Skip to content

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Natural Home Remedies for Heartburn

Font Size
A
A
A

Heartburn is very common -- and very unpleasant. It's triggered when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. It can make you feel as though someone has lit a small bonfire in your chest, and it's burning its way up to your neck.

You're probably well aware that medications can help calm the burn, but natural heartburn remedies and lifestyle changes may be another way to get relief.

Recommended Related to Heartburn/GERD

Diagnosing Acid Reflux Disease

Three out of every 10 people experience heartburn on occasion, so it can be somewhat arbitrary to decide when heartburn should be called acid reflux disease.  Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux disease is a chronic irritation of the lining of a person's esophagus by stomach acid. Usually, it's just annoying. GERD can, however, have serious consequences, including esophagitis and Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus is a condition that increases the likelihood of...

Read the Diagnosing Acid Reflux Disease article > >

One commonly used "natural" heartburn remedy is calcium. It's also the active ingredient in many over-the-counter antacids.

If you find yourself popping antacids like candy and you're having heartburn more than a couple of times a week, or if you are using antacids for longer than two weeks, it's time to see the doctor. You may have a condition called GERD -- gastroesophageal reflux disease. Frequent heartburn can lead to long-term problems. It can cause inflammation and strictures in your esophagus.  In rare cases, it may even lead to cancer. But stopping the acid reflux can help prevent complications in the future.

Here is a rundown of some other commonly used home remedies for heartburn, and the evidence for their effectiveness.

Do Herbal Heartburn Remedies Work?

There isn't much research into herbal remedies for heartburn. Most of the research has centered on a product called Iberogast. It is made with 9 different herbs, including:

  • Angelica
  • Caraway
  • Clown's mustard plant
  • German chamomile
  • Greater celandine
  • Lemon balm
  • Licorice
  • Milk thistle
  • Peppermint

Some studies have shown that Iberogast may reduce heartburn, stomach pain, cramping, and nausea. It's not clear, however, which herb in the mix relieves symptoms. Plus, peppermint oil can actually worsen heartburn, so it's not a good idea to take it if you have GERD.

Are There Any Other Natural Treatments for Heartburn?

Melatonin, a supplement used to aid sleep, has been suggested to help relieve heartburn. But the research is conflicting as to whether it is effective for this or any other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Before you decide to take any herbal remedy or supplement, check with your doctor. Some supplements can have side effects or can interact with medications you're already taking.

Today on WebMD

Woman eating pizza
How it starts, and how to stop it.
man with indigestion
Get lifestyle and diet tips.
 
woman shopping for heartburn relief
Medication options.
man with heartburn
Symptoms of both.
 
digestive health
Slideshow
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Article
 
heartburn
Article
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Video
 
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
Video
digestive myths
Slideshow
 
Extreme Eats
Slideshow
graphic of esophageal area
Article