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Heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the chest region. It occurs due to acid reflux, wherein the stomach acid rises up into the oesophagus (food pipe). The pain can often worsen after eating food or while lying down.

Normally, there is a ring of muscle at the lower end of oesophagus that keeps the food in the stomach from coming back into the food pipe. When you swallow, this ring relaxes to allow food to pass into the stomach and tightens to stop the stomach acid from escaping back into it. However, if this muscle relaxes abnormally or weakens for some reason, stomach acid starts to move up into the oesophagus and cause heartburn. This can also occur when there is an overproduction of acid in the stomach, such as during stress.

Heartburn that occurs occasionally is common and not a cause for concern. However, frequent heartburn that happens more than twice a week is called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). The factors that can lead to heartburn or aggravate it include certain foods or drinks such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods; pregnancy; smoking; being overweight; stress; some medications such as anti-inflammatory painkillers; and conditions such as hiatus hernia, where part of the stomach moves up into the chest. Genetic factors can also increase your chances of developing GORD.

It is important to treat heartburn because persistent acid reflux can damage the oesophagus, leading to complications such as ulceration, oesophagitis and Barrett’s oesophagus (pre-cancerous condition of the oesophagus).

Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine, in which, the prescription of remedies is highly individualised and depends on the person’s health history, genetic history, psychological features and physical symptoms. Apart from treating diseases, these remedies also assist in strengthening the overall health of the individual. The common homeopathic medicines for heartburn are arsenicum album, carbo vegetabilis, nux vomica, phosphorus, pulsatilla and robinia pseudacacia.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for heartburn
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a heartburn patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for heartburn
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for heartburn
  5. Takeaway
Doctors for Homeopathic medicine, treatment and remedies for Heartburn

Some of the homeopathic remedies for heartburn are listed below:

  • Arsenicum Album
    Common Name:
    Arsenious acid, arsenic trioxide
    Symptoms: The symptoms that respond to this remedy include:
    • Exhaustion and restlessness
    • Fear of death and of being left alone
    • Pale, sunken and swollen face
    • Polydipsia (being extremely thirsty)
    • Aversion to the sight or smell of food
    • Burning pain in stomach
    • Nausea and vomiting after eating or drinking
    • Throwing up of acid and bitter substances that abrade the throat
    • Vomiting bile, green mucus or blood
    • Long burps
    • Enlarged liver and spleen
    • Abdominal pain, which is relieved by heat
    • Dark, bloody and offensive dysentery
    • Craving for milk and coffee

Symptoms worsen after midnight, in rainy weather, on consuming cold food or drinks. Symptoms improve with warmth, on taking hot drinks and on keeping one's head elevated.

  • Carbo Vegetabilis
    Common Name:
    Vegetable charcoal
    Symptoms: Carbo vegetabilis works well in sluggish, fat and lazy individuals who have a strong dislike for dark and crave open air. This remedy is frequently used for addressing the following symptoms:
    • Bluish skin with cold limbs
    • Varicose ulcers
    • Heaviness in the head, eyes, ears and in the stomach
    • Headache with overindulgence of any type
    • Sour, putrid or rancid burps (Read more: Sour burps treatment)
    • Pain in the stomach that extends to the chest
    • Abdominal distention, which improves on passing wind
    • Slow digestion, wherein food decomposes before it is digested
    • Aversion to milk, meat and fatty foods
    • Pain in the abdomen and liver

Symptoms worsen in the evening and at night, on going out in open air, on consuming butter, coffee, milk, fatty foods or alcohol. Symptoms improve with fanning. 

  • Nux Vomica
    Common Name:
    Poison-nut
    Symptoms: Nux vomica is given to those who are extremely irritable, are sensitive to noises, light and odours and have a sedentary lifestyle. It is given in case of heartburn caused by the intake of coffee, alcohol or spices. The following symptoms can be relieved by this remedy:
    • Mental strain 
    • Sour and bitter belches
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Stomach pain that worsens after eating
    • Preference for fatty foods
    • Flatulence
    • Extreme hunger, especially a day before an attack of dyspepsia (indigestion)
    • A sensation of pressure on the epigastrium (upper abdomen) with bloating many hours after eating
    • Soreness in abdomen
    • Severe pain along with a feeling of pressure in the abdomen
    • Weakness of abdominal ring region
    • Constipation

Symptoms worsen in the morning, in dry weather and cold, due to stress, after meals, and on taking stimulants or narcotics. Symptoms improve in the evening, and in humid or rainy weather.

  • Phosphorus
    Common Name:
    Phosphorus
    Symptoms: Phosphorus is the best remedy for those who get temporary relief from heartburns on having cold drinks. This remedy given to individuals going through the following symptoms: 
    • Restlessness
    • Burning in oesophagus and bowels
    • Great thirst for cold water
    • Sour belching after having food
    • Vomiting after drinking water as soon as it becomes warm in the stomach
    • Inflammation of stomach
    • Pain in stomach
    • Weak and empty sensation in the abdominal cavity
    • Extremely smelly, white and hard stools 

Symptoms worsen in the evening, with exertion, on taking warm food or drink, when the weather changes, and on getting wet in hot weather. Symptoms improve on taking cold food, going out in open air, in cold conditions and after taking a good sleep.

  • Pulsatilla
    Common Name: Wind flower
    Symptoms: Pulsatilla is given to highly sensitive individuals who desire empathy and tend to weep easily. This remedy is indicated for heartburn that occurs after consuming fatty foodstuffs such as fried food, especially in women. It helps relieve the following symptoms:
    • Headache that extends to face and teeth
    • Dryness in mouth
    • Offensive odour from mouth
    • Everything tastes bitter or tasteless
    • Taste of food remains in the mouth for a long time
    • Flatulence
    • Lack of thirst
    • Throwing up food that was taken long before
    • Abdominal pain with noisy rumbling and chilliness in the evening
    • Abdominal distention
    • A sensation of pressure in the abdomen
    • Watery stools

Symptoms worsen after meals, with warmth and in the evening. The individual feels better in open air, on taking cold food or drinks and on moving about.

  • Robinia Pseudacacia
    Common Name: Yellow locust
    Symptoms: Robinia helps in the treatment of the following symptoms:
    • Throbbing frontal headache
    • Dull aching in the stomach
    • Nausea with vomiting of sour acidic fluid
    • Sour belching
    • Excessive distension of stomach and bowels
    • Flatulence
    • Abdominal pain
    • Sour-smelling stool and sweat

Doctors usually suggest the following dietary and lifestyle modifications to patients taking homepathic treatment:

Do’s: 

  • Maintain an active lifestyle with regular moderate exercises.
  • Consume a nutritious diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Chew your food properly.
  • Stay hydrated. (Read more: How to prevent dehydration)

Don’ts: 

  • Do not consume beverages such as coffee, alcohol and tea.
  • Avoid overeating; do not consume spicy or fried food and foods that have medicinal qualities.
  • Avoid consuming celery, onion, spoilt meat or cheese.
  • Refrain from lying down immediately after eating anything.
  • Avoid damp and humid conditions.
  • Avoid strong-scented perfumes or flowers.
  • Avoid smoking and stress.

Homeopathic remedies are not only effective against the sour and burning acidity that is present during heartburn but also it reduces the chances of the recurrence of the condition. A homeopathic doctor selects a remedy for heartburn on the basis of the trigger factor involved. Homeopathy works by stimulating the immune system and strengthening the body’s ability to heal by itself. These remedies are made from natural substances and thus can be safely used by people of all ages, including pregnant women. Various studies indicate the efficiency of homeopathic remedies in the treatment of heartburn.

In a case study, a 38-year-old female was treated successfully for Barrett’s oesophagus with various homeopathic medicines and lifestyle modification.

Another pilot study undertaken to explore the usefulness of homeopathic remedies in the treatment of nonerosive GORD (a subcategory of GORD) showed a significant reduction in the severity of disease and improvement in the quality of life of the patients.

According to a study published in the journal, Health SA Gesondheidt, homeopathic treatment can successfully reduce the frequency of binge eating (one of the possible causes of heartburn) in men.

Homeopathic medicines are very diluted preparations that are non-toxic in nature. These medicines are generally safe and have no known side effects. However, as the dosage and potency of homeopathic remedies depend on the individual’s need, it is important to seek help from a qualified homeopathic doctor before taking any remedy.

Heartburn refers to painful burning sensations in the chest area. It occurs when the acid in the stomach refluxes back into the oesophagus. Constant acid reflux that happens more than twice a week results in GORD. Homeopathy is a complementary and alternative medicine system that is safe and effective in the treatment of heartburn. It assists in stimulating and strengthening the body’s immune system to reduce heartburn symptoms and restore health. A detailed case history helps the physician to choose the correct remedy for a patient. So, it is best not to take homeopathic medicines on your own.

Dr. Ram Kumar

Dr. Ram Kumar

Homeopathy
11 Years of Experience

Dr. Ajit Prasad Singh

Dr. Ajit Prasad Singh

Homeopathy
10 Years of Experience

Priyanka Gupta

Priyanka Gupta

Homeopathy
6 Years of Experience

Dr. Varun Kapadia

Dr. Varun Kapadia

Homeopathy
2 Years of Experience

References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [Internet] US National Library of Medicine; Heartburn
  2. Healthdirect Australia. Heartburn (indigestion). Australian government: Department of Health
  3. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Heartburn and acid reflux
  4. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Symptoms & Causes of GER & GERD
  5. Nidirect [Internet]. Government of Northern Ireland; Heartburn and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  6. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Indigestion
  7. Radmila Razlog, et al. Case studies on the homeopathic treatment of binge eating in adult males. Health SA Gesondheid. 2016 21(C):294-302.
  8. Renu Mittal, et al. An open-label pilot study to explore usefulness of Homoeopathic treatment in nonerosive gastroesophageal reflux disease. Indian journal of research in homoeopathy. 2016; 10(3): 188-198.
  9. Gupta Neeraj, et al. Case study Homeopathic Perspective in Treating a Case of Barrett's Oesophagus. 2015; 41: 21-26.

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