Dossier: Home remedies

Home remedies for heartburn

Acid reflux or ‘heartburn’ – that burning feeling in the stomach and oesophagus – might be unpleasant, but in most cases it’s harmless. Find out which home remedies can help and when you should consult a doctor.

Text: Julie Freudiger; photo: iStock

Sometimes you just fancy a bite to eat late in the evening. But the burning sensation in your stomach and oesophagus afterwards isn’t so appetising. Carb-heavy foods such as potatoes, dry white bread or bananas can provide fast relief, because they absorb the stomach acid that is responsible for heartburn. 

Another option is to dilute the acid by drinking plenty of still water or unsweetened tea. Camomile, fennel, aniseed or cumin tea are ideal. Chewing gum can also help as it stimulates the production of saliva. As saliva is alkaline, it neutralises the acid. But be careful, because strong-tasting or peppermint chewing gum can themselves cause heartburn. 

However, the most effective way to beat heartburn Is to eat small portions in the early evening and to avoid fatty foods, alcohol and nicotine.

Expert tip

Dr Henning W. Woitge, specialist in internal medicine with Medgate:

“Heartburn is caused by gastric acid flowing back up into the oesophagus. If it occurs frequently, you should have it checked out by a doctor. Reflux like this can cause chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes in the oesophagus and the risk of painful ulcers. If you experience sudden burning and stabbing pain behind the breastbone, contact a doctor immediately – pain of this kind can also indicate a heart attack.”

To Medgate