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6 Herbal Medicines for Acid Reflux: Which Is Most Effective?

Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Mar 15, 2023

6 Herbal Medicines for Acid Reflux: Which Is Most Effective?

Acid reflux causes an unpleasant burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn. This sensation occurs when the acid coming from your stomach backs up into your esophagus. When acid reflux is left untreated, it can lead to a more severe digestive problem called GERD. Usually, antacids are used to treat acid reflux and heartburn. But in cases when synthetic medications are not available, there are herbal medicines for acid reflux to help ease your digestive problems.

What Herbal Can Help Relieve Acid Reflux?

Here are 6 herbal remedies that can soothe your heartburn and reflux issues:

Papaya Leaves

The papaya fruit is one of the most used natural remedies to help relieve digestive problems like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Aside from these, papaya leaves are also used to treat acid reflux and heartburn.

The enzyme papain found in papaya fruit and leaves aid digestion and alleviates the burning sensation that heartburn gives. Some of the best ways to get the benefits of papaya are by making papaya leaf tea or juice.

Papaya leaf tea recipe (measurements will depend on your preference):

  • Put fresh or dried papaya leaves in a pot, then add water.
  • Wait for the water and papaya leaves to boil, then simmer.
  • Refrain from covering the pot and wait until the simmering water is reduced by half.
  • Once the water is reduced, strain the leaves, and enjoy your papaya tea.

Papaya leaf juice recipe:

  • In a blender, add cooled boiled water and papaya leaves.
  • Blend it. The finished product will be a dark-green colored papaya juice.

Note: Papaya juice has a very bitter taste that is quite alike to the taste of over-steeped green tea. The fruit or flesh of the Papaya can also be blended with the leaves to lessen the bitterness, making it more palatable.


Due to its relaxing effect, peppermint tea is not advisable in treating acid reflux, since it might worsen heartburn. However, peppermint can be one of the most useful herbal medicines for acid reflux when used as an essential oil.

Peppermint oil can help soothe your heartburn, nausea, and upset stomach by inhaling its essence through the use of a diffuser. You can also apply peppermint oil on your stomach, back, and chest to ease discomfort due to acid reflux and heartburn.

Note: Peppermint oil comes in a high concentration. Thus, it is important to dilute it in carrier oils (jojoba or coconut) if you are going to apply it on your skin. You can sustain skin irritation and rashes if you use undiluted peppermint oil. Also, children under the age of 6 should not use peppermint oil (diffused or topical).


One of the most used ingredients in the Philippines is ginger. Ginger offers a wide variety of benefits, from lowering down blood sugar to treating acid reflux and heartburn. Ginger has compounds that reduce the chance of stomach acid backing up into your esophagus. It can also help lower your risks of acquiring esophagitis or the inflammation of the esophagus due to acid reflux.

In the Philippines, the most popular way of ginger preparation is by brewing salabat or fresh ginger tea. Here’s how you can prepare your salabat at home:

  • Thoroughly wash the ginger root, then it is up to you if you want to peel or keep the skin.
  • Put water in a pot and wait for it to boil.
  • Pound or slice the ginger root and place it in the boiling water.
  • Simmer the water and ginger root for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Once it’s ready, transfer the tea in your cup and enjoy it!

Note: You can wring the juice out of the ginger for a stronger, spicier ginger taste. Also, ginger tea is safe for children’s consumption.

Licorice Root

Usually distributed as a dietary supplement, licorice root helps alleviate acid reflux and heartburn. Licorice root extract contains an active compound called glycyrrhizin, which increases the mucus on the walls of the esophagus, preventing irritation caused by stomach acid.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is one of the most used herbal medicines that relieve stress, insomnia, dementia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), dyspepsia, and acid reflux.

You can drink lemon balm tea or take lemon balm supplements or extracts to soothe your digestive problems. Also, lemon balm is available as lotion or balm that you can directly apply on your skin. Some people also use lemon balm essential oil in their diffuser as it helps reduce stress and promote calmness.

Marshmallow Root

Known as a demulcent herb, marshmallow root is rich in mucilage that coats the lining of the stomach and the esophagus to protect it from the harsh effects of stomach acid. Marshmallow root also acts as a pain reliever since it eases the irritation you might feel due to heartburn and acid reflux.

You can get the benefits of marshmallow root by drinking it as a tea, or by taking it as a supplement. Marshmallow root is not for children, as well as pregnant and nursing women.

Note: Consult professionals before trying out these herbal medicines, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.

Key Takeaways

If you constantly experience acid reflux and heartburn, consult your doctor and take the right medication as prescribed. However, if you want to go natural, herbal medicines for acid reflux can help relieve your gastrointestinal issues without the use of synthetic medicines.

Learn more about Herbal Medicine, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Mar 15, 2023

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