Unfortunately, acid reflux is an incredibly common digestive disorder. In Western countries, a staggering 20% of the population suffers from acid reflux daily.
Many of us believe acid reflux is just ‘one of those things’. That is, a nasty byproduct of certain foods like tomatoes or chocolate that we simply can't fix. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. There are several low-cost remedies that can help to ease the painful effects of acid reflux.
In this article, we’ll be focusing specifically on teas. That’s right - there are a number of herbal teas that can stave off acid reflux for good. From camomile to rooibos, we’ll be looking at eight of the best teas to help you beat acid reflux.
That said, let’s get into it.
What is Acid Reflux?
As you’re reading this article, you probably already know what acid reflux feels like. Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is the painful sensation you feel in your chest and throat after eating certain foods. You may also experience an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid. Acid reflux can lead to feelings of heartburn, indigestion, and overall uneasiness.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. Essentially, a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) malfunctions. The LES is meant to close after food passes into the stomach. However, when it doesn’t function properly, acid can sneak back into the esophagus.
There are a number of factors that can cause the LES to weaken and lead to acid reflux. These factors include:
- Diet. Certain foods, such as fatty, fried, acidic, or spicy foods, can relax the LES and cause acid reflux. Similarly, so can caffeine, carbonated beverages, chocolate, and citrus fruits.
- Obesity. Excess body weight can put pressure on the stomach and LES. This increases the likelihood of acid reflux.
- Hiatal Hernia. A hiatal hernia is when part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest. This condition can weaken the LES and lead to acid reflux.
- Pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can relax the LES, leading to acid reflux.
- Smoking. Smoking can weaken the LES and increase stomach acid production, contributing to acid reflux.
- Certain Medications. Some medications, such as aspirin, muscle relaxants, and blood pressure medications, can relax the LES. This may lead to acid reflux.
- Stress. Chronic stress can affect the function of the LES and increase the risk of acid reflux.
- Lying Down After Meals. Lying down or bending over shortly after eating can allow stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus more easily.
Acid reflux is common. However, if you’ve been suffering from severe acid reflux for a while, you should see a doctor.
Chronic and severe acid reflux (known as GERD) can cause more serious health problems. These include inflammation of the esophagus, ulcers, and increased risk of esophageal cancer.
8 Teas to Help Alleviate Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can be a burden in anyone’s life. Thankfully, the eight herbal teas in this list can serve as a natural remedy.
Ginger tea is renowned for its digestive benefits and soothing properties. Its refreshing flavor makes it a popular choice among tea enthusiasts. Most importantly, ginger tea has the potential to alleviate symptoms of acid reflux.
Here's how ginger tea can help reduce acid reflux:
- Digestive Aid. Ginger has traditionally been used to ease digestive discomforts, including indigestion and bloating. It can help relax the gastrointestinal tract muscles, which may alleviate the regurgitation of stomach acid.
- Anti-Inflammatory. Ginger contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. These may help reduce inflammation in the esophagus and soothe irritated tissues.
- LES Function. Some studies suggest that ginger may support LES function. A well-functioning LES can help prevent acid reflux.
- Nausea Relief. Ginger is known for its anti-nausea effects. Sipping ginger tea can help calm an upset stomach and reduce the feeling of acid reflux.
You can opt for pre-packaged tea bags or create your brew using fresh ginger root to enjoy ginger tea. Simply peel and slice a small piece of fresh ginger, add it to hot water, and let it steep for about 5-10 minutes. You can also enhance the flavor by adding a touch of honey or lemon.
Chamomile tea is known for its calming effects. Beyond those, chamomile tea can also aid digestion and relieve discomfort. Thus, it may help to manage acid reflux.
Here's how chamomile tea can help reduce acid reflux:
- Digestive Comfort. Chamomile tea is known for its ability to relax the gastrointestinal tract muscles. This relaxation can help prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus, reducing the risk of acid reflux.
- Anti-Inflammatory. Chamomile contains anti-inflammatory compounds. These can help soothe inflamed tissues in the esophagus and alleviate acid reflux.
- LES Support. Chamomile may aid LES functioning. A well-functioning LES can help prevent acid reflux symptoms.
- Calming Effects. Stress and anxiety can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms. Chamomile's natural sedative properties can help calm the nervous system. This can reduce the likelihood of stress-induced acid reflux.
To prepare chamomile tea, simply steep a chamomile tea bag or a teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers in hot water for about 5-10 minutes. The delicate floral aroma and mild flavor make it a soothing choice for any time of day.
Turmeric tea has several health benefits, mostly relating to its anti-inflammatory and digestive-supporting properties. Turmeric's active compound, curcumin, can alleviate digestive discomfort.
Here's how turmeric tea can help reduce acid reflux:
- Anti-Inflammatory. Curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory properties. These may help reduce inflammation in the esophagus.
- Digestive Support. Turmeric has been used traditionally to support digestion. It may help promote the production of bile, which aids in the digestion of fats and supports overall digestive function.
- LES Function. Turmeric's potential to relax smooth muscle tissue may extend to the LES, reducing the risk of acid reflux.
- Gut Health. Turmeric may positively impact gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. This can contribute to better digestion and a reduction in digestive discomfort.
You can use fresh turmeric root, turmeric powder, or pre-packaged turmeric tea bags to prepare turmeric tea.
Marshmallow Root Tea
Marshmallow root tea is a lesser-known remedy for soothing digestive discomfort. The mucilage content in marshmallow root gives it a soothing and protective quality. This can help coat the esophagus and stomach lining, offering relief from irritation and inflammation.
Here's how marshmallow root tea can help reduce acid reflux:
- Mucilage Content. Marshmallow root contains mucilage. Muscilage is a gel-like substance that can form a protective barrier along the gastrointestinal tract. This barrier may help protect the esophagus and stomach from the corrosive effects of stomach acid.
- LES Function. Marshmallow root's soothing properties may help relax the LES.
- Anti-Inflammatory. Marshmallow root's anti-inflammatory properties may help alleviate inflammation in the esophagus.
To prepare marshmallow root tea, steep one teaspoon of dried marshmallow root in hot water for approximately 10-15 minutes. You can also find pre-packaged marshmallow root tea bags for convenience.
Peppermint tea is known for its refreshing flavour. Alongside its numerous health benefits, peppermint tea can also help to alleviate acid reflux.
Here's how peppermint tea can help reduce acid reflux:
- Relaxation of LES. Peppermint contains compounds that can relax the LES. While this relaxation can help alleviate symptoms of indigestion, it may worsen acid reflux for some individuals.
- Soothing Sensation. Peppermint's natural menthol content can provide a cooling and soothing sensation. This may temporarily alleviate the discomfort of acid reflux.
- Digestive Relief. Peppermint tea has traditionally been used to ease digestive discomforts. It may promote better digestion and alleviate some acid reflux symptoms.
To enjoy peppermint tea, start by boiling water. Put a peppermint tea bag or dried peppermint leaves in your cup. Pour over boiling water, and let it steep for about 5-7 minutes. Then remove the tea bag or strain the leaves, add sweetener if desired, let it cool slightly, and enjoy.
Slippery Elm Tea
Slippery elm tea may relieve acid reflux symptoms due to its mucilage content. This forms a protective and soothing layer along the digestive tract.
Here's how slippery elm tea can help reduce acid reflux:
- Protective Coating. Slippery elm's mucilage can create a gentle coating on the lining of the esophagus and stomach. This provides a barrier against stomach acid and reducing irritation.
- Soothing Irritation. The soothing properties of slippery elm can help alleviate the discomfort and burning sensation associated with acid reflux.
- Reducing Inflammation. Slippery elm's anti-inflammatory effects may help calm inflammation in the esophagus. This can promote healing and ease discomfort.
- LES Function. Some believe that slippery elm might have a positive effect on the LES, improving its function.
- Digestive Support. Slippery Elm may promote overall digestive health, helping in better digestion and reducing digestive discomfort.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea is known for its potential to provide relief from acid reflux symptoms due to its soothing and protective properties. Here's how it may help:
- Soothing Mucilage. Licorice root contains natural compounds that produce a mucilage-like substance when mixed with water. This mucilage can coat the esophagus and stomach lining, helping to protect them from the corrosive effects of stomach acid.
- Anti-Inflammatory. Licorice root has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce inflammation in the esophagus and alleviate discomfort caused by acid reflux.
- Enhancing Mucosal Defense. Licorice root may support mucin production, a substance that forms the protective layer of the stomach and esophagus.
- Digestive Comfort. Licorice root has been traditionally used to ease various digestive discomforts.
Thankfully, there are a wide variety of herbal teas that can help to manage acid reflux symptoms. From chamomile to ginger and slippery elm, these teas offer unique properties that may relieve digestive discomfort.
However, it's crucial to remember that individual responses can vary. What works for one person might not work the same way for another. If you're considering incorporating these teas into your routine, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
By combining these teas with a balanced diet, proper hydration, regular exercise, and other healthy lifestyle practices, you can work towards finding relief and achieving optimal digestive well-being.
Shop the Best Teas for Acid Reflux at Love
At Love, we sell a wide range of herbal teas to help alleviate your acid reflux. From chamomile to peppermint and everything inbetween, you’re sure to find just the thing. Visit our extensive store today for special offers and unique products.
The information provided in this blog post is intended for general informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or your health and wellbeing. Love.com does not recommend or endorse any specific products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in this blog post. Reliance on any information appearing on this blog post is strictly at your own risk.