What Is heartburn?

Heartburn is a medical condition where the contents of the stomach move backward and upward into the food pipe. Heartburn is also called gastrointestinal reflux. The diaphragm and a muscle called the LES, or lower esophageal sphincter usually prevent heartburn. If the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, the food pipe is unprotected from stomach acid. This can cause stomach acid to flow back up into your esophagus (acid reflux) and cause heartburn. The acid backup might be worse when you are bent over or lying down. 

See: Baking soda for heartburn & acid reflux

What are the symptoms?

An individual may experience heartburn when stomach acid comes into contact with the lining of the food pipe. This can cause the following symptoms:

- a sense of burning behind the breastbone, neck, and throat

- taste changes

- coughing

- voice hoarseness that's made worse by eating, leaning forward, and bending down

See: Diet plan to heal GERD

The discomfort of heartburn can last for many hours and might develop into a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. GERD can cause frequent heartburn, food sticking, damage to the food pipe, blood loss, and reduction of weight.

See: Bananas for heartburn & acid reflux

How do you get heartburn?

You'd think that modern life, with all its technologies, would render us more time to stop and smell the roses, but no, instead, we take more. We have got a "million things to do." Planes, trains, and automobiles get us there immediately, except when we have got a flight delay, traffic jams; now we're LATE for your date, always running.

We've got deadlines for work, deadlines to pick up the kids from soccer, the children have math homework, how do we make time to cook? What will the mother in law consider if I do not cook? I don't have any time to clean, I want to work, I must pay the bills. What if I can not pay the bills? What if I fall ill? 

See: Apple Cider Vinegar for acid reflux

I don't have sufficient time to do the purchasing, chop vegetables, cook meals. I'll take the kids to a restaurant after soccer; there will be no dishes to wash, which leaves me time to help with homework. My mother in law is coming, I will take out CURRY..sure it's extra SALTY, SPICY, SOUR and OILY, but everyone finds it yummy and ill have enough time to clean the house-- I could be a SuperHero.

CURRY, as a representation of a lot of the wrong sorts of foods, causes STRESS.

You may believe that picking up something or eating out alleviates your psychological stress, your HURRY, and WORRY with so much to do, but bad food stresses DIGESTION, which causes a domino effect throughout the entire body's system causing one to fall ill.

You ate the CURRY, and it was packed with SALT, OIL, TOMATO, CHILIS, and GARLIC.... .burp....ugh, I do not feel so well...

See: Homeopathic medicine for GERD

So you reach for an antacid sold in any store on any street corner. You scarf down a couple of colorful chewable tablets.

Problem solved?

Well, if this was one random episode of acute indigestion from a bad lunch, fine. But if you end up eating them like candy from the huge jar because today the heartburn is chronic, then you have got a problem.

And they make those antacids taste like candy, right? They are sold in a large package; they have to be ok, right? Wrong. Calcium carbonate-based antacids look good on paper; after all, we do need calcium.

BUT excess calcium in the digestive tract ends in dull digestion or 'manda agni.' The reduction of (good ) acids turns OFF immunity (85 percent of immunity is from the gut), making you vulnerable to a multitude of bugs and pathogens like H. PYLORI, the cause of several kinds of ULCERS and COLITIS. Extra calcium ions in the blood can lead to a terrible HEART (hypercalcemia) and a too basic PH, which causes KIDNEY failure. Not good.

So you go to the allopathic doctor who assesses you for signs of stomach cancer (its a wonderful idea to check that early detection is key) then prescribes a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) medication to relieve your pain and discomfort.

That will do the trick, right? I mean, after all, the TV commercial shows everybody's favorite cable guy eating a chili dog and smiling after taking this medicine, and you only need to eat a yogurt cup on your desk?

You should understand that these PPI medications are being found to shorten the lifespan in the women and men who take them regularly..there is an ongoing clinical trial happening now that is assessing the conclusion that these medications shorten telomeres in humans, the component of the chromosome responsible for cellular aging. It's already shown that long term use of PPIs increases the likelihood of morbid cardiovascular health by 18%, and the FDA has just approved these medications to be utilized in a length of two weeks in a 4-month span. Not worth the piece of pizza, in my opinion!

See: Essential oils for heartburn & acid reflux relief

Home remedies for heartburn relief

So what CAN you do?

1) A trip with your Ayurvedic Doctor can lead to recommended PANCHAKARMA therapies like Vamana (emesis), Virecchana (purgation), Basti (enema NOT with java ). These are clinical procedures that take a clinical specialist, NOT DIY remedies!

See: Ayurveda for GERD

2) Herbal remedies may include the use of Shatavari, Yashtimadhu, Shunthi, Amalaki medicinal herbs should be used under the supervision of a Qualified Professional, proper dosing can only be set per your unique needs based on a complete intake. We're all over and ready to function, so seek consultation for help with healing.

3) FOOD IS MEDICINE, and like any other medication, you've to use it as directed!

BAD FOODS are those that are SOUR, SALTY, PUNGENT, OILY, and have a HEATING temperate energy on the system.

4) SOUR fruits like TOMATO, berries, orange, grapefruit..coffee, black tea, chocolate..foods which include VINEGAR (for example, ACV), salad dressings, pickles..anything that is FERMENTED (double listing VINEGAR), such as YOGURT, cheese, wine, beer..any kind of alcohol is a no-no!

5) SALT is an important aggravator! You may not think of them; however, industrial compounds such as additives, artificial sweeteners, and carbonated beverages (sodas) and Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) fall under this category. Avoid them. I know that the elderly"plop, plop, fizz, fizz..." promises relief, but it's short-lived, it's causing greater problems later on if your condition is chronic.

6) Chilis, Cayenne, Red Pepper, Bell Pepper, Paprika, Mustard (ready, powder, seeds, and greens equally ), Collard, Turnip, Methi Greens, asafoetida, GARLIC, onions, eggplant, and TOMATO all need to be prevented.

7) OILY food is certainly anything deep-fried, anything with a 'slick' on top, any hydrogenated oil (like margarine), and even contains many'healthy' plant-based oils such as olive oil and sesame and corn.

8) Terrific FOODS are SWEET, gentle, BITTER, ASTRINGENT, moist to DRY and COLD in temperate energy (even if they are heated)

9) COOK your food with only a wee bit of GHEE or raw, cold-pressed COCONUT OIL because both of them have COLD temperate energy.

If you have to have sweeteners in your meals, choose little quantities of pure CANE sugar or pure MAPLE syrup since they are COOLING, whereas honey and agave will result in heat.

10) Meat eaters should prefer white chicken/turkey breast or white fish, all with the skin removed over dark poultry meat, red meat, pork, and shellfish.

12) Grains such as green basmati rice, heritage strain bulgur wheat, organic rolled oats and millet/sorghum paired with additives like mung dahl (split mung beans), masoor dal (red lentil) or green peas fresh or divide (mutter) are GOOD possibilities, provide complete protein for vegetarians and are detoxifying.

13) Corn, brown lentil (horse gram), Toor dal (yellow split pea), and black-eyed peas are all aggravating to pitta leading to hyperacidity and therefore are best to AVOID.

14) SWEET, ASTRINGENT and BITTER fruits and vegetables should comprise the majority of your foods like red apple (the green ones are sour), pear, black peppers, and dried fig can be appreciated in their own cooked form (and are great in a bowl of oatmeal with a pinch of peppermint to soothe your fried nerves). Veggies like squash, pumpkin, carrot, celery, spinach, beets, sweet potato, white potato, and purple potato are great choices, and LIGHT on digestion, just don't fry them!

15) DON'T ADD MILK or milk products to your own fruits, EVER. This really terrible food mix causes fermentation in the stomach and might most likely be the genesis of your difficulty.

16) COOLING DRINKS do not mean cold drinks. COLD DRINKS should be avoided since they will extinguish AGNI all together, causing more problems. Room temperature COCONUT WATER is a wonderful choice in addition to slow sips of plain WARM WATER first thing upon waking and during meals.

17) Sipping on tea made from FENNEL and CORIANDER seeds or LICORICE ROOT through the day is MEDICINE. Chewing on ice on your desk will only cause more problems like TMJ - your Gastroenterologist is only going to send you off to see the dentist for a mouth guard--more HURRY and WORRY, do not do it!

18) JARTHAGNI, the digestive fire, must be revived -- this implies using gentle spices in your meals, as a medicine, to kindle the fire without burning down the house.

19) GINGER ROOT (fresh) is very good in cases of hyperacidity. Even though it feels really hot, pungent, and sharp on the tongue, it's uniquely SWEET post digestively, which makes it COOLING on the GI. And it's penetrating to initiate the fine channels throughout the body, opening the path for prana to flow. Use it on your food or steep a few nickel-sized pieces in hot water to drink like tea. Just do not substitute ginger powder to receive new roots. That includes a hot and pungent effect.

20) LICORICE ROOT For Digestion: Licorice Root (not the black candies) soothes the GI. It's likely even to cure digestive ulcers. Drink no greater than 3 cups per day of 1 g of root powder and note that this is CONTRAINDICATED in cases of high blood pressure and some kidney disorders. If you are being treated for both of these conditions or taking medication to alter potassium levels, ask your prescribing doctor if LICORICE ROOT is safe for you.

21) FENNEL root, bulb, fronds, and especially SEED is beneficial! A teaspoon of seeds dipped in a cup of warm water makes for a tea-like drink that soothes the area. A 1/2 spoon of seeds chewed well and consumed after meals is a digestive aid is successful in the place. There's a very small dish of them on your favorite CURRY restaurant, so have a pinch on your way out!

22) CORIANDER seeds and leaves (cilantro) offer just another, immediate fixes. Seeds steeped in warm water (add them to the FENNEL) can be consumed as a tea; the powder could be cooked on your meals, and the fresh leaves sprinkled on top promote fantastic, cool gut health.

23) TURMERIC has BITTER and ASTRINGENT rasa to bring down inflammation. Use the powder to your foods since taking it by capsule can dry and burn out the colon. Turmeric requires GINGER and/or BLACK PEPPER and fat like ghee or coconut oil to operate, so always include it on your humble homemade khichuri to be healthy.

24) BLACK PEPPER (piper nigrum) is pungent but also has SWEET rasa, it might be used in moderation to your benefit. Your Qualified Practitioner might even prescribe a formula that includes Pipali, Black Long pepper (piper longum) as this has prabhava, a distinctive characteristic, to be cooling and sweet post digestively yet penetrating to melt down the ama, the toxic waste residue that is ailing you.


Put that behind you through LIFESTYLE CHANGES.


25) MEDITATION. Yes, I know you do not have time for this; as the saying goes, "If you don't have the time for 10 minutes of meditation every day, you will need to meditate for an hour!"

And it's true, MAKE time to meditate, and your productivity will increase, I PROMISE! You may steal 10 minutes somewhere on your day and DO THIS! The Boss just dropped a heap of work on you that's due as of yesterday? You may slip into the corporate toilet lock yourself behind the privacy of a stall door, set your timer for just 5 minutes, do your thing and come out refreshed and ready to tackle the task in record time.

27) EXERCISE. A moving body makes a still Mind. And in case you can't devote 10 minutes to moving, you would like to have an hour! For people with an hour, why don't you visit the gym and get on the stationary cycle or drop from the Yoga Studio for an easy vinyasa flow class? If you only have 10 minutes, you are able to do 10 Sun Salutations before your morning commute or park a few blocks from the office, deciding to walk the rest of the way. Your productivity will increase, and you'll get more restful sleep.

28) Stay UPRIGHT after meals. Yes I know, it was an exhausting day. You simply have to lay down after dinner. Don't. Staying upright does not mean slumping on the couch looking for "bad boss" memes to place on Facebook; it means UPRIGHT!

29) Why not stay upright by taking a gentle 10-minute walk around the neighborhood after dinner? Does this count as a workout? YES! Hey, turn it into a "moving meditation," and you're a multi-tasker! You're doing three things at the same time without difficulty!

Hurry, Worry, and Curry is not the way you roll--you are a Unicorn of Health, Harmony, and Happiness!


See: Is yogurt good for acid reflux & heartburn

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