Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
For most people struggling with indigestion- maybe you call it acid reflux or GERD (gastro-esophagial reflux disease)- I will refer you to a post I wrote about treating chronic cases naturally. However, in this post I offer quite a bit of commentary on why the conventional medical approach with dietary restrictions, over-the-counter and prescription medications actually make the problem worse.
For me, indigestion and acid reflux only occur during pregnancy because in my “normal” life I follow my own advice offered in that post because my advice gets down to the root of the problem. That information is still prevalent for pregnant women, but I want to share some additional natural remedies I turn to that may help others who struggle with regular indigestion- pregnant or not.
1. Papaya Enzyme Extract
This is a popular natural option for indigestion and it really does work. It adds natural enzymes to the tummy to help with digestion and is very effective in calming the burning sensation in your chest. I like this option way more than commercial acid blockers, but it doesn’t exactly help get to the root of the problem. If you find yourself taking a ton of these pills every day then you probably need to try something else from this list. Papaya enzyme chewables are definitely worth having on hand. Click here to get papaya enzyme chewables.
2. Licorice, Fennel, Anise Seed, Ginger, Peppermint
Herbs or other plant remedies with fennel and/or anise seed, ginger and peppermint can be wonderful for indigestion. You can often find herbal teas with these ingredients at a health food store!
Make sure you’re always keeping your body full of healthy little bugs that keep things clean and flowing. I suggest that probiotic supplements are one of the most important supplements to take every day. Most people notice a significant improvement in their digestion when they take a high quality probiotic supplement (like this one).
It’s also important to get plenty of probiotic foods into your diet, like whole, plain yogurt, kefir or you can make your own probiotic foods with my lacto-fermented food recipes.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is well known to help with a zillion things- especially digestion. Apple cider vinegar has an acidic pH level that helps keep the stomach acid levels where they’re supposed to be. The reason I love apple cider vinegar so much is because it actually addresses the real reason you are probably dealing with indigestion or acid reflux. Please learn all about the real cause of acid reflux and healing GERD naturally at this post. Meanwhile drink a swig of some apple cider vinegar with honey and a little water water at every meal and you’ll probably notice a difference in your digestion issues.
5. Specific Foods At Specific Times
Diet is extremely important when addressing any digestive problem. If you’re eating total crap then there’s a good chance that these tips can’t help you very much. Learn a little more about my recommendations for a healthy diet. If you’re pregnant, check out this post on the proper diet for pregnant and nursing mothers. You have to give your body a chance to function properly and eating a whole-foods-only diet is the most important step you can take to help with any area of your health.
Now that I’m sure you’re eating the right foods, I can suggest that eating smaller meals– especially in the later half of the day- will help with indigestion, especially if you are pregnant and you just don’t have enough space or digestive action to get a large meal moving through your system properly. I generally don’t suggest eating more than 4 meals per day because that can mess with your blood sugar levels (learn about keeping your blood sugar healthy by spacing meals properly here). If you feel too hungry, then eat up to 5 small meals throughout the day, but try not to just snack all day long. You need to give your blood sugar a chance to drop a little between meals.
One last note on diet: Drink WATER instead of juice or soda.
Hopefully I don’t need to explain that you should be avoiding soda entirely, and juice isn’t a much better option. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and if you want something other than water try drinking lacto-fermented drinks. Lacto-fermented drinks are fun, bubbly, tasty, and full of healthy probiotics.
I hope these tips help you out a little. I want to emphasize that you’re probably experiencing indigestion and digestive issues for a reason, so take the time to read my post that more fully explains how the stomach works and how to naturally heal indigestion, acid reflux and GERD (Gastro-Esophogial Reflux Disorder).