I just finished writing about foods to avoid for acid reflux but if you already have an acid attack, you need some relief from it. So, here’s a follow up post “home remedy for heartburn”.
My go-to home remedy for heartburn is simply a teaspoon of baking soda stirred into a glass of water. It’s quick, easy, you probably have some baking soda in the kitchen. Drink that down and in a short time, you’ll feel relief.
While that is my go to remedy for acid, there are other avenues to explore. they might work better for you. So, let’s find you a herbal home remedy that you can tell your friends about!
Ginger ( Zingiber officinale )
Ginger is the first of the two roots we’ll be looking at for stomach acid. While ginger is a fairly hot spice, it is actually very calming on the stomach, and not only for acid. Ginger has been used for travel sickness, morning sickness, bloating and for improving the immune system.
While it’s a great root and works well for all kinds of stomach problems, it is also to be used with caution. If you happen to be on blood thinners or anticoagulants, you should be cautious. Ginger has this property built in so taking medication and drinking ginger tea can lead to very unwanted side effects.
Here’s the obligatory warning so I can rest easy at night:
WARNING: Ginger has blood thinning properties. For this reason, you should be especially careful if you are taking chemical blood thinners or anticoagulants as they have been known to interact with some herbs.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get into making some ginger tea.
As ginger is a hard root, we’ll need to boil it for longer than we would for a leafy plant-life tea. As an extra little addition in flavor and helpfulness, I’ll also throw in some lemon. This is optional and up to your own taste and how your stomach deals with lemons.
To make this tea (more accurately a decoction in this situation) you will need:
- A saucepan
- 1-2 inches of ginger root, the fresher the better
- 1 unwaxed lemon (optional)
- Honey or other natural sweetener like agarve
This is the most simple decoction you could possibly make, its a little redundent even going through the steps. But if this is your first time ever using ginger or herbs for healing, its worth reading on.
How To Make Ginger Tea
Start by peeling the ginger. You don’t have to make it perfectly clean as the skin won’t hurt you. It’s just that most store-bought ginger has been handled a fair bit, and may have been dropped or stored imporperly during transport.
when its peeled, cut it lengthways into sticks, it doesn;t matter how thick. The reason of this is the more surface area of the material (ginger root in this case) that you have exposed, the faster and more effectivly the water can extract the compounds and minerals.
Throw them in the saucepan, cover with a couple of inches of water (this will depend on the size of your pan), cover with the lid and put it on to a medium boil.
If you’re using a huge pan, you will still only want to cover the ginger with a few inches of water as the more water you add, the more diluted the end decoction will be.
Ehrn you are using a small pan (2qt), you will want to fill it up as much as you can without it boiling over.
If you;re using lemons, slice them up using the same idea as above and once the ginger has been boiling for 10 minutes, add them and boil for another 10 minutes.
If you’re not using lemons, you won’t add them but continue to boil the ginger for 10 minutes. Once the water has been boiling for 20 minutes in total (or thereabouts, no need to be exact), take it off the heat, leave it covered for another 10 minutes.
After that, it’s ready to drink. I suggest 2 teaspoons of honey in a mug and then pouring in the decoction. You can then save the rest of the decoction for later use. No not add the honey to the pan.
Drink and enjoy it.
As a side note, this is a great way to fight a cold and you will come across this recipe many times on this blog.
Another home remedy for heartburn that works great!
Licorice ( Glycyrrhiza glabra )
Licorice root is a great help for many stomach and throat problems but isn’t commonly found in the average kitchen. If you’re getting into your herbals, you might want to snag yourself a bag of the licorice root slices as they are already chopped and easier to use.
Either way, you will want to follow the process above for preparing but you will use around 1 Table Spoon (roughly 0.5oz) of root to a cup of water.
So here’s the adjusted process:
You will only be boiling licorice root for around half the time of ginger and as licorice root tastes amazing on its own, you probably won’t need any sweetener.
Get your pan of water, add licorice root (I’d personally use an ounce and cover with around an inch or 2 of water), bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to simmer for 10 minutes.
Now you might be wondering if you can combine licorice and ginger into 1 super decoction and the answer is… YES! Boil the ginger for 10 minutes on its own, turn down the heat to a slow boil/simmer and then add the licorice for another 10 minutes.
Pour into a mug and enjoy.
You can also get tinctures and pills of licorice root if making tea is not your deal. They are simple to use and will give you all the awesome benefits but, well, a pill isn’t as fun as making your own medicine 😉
WARNING: Glycyrrhiza glabra contains some compounds that can cause potential interactions with blood pressure medications. Licorice has the potential to raise blood pressure so if you are prone to hypertension or are on blood pressure medications, please use licorice with caution or talk to your doctor.
Chamomile ( Chamaemelum nobile )
Chamomile is probably the most gentle of all herbs. Its so awesome of a healer that you can even use it to heal other plants and herbs, no joke. If you have a plant that is struggling, looking poorly or getting attacked by bugs, water it with chamomile tea.
Anyway, you’re here to heal your stomach, not learn gardening tips!
Chamomile is also a very well known herb for relaxation and sleep. Because of this mainstream acceptance, you will find chamomile tea bags ready to be bought and used right from your local grocery store. Walmart, Publix and I’m sure pretty much any grocery store will stock it.
Be sure to read the ingredients on the back though as sometimes the manufacturers will combine chamomile with other herbs to help with sleep.
You are looking for only chamomile either Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) also called English or Noble Chamomile, or German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla).
Either one or both together, chamomile is a great home remedy for heartburn, and easy to find
Then you just make tea as always, swapping sugar for honey if needed. Simple as that. There is a slight warning with chamomile though…
WARNING: Chamomile has a potential to interract with somenon-salicylate NSAIDs and aspirin. It can also cause pollen allergies to worsen although there’s very little research to back this up.
Personally, I have never had any issues with myself or anyone I have ever treated but in the interest of full disclosure, I always want to add the warning so you can make an informed choice.
Fennel ( Foeniculum vulgare )
Fennel is a commonly used culinary herb which you have probably had at some point in your life. It’s that weird looking white bulb thing that smells a bit like Annis seed and tastes similar without the sweetness of licorice.
While its all that, its also a great stomach aid! Fennel has been used for centuries to cure bloating, acid, stomach cramps and to soothe the esophogus.
So, now you know what it is, how do you use it?
Leaf, bulb or seed? Well, you can use any or all of them!
Heres a quick and easy tea made from any part of the plant.
- A saucepan
- 1 tablespoon of root/leaves or 2 tsp of seeds
- A pestle and mortar if using seeds (optional but you will need to crush the seeds)
- Or empty teabags
Seed Prep And Method:
Put 2 tsps of fennel seeds into a pestle and mortar and crush them up a bit to start release the oils. We’re not looking for powder here so don’t go too crazy. You can improvise with a sandwich bag (freezer bag) and a rolling pin if you like.
Add 2 and a half cups of water to a pan and get it simmering. Add the seeds, cover with the lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Once done, take off the heat and let it brew for 5-10 minutes.
Pour through a strainer into a mug, add honey or sweetener of choice and drink.
If using leaf or bulb: You will want a tablespoon of fennel to 2 and a half cups of water. Follow the same process as with the seeds and there you have it, stomach soothing fennel tea!
WARNING: Fennel has the potential to cause interactions with some birth control pills that contain estrogen as well as some antibiotics. These are only problems in high doses but it’s worth being aware of these possible interactions.
Hopefully you found a home remedy for heartburn that works for you in this list of wonderful herbs and roots If you have a lot of flareups or you suffer from acid constatly, it could be a sign of more serious health issues and you should get checked out by a doctor just to be sure its not a sign or a hernia or something.
Enjoy your herbal tea and I’ll see you in the next post!
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