Did you know that somewhere between 50-60 million Americans are affected by heartburn each year?
So if you’re feeling its uncomfortable effects, you’re not alone.
A few symptoms of heartburn may include a burning sensation in your chest after you eat, having trouble swallowing your food and a chronic sore throat or a cough that just won’t seem to go away.
While your first instinct may be to reach for an over-the-counter remedy, there’s actually a natural alternative that can provide you with just as much — if not more — relief from your symptoms.
As you’ll find out today, there are four specific essential oils for heartburn that may help alleviate gastrointestinal upsets the homeopathic way.
Before we dive into those essential oils, there are a few facts about heartburn you should know first.
3 Things You Should Know About Heartburn (Acid Reflux)
When left untreated, heartburn (or acid reflux), can lead to inflammation of the stomach, esophagus, lungs, vocal cords, and throat. This may be why you’re experiencing irritation in those specific areas.
Your diet can make matters worse
Chocolate, alcohol, caffeine (coffee, cola, tea, energy drinks, etc.) and fatty foods are acidic and should be avoided if you’re prone to heartburn.
If you stay away from those foods and you’re still suffering from acid reflux, know that there are even certain healthy foods can irritate an already sensitive situation in your digestion. These include tomatoes, onions, garlic, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
But keep in mind that everyone’s body is different and we all have different heartburn triggers. So, it’s crucial to identify as many possible triggers and trigger foods for your body as you can.
Keep a journal of everything you eat and then you can refer back to it later to find out what may have caused your heartburn. Look for patterns and repeat symptoms after eating certain foods or drinking specific beverages. Then you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments to your diet to avoid these triggers next time.
Adding more fiber to a balanced diet can help
To stop heartburn before it even happens, consider adding more fiber to your diet, balancing your healthy-eating habits with high-quality proteins, healthy fats and good carbs (i.e., more veggies, less pizza).
As an added perk, the extra fiber in your diet will help you feel fuller faster and for fewer calories - which will help promote weight loss. So, if you’re looking to shed a few pounds, consider fiber as important as your best workout buddy.
But there’s another great way you can help soothe your heartburn irritation: using essential oils.
Let’s talk about which specific oils you should reach for next time your heartburn symptoms flare up.
4 Essential Oils for Heartburn Relief
You don’t have to rely on chalky chewables or over-the-counter medicines to give you heartburn relief.
Fortunately, these essential oils are a great natural alternative:
#1: Peppermint Essential Oil
Thanks to its cooling property, peppermint essential oil may help relax irritated gastrointestinal muscles to allow painful gases to pass with ease.
It can also provide quick relief from heartburn, or reflux, and bloating.
Before you start using this natural remedy, understand that it must be used carefully and always in small quantities.
Remember— too much of a good thing can also be a problem. When your body has a build up of too much peppermint essential oil, you can actually end up causing more heartburn, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
The best way to find relief from uncomfortable bloating and painful heartburn, without taking things too far, is to make a topical remedy.
Since peppermint is also an invigorating scent, it’s best used early in the morning or as a quick afternoon pick-me-up after lunch.
If you’re no stranger to experiencing heartburn after lunch (and your energy levels also crashing), peppermint may be the perfect natural boost you need to power through the rest of your workday with fewer symptoms.
But what happens when your heartburn strikes later in the evening, or when you’re not looking to be energized?
This next oil is perfect for post-dinner, late-night tummy upsets.
#2: Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is another essential oil that packs a powerful punch when it comes to heartburn.
First, it has the ability to help relax irritations, making it very effective for soothing occasional indigestion and heartburn symptoms.
Not only that but - thanks to its soothing, sedative nature - it may also help anyone who suffers from insomnia, especially those who struggle to sleep thanks to nighttime reflux caused by GERD.
If you’re so bloated at night that you can’t sleep, or your reflux is making it just too difficult, mix a few drops of a lavender essential oil with a carrier oil and rub it on your belly and chest.
#3: Lemon Oil
While lemons are technically acidic, they’re actually very alkalizing in the body. So much so that, when lemon hits the stomach, it helps neutralize excess acid.
The antibacterial properties lemon boasts also kill off bad bacteria, flushing toxins and acids out of your stomach.
To get this kind of relief, add a drop of lemon essential oil to a glass of warm water and drink slowly. You may start to reduce the number of unhealthy bacteria floating around in your body while letting the good bacteria regain control.
Your body may process the food you eat better, saving you from the occasional bloat and heartburn symptoms that come after you enjoy certain meals (aka, your triggers).
#4: Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural way to treat a variety of gastrointestinal woes.
This is due to its ability to provide relief in two ways:
By stimulating the production of bile, which helps increase your body’s natural digestive aids.
And by soothing and calming irritations as the body naturally increases its bile production, decreasing both bloating and stomach ulcers.
That’s why ginger essential oil works extremely well to help ease upset stomachs and heartburn symptoms.
And if you ever suffer from motion sickness or heartburn when you’re out on the road traveling, a ginger essential oil should be your go-to remedy from now on.
This powerful combination can provide relief for both issues fairly quickly, especially if you apply it topically.
Mix a few drops into a carrier like sweet almond oil and then rub this on your stomach to reduce bloating and irritation.
Make Essential Oils Your Next Step for Heartburn Relief
Remember that, without completely eliminating your body’s specific dietary triggers, the essential oils you use to help find relief — and the over-the-counter medications you’ve been using — can only go so far.
That’s why it’s in your best interest to keep a food journal, try an elimination diet to get rid of your trigger foods first and then meet with a local naturopath to determine how to supplement your wellness routine with essential oils for heartburn.
He or she will be able to find the correct dosage for your ailment of GERD or heartburn using their expert knowledge and experience. And, before you start treating ailments on your own with essential oils, remember that high-quality oils can be potent. Adding more isn’t always better.
Just like in the case of peppermint essential oil mentioned above, you could actually bring on more heartburn if you’re not practicing a less-is-more mindset.
So now that you know there’s a natural alternative for heartburn relief, you’re ready for the tough part: figuring out which oil you want to try first!