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As of 2011, there has been an on-going trend toward more natural supplementation and handling of everyday health problems, including acid reflux. Sometimes referred to as heartburn, acid reflux occurs when the stomach acid goes up the esophagus, creating a burning feeling in the throat and chest. Certain factors like diet, weight or pregnancy usually increase the likelihood of getting acid reflux. There are many different types of herbs for acid reflux that assist in easing and soothing the various symptoms. Popular choices are fennel, aloe vera, ginger and peppermint.
Fennels help to soothe and relax the stomach and esophageal muscles. This helps to lessen the chance of convulsive muscle movement, which may force the acid back up.It is typically used as an additive in foods, as a tea, or even in pill form. The herb is increasingly becoming popular for treating acid reflux.
Aloe vera is one of the herbs for acid reflux that many believe is the most effective. In fact, several people state it is the traditional usage for aloe vera. It soothes the entire digestive system and helps to prevent irritation and inflammation. This herb may be taken in gel form or as a juice. Approximately 2 tbsp of the gel form is recommended every day for the best prevention of reflux.
Properties in ginger make this one of the desirable herbs for acid reflux since it both soothes the stomach and absorbs some of the acid in the stomach, which greatly reduces the chances of getting acid reflux. It is also an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, making it a widely used herb. There is some controversy to its usage, however, because it is easy to ingest too much ginger, which may then result in making acid reflux symptoms worse.
Another popular, yet controversial, herbs for acid reflux is peppermint. It improves the flow of bile in the gut and calms the muscles in the stomach, which makes digestion easier and reduces the chances of getting reflux. Many doctors warn that if a person has chronic acid reflex or gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), then peppermint should not be used. This is because the peppermint also relaxes the sphincter, allowing an increased chance of acid to make its way back to the esophagus.
While taking herbs for acid reflux may seem like a safe and natural way to cure the discomforts, there are several cautions to take into consideration. Herbs may interact with one another or with over-the-counter and prescribed drugs, making them ineffective or even creating a fatal combination. They may also cause unwanted side effects. It is recommended that a discussion with a healthcare professional take place before deciding on using any herbal remedy.