officer in good health except for a bad stomach condition which began in 2009. A series of endless tests including colonoscopy, Barium swallows, and so on, revealed nothing.
Only when he went to Germany and spoke to a pharmacist did he hear about Iberogast. It’s an all natural home remedy for acid reflux, he observes, and it has no toxicity (unlike some modern medications, I regret to say). So there’s no strain on the liver or any other organs. At the time of writing, the reviewer writes that he’d been taking Iberogast for only a week, but he had felt significant relief for the first time after 18 months of everyday acid reflux discomfort!
He also makes the point that Germany, where the product is made, and where he bought the product while on vacation, is the leader when it comes to natural remedies, with professionals who know exactly which product works for which ailment.
Another Amazon reviewer, reporting in 2011, says that she’d even been to the Mayo Clinic for answers to her difficulties with irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and general stomach problems. Her attempts to solve the problems she was experiencing by taking prescribed medication only resulted in a whole load of side-effects which were actually worse than the stomach problems she was experiencing beforehand.
After finding a doctor who worked outside mainstream medicine, she was recommended Iberogast and after taking it for only two weeks she reported “an improvement in the condition”. She concludes: “I highly recommend this product.” It is an effective acid reflux treatment.
Now people’s experiences of taking acid reflux home remedies, or home remedies for anything else, are all very well, but they are not scientific reviews. What we need to do is look for scientific research has been conducted on these home remedies and find out whether or not if there’s any evidence that they live up to the recommendations and testimonials on Amazon.
So let’s begin by thinking about what may cause acid reflux, before we consider the use of home remedies. In my research, I found Badgut.org. This is an interesting website which seems to be specifically about helping people to overcome problems with their stomach and gut. They talk about the correlation between vague symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), dyspepsia, and other stomach conditions.
They also point out that stomach conditions are often chronic in nature, may come and go, and often get worse after meals. Without any specific diagnosis, complaints are sporadic, and there may be no consistent identifying factors. It’s certainly possible that stress is playing a role in all stomach ailments, particularly IBS and heartburn, dyspepsia or acid reflux.
Regardless of the origin of these conditions, Badgut.org focuses on finding home remedies for acid reflux and other stomach issues which will deal effectively with acid reflux, IBS and heartburn, and they have a feature on Iberogast. Their claim is that 20 million people use it, and only 18 have reported adverse events over the years, which seems extraordinary!
The product is made in Germany, used throughout Europe, and has finally reached North America. It’s a herbal tincture which contains no salt or yeast, no dairy products, no artificial ingredients, and no allergens like gluten.
The claims made for this herbal acid reflux home remedy are quite extraordinary. They include the relief of intestinal spasms, the reduction of acid production, the power to act as a local anesthetic, and the ability to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori (which can be responsible for the formation of stomach ulcers).
Image courtesy of happykanppy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If these claims are true, this product is a truly remarkable home remedy for acid reflux and heartburn. Badgut.org says: “A four-week study involving 208 patients with stomach problems showed that it was generally effective in reducing symptoms.”
But we need more evidence than that! PubMed has a report on Iberogast which seems to suggest it really is as effective as its proponents claim. In reviewing this herbal remedy, the authors start by making the observation that it’s a complex herbal preparation of nine constituents (these are listed above). The study investigated therapeutic effectiveness, toxicity, how well the product was tolerated, and made clinical observations on a group of people who had been taking drugs for symptoms of dyspepsia (think acid reflux or heartburn) and irritable bowel syndrome.
The authors found that the chemical composition of Iberogast, an acid reflux home remedy, was such that it could benefit individuals whose gut musculature was either tense and spasming, or lacking muscular tone. This is truly remarkable, and probably explains why the product is so effective in reducing the symptoms of functional dyspepsia and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). At the time of this study – 2002 – Iberogast was approximately as effective as the prescription drugs called prokinetics.
Because Iberogast targets only the gastrointestinal tract, it’s perfectly safe; also its constituents are non-toxic. The conclusion of this study was that it could actually become the first choice in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal diseases.
Now, times have moved on since 2002, of course, and there are a whole series of different drugs now available for the treatment of acid reflux, most notably proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. These are about as far away from home remedies as it possible to get! And although they’re extremely effective at reducing acid production, they haven’t been prescribed for a long time, so the long-term effects are unknown. Iberogast, by contrast is a home remedy for acid reflux that has been prescribed for 40 years, and is known to be safe.
So what does the scientific research say about Iberogast? A study reported in the prestigious journal Nature, in 2007, reported that Iberogast did indeed have significant effects on the activity of the intestinal tract, improving motility, and significantly reducing functional dyspepsia.
A study reported in Neurogastroenterology & Motility Volume 21, Issue 6, pages 632–625, June 2009, concluded there was significant improvement in a group of people taking Iberogast, and the researchers were able to observe a significant impact on the activity of the stomach and gut.
In summary, this is one of the natural acid reflux home remedies which seems to work for around 60% of the people who take it, and it’s a remedy which is perfectly safe, a home remedy which beats acid reflux, and which may even allow you to gradually stop taking prescription medication. In short, it’s highly recommended.
As this important study observes: “….drugs for treating functional gastrointestinal disorders currently recommended in guidelines are proton pump inhibitors, antidiarrhoics, anticholinergic spasmolytics, tricyclic antidepressants, and herbal drugs. All possess specific tolerability issues which have to be evaluated and considered when selecting a suitable therapy for patients. Proton pump inhibitors tend to be over-utilized. They have been associated with rebound acid hypersecretion, which may aggravate the symptoms of functional dyspepsia.”
They report that in a study on 2267 people with functional dyspepsia, patients received Iberogast for up to 4 weeks. 27% of patients discontinued therapy after 1 week because they were free of symptoms! Symptoms decreased on average by 78%. Approximately 80% of physicians and patients assessed the effectiveness of Iberogast as very good or good. There were no adverse drug reactions to Iberogast or any other interactions.
In another study, there were significantly more symptom-free patients after therapy with Iberogast than after metoclopramide. Furthermore, the time off work was significantly shorter under Iberogast than under metoclopramide. There were no adverse drug reactions to Iberogast, but five patients receiving metoclopramide reported vertigo and dizziness. In line with these results, 90% of physicians rated the tolerability of Iberogast as very good, compared to 71% for metoclopramide. WOW!
Other Practical Acid Reflux Home Remedies
Other excellent strategies and home remedies for soothing acid reflux and heartburn include the following:
Be careful what you eat
There may well be some specific foods that trigger your heartburn. These triggers tend to differ from person to person, but there are some which are frequently blamed for causing heartburn. These might include peppermint, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruit juices, spicy foods like honey and chilies, garlic, high-fat foods and even tomatoes. The only way you can identify which foods are causing you discomfort and heartburn is to keep a food diary and monitor which foods tend to produce a reaction of excess acid or acid reflux. It’s true, as we’ve always said, that the best home remedies are under your own control! (Image courtesy of Stuart Mile / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Be careful when you eat
It’s always a good idea to take five or six small meals a day rather than three big ones, because eating a large quantity of food at any one time can trigger heartburn quite badly. Once again, you need to experiment with your own dietary conditions to see exactly what causes your symptoms get worse.
Be careful how you eat
Now this is an important one, because eating slowly can certainly help as a remedy for acid reflux.
One of the most powerful acid reflux “home remedies” is to lose excessive body weight. This is because a bloated abdomen with internal fat compressing the stomach, make acid reflux much more likely. If you can follow a diet and exercise program, not only will you shed extra pounds, but you’ll also reduce your stress level, which is also associated with acid reflux symptoms.
Get rid of cigarettes and reduce alcohol
Although you may be fond of both of these, there’s no doubt that smoking certainly reduces the tone in the muscle which stops acid regurgitating upwards into the esophagus. Not only this, but giving up smoking is a remedy for many other health conditions, so it’s a great time to quit.
Make sure you wear loose clothing
A very simple acid reflux home remedy is to wear clothing that is loose around the abdomen, so that the pressure on the abdomen is reduced and the pressure on the stomach which causes acid to move upwards into the esophagus is much reduced.
Tilt your bed
A simple remedy, often put forward as a remedy for heartburn and as an acid reflux remedy, but still well worthwhile is to raise the head of your bed by 6 inches by putting blocks under the top legs of your bed. (Propping yourself up on pillows will not work.)