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Gerd is a condition in which the return of gastric acid and enzymes from the stomach back to the esophagus occurs. The esophagus does not have a protection layer from acidity as there is in the stomach, so backwash (acid reflux) from the stomach can cause damage to the esophagus wall and may even cause inflammation.

When the gastric juices come into contact with the esophagus wall, a feeling of heartburn is felt- this is a searing pain that arises from the sternum and may spread to the throat and neck. Sometimes there is also pressure in the chest. Heartburn can be accompanied by an upcoming gastric content that reaches the mouth.

Image by Adrian Lange
Image by Anthony Tran

Additional symptoms of reflux:

  • Pain in the chest or throat.

  • A feeling of hoarseness.

  • Increased secretion of saliva.

  •  Congestion in the throat.

The main causes of GERD:

  • Hiatal hernia or weakening of lower esophageal sphincter (muscle around the bottom of the esophagus), what causes it not to close hermetically.

  • High consumption of fatty, fried, and acidic food.

  • Consumption of caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and soft drinks.

  • Large meals with high food volume that enter the stomach at once.

  • Drinking fluids at the same time as eating.

  • Delayed emptying of the stomach for example in a diabetic state.

  • Various drugs, for example, antidepressants and anticholinergic drugs.

  • Bulimia, alcoholism or other conditions which cause vomiting.

  • Helicobactor Pylori infection.

  • Pregnancy - due to uterine pressure on the digestive system.

  • Overweight.

  • Low stomach acidity (hypochlorhydria).

Natural Herbs

Natural treatment

The main objectives in the natural treatment of GERD are:

  • Reducing the return of stomach contents on the esophagus.

  • Protection of the gastric mucosa and esophagus.

  • Relieving the feeling of heartburn.

First I'll diagnose the cause for the GERD. Treatment will be given according to the type of heartburn (due to high or low acidity) and its cause.

The treatment is based on a combination of a change in lifestyle and a shift to a healthy herbal diet and dietary supplements.

Medicinal plants which are given in this case are divided into plants that are suitable for acute treatment of heartburn and those which are suitable for preventive treatment, to treat the cause of the problem.

During the acute treatment, I will combine herbs that instantly soothe the burning sensation and protect the wall of the stomach and esophagus from acid. 

In treating the cause of heartburn, treatment will be made according to the source of the problem.

If over-acidity is diagnosed, I will combine herbs that reduce acidity in the stomach. If sub-acidity (hypochlorhydria) is diagnosed, I will combine herbs that increase acidity. 

In each stage, I will use mucous herbs to protect the wall of the stomach and esophagus

and in anti-inflammatory herbs for the treatment and prevention of inflammation.

If the cause is Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, I will combine anti-infection and immune stimulators herbs. If the cause is stress, anxiolytic and soothing the nervous system, then herbs will be incorporated. As part of the treatment for GERD, recommendations to preform  lifestyle changes and individual dietary changes will be given depending on the root of the problem.

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