What is acid reflux
Acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD - these are the names for a chronic medical condition where sphincter muscle (basically, a valve) on the lower end of the oesophageal channel becomes too weak. Stomach contents, which contain undigested food and stomach acid, can then flow back into the esophagus. Corrosive properties of stomach acid then damage lining of the esophagus and cause pain and eventually inflammation.
Conventional Drugs vs Natural Remedies
The trouble with prescription medications is that they can cause undesirable side effects, and most of them were not meant to be taken for long periods of time, but for a relatively short period during which the condition typically resolves. For this reason, many people will opt for a more natural approach to treat their condition, in form of herbal remedies. Many plants used in natural treatment of acid reflux are common in our diets anyway and have no negative side effects. However, GERD fighting efficacy of some of these herbs has yet to be proven.
Let a man do his job
Do not forget, herbal remedies might help, but professional help and assistance are invaluable. Whatever, else you choose to do, continue to visit your doctor regularly and inform him of all herbal remedies that you are using. Damage to the esophagus caused by stomach acid can lead to severe conditions such as cancer of the esophagus.
Also, if you are using natural GERD remedies and there is an urge for you to cough in the morning, or you are hoarse or you need to clear your throat, you might be experiencing silent acid reflux. This type of acid reflux does not cause heartburn symptoms, but affects vocal cords and voice box. Reporting new or different symptoms to the doctor helps to keep track of what is happening in your system and may lead to change of therapy for better response to treatment.
Change your life
Many of our habits can stimulate stomach juices to reflux, and these are to be avoided. Quit smoking, reduce or eliminate alcohol intake, avoid large meals in the evening and spicy or hot food. All of these can trigger excess production of stomach acid and increase in stomach pressure, which lie behind the GERD mechanism.
Several herbs are used for treatment of acid reflux. Among these are chamomile, fennel, catnip, angelica root, gentian root, ginger root, meadowsweet, slippery elm, cancer bush, and others. Your doctor, naturopath and herbalist might give you suggestions on what to try.