Acid reflux is a condition where the acid and digestive enzymes from the stomach flow backward up into the food pipe (oesophagus). The condition is more correctly known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) or by the US spelling gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). The problem lies with the lower oesophageal sphincter that normally remains closed to prevent the stomach contents from moving up into the oesophagus. When the sphincter is lax, it is unable to prevent this backward flow. Acid reflux typically causes heartburn – a burning sensation in the chest.

Diet and Lifestyle

  • Do not sleep or lie down immediately after eating. Avoid meals for 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Eat many small meals rather than a few large meals.
  • Chocolate, alcohol, spicy meals and other foods may trigger or worsen reflux. Refined foods like wheat and pasta can also be a problem and should therefore be avoided.
  • Regular exercise and weight loss can help reduce acid reflux.
  • Stopping cigarette smoking is also known to assist with managing reflux.
  • If night time reflux is severe, then elevate the head of the bed or sleep on specially designed wedges to prevent lying flat.

Herbal Remedies

  • Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
  • German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
  • Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Milkthistle (Silybum marianum)
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
  • Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva)

Homeopathic Remedies

  • Arsenicum album
  • Carbo vegetabilis
  • Lycopodium
  • Natrum sulphuricum (tissue salt)
  • Nux vomica
  • Phosphorus
  • Pulsatilla