Heartburn is a fairly common problem experienced in western society, but what is it really?
The Merck Manual defines it as “Reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus leading to localized infection.” It can be painful, as acid is making contact with the cells of the esophagus and causing a burning sensation.
Ask almost anyone and they will say the cause for this is “Excessively High Stomach Acid levels.” Extensive marketing campaigns have been launched and maintained for decades to drill this idea into our heads. As a result we have been brainwashed into believing something that is the opposite of what is actually happening. And sadly, we follow up by taking pharmaceutical drugs designed to inhibit stomach acid production.
The truth of the matter is that heartburn, (technically: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease; GERD), is due to a relaxation of the sphincter connecting the stomach and esophagus, which is caused by low stomach acid levels. The low stomach acid levels reduce the tone and tightness of the sphincter, allowing contents to flow backwards; and as a result we see the typical heartburn symptoms.
Dr. Wright at the Tahoma clinic has been testing for stomach acid levels in patients since 1976. He has found that in thousands of heartburn cases more than 90% show low stomach acid production.
Personal experience as a herbalist and experience from fellow Herbal Colleagues back up the findings of Dr. Wright.
The following is an extremely brief general protocol for dealing with Acid Reflux: first heal any ulcerative damage from the acid using demulcents herbs. These are natural herbs that form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation. Then, start ramping up production of stomach acid by using Bitter herbs and liver tonics.
Next, assess the lifestyle situation, and revise the diet to one that is more Alkalizing. Eating foods that as mostly acidic drastically contributes to the feeling of heart burn. There are also special exercises to do for the esophagus and diaphragm that will enhance the tone.
It seems like the problem can be treated a lot more naturally, yet large Pharmaceutical companies are still pushing cures that only put a band aid over the symptom. They aren’t in the business for long term cures because that means their supplements don’t need to be bought.
If you experience regular acid reflux or burning sensations in your chest, try these alternative solutions and see what happens!