GERD Herbal remedies
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is also known as acid reflux disease. This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly, allowing the contents of the stomach to leak back up into the esophagus. This ring of muscle is like a valve that closes off the stomach from the esophagus. People of all ages, including infants, can get reflux disease.
Symptoms of GERD include a burning sensation in the upper chest or throat known as heartburn. This sensation must happen more than twice a week to be considered a symptom of reflux disease. Sometimes the stomach acid can be tasted in the back of the mouth. When this happens, it is known as acid indigestion. Some people with reflux do not have heartburn, but they do feel chest pain, and they experience hoarseness in the morning or have trouble swallowing. This ailment can also cause bad breath and a dry cough.
The underlying cause of GERD is not known. Hiatal hernias may contribute to this disease. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach is above the diaphragm. Other contributing factors may include the use of alcohol, being overweight, smoking, stress, gall bladder disorders or being pregnant. Some foods may also contribute to the problem: citrus, chocolate, caffeinated drinks, fried and fatty foods, garlic, onions, mint flavorings, spicy foods and tomato-based foods like pizza, chili and spaghetti.
If symptoms persist even after treatment, you may need additional tests and possibly surgery.
- Garlic chew garlic cloves or crush them with a spoon before swallowing to activate the allicin, the active ingredient in this herb. Garlic will kill pathogenic organisms like Helicobacter pylori, which is found in many people who suffer from GERD.
- German chamomile - this is a soothing herb that acts as a tonic in the body. It also supports a healthy digestion.
- Meadowsweet this herb helps the support the stomach lining and the mucosa that lines the digestive system. It is a natural antacid, and it helps balance the levels of stomach acid and digestive secretions for a healthy digestive system.
- Slippery elm this herb will help coat the stomach and soothe irritated areas of the esophagus. It helps with inflammation and neutralizes acids in the stomach.
- Barberry this herb helps fight bacteria and can be taken in a little water before meals to improve the digestion.
- Dandelion this herb is a supportive bitter that helps the digestion. Add leaves to your salads, or take a little of the tincture or tea before meals.
- Licorice use deglycyrrhizinated licorice before meals to heal and soothe the esophageal tissue that has been harmed by GERD. This herb will decrease inflammation and ulceration by reducing the activity of pepsin in the stomach.
- Plantain add a little plantain tincture or tea to the other herbs to help heal the esophagus and neutralize stomach acid.
- Marshmallow root this herb is an old-fashioned remedy for the digestive system and can help soothe irritated tissue. It also helps lower the acid level in the stomach. Add to the other herbs on this list to make a multi-purpose treatment for GERD.
- Green tea this antioxidant herb is also anti-inflammatory and can help heal the esophagus. Take this tea several times a day between meals.
- Fennel - drink 3 cups a day of fennel tea - make the tea by infusing 1/2 teaspoon of crushed seeds in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes, strain and drink.
- Turmeric - take capsules as instructed.
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