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Herbs for Acidity








Natural cures and home remedies for Acidity

All the organs that help the digestive process, i.e digestion, processing and assimilating food are in the abdomen. The organs are the oesophagus, the stomach, both the intestines, the liver, gall bladder and the pancreas. Most of the conditions related to the abdomen are caused by wrong diet and wrong method of eating.

What is Acidity?

The stomach contains millions of glands that secrete gastric juices, mostly hydrochloric acid. The acid activates the secretion of the enzyme pepsin, which starts protein digestion. The stomach also secretes various other enzymes that are necessary for digestion and to help break down food. Sometimes there is excess production of acid in the stomach. These gastric juices move from the stomach into the oesophagus. Lying down can result in acid regurgitation, (where the acid sensation is felt in the mouth). This condition is called acidity. Acidity can lead to dyspepsia, heartburn and even formation of ulcers.

Symptoms of Acidity

The symptoms of acidity include a burning pain in the gullet or chest, regurgitation of the acidic contents of the stomach, prolonged heartburn, belching, nausea and acid reflux. Acid reflux and heartburn occur when the stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, thereby irritating the lining. Indigestion and severe constipation can be experienced by those affected by acidity.

Causes of Acidity

Acidity is mostly caused by dietary and bad lifestyle choices. Sometimes there could be medical problems and conditions, which could lead to acidity too, like gall stones and GERD (GastroEsophagal Reflux Disease).

Natural Remedies to Treat Acidity

Hyperacidity caused by wrong diet can easily be treated and prevented. Acidity caused by certain medical conditions cannot be cured by home cures, and should be treated by a doctor.

Diet

Fatty, spicy food, alcohol and excessive smoking all lead to acidity. Fatty food not only stimulates the stomach to produce extra acid, but has been found to lower spinchter pressure at the junction of the stomach and oesophagus, which allows the stomach acid to move upwards. The excess of fat triggers the duodenum to produce a hormone that slows down the muscular contractions of the stomach. Eating smaller portions and staying in an upright position for upto 45 minutes of eating helps sometimes. Keeping the head elevated is also said to help solve the acid regurgitation problem.

Studies have found that restricting dietary acid could relieve reflux symptoms. Processed and bottled foods are acidic because they require high acidity as a preservative. It has also been noted that, consumption of such foods coincides with an increase in esophageal cancer caused by chronic acid reflux. To relieve heartburn and reflux symptoms, it is advisable to go with a diet of food which has a pH of above 5 or 6. Nothing below that should be had. More on acidic and alkaline food.

Some foods are known to aggravate reflux symptoms. Therefore, regardless of pH levels, food like high-fat meats, dairy products, caffeine, chocolate, carbonated beverages, fried foods and alcohol should be avoided.

Losing weight

Losing weight can be a big help. This is because, sometimes heartburn may be caused by a condition in which, either the stomach or oesophagus is squeezed out of proportion.

Medicines

Antacids help to some extent, but long term consumption of antacids containing aluminium compounds is said to deplete your calcium, resulting in thining of the bones. Bicarbonate of soda is another remedy, but when taken frequently leads to alkalosis. This is because soda is rapidly absorbed by the blood stream.

Some of the natural food that helps cure acidity includes almonds, which helps balance your pH; unprocessed aloe vera juice; a cup of warm water and lime juice; and even a glass of milk. Strangely, chewing gum is said to help in treating acidity, by producing saliva, which acts as an acid buffer. Apple cider vinegar is another effective home remedy for acidity.


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One should also try to get enough beneficial bacteria from the diet. This helps balance the bowel flora, and also help in proper digestion and assimilation of food. Probiotics can be got from fermented foods. Yogurt is one probiotic you can easily make at home and has a great many health benefits. Ginger is another herb which has been found to have a gastroprotective effect.