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Natural heartburn relief is harder to come by than you may think. How can you get rid of heartburn fast and naturally? Here's an overview of acid reflux remedies that actually work.

Did you know that your stomach acid is so powerful that it makes great progress towards totally obliterating a razor blade after 24 hours of full immersion? You do now! [1]

It's no surprise, then, that the small-scale "chemical warfare" going on in your esophagus when you experience heartburn is, well, less than pleasant. Whether you're suffering from acid reflux because you are pregnant, ate too much spicy food, overdid the booze, or because you have GERD [2], one thing is clear: you want to get rid of heartburn fast

You may have arrived at this page because you frequently suffer from heartburn and want long-term natural heartburn relief, or because you're dealing with an acid reflux episode right now and want to know if you happen to have anything around the house that could serve as a natural heartburn remedy. Either way, let's take a look at the natural heartburn remedies that have been proven to relieve heartburn. 

Is Baking Soda A Good Natural Heartburn Remedy?

People will sometimes advise those with frequent episodes of heartburn to turn to baking soda, something nearly everyone has in the kitchen, to relieve heartburn. Simply dissolve a few teaspoons of baking soda into a glass of water, drink it, and wait for the magic to happen. I know from experience that baking soda relieves heartburn nearly instantly — this natural remedy saved me from acid reflux during pregnancy. 

What does science have to say about it, though? 

You may be interested to hear that sodium bicarbonate, the active ingredient in baking soda, is actually a common ingredient in commercial antacids to treat heartburn [3]. Antacids are commonly recommended for short-term acid reflux relief because they work, but those people who frequently experience heartburn are advised to seek medical help to discuss the possibility they may have GERD, and to find better long-term remedies, including lifestyle changes such as an acid reflux diet. Sodium bicarbonate does wonders for the stomach, you see, but it can lead to heart problems and baking soda toxicity in the long term. [4, 5

The verdict: Use a sparing amount of baking soda (a teaspoon or half a teaspoon) as a way to get rid of heartburn fast on occasion, but do not let it become a long-term crutch. 

Chewing Gum: A Natural Heartburn Remedy?

Research shows that chewing gum for 30 minutes after consuming a meal acts as a preventative heartburn remedy by increasing the flow of saliva and hence washing away any build-up of stomach acids in the esophagus caused by acid reflux [6]. Taking a walk for half an hour also has a mild preventative effect, but this is not nearly as effective as chewing gum [7]. 

The verdict: Pregnant women, people with GERD, and those with frequent episodes of heartburn should try chewing gum after meals. It won't do any harm and is very likely to help. Don't wait until you experience acid reflux — just chew gum!

Disproven Natural Heartburn Remedies

If someone tells you to use aloe vera juice, seaweed, slippery elm, or fresh garlic as natural remedies to get rid of heartburn fast, don't believe them — there is no scientific evidence that these so-called acid reflux remedies work. This still doesn't mean that you won't perceive these products as being helpful as natural heartburn relief on a personal level, however. [8]

Is yogurt a good heartburn remedy? Given the fact that it's often suggested, you may think so. Don't be fooled, however — yogurt is acidic, and acidic foods can trigger heartburn. 

The Best Natural Heartburn Remedies Aren't Really 'Remedies' At All

When you hear the term "natural heartburn remedy", you're likely to think of something you can actively ingest — perhaps a herb or an infusion of some kind. The best natural heartburn remedy is a closer look at your lifestyle, however. 

People who tend to suffer from episodes of heartburn late at night should strongly consider avoiding food altogether in the hours before you go to bed. Eat your last meal no later than 7 pm, and you are less likely to be struck by heartburn [9]. You will also want to sleep on your left side [10] and place your head in a slightly elevated position, using a pillow [11] if you suffer from heartburn at night. 

Food is a natural heartburn remedy as well. Eating foods that help heartburn and avoiding foods that trigger heartburn may be the most effective step you can take if you're often plagued by acid reflux.

An effective acid reflux diet requires you to avoid:

  • Coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, and citrus juice
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy and fatty meals
  • Chocolate, peppermint, and tomatoes

You are, on the other hand, encouraged to eat:

  • A fiber-rich diet
  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Polyunsaturated fats

This acid reflux diet will help you reduce the frequency of your episodes of heartburn. How you eat is just as important as what you eat, however, so you should also avoid eating large portions and rather stick to smaller meals, eaten more frequently. [12, 13]

The Bottom Line

Chew gum after meals if you are looking to prevent heartburn over the long term, but also consider adjusting your diet. Sleep on your left side with an elevated head, don't eat three hours before going to bed.

If you're struck by an acute episode of heartburn and it's not something that happens to you often, go ahead and use baking soda as your natural heartburn remedy. 

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