Acidity is an extremely common ailment that everyone has suffered at least once in their lifetime. While some people have it once every few months, there are some who have it pretty often. Taking antacids to fight it may be okay if it occurs rarely, but if it occurs more often then it is a cause for concern.

It is a condition in which a person’s stomach glands start overproducing gastric acids necessary for digestion – especially hydrochloric acid. This overproduction does not make you digest food better, but instead causes problems like heartburn, nausea, belching and constipation among others.


Here are some of the causative factors that lead to acidity.

  1. Stress
  2. Consumption of spicy and non-vegetarian foods
  3. Smoking and alcohol
  4. Stomach ailments like peptic ulcers, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, stomach tumors, etc.
  5. Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Acidity can be extremely unpleasant and be accompanied with the following symptoms.

  1. Burning in the stomach
  2. Burning in the throat
  3. Restlessness
  4. Belching
  5. Nausea
  6. Sour taste
  7. Indigestion
  8. Constipation

How is acidity caused?

Our stomach produces gastric acids to aid digestion. But, their corrosive effects are neutralised by the production of natural bicarbonate and prostaglandins secreted in the mucous lining. When the production of these chemicals is interrupted then it leads to damaged stomach lining which causes acidity.

Effects of acidity in the systems 

Acidity can gradually create the Stomach ulcers. If the ulcer/s progress the remedy may be in surgery. It may  even progress from ulcer stage to cancer stage. Simple acidity as such may not be dangerous condition. However people above 50 years have to be very careful. People who lose weight have to be very careful. People who constantly lose appetite have to be cautious. If the acidic conditions continue constantly for long durations. Some uneasy feeling in the stomach like bloating, weight or mass etc if present such people have to be careful.



Usually, acidity is treated with the help of antacids which contain either magnesium or calcium or aluminium containing compounds. These antacids neutralise the excess acid in the stomach thus providing relief from the symptoms.

Sometimes, Histamine blocking agents (H2 receptor blockers) such as cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine or nizatidine or proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole and lansoprazole can also be prescribed by your physician. In rare cases, surgery (vagotomy) is performed to reduce the acid sensation.


Acidity can be prevented by the following methods:

  1. Don’t consume spicy food
  2. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  3. Eat small, regular meals
  4. Consume your last meal at least a few hours before sleeping
  5. Chew tulsi leaves, cloves, saunf, etc.
  6. Avoid medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and steroids
  7. Reduce stress

Here are 10 things to treat acidity -

Bananas 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. It is high in fibre content, which helps speed along digestion thus reducing the further recurrence of acidity. To make this remedy even more effective try and eat overripe bananas during an attack of acidity. They have higher amounts of potassium making it even more effective.

TulsiTulsiHas 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.

Glass of milkCold milk: Milk has a high amount of calcium that helps it prevent acid build up 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.

 SaunfSaunf:  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. 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’ve a sudden bout of acidity, boil a few seeds in water and leave overnight, drink this water when you feel uneasy.

Jeera JeeraIt has properties that stimulate the production of saliva which helps in better digestion, improves metabolism and relieves gas and other gastric troubles. 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 a better method is to boil it in water and drink the water when it has cooled down.

Cloves Clove: It is a natural carmitive and helps improve peristalisis (the movement of food down the stomach) and also increase 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.

ElaichiElaichi In Ayurvedic traditions, cardamom is believed to be one food that balances all three doshas – kapha, pitta 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.

Mint leavesMint leaves or pudinaThese leaves have been used for ages as a mouth freshener and also for garnishing for various foods. 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. Plus its cool effect 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.

GingerGinger: 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.

AmlaAmla: 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.

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.