Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux which when experience more than twice a week is an indication of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). It is credited with the overflow of gastrula juices in the esophagus, which is HCl backing up into the esophagus causing sensitive skin to become irritated. Normal functioning muscles of the esophageal sphincter close shut to prevent stomach acid from moving upwards into the esophagus. However, in this disorder, the sphincter is not working properly attributing to the reflux. This disorder is made worse by overeating, the consumption of chocolate, fried foods, carbonated beverages, alcohol as well as coffee.
By eliminating and reducing causative factors can bring heartburn relief. However, it is not only foods that need to be reevaluated. Stress and enzyme deficiencies can also contribute. Therefore it is essential to minimize these causative factors so as to lessen the symptoms and allow the herbs to work better. Making healthier food choices is a start, reducing the intake of fried foods, carbonated beverages and alcohol and increase the consumption of raw whole foods. The consumption of smaller meals properly chewed (slowly and thoroughly) is appropriate as it will not overwhelm the stomach, avoid overeating. When going out with friends drink water instead of alcohol, eat sliced raw veggies instead of fried foods, however not three hours before bed. At home, when you feel the symptoms of heartburn coming on, consume water with apple cider vinegar. In terms of gaining weight eating more essential fatty acids, adrenal support, and eventually eliminating acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) will assist in weight gain. Secondly, it will be easier to concentrate on gaining weight once acid reflux and GERD are no longer an issue.
Stress release will partially come about from diet change and a reduction in symptoms, however light exercise such as walking, Thai Chi and meditation through yoga are all beneficial in relaxing the body and releasing stress.
Herbal Treatment Plan
The meadowsweet herb has both anti-inflammatory and antacid actions among others, which will assist in dealing with heartburn relief and eliminating acid reflux. It contains essential oil with salicylic acid compound called spiraenine and gaultherin which provide the herb with its healing actions. It is one of the finest digestive remedies available, moreover, it works at protecting and soothing the mucous membrane of the digestive tract, reducing excess acidity and easing nausea. Meadowsweet is specifically used in the treatment acid reflux by eliminating the symptom of heartburn. There are two ways in which this can be taken, as a tea or as a tincture.
Tea: Into one cup of boiling water infuse 1-2 tsp of dried meadowsweet herb and leaves for between 10-15 minutes (make sure that the cup is covered so that no tea is evaporated). This should be drunk three times a day, or as needed.
Tincture: 1-4ml of a meadowsweet tincture should be taken three times a day.
It does not matter which is taken, and both can be taken simultaneously. If going out bring the tincture and if you are feeling the symptoms coming on take an appropriate dose. If combining both, take three times a day (either or) or as needed.
Over time, with the combination of the herbal remedies and a change in both diet and perspective, symptoms of heartburn will decrease. However, it is essential that many of the recommendations are upheld as it is very possible that as more causative factors are reintroduced the symptoms of heartburn will reappear. Continue to take the tea whenever feelings of heartburn resurge.
Amanda Filipowicz is a certified nutritional practitioner (CNP) with a bachelor in environmental studies (BES) from York University. She also has certification in clinical detoxification, prenatal and postnatal care as well as nutrition for mental health. She has been working as a nutritionist since 2013 and is a lifelong proponent of eating healthy.