Try papaya enzyme chewable tablets after meals or fresh papaya fruit or juice.
You can also try slippery elm lozenges or powder, which is wonderful for relieving heartburn, as it soothes the irritated tissues of the intestinal tract. You can suck on 3-4 lozenges up to three times a day. It also comes in tea form, which you can drink as often as needed. To make your own tea, dissolve 1 tsp of the powdered herb into 1 cup boiling water or pure almond milk. If you’d like, add a dash of honey to taste.
Take 2 capsules of marshmallow root – up to four times per day. You can also make your own tea by dissolving 1 Tbsp of the powder in a cup of boiling water, then covering and steeping for 15 -20 minutes. Drink a few cups daily.
Dandelion is also a great herb for indigestion, which can be taken in doses of one dropperful of the tincture up to 4 times daily or when you have heartburn. Reputable brands of herbal tinctures include Wish Garden, Gaia, Herb Pharm, and Eclectic Institute, or any of those in my online holistic apothecary. You can make your own herbal infusion like tea. Add approximately 5 Tbsp dried root or about 10 Tbsp fresh root to 1 quart boiling water. Let it brew for 3-4 hours, strain into a glass canning jar, and periodically sip totaling up to 2 cups per day.
Take 1-2 plant digestive enzymes after each meal.
Another helpful remedy is Kudzu tea. To make, stir 2 tsp of kudzu root in 1/4 cup cold water for a few minutes until it dissolves. Add 1 cup boiling water. For a savory tea, add an all natural bouillon cube or to an organic miso soup broth. For a sweet tea, simply add a dash of honey.
It’s considered safe to take chewable calcium carbonate known in drug stores as Tums, but no more than 16 per day. I prefer all-natural chewable calcium carbonate. Avoid antacids with high sodium or phosphorus, such as Rolaids, Alka Seltzer and Sodium Bicarbonate, and those with aluminum or magnesium by themselves.
Activated charcoal can be taken in moderation for a severe case of heartburn, at least 90 minutes before meals and before taking your prenatal vitamins and supplements. You can take 2 tablets, and repeat only if needed and nothing else is working. Do not worry that it discolors your tongue and makes stool black, but stop if you feel side effects like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and constipation.
Homeopathic remedies are safe and amazingly effective in treating heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy. You can consult with a classical homeopath for a remedy specific to your symptoms, or refer to books like Homeopathy For Pregnancy, Birth and Your Baby’s First Year by Miranda Castro. Common remedies include Kali Mur, Nux Vomica, or Pulsatilla. Or, try Weleeda’s Coleodorin, 7-10 drops 4 times per day as needed, and Triplex tea. Osteopathy, chiropractic care and acupuncture are also helpful especially for stubborn cases.
If the above remedies do not help, Mylanta, Maalox, or Riopan are OK if used only OCCASIONALLY and as directed. Frequent or prolonged use can cause serious electrolyte imbalances, interfere with digestion of food and the absorption of important nutrients such as iron, contribute to kidney stone formation, and actually cause the stomach to produce even more acid than before.
If you are NOT pregnant, you can take deglycyrrhizinated licorice DGL extract (slowly chew 2 tablets or take ½ tsp of powder in a little water before or between meals and before bedtime). Or, try Iberogast, an herbal combo with licorice, peppermint and other herbs proven and safe to relieve heartburn and epigastric pain.