Q. I have been taking acid-suppressing drugs like omeprazole for more than 20 years.
After reading about the side effects of such drugs, I am ready to quit. I understand that this can be painful.
I read about persimmon punch on your website and would like to try it to avoid heartburn. How often should I take it?
A. People who take proton pump inhibitors (PPI) such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec) may experience rebound hyperacidity if they stop their drug abruptly (Gastroenterology, July, 2009). Symptoms of reflux can last for weeks.
One reader phased off Prilosec over seven months by reducing the dose gradually. According to people who have used persimmon punch in this effort, it helps to drink two ounces before each meal.
The first time we heard about persimmon punch, it was from a woman who had eaten in a Korean restaurant:
“Someone ordered Persimmon Punch, a concentrated cinnamon-ginger drink, for dessert. A few sips later, I felt fantastic. After a month of adding 3 tablespoons of the cinnamon-ginger drink to my tea morning and night, my heartburn was in control.”
Our Guide to Digestive Disorders has a discussion of the pros and cons of proton pump inhibitors and tips for getting off PPIs. It includes a recipe for persimmon tea and details on using natural approaches for heartburn.