Heartburn / Reflux

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I get gastric reflux or heartburn after a rich meal, but it can also happen unexpectedly. How can I best approach this?

A. Often heartburn occurs following a poor combination of foods, or a symptom of food intolerance (see this website for information regarding allergy testing in the About section).

Some people produce insufficient digestive enzymes particularly if you eat in a rush or are a ‘dashboard diner’ – eating at the computer or in the car.

As you prepare your meal, have something sour. In response to the sour taste, your digestive system will secrete digestive enzymes and bile such that food is processed quickly and efficiently. In traditional diets sour foods has always been a practice to promote healthy digestion. The western diet comprises of salty and sweet foods.

Digestive Relief, a herbal tonic available on this website (under products) works well for indigestion. It contains chamomile – my favourite herb for indigestion, along with aniseed to relieve trapped wind and cramps. Globe artichoke helps to secrete bile to correct the digestive discomfort.

Slippery elm, a powdered bark is also good for reflux – it relieves the burning sensation in the oesophagus, or digestive tract. It coats the raw mucosa with a gel which is rich in minerals to heal the abrasion. Mix a teaspoon of slippery elm (available via Natural Ange Ltd) with mashed banana or stewed apple.

Should symptoms persist, seek medical advice. A gastroscopy is an excellent diagnostic tool to rule out any other pathology.