Finding Natural Relief from Heartburn

About 20 percent of Americans experience heartburn at least once a week. This uncomfortable condition can come on after overeating or eating foods that are excessively spicy or fatty. It can also be a sign that you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, which is a condition marked by a dysfunctional lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that leads to repeated aggravation of the esophageal lining by stomach acids.

For those with GERD, the treatment options are slim. You can either pursue surgery or succumb to a lifetime of prescription medications that are coupled with severe negative side effects. However, if you are someone who suffers from heartburn on an irregular basis, or are currently awaiting GERD surgery, there are also natural remedies that you can pursue to overcome your reflux.

Stop Heartburn with Supplements

Over-the-counter herbal supplements are often an effective solution for those with mild to moderate heartburn troubles. If you would like to try a more natural remedy for your symptoms, try one of the ones below:

  • Marshmallow. This is not referring to the sugary confection, but to the herb. Marshmallow, as the name suggests, is a flowering herb that grows in marshes. It has a smooth and slippery texture that can help relieve irritation of inflamed tissue in the esophagus. Marshmallow can be purchased as in capsule, tincture or extract form.
  • Licorice Root. This herb has long been used to ease digestive troubles. Experts recommend a preparation of licorice root known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL, which is made from the root of the licorice plant. DGL has been shown to effectively treat heartburn when changing your diet does not provide relief. However, you should talk to your doctor before taking DGL, as it has been associated with elevated blood pressure.
  • Bladderwrack. This is a type of brown algae that is found in coastal areas all along the Atlantic coast of America. It appears in a lot of over the counter antacids as alginic acid. These have been found to be more effective than antacids that do not contain alginic acid.

While all of these can sometimes help alleviate your symptoms, they cannot cure underlying conditions like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It is important that you do not begin taking any of these supplements without first consulting your GERD surgeon, especially if you are already taking other medications. Talk to your general surgeon in Naples and Ft. Myers about treatment if you experience heartburn more than twice a week or if your symptoms are severe.