Stop HeartBurn Now --- All The Tips That
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February 2, 2009, last updated November 27, 2012
By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Heart burn affects millions of Americans, interrupting our
sleep and causing painful discomfort that often resembles a
heart attack. According to a 2006 study from Stanford
University Medical School, 44% of Americans suffer from
heart burn at least once a month.  If you have ever
suffered the agony of heart burn, also called acid reflux or
GERD if it occurs more than twice a week, then you know
the real meaning of the old phrase "fire in the belly".  But
are there any natural remedies for heartburn that actually
work? Are there changes  we can make at home to reduce
our risk for experiencing acid reflux? Do certain foods
trigger heartburn more than others?  

Based on medical research, here are the  tested natural
home remedies for heart burn:

Crackers and Milk.  Studies of stomach disorders have
shown that people who suffer from heartburn, called acid
reflux,  do not have excess acid in their stomachs. They
have too little of the right kind of food to neutralize the
acid.  Acid is not the foreign alien in your stomach-- it is at
home. It belongs there.  Acid is always present in your

What Causes Heart burn?

Your stomach in fact is nothing but a bag of acid.  Your
esophagus is like a garden hose connecting your mouth to
this little bag of acid.  So, you eat.   Food travels from your
mouth, down the garden hose, and then is dumped into the
bag of acid, where it begins to dissolve.  No problem. Acid
causes a problem for you  when it sloshes back up out of
the safe confines of your stomach, where it belongs, and
spills up into the upper esophagus, where it doesn't
belong.  It then literally burns the delicate lining of your
esophagus, causing the sensation you know as heartburn.

To kill the burning quickly, you need to douse the acid with
a neutralizer. Crackers and milk help. The white crackers
act like a sponge, soaking up the acid. The milk then carries
the little sponges now filled with acid back into your

When you eat food that doesn't soak up acid, neutralizing
it, or which either floats on top of the acid or doesn't mix
well with acid (spicy foods), you increase your risk of

Raise Your Head.  Again,think of the garden hose. If you
raise your head, gravity will help you to push the acid
down from the garden hose back into the stomach.  It's no
accident that most people suffer heartburn at night.  They
lie down at night. Lying down makes it easier for the acid
to flow from the stomach to the garden hose. So, raise
your head. Adding height will create and angle that reduces
the heartburn.  Go get an extra pillow. Make that two extra

Apple Sauce.  The apple sauce has the consistency of slush.
The slush coats your garden pipe, sticking to the outer
walls. That's why it works to quickly douse the flames of

Aloe Juice.  Aloe is one of the very best natural remedies
for heartburn.It is thick, it has a pH balance that neutralizes
acid.  You can drink aloe juice not just to stop heart burn
but also to treat stomach ulcers. I have a close friend from
New York who has a very wise Puerto Rican mother. My
friend has a very stress ful job and at the time she had
developed gastric stomach ulcers.  On one trip down to
visit her mother Maria in Puerto Rico, she complained about
the stomach ulcers. Her sweet mother went to her garden,
cut off some aloe plant stalks, squeezed out the pure pulp
and boiled it in water to make a tea. It tasted awful but she
made my friend drink one cup in the morning for 7 straight
days. At the end of that 7 day period, my friend's gastric
ulcers were gone.  When she went to her doctors in New
York, they were shocked. They had never seen anything
like it.

Bottom line. Aloe is your stomach's friend. Drink it to stop
heart burn. Drink it to clear up persistent acid reflux or

Sleep on Your Left Side. Numerous studies have found that
the side you sleep on can either aggravate heart burn or
make it better. Sleeping on your right side makes acid
reflux worse. Sleeping on your left side helps to relieve

A 2006 study led by Dr. Lauren Gerson of Stanford
University Medical Center speculated that changing your
sleeping position helps acid reflux because " it may be
related to increased transient LES relaxations in the right
position, or possibly that the gastroesophageal junction lies
above the level of gastric acid in the left lateral position."

Avoid Chocolate and Alcohol. The same study from
Stanford found inconclusive evidence that eating chocolate
affects heartburn one way or another. But there is some
evidence that reducing your alcohol intake actually does
reduce your risk for experiencing acid reflux.

Store Products. Mylanta, Quick Eze, Tums and Rolaids all
work pretty well if you have them handy.  

Does Eating Fat or High Calorie Meals Affect Heart burn?

Many people believe that eating high fat meals makes heart
burn worse. However, the science doesn't really back up
this belief. A 1999 study from the Academic Teaching
Hospital Munich-Bogenhausen in Munich, Germany fed  12
healthy people meals with the same amount of calories but
with very different fat content. Half of the people has meals
with just 10% fat and the other half ate meals with 50%
fat content. Surprisingly, the study found no difference at
all in the amount of reaction in the esophageal sphincter
muscle that makes you regurgitate acid, causing heart
burn. Thus, the high fat content of a meal can not be
responsible for increasing heart burn.

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