Manuka Honey for Acid Reflux

As you probably already know, Acid Reflux (medically known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD) is a condition that affects 35% of the American population and over 50 million people worldwide. It is a condition that causes a lot of pain and discomfort and are commonly prescribed Prevacid or Zantac by doctors.

However, people will often try alternative treatments as they prefer to avoid medication. Natural remedies such as manuka honey have been used with good results but before I explain how it can help, it is important to understand the symptoms and risks of acid reflux.

GERD is a chronic digestive condition which includes numerous symptoms that stem from the bile or stomach acids which rise up into the esophagus from the stomach. Here are the common signs and symptoms:

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

 

  • Heartburn
  • Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing)
  • Regurgitation
  • Chest Pain
  • Nausea
  • Odynophagia (painful swallowing)
  • Chronic cough
  • Pharyngitis
  • Damage to teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Tooth enamel erosion
  • Laryngitis
  • Asthma

An individual can suffer from several, all of these symptoms or just one. However, the longer the condition is left untreated the worse the condition becomes. Also, it is likely that the number of symptoms experienced will increase over time if left untreated. Furthermore, complications could also cause damage to the esophagus, like the formation of ulcers between the esophagus and the stomach; a narrowing of the esophagus; cancer; and Barrett’s esophagus.

Recommended actions for those who suffer from this chronic condition include raising the bed in order to elevate the head end, using gravity to keep the acids down. This is not possible simply by propping up pillows, however. Instead, add bricks beneath the headboard to elevate the bed between six and nine inches. Also, eat smaller portions at every meal, and never lay down after a meal. Give yourself at least a couple of hours after eating before doing lying down. Avoid eating hot and spicy foods, and those that are known to cause heartburn, and wear looser clothing.

Who is at Risk of Developing GERD?

Pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing GERD, as are smokers, diabetics, extremely overweight or obese people. Also, those who suffer from asthma, dry mouth, hiatal hernia, and scleroderma may also be more likely to develop GERD.

With more people looking to treat their medical conditions in natural ways, it is not uncommon for herbs and other home remedies to be used even in these modern times. People have begun to understand that alternative and herbal medicines can be just as effective as modern pharmaceuticals, and sometimes even better. In the past, treating conditions meant exactly that: treating the root of the problem. Modern medicine deals with treating the result or the symptom thereof.

Of late, the Manuka Honey has been making news thanks to its non-hydrogen peroxide antibacterial content, or NPA. Used in Australia and New Zealand for its healing properties, research has found just how effective it is and how it can help scientists, especially with super-bugs that do not respond to antibiotics.

Can Manuka Honey Help Acid Reflux?

active manuka honey

Many people claim Manuka honey helps acid reflux

Upon researching the subject, there is no clinical evidence of Manuka Honey curing the condition. However, it has been used successfully by people as a form of treatment, helping them find relief from the discomfort and pain the disease causes. The problem with this disease is the fact that the sphincter, which could be compared to a valve, is simply not functioning properly. This malfunction or loosening of the sphincter allows the acids to shoot up into the esophagus. However, Manuka Honey can certainly help because it has been clinically proven that it kills bacteria. The overproduction of stomach acid is actually caused by a bacteria, known as the Helicobacer pylori, and since Manuka Honey has antibacterial properties, then reduces the production of stomach acids. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation that can form in the stomach as a result of these stomach acids. According to the University of Waikato, its antimicrobial activity may not be effective for systemic ailments, however, it has shown to help heal peptic ulcers. It is also helpful in avoiding further damage to the sphincter and the esophagus.

How To Use Manuka Honey For Acid Reflux

A lot of people ask how they should use manuka honey to help acid reflux. Using manuka honey for acid reflux is actually very simple. There are no special techniques and all that is needed is for you to eat it normally.

To get the best results, you should take it with a cracker or a slice of bread. Doing so will reduce the speed of digestion by coating the esophagus. Ideally, you should have this about 30 minutes prior to your actual meal, and you should be on an empty stomach. During this 30 minute time frame, you should not eat or drink anything so that your body can properly absorb the honey and fight off the bacteria that causes the overproduction of stomach acids.