Tea for Heartburn - What To Take & What To Avoid
That rising burning feeling in the chest is never a pleasant experience. Whether triggered from sitting down to eat or when sprawling out to sleep, heartburn can make daily life a chore and can lead to lifestyle interruptions like not wanting to lie down or avoiding eating. Rather than live in this interrupted state you can look towards lifestyle changes and natural remedies to help get to the root of the cause.
There are some gentle healing teas out there that work wonders on the digestive system and can soothe the stomach and reduce the impact of acid reflux and heartburn. From sweet and easy chamomile to slippery elm, take a look at the best tea for heartburn.
Clearing Up Heartburn, Acid Reflux & GERD
Heartburn is often a common side effect of acid reflux which can be fleeting or a more chronic condition known as GERD. Here we break down the three conditions so you can get a better understanding of what you are dealing with…
What is Acid Reflux?
There’s a muscle that joins the stomach with the esophagus. This muscle tightens after food passes through, however, if the muscle is weakened or not working properly for some reason, it may not tighten enough and this can cause your stomach acid to move up into the esophagus.
What is Heartburn?
The term heartburn sounds scary but in reality, what is happening is nothing to do with the heart and is linked to the digestive system. Heartburn is a side effect of acid in the esophagus rising up. As acid is an irritant it can lead to inflammation of the food pipe which in turn triggers the feeling of heartburn. This condition is hugely common and while it’s not serious it can be stressful and uncomfortable thanks to the burning sensation.
What is GERD?
GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease which is a chronic condition of acid reflux. For those who have acid reflux twice a week or more, this could be a sign that you are suffering from GERD. This condition isn’t as easily solved by antacids or lifestyle management and can lead to more serious side effects like asthma, chest pain, tooth enamel damage, and long term damage to the esophagus can even come with cancer risk.
What Are the Side Effects?
If you are suffering from acid reflux (which can lead to heartburn) then you may experience the following side effects…
· Discomfort in chest
· Warm or sour taste in the back of the throat
· Abdominal pain
· Upset stomach
· Sore throat
What are the Causes?
There are several triggers for acid reflux and heartburn that can range from lifestyle choices to medication or even just certain foods if you tend to be sensitive to this issue. Here are a few common causes that may bring your acid reflux issues and heartburn bubbling to the surface…
· Drinking alcohol
· Certain medications
· Acidic and spicy foods
· Eating large meals or eating too quickly
Tea for Heartburn - The Brews That Are Beneficial!
When your heartburn starts to flare, you can skip the antacids and say farewell to that fiery chest syndrome and try one of these gentle and glorious teas. Calming chamomile, gorgeous ginger, and magical marshmallow, we have a handful of teas that can help and a few that you should skip if you are struggling with heartburn issues.
Gentle chamomile tea is all about lulling you into a state of sheer relaxation. This delightful daisy-like plant is pure calm not just when it comes to stress-busting but also when it comes to helping the body unwind and encouraging restorative sleep. Chamomile tea is also a good gut soother. Full of anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile has a herbal makeup that actually reduces stomach acid and can also help prevent ulcers too.
When it comes to all things digestion, ginger tea is the only brew you need. This golden spicy root may be known for clearing out colds and flu, but it also gets to work on easing everything from nausea to stomachache too. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help you beat the bloat, deal with IBS, and help your stomach digest food faster. Along with all of that, gorgeous ginger also helps to reduce acid reflux as it cuts down on the production of acid in the stomach which will naturally solve the acid surge problem.
Licorice Root Tea
The slightly sweet and aniseed like taste of licorice root tea can also help to heal heartburn and reduce the symptoms of GERD too. This dreamy tea has an active ingredient called glycyrrhizin which is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and brimming with antimicrobial properties too. Along with all of that, licorice root tea has been studied over a two year period and found to be as effective in battling heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD as over the counter antacids.
Marshmallow Root Tea
One of the main factors of heartburn and acid reflux is the fact that your esophagus needs a little TLC. Marshmallow Root Tea can actually help strengthen the lining of your esophagus which means you can coat it in a protective lining and keep acid firmly at bay. As this tea has emollient properties and is good and gooey, it can protect the lower esophageal sphincter from stomach acid so even if it gets backed up in there, the acid won’t be able to irritate the muscle. It also helps repair the gut lining and reduces inflammation. Full score all round for the magic of marshmallow root.
Slippery Elm Tea
Just as the name suggests, Slippery Elm can be another amazing tea for coating and soothing the stomach to stop heartburn and reflux in its tracks. Slippery elm comes from the bark of the slippery elm tree and just like the marshmallow root, this brew has plenty of mucilage which can coat the esophagus and prevent irritation and inflammation for any backup that may occur.
What Tea to Avoid?
While you can sip the above brews to your heart delight, you may want to skip out on some of the other teas if you are struggling with heartburn and acid reflux. Some teas and drinks, in general, can be a trigger point for acid levels to rise which will exacerbate the side effects and even encourage heartburn. The following teas should be consumed with care…
Peppermint tea can be a double-edged sword for those who are battling heartburn and acid reflux. While this fresh and bright brew certainly has a ton of healing benefits when it comes to all your stomach woes it may make your symptoms of GERD and heartburn worse. This is because peppermint has high relaxant properties when it comes to the digestive system meaning that it can relax the muscle that closes off the stomach from the esophagus. This can cause acid to seep through and rise up which is one of the main causes of heartburn.
Any Regular Tea (True Tea)
True teas should also be avoided when dealing with heartburn as the caffeine can make stomach acid even worse. True teas are those that come from the camellia sinensis plant. Namely, black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, and Pu'er tea too. Sticking to decaffeinated teas and herbal teas that aren’t too acidic are your best bet for staying hydrated and healing your heartburn.
What Other Drinks Might Help?
If you don’t want to stick solely to herbal teas then there are other sweet sips that can help you out. Take a look at some of the alternative choices for drinks that could just sort your stomach issues too…
Low Fat Milk
As the term suggests, acid reflux is linked too an excess of acid so anything alkaline may be able to help balance things out. Low fat milk can help to cool an acidic stomach and also to coat the stomach lining which can reduce the impact of inflammation. If you don’t drink dairy, then almond milk, coconut milk, and other plant based milks also work well.
Drink fruit juices with caution when it comes to heartburn as those highly acidic juices may not make you feel any better. The juices that can have a positive impact can be aloe vera juice with its cooling properties, carrot juice, watermelon juice, and cucumber and pear juice too.
Smoothies are forever soothing and as long as you don’t pick smoothies that are full of acidic fruits like citrus, pineapple, apple, etc then you can enjoy this healthy shake without stirring up your heartburn. Opt for smoothies bursting with ingredients like spinach, avocado, pear, watermelon, kale, and other soft suggestions. You can also add in yogurt or non-dairy milk to bring that cooling alkaline fat to the party too.
Always unobtrusive, healthy, and forever refreshing – simple water will help keep heartburn at bay. If you want to fancy up your water you can add cool cucumber to the mix although be sure to skip the lemon. Carbonated water may not make you feel so good thanks to the gas so stick with still over sparkling.
Heartburn doesn’t have to cause you daily discomfort as there are small lifestyle and diet tweaks you may be able to make to keep the worst symptoms at bay. If you can note your trigger foods and skip them, swap out large meals for smaller bites, and stay upright after eating and drinking for several hours you may notice an improvement. Also, turning to these teas in times of woe can help to ease the immediate discomfort and bring relief.
What are your favorite go-to teas for heartburn and stomach acidity? Share your tips with us in the comments.
Medical Disclaimer: While we have delved into the research available on the health benefits of tea, this is for informative purposes only and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Those who have any health-related queries should be sure to reach out to their medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.