Some people find herbs and other natural remedies to be helpful in treating heartburn symptoms. Here are some examples:
Chamomile. A cup of chamomile tea may have a soothing effect on the digestive tract. If you have a ragweed allergy, don't use chamomile.
Ginger. The root of the ginger plant is another well-known herbal digestive aid. It has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for heartburn.
Licorice. Licorice has proved effective in several studies. Licorice is said to increase the mucous coating of the esophageal lining, helping it resist the irritating effects of stomach acid. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL, is available in pill or liquid form.
Other natural remedies. Many other "natural" remedies have been used to treat heartburn over the centuries, but there is little scientific evidence to confirm their effectiveness. Catnip, fennel, marshmallow root, and papaya tea have all been said to aid in digestion and stop heartburn. Some people eat fresh papaya as a digestive aid. Others swear by raw potato juice three times a day. Naturopathic followers also tout a homeopathic remedy with the unappetizing name of vomit nut as a heartburn fix.
Herbal remedies do not undergo testing for safety and effectiveness by the federal government. They are not approved by the FDA, and do not have to meet the same standards for manufacturing and packaging that drugs do.
To learn more about GERD and heartburn, download your copy of the Harvard Medical School Guide: Cooling Heartburn.