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Mint for acid reflux: Common Acid Reflux Triggers

Common Acid Reflux Triggers


Erica Sanderson

You might think this refreshing herb would cool down heartburn and soothe reflux. Surprisingly, it does just the opposite. Mint relaxes the muscles in your esophagus, including the sphincter, so acid and other food remnants can flow back up to worsen reflux. Unfortunately, this includes anything mint flavored, such as tea, gum or candy.

Caffeine in general should be avoided when you have reflux. Coffee is not only caffeinated, but it can also be acidic—another reflux trigger. Try to kick the coffee habit by working out in the morning for a jolt of energy.

You know how a couple glasses of wine can be relaxing? Well, it has the same effect on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). It also stimulates the production of stomach acid. Limit alcohol consumption and opt for healthier beverages instead.

Spice is not always nice. It is one of the top triggers for reflux and heartburn. It’s best to stay away from Indian, Mexican or Thai foods. When you cook at home, opt for milder spices and lightly apply.

Tomatoes are known for their acidity. This includes all tomato-based foods as well, such as ketchup, marinara sauce and salsa.

Chocolate is a double threat: it contains both caffeine and is acidic. Giving up chocolate completely is impossible for some, so have milk over dark because it is less acidic. Eat it in small portions, sparingly.

Oranges and orange juice are high in acid and are more likely to trigger reflux. Reach for high alkaline foods instead that can balance out acid in the stomach. These include apples, pears, melons and bananas.

Trouble swallowing is a common reflux symptom. Meat that is dried out and overcooked can trigger this even more. Don’t overcook your meat and serve it with a sauce or juicy side dish.

High-fat foods are harder on the system because they take longer to digest and put more pressure on your LES and stomach as a result. The longer food stays in your stomach, the more likely reflux is to occur. Fried foods also retain a lot of oil during the frying process, so try grilling or steaming instead.

Soda is another double whammy. It is loaded with caffeine and the carbonation can cause both heartburn and the bubbles to open up your esophagus, making you more susceptible to food contents coming back up.

These two toppings often trigger reflux and heartburn in people. They tend to be on the acidic side, so it’s best to avoid them and see how you feel once you’ve eliminated them from your diet.

People often forget that pepper falls under the spicy trigger category. But this common tabletop spice can be just as potent as cayenne for some, especially in heavy amounts. Use it lightly and sparingly.

Lack of effect of spearmint on lower oesophageal sphincter function and acid reflux in healthy volunteers

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Clinical Trial

. 1999 Jun;13(6):805-12.

doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.1999.00528.x.

R Bulat 
, E Fachnie, U Chauhan, Y Chen, G Tougas



  • 1 Division of Gastroenterology and Digestive Diseases Research Program, McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • PMID:


  • DOI:


Free article

Clinical Trial

R Bulat et al.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther.

1999 Jun.

Free article

. 1999 Jun;13(6):805-12.

doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.1999.00528.x.


R Bulat 
, E Fachnie, U Chauhan, Y Chen, G Tougas


  • 1 Division of Gastroenterology and Digestive Diseases Research Program, McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • PMID:


  • DOI:




Spearmint is commonly used as an antispasmodic and as a flavouring in several medications including antacids. It can produce heartburn, presumably by lowering lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) tone, but the mechanism has not previously been objectively examined.


To study the effect of spearmint on LES function, acid reflux and symptoms.


In healthy volunteers, a Dent Sleeve and a pH electrode were placed in the distal oesophagus. They were then given spearmint either in a flavouring (0.5 mg), or a high (500 mg) dose, or a placebo, using a double-blind randomized crossover design. LES pressure, oesophageal pH and symptoms were recorded for 30 min before and after administration.


LES pressure was not affected by spearmint, either high dose (19.6 vs. 16.0 mmHg), flavouring dose (20.2 vs. 19.8 mmHg) or placebo (20.5 vs. 19.2 mmHg, all N.S.). There were no differences in reflux occurrence following high dose (mean = 0. 65 vs. 0.85 episodes), low dose (0.4 vs. 0.5 episodes) or placebo (0.7 vs. 1.10 episodes, all N.S.). There was a significant increase in mean symptom scores following high-dose spearmint (0 vs. 0.35, P = 0.03), but not low dose (0 vs. 0.2) or placebo (0 vs. 0.5, both N.S.). One subject reported symptoms with placebo, one with low dose, and six with high dose; all without increased reflux episodes or decreased sphincter pressure.


Spearmint has no effect on LES pressure or acid reflux. Flavouring doses of spearmint do not produce more symptoms than placebo while high doses can be associated with symptoms, presumably from direct mucosal irritation but not reflux.

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Eight Natural Remedies for Heartburn and Acid Reflux| iHerb Blog

The information in this blog has not been verified by your local health authority and is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice.
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‌‌What is heartburn?

Heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion are often referred to as upper gastrointestinal problems other than ulcers. In addition to heartburn, symptoms of acid reflux and indigestion can include difficulty swallowing, a feeling of pressure, heaviness, or bloating after eating, and pain and cramps in the stomach or lower abdomen.

‌‌Causes of heartburn

Heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux are usually caused by the release of stomach acid into the esophagus, leading to an upward burning sensation that is aggravated by lying down.

The main cause of reflux is a malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter, the annular valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Sometimes this dysfunction is due to mechanical factors, such as hiatal hernia, pregnancy, or obesity. It can also be caused by overeating or poor digestion.

When the lower esophageal sphincter is relaxed, the contents of the stomach enter the esophagus. It is made up of acid, bile, pepsin, and other enzymes that damage or irritate the esophagus. Reflux can be caused by cigarette smoking, eating chocolate, fried foods, carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, high blood pressure medications, antidepressants, hormones, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and bisphosphonates. All these substances reduce the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter. Reflux symptoms can be especially bothersome if the person is lying down.

‌‌Eight Natural Supplements for Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and Indigestion

There are several natural products that have been clinically shown to be effective in relieving the symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion:

1. Calcium

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Calcium carbonate and citrate can be used as antacids (substances that reduce acidity) to relieve heartburn. Recommended single dosage: 500-1000 mg.

Five ways to get the most out of calcium supplements: learn more.

2. Betaine Hydrochloride

Betaine Hydrochloride may help if heartburn or indigestion is caused by poor stomach acid production. The body’s ability to secrete stomach acid decreases with age. Some studies show reduced stomach acid production in more than half of people over the age of 60. 1 In addition to heartburn, lack of stomach acid is also often the cause of gas and bloating within 30 minutes of eating. Fortunately, taking stomach acid as a supplement can help make up for the body’s lack of it.

The recommended dosage for gastric acid replacement therapy in adults is one to two 500 mg capsules up to three times daily with meals. To improve protein absorption, the product should contain the enzyme pepsin or fungal protease.

Safety note: do not consume gastric hydrochloric acid on an empty stomach. Take the capsules shortly after you start eating. Consult your doctor first if you have an active peptic ulcer, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep out of reach of children.

Do you feel gas and bloated? Here is what can happen to your intestines: more.

3. Alginate

Alginate (alginic acid) is a dietary fiber found in the cell walls of brown algae. Alginate has the unique ability to retain water (up to 200-300 times its weight), making it a natural gelling agent.

When taken with natural buffers (eg calcium carbonate), alginate forms a secure “raft” that floats on the surface of the stomach contents and prevents them from being released into the esophagus. With the passage of alginate through the esophagus, it is partially absorbed and acts by analogy with other types of fiber, after which it is excreted from the body. 2.3

For alginate to be effective, it must be taken after meals as a chewable tablet or liquid solution. If it is taken in capsules or with food, then it will simply mix with the contents of the stomach and not form a “raft”. The standard dosage is 400-1000 mg after each meal and 30 minutes before bedtime. If taken in the evening, consume it 30 minutes before going to bed and do not lie down for 30 minutes.

Alginate has no known side effects or drug interactions.

Spirulina and chlorella: beneficial algae: more.

4. Melatonin

Melatonin plays an important role in protecting the stomach and intestines. In the gastrointestinal tract, the content of melatonin is 400 times higher than in the brain. According to several studies, melatonin can greatly relieve heartburn. Melatonin increases the pressure (tonus) of the lower esophageal sphincter, increases the level of gastrin (a hormone that stimulates the production of gastric juice and enters the bloodstream from the walls of the stomach when food is taken) in the blood serum, and reduces the production of gastric acid. Melatonin dosage: 3mg at night. 4

Four health situations where melatonin can be useful: more.

5. Licorice glycyrrhizinate

Licorice glycyrrhizinate. This natural product is formed when glycyrrhizic acid is removed from licorice (because it can increase blood pressure). Licorice glycyrrhizinate stimulates the body’s natural defense mechanisms to conserve and heal the stomach and esophageal mucosa, as well as combat heartburn and indigestion. 5.6 Licorice glycyrrhizinate increases the quantity and quality of protective compounds lining the gastrointestinal tract, increases the lifespan of intestinal cells and increases blood flow to the intestinal mucosa. Take one to two licorice glycyrrhizinate chewables twenty minutes before meals for 8-16 weeks to completely relieve irritation.

Top ten Ayurvedic herbs and their benefits: more.

6. Mastic

Mastic gum is a natural product from pistachio mastic resin. It effectively fights H. pylori bacteria. In one randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 77% of dyspeptic patients who took 350 mg of mastic three times a day experienced improvement in symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, and stomach and upper abdominal pain. 7

15 natural ways to solve digestive problems: more.

7. Ginger root and artichoke leaves

A combination of extracts of ginger root (Zingiber officinalis) and artichoke leaf (Cynara scolymus) has been shown to be effective in relieving indigestion, indigestion and decreased intestinal motility, which can also cause heartburn. It can help with non-ulcer dyspepsia and other functional bowel disorders. Dosage: twice a day 20 mg of ginger extract (33% gingerols and shogaols) and 100 mg of artichoke extract (20% caffeylquinic acids). 8

Ginger: useful root: more.

8. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil is sold in enteric-coated capsules to prevent digestion in the stomach and into the small and large intestines, where it can help with indigestion and stomach irritation. It has been shown to be effective in treating both upper GI irritation and symptoms of small and large intestinal irritation. Dosage: Take one to two capsules three times daily 20 minutes before meals. 9

Peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome and other problems: more.

‌‌What supplements to take for heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion?

To help you choose the right product, please refer to the following guidelines:

  • Mechanical factors. If you are obese, pregnant, or have a hiatal hernia, alginate is the best natural approach. If you are overweight, losing weight often helps.
  • Periodic heartburn. Antacids containing calcium can be taken from time to time, but it is not recommended to use them for a long period of time. Taking alginate as needed may help.
  • Irritation due to intolerance to certain foods. Sometimes reflux symptoms are due to intolerance to coffee, carbonated drinks, alcohol, fatty and/or spicy foods, citrus fruits, and other foods. It is recommended to exclude such foods from the diet. In addition, as needed, you can take alginate. Licorice glycyrrhizinate may also help.
  • Lack of hydrochloric acid or digestive enzymes. Inadequate production of stomach acid can lead to heartburn and reflux. It often also causes gas and bloating within 30 minutes of eating. Simply taking hydrochloric acid supplements at the recommended dosage can make a big difference.
  • Irritation of the intestine along with heartburn. Try a combination of ginger and artichoke extracts or enteric-coated peppermint oil.
  • Nighttime heartburn. Often helps to raise the head by 15 cm. Alginate or melatonin (3 mg at night) are effective.
  • Heartburn and poor sleep. Melatonin (3 mg at bedtime).

Home Remedies for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

There are some other natural remedies that can help with reflux.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera helps reduce inflammation and may be helpful for heartburn in cases of irritated or inflamed stomach and esophagus. 10 Aloe can be taken as an extract (capsule) or juice.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar will be a mild substitute for acid. You can drink 60 ml of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar before meals. You can also take capsules or tablets with a similar dosage.

Alkaline Water

Try drinking a glass of alkaline water (pH > 8) or 250 ml of water, in which you simply squeeze a lemon wedge first. 11

Sugar Free Gum

Chewing sugar free gum after meals can help with heartburn and acid reflux. This stimulates the secretion of saliva by the salivary glands in the mouth. This extra saliva dilutes and flushes out acid that may have entered the esophagus. Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum reduces the symptoms of chronic acid reflux. It can also be helpful for occasional heartburn and reflux. 12

‌‌‌‌Lifestyle effects on heartburn and acid reflux

Heartburn and acid reflux often occur at night when the person is in bed. This is because gravity does not prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus. You can try to get rid of nighttime heartburn by raising the head of the bed, placing bricks or blocks of wood 5 x 10 cm under it.

Heartburn can be alleviated with a more mindful approach to eating. Small and thoroughly chewed pieces of food are easier to digest than large pieces. It is also helpful to eat without haste.


  1. Howden CW, Hunt RH. Spontaneous hypochlorhydria in man: possible causes and consequences. Digestive Diseases 1986;4(1):26–32.
  2. Leiman DA, Riff BP, Morgan S. Alginate therapy is an effective treatment for GERD symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Dis Esophagus. 2017;30(5): 1–9.
  3. Mandel KG, Daggy BP, Brodie DA, Jacoby HI. Review article: alginate-raft formulations in the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2000:14(6):669-90.
  4. Kandil TS, Mousa AA, El-Gendy AA, et al. The potential therapeutic effect of melatonin in gastro-esophageal reflux disease. BMC Gastroenterol 2010;10:7–16.
  5. Morgan AG, McAdam WA, Pacsoo C, et al. Comparison between cimitidine and Caved-S in the treatment of gastric ulceration, and subsequent maintenance therapy. Gut 1982;23:545–551.
  6. Raveendra KR, Jayachandra, Srinivasa V, et al. An Extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra (GutGard) Alleviates Symptoms of Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:216970.
  7. Dabos KJ, Sfika E, Vlatta LJ, Frantzi D, Amygdalos GI, and Giannikopoulos G. Is Chios mastic gum effective in the treatment of functional dyspepsia? A prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. J Ethnopharmacol 2010;127(2):205-209.
  8. Lazzini S, Polinelli W, Riva A, Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E. The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinalis) and artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) extract supplementation on gastric motility: a pilot randomized study in healthy volunteers. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016;20(1):146-9.
  9. Kligler B, Chaudhary S. Peppermint oil. Am Fam Physician. 2007 Apr 1;75(7):1027-30.
  10. Panahi Y, Khedmat H, Valizadegan G, Mohtashami R, Sahebkar A. Efficacy and safety of Aloe vera syrup for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a pilot randomized positive-controlled trial. J Tradit Chin Med. 2015 Dec;35(6):632-6.
  11. Zalvan CH, Hu S, Greenberg B, Geliebter J. A Comparison of Alkaline Water and Mediterranean Diet vs Proton Pump Inhibition for Treatment of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Oct 1;143(10):1023-1029.
  12. Moazzez R, Bartlett D, Anggiansah A. The effect of chewing sugar-free gum on gastro-esophageal reflux. J Dent Res. 2005 Nov;84(11):1062-5.

Do you suffer from heartburn? These supplements and vitamins will help you

Acid reflux is a disease that causes heartburn. It is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and is a fairly common digestive problem. Eh, how to deal with it?








Heartburn is a common condition that no one likes! Fortunately, it can be easily dealt with

Do not self-medicate! In our articles, we collect the latest scientific data and the opinions of authoritative health experts. But remember: only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment.

GERD is associated with a range of side effects including heartburn, nausea, belching and abdominal pain. The disease is usually treated with antacids and proton pump inhibitors, but these will not be effective unless the person follows a specific diet.

In addition to diet and medication, there are vitamins, herbs, and supplements that can help relieve symptoms. Here are six supplements that can be helpful for GERD and heartburn in general.

Betaine HCl with Pepsin

Betaine hydrochloride (HCl) is a compound that increases stomach acid levels for better absorption of proteins, vitamin B12, iron, calcium. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that breaks down food proteins into peptides.


Low stomach acid can slow down nutrient absorption and cause a number of side effects, including heartburn, stomach pain, and acid reflux. Therefore, betaine HCl with pepsin helps to get rid of these symptoms.

B vitamins

Some research suggests that B vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, may help treat acid reflux.

One study showed that increased intake of several B vitamins was associated with a lower risk of reflux esophagitis, a condition characterized by inflammation in the esophagus often caused by acid reflux.

Moreover, folate and vitamin B6 intake has been associated with a lower risk of developing esophageal cancer and a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, both of which are potential complications of long-term GERD.


This hormone is primarily responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. And while it’s commonly used to treat insomnia, some studies have shown that melatonin can also help treat acid reflux.

Melatonin, alone or with heartburn medications, for 4-8 weeks reduced GERD symptoms in one study. Other studies have shown that low melatonin levels may also be associated with a higher risk of digestive disorders, including peptic ulcers and acid reflux.


Iberogast is an over-the-counter supplement commonly used to treat acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. It consists of a blend of herbal extracts including peppermint, licorice root and milk thistle fruit.

Studies show that this supplement has a positive effect on digestive system disorders such as upper abdominal pain, heartburn and loss of appetite. In addition, one animal study found that iberogast was just as effective in reducing stomach acid as traditional antacids.


Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria found in the digestive tract.