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Know Everything About Your Sour Troubles With Gerd


medically reviewed by Dr Godmi Tresa

Dr. Bhavya

Updated on October 25, 2023

Have you ever experienced a fiery, burning sensation in your chest after having a meal? Or a bitter taste in your mouth that won’t go away?

If you have, you may be dealing with acid reflux or GERD. But don’t fret. You’re not alone. Almost 40% of people in the UK experience these symptoms.

So, grab a cup of tea, sit back, and read on to learn more about this condition and how you can manage GERD naturally with the help of Ayurveda and Yoga.

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GERD - A Sour Story of Repeated Belching

If you find yourself constantly belching or experiencing a sour acid burp, you might suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. 

This chronic condition occurs when stomach contents, known as gastrum, reflux into the oesophagus, causing uncomfortable symptoms such as chest burn, heartburn, and regurgitation.

However, if you only occasionally experience acidic burps, it may not necessarily indicate GERD. It’s essential to understand that irregular meal habits can cause acid reflux or heartburn and can disappear as quickly as it appears. 

On the other hand, GERD is diagnosed when stomach contents backflow or reflux at least twice a week, severely impacting a person’s daily activities.

If your doctor can visibly see damage to your oesophagus(food pipe), you likely have GERD.

Why is There a Backlash of Stomach Contents?

Let’s dive into how your stomach and oesophagus are connected, so you can understand what’s happening inside your body.

Picture a door or a gatekeeper that only opens in one direction, leading from your oesophagus to your stomach. This is your Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES for short.

When you swallow food, it travels down your food pipe and passes through this gatekeeper, entering your stomach where it’s supposed to stay. The gatekeeper is like a bouncer, keeping the food from coming back up.

But in some cases, the gatekeeper doesn’t do its job properly, allowing stomach contents to flow back up into the oesophagus, causing the symptoms of GERD.

Now that we know what’s happening let’s explore what can cause this malfunction of the LES.

What Happens in GERD?

GERD, or acid reflux, occurs when the protective door or valve between your oesophagus and stomach, or the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), fails to prevent the reflux of stomach content into the oesophagus.

This leads to the unpleasant sensation of heartburn and other symptoms that can disrupt your daily routine.

The Significant Symptoms of GERD or Acid Reflux


  • Regurgitation or backlash of food.
  • Heartburn on bending or lying down.
  • Burning sensation or feeling of pressure.
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Belching
  • Pain while swallowing foody
  • Water brash
  • Headache
  • Repeated vomiting in severe cases.

An Ayurvedic View of GERD

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system, provides a unique perspective on GERD. 

In Ayurveda, GERD is known as Amlapitta, which means “sour pitta”. 

Pitta is the primary bioenergy responsible for digestion, and when it becomes excessively sour, it results in Amlapitta.

According to Ayurveda, weak Agni, or digestive fire, is the underlying cause of Amlapitta. 

Several reasons can weaken Agni and cause Amlapitta, including:

  • Viruddha ahara, or wrong food combinations
  • Contaminated food, such as fried or processed items
  • Pitta-aggravating foods and drinks, such as spicy foods, carbonated beverages, and fermented foods

The Ayurvedic perspective of Amlapitta indicates that the early stages of GERD present as gastritis and occasional regurgitations. 

As the condition progresses, Vata and Kapha bioenergies become involved, leading to symptoms such as weakened LES and recurrent vomiting.

GERD Triggers: Know What Is Burning You

It’s crucial to identify and avoid the triggers that can worsen your symptoms while managing GERD. Here are some common triggers:


Excess weight puts pressure on your stomach, which can weaken the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) and cause reflux.


Smoking harms your lungs and relaxes the LES, damages the protective lining of the stomach and oesophagus, and increases stomach acid production.

Research has proven that smoking relaxes the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES), damages the protective layer of the stomach and oesophagus, reduces salivation, and increases stomach acid secretion.


Poorly controlled diabetes can damage the LES’s nerves, leading to reflux.

Large Meals and Fatty Food

Eating large portions, especially before bedtime, can stretch your stomach and increase pressure on the LES, causing reflux. High-fat foods also slow digestion, leading to more extended periods of acid exposure in the oesophagus.

Some Heartburn-Causing Diets Are:

  • Alcohol
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Raw onions
  • Spicy fishes
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits and products
  • Coffee and caffeinated drinks
  • Soda and carbonated drinks

To Prevent Heartburn After Meals:

  • Don’t overeat - It is healthier to have mini meals instead of full meals.
  • Don’t eat before bedtime - Lying down just after having food is a cause of heartburn from GERD.

Heartburn and Exercise

Exercise is good for almost all health conditions. 

But did you know that exercises and yoga must be done under an expert’s supervision, especially if you have conditions like GERD?

Some positions, such as having your upper body lower than your stomach, can start GERD symptoms.

Also, it is best not to exercise soon after having food.

Heartburn and Medications

Many medications can trigger heartburn or make heartburn worse. 

Some of them are:

  • Painkillers like aspirin
  • Antibiotics
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Heart disease medications
  • Progesterone pills are the hormone found in birth control pills
  • Antidepressants
  • Certain supplements, such as iron and potassium
  • Chemotherapy medicines

If you take any medications regularly and they give you heartburn, you should discuss this with your consulting doctor.

How to Manage Your GERD

The treatment of GERD aims at;

  • Decreasing the amount of reflux.
  • Managing the damaged lining of the oesophagus.
  • Strengthen LES.

Usually, a conventional doctor may try to manage your GERD using any of the following.

  • Antacids - medicines that neutralise the acid.
  • H2 receptor blockers - medications that reduce acid production.
  • Photo Pump Inhibitors (PPI) - drugs that block acid production and heal the oesophagus.

Note: long term usage of these medications may lead to vitamin B12 deficiency and bone fractures.

The doctor may suggest surgery to strengthen the LES in severe cases depending upon the causes.

Ayurvedic Management of GERD (Amla Pitta)

GERD Treatment in Ayurveda aims to eliminate the morbid Pitta and protect the gut from further damage.

The first step in correcting this condition is to address the digestive fire or Agni, which is often deranged in GERD patients. 

This is achieved by making dietary changes and adopting healthy eating habits that can help heal the damaged gut lining.

In addition to correcting the digestive fire, Ayurvedic treatment also involves complete gut healing using natural medications that help balance the production of digestive juices and promote the protective system of the gut.

By adopting these Ayurvedic principles, patients can achieve long-lasting relief from GERD symptoms and improve their overall digestive health.

Diet Plan to Cure GERD Naturally

It is best to eat often rather than eat whole at a time. Mini snacking can be designed in the following way:

  1. 9 am or before - Breakfast
  2. 11 am - Fruits
  3. 1 pm - Lunch
  4. 4 pm - Snacks 
  5. 8 pm or before - Supper

Remember that what you eat may be as important as when you eat.

It is best to avoid your trigger food.

Do’s of Acid Reflux Diet

Food to include in diet: 

  • Oatmeal, green vegetables, celery, and asparagus are non-acid reflux-creating foods.
  • Food with pH <7, like bananas, melon, blueberries, apples and corn.
  • Prefer non-vegetarian food that is baked, grilled or sautéed instead of fried. 
  • Dry fruits, as they contain essential oils required for the body.

Medicinal Herbs that Help with GERD 

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Here are some Ayurvedic herbs for acid reflux:

  • Caraway Seeds - Taking caraway oil as part of a specific combination with peppermint oil seems to relieve heartburn, including symptoms of fullness and mild gastrointestinal (GI) spasms,
  • Liquorice Root: Licorice root may help reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). For e.g., such as acid reflux (also known as heartburn).
  • Turmeric: Turmeric and turmeric extracts have anti-inflammatory properties that may help heal the oesophagus.
  • Coriander: Coriander infusion kept overnight helps cool the gut and heal the acid-damaged oesophagus and stomach.
  • Basil Leaves: Adding basil leaves when you boil water for drinking will help you soothe your heartburn.
  • Chia Seeds: Adding chia seeds to your water help heal your corroded gut. Chia seeds, flax seeds and almonds also help strengthen the LES.

Therapeutic Yoga to Cure GERD or Acid Reflux

Therapeutic yoga is not just about staying flexible. It’s about treating specific health conditions using yoga techniques. 

And did you know that daily Yoga can help control acid reflux or GERD?

By stimulating the functioning of the digestive system and strengthening the muscles holding the gut, Yoga can work wonders for GERD patients. 

For example, an increase in the power of the diaphragm, which holds the oesophagus down to the stomach through a small hole, can help prevent the weakening that leads to GERD. Moreover, practising Yoga can also help increase blood circulation, promoting faster healing of the damaged gut lining. 

And let’s not forget the stress-relieving benefits of Yoga!

Stress is known to increase acid secretion in the stomach, so by keeping stress at bay through regular Yoga practice, you can reduce your risk of experiencing GERD symptoms.

So, if you’re looking for a holistic approach to managing your GERD, incorporating therapeutic yoga into your routine may be just what you need.

Some of the helpful asanas to avoid GERD are;

  • Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle)
  • Supported Supta Sukhasana (Reclining Easy Cross-Legged)
  • Parsvottanasana (Side Stretch with Upright Modification)
  • Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose)
  • Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
  • Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle)

Everyone responds to yoga differently.

If a pose doesn’t feel comfortable or if it makes your acid reflux worse, you may have to reconsider the particular asana. Adding yoga to your treatment plan should be discussed with an expert, as some poses also increase the reflux of gastric contents.

Just Before We Say Adios

The stomach is a fascinating organ that’s closely linked to our emotions. 

It communicates with us constantly; if we pay attention to its signals, we can keep it in tip-top shape. 

But in today’s fast-paced lifestyle, many things we do can damage our gut health, leading to conditions like GERD that can disrupt various aspects of our lives.

While medical management of GERD can help control symptoms, it’s important to remember that lifestyle changes are essential for long-term management. 

And in some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. However, even after surgery, lifestyle management remains critical, and maintaining a proper balance of Pitta in the gut is crucial.

A Nirva health client who suffered from GERD responded to the treatment from our experts very well, after which she said;

“My experience with GERD lasted for 20 years. Antacids gave me short relief until I started using an alternative medicine approach. It worked. All overgrown bacteria balanced. Now I can eat even tomatoes, chilli, everything I used to enjoy before, no drugs, only natural medicine. The probiotic tea changed my life.”

A holistic approach to managing GERD can improve our gut health and overall well-being. So, let’s listen to our stomachs and respond with the care and attention they deserve.

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