Acid reflux can stem from a variety of reasons. Alcohol, pregnancy, acidic foods, eating lying down, and on and on. The symptoms? Reflux can come in the form of bloating, indigestion, swallowing difficulties, or a burning sensation below your breastbone.
While there certainly are prescription and over the counter medications that can help with acid reflux, you might first consider a natural remedy. There are a number of essential oils for acid reflux that can be highly effective in treating adults with their symptoms (we’ll offer some ideas for children towards the end of the article).
In conjunction with using essential oils, here is a list of general lifestyle changes you can add to your repertoire:
- Avoid smoking and other nicotine products.
- Rather than eating two or three large meals, eat several small meals throughout the day.
- If you’re overweight, consider going on a diet.
- Don’t eat a meal for at least two hours before going to bed.
- Check with your doctor to see if any drugs you are taking might cause acid reflux.
- Stay hydrated and exercise on a regular basis.
- Try sleeping on your side rather than on your back.
4 essential oils to ease acid reflux
In addition to the aforementioned lifestyle changes, aromatherapy is known to be highly effective for acid reflux. The following oils not only help treat some of the more common symptoms, they can actually stimulate a healing process in your body.
Note: Not all brands are food grade. Be sure to check the label before using any oils internally.
- Peppermint: Great for sinus and stomach issues, peppermint is a highly concentrated oil that can sooth digestive issues and tummy aches. Simply rub the oil on your chest and neck area or make a drink concoction: a drop of peppermint + tsp of honey + tsp of apple cider vinegar)
- Ginger: In addition to preventing ulcers, this oil can help block acid production while suppressing the H.Pylori bacteria. Rub the oil on your chest/neck or add two drops to a cup of warm water. Drink the mixture 10 to 15 minutes before a meal.
- Lemon: One of what we call the “starter oils,” lemon can help ease heartburn, which comes from the excretion of digestive acids. It also contains antibacterial properties that can fight off bacteria in the stomach. Apply externally or add 1 drop of lemon to a glass of ice water.
- Orange: Great for bloating and constipation, orange is a citrusy oil that can help alleviate acid reflux and detoxify your body. Massage the oil to your chest and upper back region or combine with honey and cold water as a mixed drink.
Acid reflux natural remedies for babies
We recommend using essential oils for acid reflux only in adults, but there are a number of natural solutions out there for babies and toddlers (note: we’ve used oils on our child, but we are hesitant to make any concrete recommendations, because many brands shouldn’t be used on children).
Gripe water, as a 100% natural remedy, often contains essential oil compounds (or flavors, if you will), including fennel, peppermint, lemon, or ginger. Gripe water is often used to sooth colicky babies, one of the more common symptoms being acid reflux.
In addition to gripe water, here are several home remedy options to ease baby reflux:
- Chiropractic: Many babies suffer from reflux due to the birthing process. Massage therapy and cranial sacral treatments will re-align the natural framework of your infant. It may sound odd – that is, sending your 3 week old to a chiropractor – but there are many practitioners that specialize in newborn/postpartum chiropractic.
- Elevation: It may be easier to nurse your baby while they’re lying down, it’s best to nurse upright if they have reflux issues. Doing so directs the milk down into the stomach, rather than it lingering in the esophagus – which is the source of reflux discomfort. It also helps to hold your baby upright for 15 to 20 minutes after feeding.
- Dietary changes: It’s a big sacrifice, but if you are a nursing mother, eliminating dairy from your diet can altogether eliminate acid reflux. The proteins in dairy products can irritate a child’s immature digestive tract. Some allergens you might consider avoiding are wheat, nuts, soy, and coffee.
- Probiotics: Check with your doctor to see what they recommend as far as natural supplements. We’ve found probiotics to be very effective for a range of symptoms, including acid reflux. Whole Foods or your local natural health foods store should have specially formulated probiotics for infants.
So there you have it. As you can see, there are a number of essential oils and natural remedies to try out before resorting to pharmaceuticals. Good luck and be well!