What is Acid Reflux?
The lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) is a ring of muscle located at the foremost part of your stomach. Its purpose is to contract right after the consumption of food so that none of the acids of the stomach goes up the oesophagus. However, there are cases where the LES malfunctions, i.e opens too often or doesn’t close when it has to, and this leads to acid reflux, which in medical terms is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The reflux of acid in the oesophagus is a nasty condition which usually leads to heartburn, however, there are natural ways to cure acid reflux totally, so read on to see how you can improve your state.
Acid Reflux Causes
One of the most common causes for acid reflux is a problem with the stomach called hiatal hernia. This condition occurs when the LES and the higher part of the stomach are positioned above the diaphragm. The usual function of the diaphragm is to serve as a boundary between your chest and your stomach, however in the cases where there is hiatal hernia acids are able to pass through, move towards the oesophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux. These symptoms can be managed with the help of natural medicines, however looking out for the causes of the disease is the best way to protect yourself.
There are several other acid reflux causes and affecting factors, which should be monitored:
- Having large portions and laying down immediately after eating
- Having heavy meals and bending or standing in a position with your waist bent after eating can lead to acid reflux
- Having snacks immediately before going to bed
- Some foods that are high in acidity, like citrus, tomatoes, mint, garlic, chocolate, onions, spicy and fatty foods, can worsen the symptoms
- Some liquids like alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee and tea can also have a negative effect on symptoms
- Smoking cigarettes
- Taking medication like aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxatives or medication for blood pressure problems can also lead to acid reflux
Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux symptoms are predominantly related to discomfort in the stomach and oesophagal areas of the body. Thankfully, there are numerous natural acid reflux treatments that will not only help you fight the symptoms but will also improve your natural health and immune system. It is also highly recommended that you follow a strict acid reflux diet menu because most of the time the condition is irritated by the intake of certain kinds of food. Some of the most common symptoms of acid reflux are:
- A bitterness in the mouth, which may be periodic or constant
- Waking up throughout the night because you feel like you are choking or you need to cough
- Dryness of the mouth
- Problems with your gums like tenderness or bleeding
- Problems with digesting acidic foods that lead to vomiting or regurgitation
- Experiencing bloating or having a lot of gas after eating
- Bloody vomit, which may be caused by damaged oesophagus lining
- Dark brown or black stools
- General discomfort, bloating, gassiness and burping after meals
- Incessant hiccups
- Experiencing difficulties when swallowing, which may be a sign of the narrowing of the oesophagus
- Experiencing discomfort while bending or when lying down
- Constant throat irritation
Acid reflux leads to numerous symptoms, however, they can all be moderated and treated with the help of natural medicine. Below you will see several suggestions for natural acid reflux treatments, Pranayama yoga for acid reflux, and acupressure points for treating bloating and gassiness.
Natural Medicines For Acid Reflux
The good news about natural medicine and natural acid reflux treatments is that these do not have side effects on your body, as most of the traditional medicine has. Below you will see some suggestions for acid reflux treatments.
Acid Reflux Diet
There have been numerous scientific studies by medical professional pointing out that GERD and acid reflux are tightly connected to the diet of the patients. A suitable acid reflux diet is necessary in order to achieve long-term results in battling the condition. The best foods, which will improve your natural health, and provide your stomach and digestive system with the necessary nutrients and elements to fight acid reflux contains a lot of unprocessed, organic foods. An increased intake of fibre rich foods will improve the healthy bacteria in your stomach. Some foods and beverages that you should definitely avoid are:
- Carbonated drinks
- All kinds of artificially sweetened foods
- Fried and processed foods
- Most kinds of vegetable oil, including canola oil
You can boil a piece of ginger and then drink a cup of it before going to bed as ginger is proven, anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger also helps with irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and gas.
A cup of chamomile tea just before bed will calm any symptoms related to acid reflux and inflammations in the digestive tract. Chamomile is known to have a calming effect on all kinds of inflammations and it also reduces the overall acidity of your stomach juices.
Drinking coconut water is one of the easiest natural ways to cure acid reflux. Coconut water is important for the body’s hydration because it is rich in potassium and electrolytes. You can swap one of your daily water bottles with coconut water and it is recommended that you drink a cup of it before going to bed. Another way to introduce coconut water into your diet is to make it into kefir, which adds probiotics to the stomach environment. But drinking coconut water in an empty stomach is not recommended.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known to help with the balance of acidity in your stomach. For best results mix one tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of warm water and drink it five minutes before every meal.
Pomegranate is not only full of antioxidants that improve your natural health, but it also relieves inflammation and bowel irritations. Eating a fresh pomegranate every day will boost your immune system and is one of the effective natural ways to cure acid reflux.
Papaya contains the enzyme papain which is essential if you need to lower the acidity of your stomach. Eating papaya daily will improve digestion, and reduce the risk of acid reflux symptoms like constipation and bitterness in the mouth.
All of the foods and liquids mentioned above are a great way to start following an acid reflux diet, which is the most essential part of the natural acid reflux treatment.
Yoga: Most Effective Natural Ways To Cure Acid Reflux
Yoga and Pranayama yoga for acid reflux are other important components of a combined natural acid reflux treatment plan. Below you will see several yoga poses for acid reflux which will cure acid reflux and help you feel balanced and relaxed.
This is a pranayama yoga pose, which improves your general immune system state, as pranayama yoga removes around 80% of the toxins in your body. The essential part of pranayama yoga is controlled breathing, and here are the instructions for this pose:
- Sit comfortably on a yoga mat or a blanket.
- Breathe in deeply.
- While breathing in, pull your stomach inward and trying to reach your spine.
- Release the breath by your nose.
- Do this exercise 20 minutes a day.
This pose is helpful for the function of the digestive system and especially the excretory system.
- Sit on your knees on a flat comfortable surface.
- Close your hands in front of your stomach.
- Exhale and bend forward, but continue looking straight ahead of you, do not bend your head. Stay at this position for 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat this 4-5 times.
This yoga is very helpful for the release of digestive gases and pressure and cure acid reflux
- Lay on your back on a yoga mat or a blanket.
- Place your hands next to your body, with the palms facing down.
- Put your feet together.
- Lift your feet at the knees and press them towards your abdomen.
- Hold this position for 2-3 minutes.
- Repeat five times
This yoga is essential for eliminating acid reflux and strengthening the abdominal muscles. Here’s how you can do it:
- Lay on your back on a yoga mat.
- Place your hands next to your body, with the palms facing down.
- Raise both legs at a forty-five or even sixty degrees angle.
- Hold this position for several minutes.
- Repeat this exercise five times.
Taking several minutes of your day to practice these yoga poses for acid reflux will strengthen your immune system and cure the condition.
Acupressure Points for Acid Reflux
Stimulating Acupressure points is the final part of the complete acid reflux treatment plan and is considered as one of the easiest yet effective natural ways to cure acid reflux. There are several acupressure points for bloating and gas. Below you will see some of them and instructions on how to find them, and massage them.
The best way to massage these points is by pressing on them with a relatively sharp object like the eraser of a pencil, but you can also do this with the tip of your fingers.
Acupressure point CV12
Location: This point is located at the very centre of the torso halfway between the belly and the shoulders.
Benefits: massaging this point will relieve any heartburn and pains related to indigestion, or abdominal spasms. It can be useful to apply pressure on it if you are feeling stressed or pressured, and need to relax. Massage the point for at least thirty seconds during a session.
Acupressure point ST36
Location: The location of this point is very easy to find as it is placed on the outer side of your foot, two inches below the kneecap
Benefits: Massaging this point for thirty seconds at a time can boost your immune system, relieve stress and anxiety, and alleviate symptoms related to PMS and stomach aches.
Acupressure point P6
Location: This point is located at the centre of your arm, just an inch below the wrist
Benefits: Stimulating this point for around a minute at a time can relieve GERD symptoms, indigestion problems, stomach aches and headaches.
Acupressure point G6
Location: This is a set of points located on either side of your neck, behind the ears, and an inch below them
Benefits: Massaging both points simultaneously for at least a minute or two can relieve symptoms of acid reflux, and this is actually one of the best acupressure points for bloating and gas treatment.
As you can see acid reflux can become a manageable condition with the help of natural medicines, practices like yoga and pranayama yoga, and acupressure massages. If you take a bit of will and start living by this plan we have outlined here, you will most definitely see and feel the difference in several weeks. Stay tuned for more information on natural remedies and yoga for different conditions.