Ahmedabad-based Consumer Education and Research Society, in its in-house comparative product testing laboratory found 15 home remedies, commonly found in the kitchen are effective on acidity
Many a time medicines refuse to provide any relief from acidity. Leave alone food, often water also becomes difficult to gulp. In such case, can home based remedies be of any help? Yes, according to a recent study. So roasted chana, a mixture of variyali, popularly known as sonp in Hindi (fennel) and sugar, variyali and a mixture of raw egg and milk could provide longer relief than antacids sold over the counter (OTC).
Ahmedabad-based Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), in its in-house comparative product testing laboratory found 15 home remedies, commonly found in the kitchen are effective on acidity. Interestingly, these items, apart from providing nutrition are also free from any side effect.
According to the findings, roasted chana (gram), variyali (fennel), mixture of variyali and sugar, milk, mixture of raw egg and milk, vanilla ice cream, buttermilk, ripe banana, ripe papaya, dill water, cucumber, coconut water, a mixture of pudina (mint) leaves and water, isabgol and plain chilled water provide relief from acidity. Contrary to popular perception, the study found that, jaggery and soda water, often used by people during acidity, does not provide any relief.
CERS says that some of these home remedies can provide longer or equal relief than OTCs such as Eno Fruit Salt and Gelusil MPS liquid. For instance, roasted chana gives relief for more than one-and-half hours whereas OTCs provide relief for nearly an hour.
The study says, the relief periods of cucumber, dill water, ripe papaya, banana, buttermilk and vanilla ice cream were in the range of 23 to 35 minutes while isabgol, pudina leaves and coconut water provided short-term relief in the range of 5-14 minutes. It says that chilled water provided relief for two minutes only.
Milk and milk-based products are also effective for acidity. However, according to doctors, due to its calcium content, it may cause rebound acid secretion. Doctors say that since home remedies are easily available, there is no harm in using them. But it should be only for mild acidity.
However, “People suffering from regular from acidity or related disorders must be on medication like over-the- counter antacids. Severe acidity should be treated with medicines like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 blockers”, says Dr Avinash Kumar Tank (MS, Mch), surgical gastroenterologist, Shalby Hospitals, Ahemdabad.
Commenting on the side effects of antacids, CERS says that, “Medical experts say that antacids and PPIs are safe and effective drugs; however, there can be certain side effects on their long-term use. Experimental evidence has shown that long-term use of PPIs may reduce absorption of calcium and vitamin B12. They can also reduce bone density and cause fractures and reduce the immunity of the gut due to total knockdown of acid and can encourage infections in the intestine.”