Q. After reading comments regarding the hot pepper remedy for heartburn at PeoplesPharmacy.com, the scientist in me couldn’t resist giving it a try. For several years I have taken omeprazole, ranitidine or antacids to combat occasional acid reflux, especially after a large or fatty supper.
Nine days ago, as an experiment, I began adding hot peppers to my supper meals–a grilled hamburger patty with a bunch of onions and some sliced cayenne peppers. I was anxious the first night but had no heartburn and needed no medicine. I have been adding hot peppers to scrambled eggs, meat dishes, macaroni and cheese and fried fish without problems.
I do have a burning mouth sensation from the peppers but I like that, and it goes away shortly. Still no heartburn, even when I eat late, which used to guarantee a maximum-strength antacid about 1:00 am.
This morning I had fried eggs (and peppers), bacon and biscuits. Without peppers, this would usually cause me trouble by 10:00 but today, nada. I haven’t given pizza and beer a try yet but that is coming.
I will have to verify this by going off the peppers to see if the heartburn returns but right now I’m enjoying this too much to go back. This is a continuing experiment on myself.

A. We agree that hot peppers seem like an improbable remedy for heartburn, but there is some scientific support. According to a study in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (April, 2010), hot peppers consumed regularly reduced symptoms of reflux.
There may be some heartburn sufferers who don’t enjoy hot peppers as much as you do. We offer a number of other remedies for them in our Guide to Digestive Disorders.

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  1. debby r.
    Reply

    hot pepper! hot pepper!! hot pepper! can this work because I have tried so many things like this recommended online and it did not work. well I will ignore it, I will give a try. hope it work for me.

  2. KC
    Reply

    Is the pill form of Cayenne helpful? I do not like the burning in my mouth from eating the peppers themselves.
    How do you know the correct dosage of the pills?
    Thanks.

    • jesy
      Reply

      This is true…I guess I’m not the only one this really works on me.

  3. JS
    Reply

    What types of hot peppers are you using? Can you substitute crushed red peppers or ground red pepper?

  4. DP
    Reply

    I hate hot peppers? Is there a pepper pill?

  5. a.s.
    Reply

    this works for me, too. sometimes I can’t justify peppers with a meal, tho, so I occasionally get heartburn; usually mild.

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