Natural remedies for acid reflux and hiatal hernia

Written by christopher hall
Natural remedies for acid reflux and hiatal hernia
Green tea can alleviate acid reflux. (Lucia9/iStock/Getty Images)

Hiatus hernia occurs when a portion of the stomach extends into the chest. This condition often causes acid reflux, or gastroesophogeal reflux. Acid reflux happens when the muscle at the bottom of your oesophagus that lets food in and keeps digestive acids out fails to work. Some of the acid from your stomach goes up your oesophagus, creating heartburn and a bitter taste in the back of your mouth. You can treat hiatus hernia naturally with lifestyle changes, herbs and nutritional therapy.

Hiatus hernia overview

Hiatus hernias can happen at any age but are more common after age 50. Smokers and people who struggle with obesity are more affected by hiatus hernias. If they occur in childhood they are almost certainly congenital. In people older than 50, this condition is very common. Acid reflux is often a symptom of hiatus hernia, but it can occur without the presence of a hernia. Often, the muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus, the LES, weakens with age, resulting in acid reflux.

Lifestyle changes

The goal for treatment of hiatus hernia is controlling the symptoms. The most common symptom is acid reflux. The first thing to do to treat acid reflux is to make lifestyle changes. Lose weight if you are obese. Smoking is a major irritant for acid reflux and other gastrointestinal conditions. Stop smoking. Many foods and drinks can make symptoms worse. Some common ones to avoid are carbonated beverages, caffeinated beverages, tomato juice, fatty foods, onions, garlic, mint and citrus fruits. Take a walk after eating, and avoid lying down for three hours after meals. Eat small, frequent meals rather than a few large meals. Wearing loose clothing can also help alleviate symptoms.

Herbal remedies

Herbs that are useful in treating acid reflux include DGL liquorice (a specially formulated liquorice you can find at health food shops), turmeric, green tea and reishi mushrooms. DGL liquorice should be taken either one hour before meals or two hours after. A suggested dosage is 250 mg to 500 mg (0.009 oz to 0.018 oz) three times a day. Turmeric, taken at a dose of 300 mg (0.01 oz) three times a day, will help with pain and inflammation. Green tea has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can be drunk as a tea or taken as a standardised extract. Take 250 mg to 500 mg (0.009 oz to 0.018 oz) daily. Reishi mushrooms helps with inflammation and immunity. Take to 300 mg (0.005 to 0.01 oz) two or three times daily.

Nutritional therapy

Nutritional therapy can include increasing antioxidant consumption in the form of more fruits and vegetables and increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B. Cod liver oil and salmon are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and sea vegetables are good sources of vitamin B.

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