As part of healthy digestion, a band of muscle around the bottom of the oesophagus (lower oesophageal sphincter) relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into the stomach easily and tightens again after it is done. But sometimes, the process goes awry, and the sphincter relaxes atypically or weakens, in which case, stomach acid can rise back up to the oesophagus causing acid reflux, this is known as heartburn.
Heartburns(1) are very uncomfortable, and the discomfort is usually worse if you are bent over or lying down. To deal with the discomfort efficiently and not let it disrupt our normal day-to-day activities; it becomes important to know about essential oils for heartburn.
Symptoms and Causes of Heartburn
Heartburn is discomfort which arises in the chest area and may reach up to the neck. Heartburn usually happens due to gastric juice in oesophagus. Heartburn is also known as acid indigestion and this leads to a lot of discomfort from within.
Hence, to differentiate heartburn from GERD(2) and a heart attack, the following symptoms need to be noticed: –
- Burning feeling in chest
- Burning at the back of the throat
- Chest pain, especially after lying down
- Pain after meals
Heartburn may be caused due to the following reasons: –
- Large meals
- Eating before bedtime
- Particular foods like alcohol (red wine in particular), chocolate, raw onions and other spicy foods, caffeinated foods, etc.
- Presence of a primary disease of the oesophagus, like scleroderma and sarcoidosis
What Are The Best Essential Oils for Heartburn?
Following are the top ten essential oils for heartburn that are widely known to provide relief, and are useful even for heartburn during pregnancy:
1. Peppermint Oil for Heartburn
Peppermint oil(3) is a valuable natural remedy for heartburn as peppermint at its core has soothing, cooling and relaxing properties. Additionally, it is mildly antibacterial and antifungal.
Why One Should Use Peppermint Oil for Heartburn?
Peppermint contains analgesic compounds which soothe the gut walls and bring relief from the burning sensation of heartburn. It is an effective antispasmodic natural cure as it increases the rates of gastric emptying, which is essential for reducing the occurrence of gastrointestinal distress, including heartburn.
Also Read: Home Remedies for Gastritis
How to Use Peppermint Oil for Heartburn?
- Drinking peppermint oil in tea form half an hour before mealtime is an excellent way to avail its benefits.
- During heartburn, rubbing the oil on your tummy instead of putting it on the tongue is a better option.
2. Lemon Oil for Heartburn
Lemon has always been known to be a great detoxifying agent, and the same applies for lemon oil as far as getting rid of heartburn is concerned.
Why One Should Use Lemon Oil for Heartburn?
Lemon oil is alkaline in nature(4). Therefore, it acts as a neutralising agent against the acid. It also has antibacterial properties. Consequently, it can cleanse the digestive system of harmful bacteria. Since the stomach is purified, it can produce fresh acid for optimal digestion of the next meal.
How to Use Lemon Oil for Heartburn?
- A drop of lemon oil can be added in a glass of warm water and sipped slowly half an hour before every meal.
- Alternatively, one can also put 1-2 drops of lemon oil on the tongue, move it around with saliva, and then gulp it down.
Also Read: Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
3. Orange Oil for Heartburn
Oranges and citrus fruits, in general, contain properties that offer health benefits.
In particular, orange essential oil helps with heartburn because it prevents muscle spasms.
Why One Should Use Orange Oil for Heartburn?
How to Use Orange Oil for Heartburn?
- Orange essential oil can be used in many ways, either internally (by consuming it), topically (applying on the skin), or aromatically (inhaling it).
- 1000 milligrams of orange oil extract reduce the incidence of heartburn to a remarkable degree.
4. Ginger Oil for Heartburn
Ginger is a time-proven tried and tested cure for a variety of gastrointestinal problems, so it comes as no surprise that it is an efficacious remedy for severe heartburn as well.
Why One Should Use Ginger Oil for Heartburn?
Ginger oil(6) does wonder to calm the stomach and bring relief from heartburn.
How to Use Ginger Oil for Heartburn?
- 2-4 drops of ginger oil can be added into a cup of herbal tea and had 20 minutes before meals.
- During bad heartburn, rubbing a few drops of the oil on the abdomen provides instant relief from pain.
5. Lavender Oil for Heartburn
Lavender has been used for a long time due to its relaxing effects. It works wonders for heartburn due to the same properties.
Why One Should Use Lavender Oil for Heartburn?
Lavender oil promotes relaxation. It also contains sedative properties which ensure that a person gets a good night’s sleep, as people who are prone to suffer from heartburn are also likely to suffer from night-time (or mid-sleep) acid refluxes(7).
How to Use Lavender Oil for Heartburn?
- Lavender oil can be used in a plethora of ways.
- 1 or 2 drops of it can be rubbed on the abdomen or chest, or it can be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil.
- Alternatively, a drop of lavender oil can be added to herbal tea and sipped slowly.
- Another great way to use the oil is to dab a few drops of it on your pillowcase to sleep well and avoid mid-sleep refluxes.
6. Eucalyptus Oil for Heartburn
Eucalyptus oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It will heal the oesophageal muscles while fixing any internal burns that may have been caused by the acid reflux of heartburn.
Why One Should Use Eucalyptus Oil for Heartburn?
As the body absorbs eucalyptus oil, the powerful compound Eucalyptol is released whose function is to work as a vasodilator (something that dilates – opens – blood vessels). These anti-inflammatory properties help get rid of the pain caused by heartburn.
How to Use Eucalyptus Oil for Heartburn?
- Eucalyptus oil works best when mixed with other essential oils like peppermint and coconut oil.
- Apply this mixture gently it on neck, chest and abdomen to relieve burning sensations.
7. Valerian Root Oil for Heartburn
Valerian root essential oil quickly eases upset stomachs and induces healthy bowel movements and urination. It detoxifies the body and improves the nutrient absorption of the gastrointestinal tract, thereby reducing the incidence of heartburns.
Why One Should Use Valerian Root Oil for Heartburn?
Valerian root oil relaxes the muscles. Thus it prevents spasms and acid refluxes. It paces the supply of a neurotransmitter called GABA, whose function is to relax the muscles. Akin to lavender oil, valerian root oil is also mildly sedative. Thus it is also useful in helping a person sleep well.
How to Use Valerian Root Oil for Heartburn?
- Valerian root oil can be used in a mild amount by itself or can be mixed with other essential oils to create a healthy mixture to get rid of heartburns.
Side effects, risks, and precautions of Using Essential Oils for Heartburn:
For all the benefits that essential oils boast of as far as being effective natural cures for heartburn are concerned, the wrong usage may end up being counterproductive and lead to some complications, side effects, and risks as well. Following are some pointers or precautions to keep in mind while using essential oils for heartburn: –
- Consult an expert to find the amount of dosage and usage method most appropriate for your specific ailment.
- Essential oils can be way stronger and more potent than many of us tend to think are! Therefore, it is advisable not to overdose. Less is more, especially as far as essential oils are concerned.
- Some essential oils for heartburn like fish and olive oil are especially dicey and if not used carefully may end up causing heartburns instead of curing them.
- Pregnant ladies are at higher risk of heartburn so they should be even more careful while using essential oils. They should only use the oils with the least acidic content.
Other Oils for Heartburn
1. Coconut Oil for Heartburn
Coconut oil has many versatile uses and being an effective home remedy for heartburn is one of them.
Why One Should Use Coconut Oil for Heartburn?
The presence of lauric acid in coconut oil kills the fungus and bacteria that are responsible for heartburn. Also, since coconut oil is alkaline, it works as a neutralising agent and repairs the tissues that have been damaged by heartburn.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Heartburn?
- Coconut oil can be taken orally three times a day as a natural remedy for heartburn.
- If that is not possible or desirable, it can be incorporated in the diet by adding in water or tea.
2. Fish Oil for Heartburn
Fish oil is a powerful dietary supplement with multiple benefits, including for heartburn.
Why One Should Use Fish Oil for Heartburn?
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids(8) which help lubricate the intestines and thus help in solving intestinal and digestion problems such as heartburn.
How to Use Fish Oil for Heartburn?
- Fish oil as a remedy for heartburn will work better if other foods supplement it than if it is taken alone
- Fish essential oil capsules can be consumed with meals
3. Olive Oil for Heartburn
Olive oil is a dicey choice as far as being a natural remedy for constant indigestion is concerned due to its acidic nature, but with some careful tweaks and planning, it can prove to be useful too.
Why One Should Use Olive Oil for Heartburn?
Olive oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acid which is beneficial for the process of digestion. It functions as a healthy fat.
How to Use Olive Oil for Heartburn?
- Take only a few drops of olive oil in itself or use it in your food. Do not douse foods with olive oil, however.
Other home remedies for heartburn
Here are some natural remedies of dealing with constant heartburn:
- Eat smaller meals more frequently instead of having a few heavy meals.
- Avoid the foods listed to trigger heartburn more efficiently than other foods, for example, foods with a high fat and acid content.
- Wear loose, airy clothes. Clothes that are tight around the waist are not smart choices for a person who is especially vulnerable to getting heartburns as they constrict movement.
- Do not lie down immediately after eating as that may cause the food to raise the oesophagus. Wait before lying down and time your meals accordingly.
- Eat slowly and thoroughly chew everything. Do not gulp food down.
- Baking soda for heartburn works as a natural antacid. If you dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda into 200 millilitres of water and drink it, it can act as a neutralising agent and temporarily alleviate heartburn sensations.
- Make use of right heartburn medication.
Also Read: Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
Heartburn is an intensely discomfiting experience as it ruins the feeling of having had delicious food by causing a burning sensation in the chest and creates a bland, sour taste the back of the throat.
If it is persistent, that is, as stated earlier, if it occurs more than twice a week then it is classified as GERD and requires more specialised attention, but occasional heartburn here and there can easily be remedied by making some lifestyle changes and inculcating various essential oils in a healthy dosage.
Make sure that you make use of medications as well as natural remedies to cure your heartburn problems and as a step to answer your question of “how to get rid of heartburns?”
Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s):
1. Are heartburn at day and heartburn at night different?
Both are the same as they are both the results of stomach acid reflux. However, lying horizontally to sleep at night heightens the probability of experiencing heartburn as compared to sitting up or standing.
2. Is heartburn in any way related to heat?
While heartburn sufferers experience a burning sensation which is a part of heartburn and associate the discomfort with intense heat; the trouble is not caused by temperature in any way, but by the irritation resulting from the upward movement of the acid present in the oesophagus.