heartburn acid reflux gerd burning chest pain nausea

Have you ever felt a burning sensation in your chest or felt nauseous after eating a heavy meal?

Chronic heartburn is a diagnosis known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Heartburn is indigestion that is caused by stomach acid that has flown back up into the esophagus. Other common symptoms include burping, flatulence, and hiccuping.

Acid reflux is actually caused by your stomach not having enough acid and an overload of the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria.

When your stomach doesn’t have enough acid, it churns violently to digest the food to compensate for the little acid that it does have. During this process, the stomach content spills upwards, towards the esophagus.

The stomach has two “doors”, or sphincter, that keeps the acid in their place. The one on top of the stomach is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the bottom one is called the pyloric valve.

What to Avoid During Acid Reflux

There are tons of medications available now without a prescription. Acid reflux medications are among the world’s top selling drugs, and accounts for billions of dollars in sales annually!

Overall, GERD affects 33% of the population in the United States, and 44% have symptoms at least once a month.

Before you pop an antacid, know that you are causing more harm to your body than good. The damage is not worth the quick fix of being able to eat whatever you want.

Antacids were never created to be given out like candy. Initially, they were prescribed for people who were greatly suffering from severe ulcers.

What kind of harm are these acid blockers doing to our bodies? These medications decrease the acid that is causing the reflux, but your stomach actually needs this acid to keep the rest of your body balanced.

The acid breaks down protein and food, activates digestive enzymes in the small intestine, prevents toxic overgrowth of bacteria, and aids in absorption of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12.

Without proper acid production, your body can go through vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It can also cause acidic blood (cancer causing), leading to irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, dementia, anemia, fatigue, osteoporosis, fractures, and more.

Factors That Cause Heartburn (Acid Reflux)

Acid reflux can be caused by certain foods and lifestyle choices. Types of food to avoid are: fried, spicy, citrus, coffee, alcohol, processed, raw foods, excessive fiber, and hard to digest foods.

Lifestyles that contribute to heartburn are: smoking and drinking, obesity, sedentary lives, food sensitivities and allergies, and stress.

Find out what factors aggravate your heartburn and remove them to help alleviate your symptoms.

Below are some natural remedies to treat heartburn without having to pop another antacid.

Natural Remedies for Heartburn

1. Yellow Mustard

yellow mustard spoonful small seeds with green leaves

Vinegar, zinc, and turmeric (stimulates digestion) in mustard neutralizes the acid in the stomach.

Mustard is an alkalizing food (balances the body’s pH levels) that is slightly acidic. The exact reason on how yellow mustard works on acid reflux is unknown, but it works, and it works fast!

Method: Eat 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard. If the mustard taste is too strong, you can wash it down with some warm water or eat it with a saltine cracker.

The heartburn may initially feel worse, but after a few minutes the symptoms should subside.


2. Probiotics

probiotics fresh white yogurt unflavored live good bacteria

The more probiotics you have throughout your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the better your digestive system will function.

Taking probiotics daily allows nutrients and food to be digested properly. It also decreases the amount of harmful H. pylori (heartburn causing) bacteria you have in your system.

Probiotics help replenish the bacteria that is lost, due to other medications that you may be taking. “Good bacteria” balances the natural beneficial flora in the small intestine. This prevents the bloating and gas build up that can cause food to back up into the stomach.

Probiotics not only works on symptoms of acid reflux, but it also deals with the root cause of it. It may take a few weeks to get your GI tract back in working order, so continue taking it consistently everyday for best results.

Method: Make sure to take probiotic-containing foods year round. Naturally occurring foods can be found in: water or milk Kefir, kombucha drinks, non-commercial unflavored yogurts, fermented foods, sauerkraut.

Quality probiotic capsules can also be found at your local health food store or online.


3. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

bragg organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar glass jar

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) boosts our immune system and decreases the amount of acid reflux causing bacteria in our gut. The vinegar also stimulates acid production in the stomach, which causes efficient digestion of our food.

ACV is an alkalizing food, which balances the body’s pH level. 7.4 (slightly alkaline) is the ideal state you want your body to be  in, to be able to fight off microbes and cancerous cells. There are home kits that can easily test the pH level of your water, food, saliva, or urine.

Buy organic, raw, unfiltered vinegar, and make sure it comes in a glass bottle. Plastic bottles can cause toxins to leech into the vinegar. On a plus side, apple cider vinegar is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Method: Drink 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and wash it down with water. Try holding it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. This stimulates the saliva production and initiates the stomach in producing digestive acid.

If 1 teaspoon is too much (the smell can be overwhelming at first), you can start off by placing 4 drops of vinegar directly onto your tongue for fast results.


4. Baking Soda

baking soda spoonful into water

Baking soda (also known as Sodium Bicarbonate) is another quick fix for heartburn.

It’s good at quickly neutralizing the pH levels in your stomach and aids in faster digestion.

Method: Drink 1 teaspoon mixed with room temperature or warm water. Do this every other day, for a month.


5. Calcium

calcium milk cheese cottage cheese yogurt fresh dairy

Calcium is a popular and well known remedy for GERD. It is one of the main ingredient used in many of the over-the-counter antacids.

Calcium is needed to keep a good pH balance and to help aid in proper digestion.

Magnesium and Vitamin D is important when it comes to calcium because they are needed to properly absorb calcium into the body. So make sure you take these supplements daily, along with your calcium.

Method: Take 1,000 milligrams of calcium orotate (the most effective form of calcium) supplements per day, with at least 2000 IU’s of Vitamin D3.


6. Almonds

almonds whole brown bag raw

Almonds are an ancient Middle Eastern remedy for ulcers. Almonds are high in oil content which soothes the acid in the stomach. The high fiber content of the nut aids digestion.

Organic almond milk is also a good alternative to the raw nut. You can also mix oatmeal, almond milk, and bananas for a powerhouse effect. This meal is great for breakfast for adults and kids.

Method: Eat 4-5 raw almonds after each meal. If your heartburn is severe, eat a handful of almonds. The effects should take place in about 30 minutes.


7. Fennel Seeds

fennel seeds brown unmilled spoonful

Fennel is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. It has been used widely around the world to aid in digestion.

Fennel contains a compound called Anethole, which relaxes the stomach and prevents spasms and flatulence.

Fennel seed is safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children. The seed is known to increase breast milk in nursing mothers, while fennel water is often used to treat colicky newborn babies.

Method: After a meal, try some fennel tea–seeped from the seeds.

Or just chew 1 teaspoon of whole seeds slowly after your meal.


8. Aloe Vera Juice

aloe vera fresh plant stem and gel slices

Aloe Vera is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Aloe is great for burns, wounds, wrinkles, canker sores, constipation, and maintaining blood sugars.

This miracle plant contains loads of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. When ingested, aloe soothes the inflamed esophagus and stomach lining from damage caused by stomach acid.

Method: Drink 2-3 ounces of aloe vera juice 15-20 minutes before meals.

Mix aloe juice with 8 ounces of coconut water and any fresh fruit juice.


9. Pickles & Pickle Juice

pickles green fresh juice in bowl

Pickles and its juices act fast on heartburn. The vinegar content helps to neutralize stomach pH levels within minutes.

Pickles and are great at kicking aside acid reflux symptoms, especially for women who are pregnant and breast feeding.

Method: Eat a few pickles or drink pickle juice during active heartburn. Your heartburn should go away in 10-15 minutes.


Fruits & Vegetables

Vegetables and fruits (except for citrus fruits) are a great way to combat heartburn symptoms.

Who knew that our own refrigerators could also our medicine cabinets?

Celery, apples, papaya, banana, and cabbage are some of the known foods that soothe the stomach.

10. Celery

celery fresh green stalks with leaves

Celery has a naturally alkaline pH. It also has a mildly sedative property that soothes the stomach muscles.

11. Apples

apples red fresh juicy fresh fruit

Apples contain tartaric and malic acid, which balances the stomach’s pH level. It also contains pectic, a natural fiber source that promotes proper digestion.

The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is true, especially when it comes to heartburn. When you feel an attack coming on, take 5 bites of an apple.

12. Papaya

papaya fresh sliced fruit orange with seedsPapaya contains papain, an effective protein and carbohydrate dissolving enzyme.

Papain is also used to speed up metabolism, decrease inflammation, and treat constipation.

13. Bananas

ripe yellow bananas batch teal background

Bananas coat the lining of the stomach, ease spasms, and have a natural antacid response. Bananas have a high content of fiber and vitamin B.

Vitamin B calms the stomach muscles and stops the stomach from churning acid violently.

On a side note, bananas are also useful at combating high blood pressure and preventing strokes due to its high potassium and low sodium content.

14. Cabbage

cabbage patch fresh green batches

Cabbage reduces inflammation and kills the H. pylori bacteria that causes heartburn and other GI problems.

Fermented cabbage (kimchee) and other fermented foods (non-store bought coleslaw or sauerkraut) are also recommended remedies for heartburn.

Method: Mix raw cabbage, banana, apple slices, purified water, and natural unflavored probiotic yogurt into a blender. Drink quickly.

15. Chewing Gum

chewing gum helps heartburn

Chewing gum produces saliva and activates the digestive process.

This is an unnatural digestion simulator and should only be used as a quick fix.


16. Gingerginger raw freshly sliced

Ginger has been used for over 5,000 years by the Indians and the Chinese to treat different ailments. Ginger has been used for helping numerous gastrointestinal disorders.

Gingerols is the main active ingredient found in ginger that give this root its many health benefits.

This ancient root is known to destroy the H. pylori bacteria, decrease inflammation, minimize nausea, and calm the stomach muscles.


Lifestyle Changes

17. Stay Upright & Sleep On Your Left Side

sleep upright and on your left side for better digestion and less heartburn

Try not to eat 2-3 hours before you go to sleep.

When you do lay down, turn onto your left side. This position does not allow stomach acid to empty back into the esophagus.

18. Eat Smaller Meals & Chew Longer

smaller meals more frequent meals less heartburn

It’s harder for your stomach to digest larger meals. It has to work that much harder to break everything down at once. If your stomach is full, there is more of a chance that acid can be tossed back up the esophagus.

Chew slowly and more frequently before swallowing. Digestion begins in the mouth. The more you help your body from the beginning, the easier it’ll be later on.

Final Word

Natural remedies have little to no known side effects. Most of these remedies can be found right in your own kitchen.

Different methods work better for different people, so if one method doesn’t work for you, don’t fret, and try another one. A lifetime free from heartburn pain is worth a few trial and errors.

Rebecca Park has a degree in Nursing, Speech Pathology & Audiology. She currently lives in New York City, where she was born and raised. She enjoys traveling all over the world with her husband and son to learn about different cultures and their healthcare. As a practicing Registered Nurse, Rebecca likes to explore natural remedies and alternative methods to complement modern medicine to treat people as a whole and not just their symptoms.


  1. You left out coconut milk! Coconut milk soothes heartburn fast and balances the ph. It is an alkaline food. Regular store bought from milk section works fine, but I like to use coconut cream in a can. I do add a drop of vanilla and about 2 tablespoons of brown or powdered sugar or stevia for flavor and sweetening. There are many health benefits of coconut and this is just one.

  2. hi
    thank you for giving valuable information
    i had Acid Reflux for last more than 18 years, i used lots of medicines.
    spent lots of money and time but all were invain.
    when i used your Yellow Mustard Idea. It gave me a miracle result
    i am very thankful. May god Reward you

  3. Many Many Thanks !!! I want to be off PPI s . Surely I can use all this information to be free of the bad drugs. I have a fantastic collection of Aloe plants in my sunroom in Kansas. That looks like a great place to start. I still do not understand the apple cider vinegar treatment. To treat an acid problem with an acid does not add up with me. I have used PPI s for a couple of years without any bad side effects. I plan to work towards being free of them. My nights are the worst. Perhaps, I can use some of these treatments before going to bed to help.

  4. I looked this info up for my boyfriend ! his is stemming from a combination of lifestyle and poor diet , although he’s a vegetarian he eats a lot of fried food. So i’m definitely in his ear about trying some of these natural alternatives to Tums.

  5. You forgot perhaps one of the most effective remedies. Red hot chilli peppers, as painfully tear jerking as you can take them. Many people have found this to fix and to prevent heartburn, despite the cynical leers and remarks of most, and the lack of enthusiasm amoungst many in the medical profession to accept what heartburn suffered have discovered. Other points worth noting. 1. Alo Vera and peppermint for many is completely useless.2. For many, the biggest culprits of unbearable heartburn are freshly naked bread and pastries, but this hardly ever seems to get a mention.

  6. So I have a sliding hiatal hernia and this afternoon I had heartburn. I don’t think there is a day I don’t have it. I was out of medication for it and didn’t have time to go to the store so I did some research and while I was surprised to read about apple cider vinegar I had an unopened bottle of it I could use. Shocker here but guess what? It worked. Not only that but I think it worked faster than my RX meds of which I usually have to take more than twice a day. I have my bed raised higher at the head which has been a good help overall but I think surgery is going to have to happen eventually. Anyway, its about 5 hrs after the ACvinegar dose I took earlier. I swallowed about 1 oz and I have just gotten heartburn again since I ate dinner 30 min ago. So I just had another dose. I’d say it’s been almost 5 minutes and the burning is less already. I hope this is of some help to my fellow sufferers.


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