Can you use natural remedies to cure heartburn? It's time to find out

That burning sensation that creeps up your chest and neck from your stomach can take the fun out of eating. If the heartburn is bad enough, it can take the fun out of a lot of things. Often, people are desperate enough to be rid of the discomfort that they'll try any remedy that's suggested to them.
Unfortunately, some remedies can actually do more harm than good. Knowing which ones have hope of working and which ones should be walked away from can save you a lot of wasted time and "heartache." Check out these 7 common home remedies and whether you should try them or not.
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1. Peppermint. Some recommend using peppermint tea an hour before eating to help "reduce the feeling of fullness and aid in digestion." Unfortunately, these proponents forget that the peppermint that shows promise is part of a proprietary herbal product called Iberogast that contains 8 other herbs. Scientists are uncertain which of the herbs is responsible for its success, or if you must have all of them working together. WebMD states that peppermint oil is known for making heartburn worse, though, so those who suffer from acid reflux, GERD or heartburn should avoid taking it.
2. Lemon juice. Avoiding lemon juice would seem like common sense to heartburn sufferers. WebMD gives a common list of foods to avoid, among which are citrus fruits. The argument for lemon juice is that your heartburn is caused by a lack of stomach acid, so by increasing the acid in your stomach through a highly acidic substance like lemon juice, your stomach won't have to work as hard to create its own. No research has been done to show if this is effective, but doctors know that citrus juice tends to make heartburn worse.
3. Pineapple Juice. Drinking 4 ounces of pineapple juice after a meal is recommended to help your stomach digest its food. Pineapple juice contains bromelain, a substance that aids in digestion. Unfortunately, Medical News Today points out that you can't get enough bromelain from eating or drinking pineapple or pineapple juice to make a difference in your digestive ability. What doctors do know is that pineapple juice is highly acidic and can increase people's problems with heartburn.
4. Aloe vera juice. RefluxMD explores the idea of drinking aloe vera juice for heartburn. No research has been done to show whether aloe vera juice actually helps or not. All that is available is anecdotal evidence. A caution to keep in mind, though, is that aloe vera latex is dangerous and should not be consumed orally. Aloe vera gel is also one to be cautious with. Aloe vera juice is often used as a laxative, so caution is recommended if you're trying this remedy. Also, it is known to have interactions with medication, so speak with your doctor before trying it.
5. Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar appears to be the new cure-all in the home remedy world. Many are recommending using it to treat heartburn as well. If you think it seems a little counterproductive to treat heartburn with acid, you would be correct. Although WebMD gives a long list of apple cider vinegar's health benefits, helping with heartburn is not among them. Caution is given regarding its high acid, though, and the damage it can do to teeth. It can also cause an upset stomach.
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6. Gum. Strange, but true, chewing sugar-free, or any, gum does appear to help prevent heartburn. Why? The People's Pharmacy shares the secret that chewing gum stimulates your mouth's production of saliva. This saliva is then swallowed, forcing acid back down into your stomach. By popping a piece of gum into your mouth after a meal, you can reduce your heartburn and have fresh breath.
7. Baking soda. Using baking soda for heartburn has been around for a really long time. You can combine 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water and drink the solution to help break up the extra stomach acid, according to WebMD. The great news is that this is a remedy that works. The bicarbonate of soda does actually lower your stomach acid. Be careful not to take it within two hours of other medication.
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Sometimes the old-time remedies are the best. The next time heartburn strikes, reach for your baking soda or a piece of gum to help break up the acid.
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