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By Pavitra Sampath

All of us have suffered from acidity at some point in our lives. Either it is that extra gulab jamun at a family function or that spicy samosa during tea break. Whatever the reason may be, acidity can be quite an uncomfortable experience, and sometimes we are left with no option but to reach out for that bottle of antacid.

But, did you know that there are alternative, natural remedies that work just as well and don’t leave you with the ill-effects of too much medication? Read about the new-age technique to relieve the symptoms of acidity.

Here are 10 things to treat acidity and keep its recurrence at bay:

Bananas: Are high in potassium, which is an alkalizing mineral that has a high pH value. The higher the pH value, the lower the acidity, which is why the banana is a formidable antidote for acidity. They also have a component that makes the stomach lining produce more mucous. This mucous protects the inner lining of the stomach, reducing the damage caused due to acidity. Its high fiber content helps speed along digestion, thus reducing the further recurrence of acidity. To make this remedy even more effective, try to eat overripe bananas during an attack of acidity. They have higher amounts of potassium, making it even more effective. Read about the health benefits of bananas.

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TulsiHas compounds that make it an effective digestive agent. It stimulates the stomach to produce more mucous and has potent anti-ulcer properties. It also reduces the effect of peptic acids in the stomach, thereby preventing excessive acidity. They also reduce gas formation.  Eat five to six basil leaves after your meal to get instant relief. Read about the health benefits of tulsi.

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Cold milk: Milk has a high amount of calcium that helps it prevent acid buildup and absorbs the excess acid produced thereby reducing the symptoms. The fact that it is cold also provides instant relief from the burning sensation one feels during acid reflux.  It is essential that one has this cold and without any additives, like sugar. Mix it with a spoon of ghee to make the remedy even more effective. Read about the health benefits of ghee.

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Saunf:  Called fennel in English and popularly used as a mouth freshener, saunf has many hidden benefits. Among them are aiding digestion reliving constipation.  Rich in volatile oils containing flavanoids, plamitic acid and many others, it is known to have very potent anti-ulcer properties (find out how you can deal with mouth ulcers naturally). Apart from that, saunf acts as a coolant for the lining of the stomach, helping it heal faster. In fact, this is why saunf is served after meals at restaurants. In case you have a sudden bout of acidity, boil a few seeds in water and leave overnight, then drink this water when you feel uneasy.

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JeeraIt has properties that stimulate the production of saliva, which helps in better digestion, improves metabolism and relieves gas and other gastric troubles (find out what you can do to boost your metabolism). In Ayurvedic traditions, it’s believed to have a calming effect on irritated stomach nerves and helps in healing ulcers formed due to acid secretion. One can either chew on it to relieve acidity or the preferred method of boiling it in water and drinking the water when it has cooled down. Read about the health benefits of jeera.

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Clove: It is a natural carmitive and helps improve peristalisis (the movement of food down the stomach) and also increases the production of saliva. It has a pungent taste when bitten into, and the taste buds react to this taste and secrete excess saliva, which in turn aids digestion. In case you’re suffering from acidity, bite a clove once so that the juice is released and then keep it in the mouth. The slowly escaping juice will immediately lower acid reflux and give you some relief.

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Elaichi In Ayurvedic traditions, cardamom is believed to be one food that balances all three doshas – kaphapitta and vata. It is known to stimulate digestion and relieve people of stomach spasms. It soothes the mucous lining of the stomach, helping it ward off the effects of excess acid produced in the stomach. Due to its sweet taste and slight cooling effect, it also relieves the burning sensation associated with acidity.  To relieve acidity, crush two pods of cardamom (with or without the skin), boil the powder in water and drink the cooled juice for instant relief.

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Mint leaves or pudinaThese leaves have been used for ages as a mouth freshener and also for garnishing for various foods (read about the other ways to beat bad breath naturally). This humble leaf has amazing properties that make it just the medicine to treat acidity. It also lowers the acid content of the stomach and improves digestion. Its cool effect also helps to reduce the pain and burning associated with acid reflux.  If you feel an attack coming on, chop some mint leaves, add them to a pot of boiling water and drink this water after it cools. Read about the health benefits of pudina.

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Ginger: A regular ingredient in most Indian households, ginger improves absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients and aids in digestion. It also helps break down the proteins in your food. Ginger protects your stomach against ulcers by promoting mucus secretion, thereby reducing the effect of the acid on the stomach. You can chew a piece of ginger for relief. If you find that too pungent, you can try boiling it in water and drinking the decoction. Another remedy is to crush ginger, mix it with a small piece of jaggery and keeping sucking on it, allowing the juice to slowly reach the stomach. Read about the health benefits of ginger.

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Amla: Is a kapha and pitta pacifier apart from having high amounts of Vitamin C that helps in healing the injured stomach lining and oesophagus. Have one teaspoon of amla powder twice a day to help keep acidity way. Read about the health benefits of amla.

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So the next time you feel like you might suffer from a bout of acidity, ditch that bottle of antacid and try some effective home remedies instead–after all, they’ve been around for centuries.

This post was originally published on The Health Site.