Last week one of my closest friends called to share the news of being pregnant. Morning sickness and acidity had not yet showed up so she was happy. At the same time she was anxious about how she would deal with the morning sickness, acidity and the regular problems of pregnancy once they set in.
My second pregnancy was especially tough due to a lot of acidity, morning sickness and regular throwing up. My friend had seen me through this period and thus was quite anxious too.
During this period, I tried a lot of remedies that I read about or was advised. When I started reading about the remedies, there were so many options available that it was difficult to decide where to start. As a result I ended up trying various different ingredients and combinations. What I figured out was that each of us would need to try out different combinations to understand what works best for their body types.
Below are the top 5 remedies for acidity or heartburn that have been most effective for most of my friends and for me too. These remedies could be used even if you are not pregnant 🙂
#1. Milk and water or buttermilk
Take 1/2 a glass of cold milk and add 1/2 glass water at room temperature. This can be taken whenever the heartburn sensation is starting. Those suffering from regular acidity should make it a practice of having this first thing in the morning. This provides a soothing effect.
Butter milk is a good substitute if you have an enhanced sense of smell during pregnancy and are unable to have milk and water. You can add mint leaves coriander etc. for flavour to the buttermilk if required.
#2. Jaggery (Gur)
Jaggery has a high amount of potassium and helps maintain the balance of acids in the stomach. Take a small piece of jaggery – preferably the dark brown organic one and suck on it after every meal. Make this a practice and you will notice the reduction in your acidity attacks.
Many Punjabi restaurants serve jaggery after the meal for the same purpose – maintaining the acid levels since Punjabi food is generally very rich.
#3. Tulsi (Basil)
This can be consumed by directly taking 3 to 4 leaves and chewing on them. If you find the taste too strong then basil tea can be made using 6 to 8 leaves and boiling it with a glass of water till the quantity is halved and add honey to it.
Similar to basil tea, you can also make tea using cinnamon powder and adding honey. A good practice is to replace one regular cup of tea or coffee with either cinnamon or basil tea. This can be alternated for more variety. Also, adding cinnamon powder to curries/ soups etc. is a good practice.
#5. Chewing gum
Believe it or not – increased flow of saliva dilutes the acid level of the stomach and very helpful quick remedy to relieve acidity and the easiest way to increase saliva flow is to chew on gum. Those suffering from regular acidity attacks should keep some chewing gum handy especially when travelling etc.
Incorrect lifestyle choices are one of the most common reasons for acidity or heartburn. Eating very spicy food, irregular meal timings, not enough sleep, too much alcohol, stress, not enough exercise are main contributors. So in addition to the above remedies, try to make small lifestyle changes.
Have enough water starting with morning drinks , avoid drinking water between meals, make some time to exercise and there will definitely be gradual but noticeable difference in your acidity attacks.