GERD – short for gastroesophageal reflux disease – is one of the most complex digestive disorders in which bile refluxes (flows back) to the esophagus (food pipe). On such an occasion the acid reflux irritates esophagus lining and brings the GERD symptoms to the surface.
Although over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes bring relief to the symptoms, this disorder has to be checked over a longer period of time with natural remedies. Here are some useful herbs for treatment of GERD.
Effective Herbal Remedies for GERD
It is a well-known demulcent anti-inflammatory agent and diuretic. This North American native herb contains mucilage that forms a protective shield for the stomach, mouth and threat. Since slippery elm is known to slow down the absorption process it should be taken at least two hours prior to or after other medications. Pregnant women should avoid taking this herb as it may lead to miscarriage.
This particular herb supports the mucosa lining the digestive system. It also protects the stomach lining. Being an antacid, this herb maintains balance between digestive secretions and stomach acid levels.
This particular herb, native to Western Europe, southern Europe and north-eastern North America, forms slick gel that helps in relieving the pain associated with GERD. This herb has strong anti-inflammatory as well as anti-spasmodic properties.
Diabetics and people on drugs containing lithium should avoid taking marshmallow since it slows down absorption of other drugs. It is also useful in treating indigestion, stomach ulcers and inflammatory bowel disorders. It also relieves from irritation in respiratory and urinary tracts.
Native to central as well as southern Europe, licorice acts as a remedy for GERD symptoms owing to its active compound glycyrrhizin. This semisweet compound helps in the formation of mucus lining which relieves the burning sensation caused by excessive production of acid. It reduces production of extra pepsin.
One should avoid taking the variety of licorice that has glycyrrhizin because it increases sensitivity to adrenal cortex hormone thereby leading to various side effects such as fatigue, headache, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc.
This particular herb contains anethole that minimizes spasmodic actions in gastrointestinal tract. It relaxes the muscles of digestive organs. Fennel prevents acid reflux into esophagus. It is available in capsule form and as seeds. One can also brew it into tea.
It is known for its soothing effect on stomach and acts as a sure-shot remedy for digestive disorders. It absorbs harmful acid in stomach and hence cures GERD. However, taking ginger in abundance may worsen indigestion.
Turmeric’s role in discarding brain ailments is well known. At the same time, turmeric proves to be a great remedy for upset stomach, heartburn and other inflammation-induced disorders.
It contains allicin that helps in driving pathogenic organisms like Helicobacter pylori. Most GERD patients seem to be having Helicobacter pylori. You can either chew a clove of garlic or take its supplements.
GERD is often caused by stress. Being a relaxant, German Chamomile is fit as a remedy for GERD. It helps in keeping GERD at bay by promoting healthy digestion.
The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb heal the esophagus of the damage done by GERD.
In addition, there are a good number of other herbs that improve digestion in general and keep GERD at bay. These herbs are barberry, plantain, dandelion, etc.
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