Herbal remedy for Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) or the ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus opens spontaneously, for varying periods of time, or does not close properly and stomach contents rise up into the esophagus that is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. GER is also called acid regurgitation, because digestive juices—called acids—rise up with the food. This is commonly due to transient or permanent changes in the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. This can also be due to incompetence of the cardia, transient cardia relaxation, or a hiatus hernia. GER can lead to Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) which is a complicated form of the disease.

Heartburn is the major symptom of acid in the esophagus, characterized by burning discomfort behind the breastbone (sternum). Factors like obesity, pregnancy, and smoking also adds to such acid refluxes. Sometimes, certain food items also can be dangerous enough to worsen the symptoms.

To avoid acid reflux, one of the simple ways will be to be careful while eating. Avoid food items like: citrus fruits, chocolate, drinks with caffeine or alcohol, fatty and fried foods, garlic and onions, mint flavorings, spicy foods, tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili, and pizza. Sometimes, changing life style might also help. Actions such as stop smoking, loosing weight if needed, eating small, frequent meals wearing loose-fitting clothes etc helps in tackling acid reflux. 

Medically, antacids such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Riopan, are usually the first drugs recommended to relieve heartburn and other mild GER symptoms. Foaming agents, such as Gaviscon, also works by covering your stomach contents with foam to prevent reflux. Aid like Prokinetics help strengthen the LES and make the stomach empty faster. This group includes bethanechol (Urecholine) and metoclopramide (Reglan). Metoclopramide also improves muscle action in the digestive tract. Prokinetics have frequent side effects that limit their usefulness—fatigue, sleepiness, depression, anxiety, and problems with physical movement. But a word of caution here -If the syndrome continues for more than a week than it is time to see your health care provider.