There are quite a few instances when we experience food or liquid in our stomach flowing back into the esophagus or food pipe causing a sense of discomfort and heartburn. This experience is medically termed as "acid reflux". Esophageal sphincter is a group of muscle fibers located at the end of the esophagus to prevent the contents of the stomach from flowing back. However, if the sphincter fails to close properly, it results in acid reflux. This condition results in severe esophageal irritation and heartburn. If left untreated, it can lead to Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) causing chronic heartburn.
Person experiencing occasional acid reflux can control it by avoiding intake of oily foods, beverages that trigger it, and making a few lifestyle changes like regular exercising, weight loss, etc. However, people suffering from frequent bouts of acid reflux need special care. There are many over-the-counter products and medications available for treatment. Most commonly, antacids are considered as the best option. But frequent acid reflux means frequent intake of medications. So, why not go for natural remedies. A natural way to control this problem is herbal tea. Now you will wonder - Is it OK for this condition?
Well, Yes! Drinking herbal tea for treating acid reflux is a great way of getting rid of it in a natural way!
Benefits of Herbal Tea for Acid Reflux
Consumption of medications like antacids for a long period of time can cause alarming side effects. To eliminate these side effects, it is better to go for natural remedies that have been used since ages and usually, do not cause any harm. Herbal tea is an infusion of hot water with fresh or dried parts of a plant like flowers, fruits, roots, seeds and not necessarily leaves as in case of other teas.
This tea contains a significant amount of polyphenols in its chemical composition. Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect the body by preventing damage caused by free radicals. Regular intake of herbal tea aids in fast and proper digestion of food. Consuming tea after a meal rich in fatty and oily substances will enhance digestion in the body. Improper digestion results in increased production of gastric acid in the stomach, ultimately resulting in back flow of stomach contents and heartburn. Herbal tea helps in regulating the gastric acid secretion in the body. Tea containing chamomile helps in soothing stomach and esophageal lining as it has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, thereby having a calming effect on the irritated lining. Apart from these, herbal tea also helps in relieving the pain associated with an upset stomach.
Choosing the Right Herbal Tea
If you have decided to go with herbal tea for relieving acid reflux, it is important for you to note that not all of these are good at handling this problem. Two types of herbal teas are available in the market. Tea containing caffeine is not the right choice as caffeine is known to trigger acid reflux. Intake of tea containing caffeine will only intensify the problem. It is hence, important to pick decaffeinated tea which will have the required effects to ease out the problem.
Herbal Tea Ingredients for Acid Reflux
There are several blends of herbal teas available in the markets. However, it is important to check the caffeine content and other ingredients in the tea. Few ingredients that are beneficial for acid reflux are -
- Anise seed
- Ginger root
- Chicory root
Consumption of herbal tea, two or three times daily, will contribute in the overall well-being of the body. It helps in building a peaceful state of mind, has cleansing properties, relieves stress, stimulates organs of the body, relieves cough and cold, strengthens immune system and helps in having a peaceful sleep. The overall well-being of the body will ultimately lead to a healthy digestive system. It is advisable to consult your physician about herbal tea and acid reflux severity you are dealing with. He is the best person to tell you if it is fit for your consumption or not. Now that you know how beneficial this tea is, go grab a pack of your choice and say goodbye to discomforting heartburn!