Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
We would like to tell you that we can strongly recommend certain natural remedies for acid reflux. The truth is that there is not much research out there.
Melatonin is certainly one of the natural remedies for acid reflux that is worth exploring. Melatonin is a natural hormone which induces sleep. There has been a study suggesting that it also relieves heartburn very successfully. We have met patients who tell us that this is true. But, there really is not much scientific evidence.
Melatonin can cause side effects such as headache and, in some people, palpitations. But for many people it causes minimal or no side effects and if it works, it means an end to suffering. We would always recommend that you discuss this with your doctor before trying medicines, particularly if you are taking other drugs.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera has many proven health giving benefits. Although there is no scientific evidence that it works for acid reflux, the argument goes that it soothes all burning. Some people have reported to us that it helps them.
Iberogast is a herbal medicine which was developed over 50 years ago. It has been shown in a series of studies to be effective against some types of heartburn.
The name comes from the main prokinetic ingredient, the fresh plant extract of Iberis amara. This increases the tone of smooth gastro-intestinal muscles and speeds up gastro-intestinal peristalsis.
Iberogast contains a series of natural ingredients including angelica, caraway, clown’s mustard plant, German chamomile, greater celandine,lemon balm, licorice, milk thistle and peppermint.
The problem with this type of medicine is that it is not clear which ingredient is most responsible for the positive effect on symptoms. But there is clear evidence that it works for some people. It is worth bearing in mind that the peppermint oil included in this mixture might worsen symptoms in some people.
Iberogast also seems to be helpful for some people with irritable bowel syndrome also, particularly if they have abdominal cramps or nausea.
Iberogast has been used by over 20 million people. There do not appear to be any serious safety concerns.
Some naturopaths believe that the supplement betaine hydrochloride helps relieve heartbun by increasing stomach acid. This sounds quite wrong, because standard treatment aims to reduce stomach acid.
But, according to one theory, a lack of stomach acid leads to incomplete protein digestion. These proteins are supposed to cause allergic reactions and other responses that increase the amount of reflux. There is no good scientific evidence for betaine hydrochloride.
So if you want to try natural remedies for acid reflux, please remember that some have scientific evidence to support them, whereas others do not. It is a good idea to check with your doctor before you try any medicines, even if they are completely natural remedies.