The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux When Pregnant

Pregnancy is one of the most special times in a mother’s life, but it comes with a wide range of potential symptoms. One of these is acid reflux, otherwise known as heartburn.

Factors including increased pressure on the digestive organs cause acid reflux during pregnancy, particularly when there is also poor digestion. Therefore, the best preventive remedies may involve not only soothing herbs, but also those that improve digestive function.

Gentle digestive herbal teas such as ginger and anise may be effective in calming acid reflux, as they prevent food from sitting in your stomach for too long. Additionally, soothing remedies such as marshmallow root may calm the burning pain in your throat.

Let’s take a look at several herbal teas that may help soothe the symptoms, or address the underlying causes, of acid reflux.

Motherhood Teas

Anise to take away heartburn

By improving digestion, anise may help to relieve heartburn and other digestive complaints during pregnancy. The benefits of anise for digestion overlap between both irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and pregnancy, including gas and constipation.

A study involving people with IBS found that treatment with anise oil reduced acid reflux from an average score of 5.2/10 to 1.15/10 after four weeks, which fell again to 0.53 at a follow-up two weeks later. Even better, their constipation scores improved from 4.45/10 to 2.87/10 during treatment. In the placebo group,  their heartburn severity only fell from 3.9/10 to 1.9/10.

Mechanical and hormonal changes during pregnancy means that some digestive symptoms overlap with IBS, so herbal remedies such as anise that regulate muscle contraction may help.

Anise may soothe muscle spasms in the digestive system, allowing for more efficient digestion and a lower chance that your stomach contents will be pushed backward into your oesophagus. Even better, it may make you more comfortable with its mild antimicrobial effects. Flatulence is caused by bacteria fermenting undigested food into gas. Slowed digestion thanks to high progesterone gives the bacteria more time to ferment nutrients, so reducing their populations can help prevent an increase in gas.

 

Summary

Anise’s ability to regulate muscle contraction and prevent gas can make the digestion process smoother, so the contents of your stomach aren’t backed up for too long.

Drink turmeric tea to soothe symptoms of acid reflux

Turmeric is loved by many for its ability to relieve inflammation and protect against cellular damage. While it doesn’t prevent acid reflux, it may protect against the secondary symptoms and even long-term consequences of heartburn.  

If acid reflux continues long-term, it may start to damage and change the tissue lining your oesophagus. This can lead to a problem known as Barrett’s oesophagus. It isn’t typically a problem in pregnancy, but may happen if you continue to experience acid reflux.

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory abilities may calm pain, reduce muscle spasms and protect against potential long-term effects of chronic or severe reflux.

Turmeric could still be helpful if your acid reflux ends with childbirth. As pain and discomfort are key signs of inflammation, putting out this “fire” can bring you relief from lingering symptoms throughout the day. Turmeric acts on a range of inflammatory pathways, including the master-switch known as NFkB. Turning down these inflammatory pathways helps to protect your body against damage from harmful substances, such as acid where it shouldn’t be. This way, healing of damage that’s already been done can continue uninterrupted.

Its antioxidant properties may stop tissue damage from getting out of hand, and it even has some antispasmodic effects. Relief of muscle spasms won’t necessarily make your digestive system too relaxed; instead, it has a regulatory effect on the muscles inside.  

If you'd like to learn more about what turmeric can do for you, check out this article! 

 

Summary

Turmeric has a wide range of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that can soothe your symptoms of acid reflux faster, as it turns down the “master switch” of inflammation.

Matin Doux - signature herbal tea blend for acid reflux

Matin Doux is our signature herbal tea blend for pregnant women, to aid digestion and prevent acid reflux. It contains ginger, fennel seed, peppermint and marshmallow root, all gentle, traditional digestive aids.

Ginger, fennel and peppermint are aromatic digestive herbs, stimulating and relaxing the digestive system so your stomach contents don’t sit around for too long. Marshmallow has a soothing effect.

Ginger

You may be familiar with ginger already as a remedy for morning sickness, or an alternative to caffeine-containing teas that could be too overstimulating at this time. Ginger is, however, another aromatic digestive herbal aid. It can speed up the movement of food through the digestive tract, just as anise can.

Additionally, ginger is an all-round soothing anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. A reduction in inflammation means your oesophageal lining can start to heal itself from previous damage, while reduced bacterial populations mean less gas.

Fennel Seed

Fennel seed is often used as an ingredient in digestive herbal formulas. Many recipes and herbal teas include it for its ability to reduce flatulence, which you want to prevent during pregnancy, too.

A study on a blend of fennel seed, peppermint, caraway and wormwood (which is unsafe in pregnancy) found significant relief of upper digestive issues. After only three days, 17 people taking the herbal formula no longer had any acid reflux, compared to seven in the group receiving pharmaceutical treatment. More people in the herbal formula group had relief of stomach spasms, belching and an unwanted feeling of fullness.

Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root is a traditional herbal remedy for sore throat and digestive inflammation. Its main action is as a soothing, coating treatment, protecting tissues against more irritation. This means you won’t prevent acid reflux by taking marshmallow root, but it may stop you from feeling the painful, burning sensation. Beyond just feeling better, the protective barrier allows for healing too, just like direct anti-inflammatory effects.

Studies have found that marshmallow root can be a helpful remedy for inflammation and ulcers in the digestive system. It increases the production of mucin, which is a kind of helpful mucus that your digestive tract and lungs must produce to protect themselves against irritants and damage. Marshmallow root has some acid-reducing effects too, making it the closest thing you can get to a herbal antacid.

Marshmallow root could even help you benefit from other herbal teas that may otherwise be too irritating. Both ginger and peppermint can make heartburn symptoms worse in some people, but the barrier effect of marshmallow root could stop them from causing you trouble.

Did you know that marshmallow root has uses beyond digestive health and sore throats? Read more about the skin benefits of marshmallow root here.

Peppermint

Peppermint may aid digestion through its essential oil. Research shows that peppermint oil can significantly shorten the time it takes for food to leave your stomach, reducing the chance that you will experience reflux after a meal. Although this is largely caused by a relaxing effect on the muscles, peppermint seems to benefit cases of acid reflux.  Peppermint is an ingredient in Iberogast too, a herbal formula designed to relieve symptoms of IBS, including acid reflux and constipation.

 

Summary

The four ingredients of Matin Doux have been carefully chosen to support you on your pregnancy journey. Three of the herbal remedies are aromatic digestives, with muscle regulatory, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Marshmallow root takes another path, by forming a protective barrier.

General advice for acid reflux relief during pregnancy

Up to 72% of mothers suffer from acid reflux at some point during pregnancy because of organ displacement and the muscle relaxant effect of progesterone. Despite this, conventional recommendations for relief still apply to you. 

Progesterone may slow digestion, but simple changes such as eating smaller, easily digestible meals can help.

Besides herbal teas, there are a few basic ways you can relieve heartburn. Eat smaller but more frequent meals during the day, and do not eat too late at night. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, greasy and spicy food, soft drink and caffeine are known acid reflux triggers whether or not you are pregnant.

You may also find relief by avoiding lying down for three hours after eating, or using a pillow so you are reclined instead of lying flat. If you smoke and haven’t yet given up the habit, now is the best time to do it, as smoking is another risk factor for heartburn.

 

Summary

While most pregnant women are expected to develop acid reflux at some point, basic prevention advice is the same for reflux of all causes.

Recipe: Turmeric Latte

If you’ve just given birth and would like to repair any possible damage from having acid reflux throughout your pregnancy, you should try Turmeric Latte. As it does contain some stimulating spices, such as cinnamon and black pepper, you can skip them or use a smaller amount. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of nut milk or coconut milk, preferably organic
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • ½-1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger root powder
  • ½ teaspoon ashwagandha root
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup

First, stir the nut milk, turmeric and coconut oil or ghee over medium heat until they are hot and well-combined. Add all remaining ingredients if they are powdered, or mix them in a blender if you are using fresher ingredients. Finally, stir in the vanilla and serve!

FAQ

What herbal teas are good for acid reflux during pregnancy?

Let’s take a look at several herbal teas that may help soothe the symptoms, or address the underlying causes, of acid reflux.
1. Turmeric
2. Anise
3. Ginger
4. Fennel seeds
5. Marshmallow root
6. Chamomile

Are herbal medicines safe during pregnancy?

Some herbal remedies are safe for you to use during pregnancy, while others are off-limits. All of the herbs discussed in this article are safe at least when you take them as a tea. Some, such as anise, should not be used as alcohol extracts because they are too potent.

For herbal teas that can help with lactation, check out this article!

Should I drink Matin Doux before or after meals?

Drinking anything before meals can dilute stomach acid and digestive enzymes, which slows digestion (the effect you don't want!). It is best for you to drink Matin Doux, and all herbal teas in general, at least 15-30 minutes after meals so the digestive process can get started.

Conclusion

If you’re pregnant and struggling with heartburn, don’t worry, there are simple ways you can find relief! Aromatic digestive aids such as anise; anti-inflammatories, including turmeric; and marshmallow root, with its soothing, coating effect, can prevent acid reflux and allow your oesophageal lining to heal itself.

Have you tried turmeric, anise, Matin Doux, or another herbal tea to relieve heartburn during pregnancy?

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