Any heartburn can make your day or even night worse. One such kind of heartburn is acidity, also known as acid reflux, which can be quite frustrating. Acidity is a symptom of acid reflux disease. It is triggered when the digestive juices or acids are secreted in excess or are not utilized properly.
Acidity is not usually severe unless you have red flags, and that means you need to see a general practitioner urgently for treatment and investigation.
Red flags like if you have heartburn for 3 weeks or more, you are frequently being sick, feel like you lump your stomach, have unexplained weight loss, have black or tarry stool, and bloody vomit poo, and difficulty in swallowing.
Causes of Acidity
Some of the leading causes of acidity or acid reflux are given below :
1. Spicy and oily foods.
2. Irregular eating habits.
3. Intake of caffeinated, carbonated, and alcoholic beverages.
4. Stress and anxiety
7. Excessive smoking
Symptoms of Acidity
Some of the significant symptoms of acidity or acid reflux are the following :
1. Abdominal pain
3. Nausea and vomiting
4. Loss of appetite
6. Sour taste in the mouth
7. Hoarse voice
8. Bad breath
12. Cough or hiccups that keep coming back
Home remedies for Acidity
Unlike other digestive ailments, acidity is easy to overcome with simple home remedies. Some home remedies are given below, which can help to cure acidity.
- Basil leaves
To overcome acidity, you can chew 5-6 basil leaves after a meal or drink basil tea. To prepare basil tea, take a cup of water in a boiling pot and boil 3-5 basil leaves for about 15 minutes. Now basil tea is ready. Drink it 2 – 3 times a day. You can sweeten it with honey but do not add milk.
- Cinnamon tea
Take one cup of water and add half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to it. Boil for about 15 minutes. Have it at least two times a day. Drinking cinnamon tea helps to dispel gas.
- Fenugreek seeds
Take half or one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, add little water to it, and grind the seeds to make a paste. When the paste is ready, add this paste to a glass of buttermilk. Mix it well and drink twice a day to get relief.
- Cumin seeds
Take one or half tablespoon of cumin seeds and roast it in a pan for about 5 minutes. When roasted well, crush it to make the powder. Add this cumin powder to one glass of water and drink it 2-3 times a day.
You can also chew raw cumin seeds and drink one glass of lukewarm water after 10 minutes.
- Banana and Cardamom
Take two banana, peel it, and mash it in a bowl. Then add ¼ of cardamom powder and a little powdered sugar (optional). Have this mixture at a time to get relief.
- Cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and mishri
Take one tablespoon of cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a pan and roast it. When roasted well, crush them to make powder. Also, take a half tablespoon of mishri and grind it to make powder. Add these all powder to one glass of water and drink it twice a day.
- Fennel seeds and jaggery
Take one tablespoon of fennel seeds and the same amount of jaggery and eat them together after lunch and dinner.
- Ginger juice, cumin powder, lemon, and honey
Take small ginger, peel it and crush it to make juice out of it. Take one glass of lukewarm water and add half a tablespoon of ginger juice, half a tablespoon of cumin powder, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and one tablespoon of honey. Drink it daily in the morning till symptoms of acidity reduce.
Foods that help in reducing Acidity
- Jaggery or Gur
Gur, with its high magnesium content, helps boost intestinal strength, thus aiding digestion.
Suck on small pieces of gur after a meal to cool off your stomach
- Buttermilk or Chaas
Chass contains lactic acid, which normalizes your acidity in the stomach. Have a glass of buttermilk or chaas after eating a fatty or spicy meal.
- Cold mil and Ice-cream
Cold milk can neutralize acids in your stomach and can give you relief from acidity. You can eat a cup of ice-cream if you are not susceptible to cough and cold.
- Fennel seeds or Sauf
You can chew fennel seeds after meals to prevent stomach acidity. You can have fennel tea to keep the digestive tract healthy and reduce the feeling of indigestion and bloating.
- Banana and Apple
Banana contains natural antacids that act as a factor to fight with acidity. It is advisable to eat one banana every day and if you have long gaps between meals. Have a few slices of apple before going to bed to relieve heartburn or reflux.
- Coconut water
Coconut water helps to turn your body’s pH level from acidic to alkaline. You are also protecting the stomach from the harmful effects of further acid production.
- Cardamom or Elaichi
Whenever you feel about acidity striking, take two pods of cardamom, crush them coarsely, boil them in water, cool, and drink to get relief.
Ginger, with its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties, helps to get relief from acidity. You can chew it raw or boil it with one glass of water, reduce it to half and drink when cool down.
- Pineapple juice
Pineapple juice helps to reduce acidity and gives instant relief. Jave one glass of pineapple juice after a heavy meal.
- Chew gum
Chew gums also offer relief from acidity. It helps to produce more saliva, which helps get rid of acidity in the esophagus.
Tips/Precautions for Acidity
- Do not drink water during or immediately after a meal.
- Chew a clove after a meal.
- Avoid food with too much vinegar and black pepper.
- Avoid consumption of too much tomato ketchup and chocolates.
- Stop smoking and reduce or stop alcohol intake entirely.
- Try to lose weight if you are overweight.
- Eat smaller and more frequent meals. Peppermint, tomato, chocolate, and caffeine are all suspected of making acidity worse.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes around the waist or a belt. Instead, try something loose.
- Go to bed with an empty or stomach. In the last three hours of going to bed, make sure you do not eat anything and in the previous two hours, make sure you do not drink anything.
- Raise one end of your bed 10-20 cm by putting something under your bed or mattress or using pillows – make it, so your chest and head are above the level of your waist, so stomach acid doe not travels up towards your throat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is acidity or acid reflux?
Acidity or acid reflux is a burning sensation in the chest caused by stomach acid traveling up towards the throat (acid reflux). If it keeps happening, it is called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
- Is acid reflux a permanent condition?
No. Acid reflux is not a permanent condition. But it can damage the esophagus permanently, if not treated on time.
- What is the safest acid reflux medicine?
Nexium (esomeprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole), Famotidine (Pepcid), and Cimetidine (Tagamet) are some safest medicines for acid reflux or acidity.
- What is the safest antacid to take in a while having acidity?
Rolaids, Tums, and Mylanta are some safest antacids to take while having acidity. They give instant relief.
- What is the fastest way to cure acidity?
Foods like basil leaves, fennel seeds, buttermilk, cinnamon, jaggery, cumin seeds, ginger, cloves, apple cider vinegar, coconut water, and banana are some fastest way to cure acidity.
- What are some ways to relieve acid reflux without medicine?
Avoid certain foods, eat compactly and slowly, sleep on an incline, do not move too fast, do not drink carbonated beverages, lose weight if you are overweight, and if you do smoke, then quit. These are some ways to get relief from acid reflux without medicine.
- Is Eno good for acidity?
Eno gives temporary relief from acidity, heartburn, sour stomach, and acid indigestion. However, it does not prevent acidity.
- Is curd good for acidity?
Yes. Curd is good for controlling acidity. It is a natural antacid like buttermilk and milk. It helps to improve digestion and immunity too.
- Which juice is good for acidity?
Juices like watermelon juice, pineapple juice, carrot juice, aloe vera juice, cucumber juice, cabbage juice, spinach juice, and pear juice are good for acidity.
- What drink kills heartburn?
Baking soda helps to kill heartburn. Take one glass of water, add a small amount of baking powder to it, and drink slowly. It acts as a natural antacid and helps to neutralize the acid in the stomach.
Hopefully, this article will help to get rid of acidity or acid reflux. Keep in mind, given tips/precautions, and try home remedies for better results. Consult a general practitioner if home remedies and medications do not help.
Do not forget to meditate and exercise every day. Eat healthily, take care of your health to take care of yourself.