Natural Solutions to Acid Relux and Heartburn
When it comes to curing acid reflux and heartburn (Gastro-Intestinal Reflux Disorder, GERD, gastritis, etc.) – which is totally possible – the natural solutions are the best way to go.
Acid reducing medications not only have a nasty slew of side-effects, but they make the underlying problem worse over time.
The underlying problem for most cases of GERD is that the stomach is actually UNDER-PRODUCING acid, not over-producing.
Some examples of this include ~
1. Food intolerance. If your body has a relative deficiency in enzymes necessary for the digestion of dairy (lactose), fats, carbohydrates, or proteins, when you eat them, or eat too much of them, or eat “cheap food,” the food will sit in your stomach and putrify. This putrification is what leads to the sensation of burning, bloating, and discomfort.
2. Stress. When your body or mind are under stress, from overwork, not enough sleep, or trauma, it doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that it takes a toll. Stress can lead to leaky gut disorder, histamine release (allergies), and redistribution of blood flow away from the digestive organs. Studies show that chronic stress can lead to a reduction of stomach acid production which eventually leads to the putrification of food in the digestive tract, which is the precursor to GERD.
3. Infections. If your digestive tract is healthy, the ph in your stomach is very acidic, around 1.5. (There goes the theory of “everything must be alkaline!”) If your ph gets too alkaline, it’s easier to get an infection. The acidity of the digestive tract helps to kill invaders. If you do experience an upper GI infection, like H-Pylori or candida (thrush), acidifying the stomach is helpful to the healing process.
Eating healthier for your individual body type is an essential part of healing from digestive distress. This will include figuring out which foods you are allergic, sensitive, or intolerant of and avoiding them. The avoidance is temporary (1-3 months) in cases of mild sensitivity, or it could be a lifetime of dilient avoidance. It’s something you can experiment with.
In cases of infection, we recommend using raw garlic, which can be in tablet or capsule form, myrrh, andrographis, berberine, oregano oil, or arteminsinin. A 6-week protocol to readjust the microbiome is typical, but it may take longer. Take the herbs for 10 days, followed by 10 days of digestive enzymes, fiber, and probiotics, then repeat.
If the GERD has progressed to the point of an ulcer, OR IF YOU’VE BEEN ON ACID-REDUCING MEDS FOR A LONG TIME, we need a more gentle approach to start. Try using digestive enzymes, and including beets and cruciferous veggies in your diet for liver and gall bladder health. Also helpful are chlorophyll to heal the GI lining, and pepsin taken on an empty stomach with a big glass of water a couple times per day. This is also a 6-week protocol, on average.
Herbs such as licorice help tone the digestive tract and adrenal glands. Chamomile helps relax the muscles, including the sphinter that connects the stomach to the small intestine. Bitter herbs like gentian, feverfew, cinnamon, fenugreek, black cumin seed, and wormwood help with motility, and to reduce bloating. Bitter herbs combine well with aromatic digestive herbs like ginger and Chen Pi (tangerine peel) to sooth the stomach, and promote Qi circulation in the digestive tract. Always consult with a licensed herbalist before self-prescribing herbs!
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