Have you suffered from heartburn? Many people report that they feel a characteristic burning sensation under the sternum sometimes. Others experience this problem more frequently. You can manage occasional heartburn with over-the-counter medications, home remedies or even herbal products. One reader wrote to praise an unusual treatment known as d-limonene. Here are some things you might want to know about it.
D-Limonene to Beat Heartburn:
Q. Do you know about d-limonene for acid reflux? They make it from orange peels and sell it as a supplement.
This stuff takes time, but it works. I know people who have been on PPIs for years to treat their reflux and were able to get off of them using d-limonene. When I took it myself, my symptoms completely disappeared. If I feel any heartburn at all, which rarely happens now, I take a couple of capsules after dinner for a day or so and the pain disappears.
What Is D-Limonene?
A. Thank you for telling us about a heartburn remedy we had not encountered before. Many citrus oils contain d-limonene. Food and beverage manufacturers use this ingredient to give their products a pleasant lemony fragrance. The fragrances found in soaps, shampoos and other personal care products may also feature d-limonene. (In fact, it is one of the components of our People’s Pharmacy Bed Soap.)
What Do Studies Show?
While there are few controlled studies, this agent has been used to treat gastroesophageal reflux and dissolve cholesterol-based gallstones (Alternative Medicine Review, Sep. 2007). It is considered quite safe, although people can develop allergies to most substances, including d-limonene (Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, Critical Reviews, 2013). People are most likely to notice such sensitivity as skin irritation or contact dermatitis when they are using a cosmetic containing d-limonene. That should have no bearing on its use against heartburn, however.
If you are interested in other ways to control your acid reflux symptoms, you may want to consult our online resource, eGuide to Overcoming Digestive Disorders. You will also find solid information on this problem in our interview with Dr. Robynne Chutkan. It is Show 1224: What Is the Best Way to Manage Your Heartburn?