Skip the pills and try these homemade natural solutions to the unpleasant symptoms of heartburn, gastric reflux and indigestion. Indigestion-related symptoms affects up to 100 million of us a month and the sales of anti-acids are over $10 billion a year. Practitioners caution us to use less anti-acid medications, as these can lead to other health issues, including dependency and generally upsetting the bodies’ delicate acid balance. So, what to do when the unpleasant symptoms rear their ugly heads? Try these simple yet highly effective home treatments.
Reach for the Wine
Wine contains substances that aid digestion and reduce anxiety. The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a study (covered by Www.OptingHealth.com) showing that regular and moderate consumption of wine reduced peptic ulcers. It has been suggested that drinking four ounces of wine, especially white wine, on an empty stomach prior to ingesting a meal, may act as a form of neutralizer, assisting the digestion process. Mark A. Daeschel, PhD, a microbiologist at Oregon State University in Corvalis, found that white wine kills e. coli, salmonella and other bacteria that are potentially deadly. Actually, white wine could even become an effective household disinfectant. Keep a bottle of white wine in the fridge and when eating a meal that has been known to cause indigestion in the past, drink a glass before indulging. Even the Bible says “drink a little wine for your stomach’s sake.”
Throw Another Pillow on the Bed
Researchers at Stanford University found that two changes of behavior can affect and reduce the unpleasant symptoms of acid stomach. One of the changes was to eat less, which is hard to do after the fact. The other important finding was to simply throw some more pillows on the bed, elevating the head level at least 6”. Presumably, this enables the gastric juices to flow easier and not settle in the stomach. So, remember to keep a couple extra pillow handy, just in case.
Gelatin and Baking Soda
Most people have a box of baking soda in the fridge. Take a good look at the label and see the information on using it as a digestive aid for bouts of gastric or acid indigestion. Follow the label directions and repeat ever 2 hours, like the label says. Reach for the box early, to nip the symptoms in the bud. A small packet of gelatin dissolved in warm water has also been used as a digestive aid for similar acid stomach issues.
Prevent Bouts of Digestive Disorder
To prevent the nasty symptoms in the first place, try to eat smaller meals that include starchy food like pasta, rice, bread and potatoes. These starches can absorb stomach acids, acting as a binding agent. Watch the fat, because high fat foods spend more time in the stomach, requiring extra acid to digest them. Seek to limit high fat foods to the smaller ingested meals and realize that continual overindulgence at one time can cause the symptoms to inconveniently reappear. Some people have reported that taking a small amount of white wine and a couple crackers at the gastric disorder onset or periodically ingesting this during the periods of indigestion can alleviate digestive disorder symptoms.
Finally, Keep a Journal
Since we are all different, what affects one of us may not affect the rest of us. Keep a record of what foods seem to be the spearhead for the bouts of stomach acid issues. Tomatoes, vinegar-based salad dressings, citric acid and shellfish combinations can be a catalyst as well as fried foods which are very high in fat. Find out what foods or combinations of foods might be setting the stage for these digestive flare ups by keeping a daily food diary, and don’t be surprised if it is discovered that certain often eaten foods may be the catalysts.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.