For hundreds of years, ginger has been used to treat all sorts of medical problems from morning sickness to motion sickness. It can be found in gingersnaps, gingerbread, and even hiding next to the wasabi paste at your favorite sushi restaurant.
But did you know that ginger can also be used to treat heartburn?
As you eat, your esophagus slowly contracts in small waves which helps push the food you’ve just chewed down into your stomach (the medical folks out there like to call this peristalsis). Just a little bit of ginger can increase the effectiveness of peristalsis which means that you have a better chance of keeping your acidic stomach contents down where they belong.
Ginger is also know for increasing circulation to the stomach which improves digestion. The less time that it takes to process your food, the less likely your chances of having acid reflux.
Another benefit of ginger is that it also stimulates your salivary glands. Saliva can act as a natural antacid in neutralizing small amounts of acid reflux that might back up into your esophagus.
You’re probably wondering if ginger is such a great remedy for acid reflux, what do I need to do? Well, you have a couple of options:
You could make a healthy ginger root tea. After meals, just add 1 1/4 to 2 teaspoons of freshly ground or shredded ginger into a cup of boiling water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, strain the ginger, and then drink at comfortable temperature. You might also want to add honey which can also be a natural heartburn reliever in itself. We’ll be talking about the positive benefits of honey in another post.
If drinking plain ginger tea is a bit too much for your taste buds, you can always take a bag of your favorite herbal tea blend and put it in a cup of boiling water along with a small slice of fresh peeled ginger.
Now if you are really brave, you can try chewing on fresh ginger.
Simply cut off a half inch (roughly 1 cm) piece of fresh ginger root, trim the skin off the sides, and cut it into several smaller pieces. Take one small piece of ginger and chew on it after meals to relieve your heartburn pain. The taste may be pretty strong and spicy at first, so beware.
If chewing on a piece of ginger just doesn’t sound appealing, you can also try adding ginger as an ingredient to the foods that you cook. You’ll reap all the benefits of ginger while adding a unique flavor to your meals.
Ginger comes in a host of other forms so if chewing on fresh peeled ginger isn’t your thing, you have a couple of other options:
You can take a couple of ginger root capsules which are available at most health food stores. You might also want to try ginger powder which can be easily added to your favorite beverage or foods. Another equally effective method of getting your dose of ginger is by drinking some raw ginger juice.
We leave you with one minor word of warning here, like most things in life, overdoing ginger consumption may actually lead to more acid reflux so please take ginger in moderation.
If you would like to read a more thorough description of various circumstances that lead to heartburn, as well as different holistic treatment methods, you can download the Heartburn no More e-book with over 150 pages of great information.
Causes and Remedies Quick Tip Summary:
- Chew on a small piece of fresh ginger
- Add ginger as an ingredient to the foods that you cook
- Ginger stimulates the production of saliva which can also serve as an acid neutralizer
- You can also try ginger capsules, ginger powder, or ginger juice to help combat heartburn symptoms
- Over consumption of ginger may cause heartburn