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Health Conditions
General Description

By some estimations nearly 40 percent of Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. This is a monumental problem and is very important as it can lead to many other health concerns.

Causes

Heartburn is usually caused by eating too much food too fast. When this happens acid from your stomach is pushed up into your esophagus making your chest feel like it is on fire. Be aware that if you have heartburn frequently recent studies have shown that it can lead to esophageal cancer.

Consuming products containing white flour may cause gas.

White wine, especially dry young whites from Germany, may cause heartburn. These wines are very acidic.

Acidic foods such as vinegar, orange juice and coffee

Stress - emotional, mental or physical

Anxiety or anger

Tips

If you get heartburn after taking supplements, drink a glass of water afterward. This may alleviate the problem by providing more fluid for the digestive process.

• Raise the head of your bed.

• Eat slowly so that the enzymes in your mouth can begin the digestive process. This will reduce the amount of undigested food you have in your stomach.

• Lose weight.

• Avoid products with peppermint in them. For some reason peppermint allows acid to pass from the stomach into the esophagus.

• Avoid food and drink before you go to bed. Allow several hours for food to digest before you go to bed.

Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which neutralizes the acid and helps push the digestive juices back down into the stomach where they belong. If you have a continuing problem and choose to chew gum, it would be preferable to use a natural brand that uses xylitol instead of sugar as a sweetner.

• Sucking on hard candy or other means of producing more saliva will also be helpful.

• Put a hot water bottle over your liver (upper right abdomen). This will help your liver and gallbladder function better to digest what you have eaten.

• Don't lie down if you have heartburn, as stomach acids will back up into the esophagus; stand or sit up instead.

Remedies

Folk

Banana Eating bananas seems to be very beneficial for relieving heartburn. Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body. You may also use ground dried banana.

Chamomile Make a tea by simmering 1 teaspoon of licorice root in 11/4 cups of water for 10 minutes in a covered pot. Add 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink.

Clove, oil of Put a few drops of oil of clove in a glass of water and sip slowly.

Ginger root Take a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root or 1,000 mg of the powder daily. This remedy can be more effective than any over-the-counter or prescription medication. Ginger is helpful for indigestion, especially if it is due to eating spicy foods.

Licorice Sold as DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), take two 250 mg chewable tablets, or break open a 250 mg capsule and dissolve in two ounces of water and drink it. Note: do not take if you have hypertension.

Turmeric helps stimulate digestion and prevents acid build-up. Curried foods contain turmeric. If you don't use turmeric in your cooking, take 2-3 1/2-1 gr capsules before meals.

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