I did some research on natural remedies for GERD. These are some of the things I found:
DGL stands for Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice. The glycyrrhizin in licorice root can cause problems, so it is removed in the DGL tablets. So, I went to the health food store and looked at the bottle they had. It contained magnesium stearate. Now, this is an ingredient I don’t recognize and it doesn’t sound like a food source, which is always a red flag for me. So I looked it up (on my phone, in the store, this is one of the reasons why once you get a smart phone you can never go back). I found this article, which says it’s only purpose is to help in production of the product, so it doesn’t stick to the machines. Call me crazy, but I’m not going to put a questionable ingredient in my body while it’s already compromised.
Granted, the prescription I’m taking no doubt has bad stuff in it, but I’m trying to get off of it as quickly as possible.
Okay, so I didn’t buy the DGL. And I came home and looked for a non-stearate online source and can’t find one. So DGL is out. I hate the taste of licorice, anyway.
Aloe Vera juice is supposed to help soothe the lining of the esophagus and stomach, as well as improving digestion. I looked online at ways of extracting the juice from the leaves, because I have a plant. However, my plant is looking a little sickly right now so I decided to get a leaf from the store (you can get it at the Market Basket in Leominster). But before I did I looked in the health food store at their bottles of aloe vera juice. Thought it would be easier to do it that way. It would be. Only there were unrecognizable or undesirable ingredients in all of those bottles, too.
Gum & Mastic Gum
Chewing gum is supposed to be good because it makes your mouth produce saliva. And mastic gum is apparently a gum that includes chalk (alkalizing) and helps soothe your stomach. But even the health food store didn’t have a gum without artificial sweetener. Their gum contained xylitol – which the storekeeper assured me wasn’t bad for you, at which point I informed him I was picky. And the mastic gum contained magnesium stearate.
Strike the gum.
Fennel Seed & Chamomile
Fennel seeds are supposed to help cut back the acid in your stomach. Chamomile is supposed to settle your digestive system down and reduce the swelling of your digestive track. I looked in my spice cabinet and sure enough, I had fennel seeds. Yay! And I looked in my tea drawer and actually had some dried chamomile. I think one of the kids must have gotten that for me, because I’ve not really ever been a fan. However, I am now! What a nice surprise that was! I tried chewing on some fennel seeds, only they are licorice-flavored – blech. So I made a fennel/chamomile tea (suggested somewhere online) and drank that. It wasn’t half bad!
My first at-home natural remedy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This remedie sounds counter-intuitive to me because vinegar is so acidic, but here is the description I found:
“Apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which is one of the best fat burning substances. However, the vinegar will also help to calm your poor roiling stomach, and will help to prevent the very acute pain that is caused by acid reflux. It is a fast-acting remedy that can reduce and prevent the pain.”
I have gobs of apple cider vinegar. However, I’m not sure how it was processed, so I went and got some of good ol’ Bragg’s organic raw cider vinegar. I haven’t had some yet. I’m a little scared….
Literature on this says that some people say probiotics help them, some say it makes things worse. I found a bottle that didn’t have magnesium stearate as an ingredient and got it.
Actually, you can see the natural products I wound up with (minus the fennel seeds and chamomile that I already had), in the photo above (sorry for the poor quality, I used my iphone). So, this is my arsenal of supplies. Chris’ pharmacy.
This website has been a wonderful source of information!