Heartburn. It's that burning gnawing pain just below the ribcage and breast bone that results when your stomach acid flows back up the pipe the wrong way. Usually after a bad choice of meal and sometimes when we lie down at night. Most people think it's too much acid that's the problem, but they are wrong... it's actually not enough acid.
This may seem backwards, but many cases of heartburn/reflux are actually a result of *low* levels of stomach acid. The lower esophageal sphincter is the muscle at the top of your stomach. It's contraction is based on a chemo-receptor that senses the levels of acid in the stomach. If there is strong enough acid in the stomach, the sphincter contracts and closes tight, blocking retrograde flow of acid. If there is not enough acid, it will not contract properly and the gate doesn't fully close, allowing gastric acid to splash through.
By increasing the acid levels in your stomach with the lemon juice (or even vinegar), it triggers the proper functioning (i.e. tight closure) of your lower esophageal sphincter.
I understand swallowing something acidic seems like the last thing you'd ever do when you have heartburn, but try this simple at-home trick. It works wonderfully! When used regularly it can actually re-train the stomach to secrete the right level of stomach acid, so that you are less likely to get it in future and can eventually transition off of even the lemon juice. You can't ask for better medicine than that.
It has changed the health of my patients time and again.
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To prevent food-related heartburn, this recipe is best used about 10 mins before each meal. You can also use it when heartburn is already active. Do not use if you are on a proton pump inhibitor (type of heartburn medication).
Mix the water and lemon juice. Swish in your mouth until you get that "sour face" sensation. Swallow.
*** Did this trick make things a little worse? You may have an ulcer, gastritis, or other digestive problem. Please see your naturopathic or medical doctor!
Did you try the lemon juice trick? How did it go? I'm interested in the results of these little remedies! Share your answer in the comments section below.
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