The People's Perspective on Medicine

Flaxseed Tea to Ease Heartburn?

One reader shares a simple home remedy to help control acid reflux while getting off heartburn drugs: a simple homemade flaxseed tea.

Heartburn is probably part of the human condition. As a consequence, people have devised numerous ingenious home remedies to ease the symptoms. One reader swears by flaxseed tea. Will you find it helpful?

Trouble with Acid Reflux:

Q. Many people have trouble with acid reflux and find it hard to get off reflux meds such as Nexium, Prevacid or Prilosec. I too had a rough time with acid reflux until my doctor suggested flaxseed tea.

I made a batch and drank it daily for one week. My reflux is gone. You may need a follow-up batch for a day or two, depending on your diet and circumstances.

Recipe for Flaxseed Tea:

To make flaxseed tea: Boil 1/2 cup flax seeds in 4 cups of water, just until white foam forms. Cool the drink; the seeds will settle somewhat. Drink the tea. You can eat the seeds if you like. The tea has a nutty flavor and is rather thick. Experiment to get the consistency you like. Thicker is better but less palatable.

One week. Pain free! I love it, no meds.

What Is the Story on Flaxseed Tea?

A. Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is a plant used to produce linseed oil and linen. It is also the source of flax seed, which has been used for easing digestive distress as well as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol.

We could not find any scientific support for its use against reflux, but the tea you describe sounds simple and worth consideration. Other readers have reported that flaxseed tea can help prevent constipation.

Another reader offered a different herbal approach to reflux:

“Fennel seed capsules have almost totally eliminated my heartburn. I tried Prilosec, but it did not suit me. I take one fennel seed capsule with each meal and hardly ever have acid reflux anymore.”

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS!! I read this article and the comments, and thought I would give it a try. I have had heartburn for 6 months now, all tests come out negative. They cannot find out why I am having this. PPI’s did not work for me

After making this with flaxseeds, (I steeped 1 tablespoon in 2.5 glasses of water)…and drinking, I have been having horrible heartburn for 5 days and counting…all since drinking this tea. It’s like it burned the lining of my stomach or, that is what it feels like.

It feels like any improvements I had made are all gone…:(

How about taking flaxseed capsules instead of the tea?

Flaxseed gives me horrible gas. I take ginger root capsules for indigestion.

Re: the flax tea. What about the recommendation NOT TO HEAT flax or flax oils?? They are supposed to be refrigerated and not stored on the counter. I have been avoiding ground flax on my hot porridge for this reason. Can someone please clarify. Can flax be safely heated, or not???

I started taking Melatonin at night for insomnia. After about one month, I realized that I had NO reflux or heartburn any longer. I had not taken any Tums or Zantac. I did a little research and found that Melatonin does relieve it! I used chewable Melatonin, 5 mg, 1 every night.

Same questions as ARK’S

If you drink alkaline ‘clean” (spring, mineral water) with high number of alkalinity like 8.0 or 8.8 it will help with all your meals, not just when you have acid R. also a tsp. of mustard, or hand full of almonds, baking soda (in Europe old Mediterranean countries they use alkaline water by putting 1 tsp. of baking soda – (they sell small envelops in pharmacies) that you take after meals, specially if they are ‘heavy meals’.
Also. Flax seeds are very difficult to digest, you only drink the water. I think flax seed are alkaline.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I’ve had heart burn for the past three days. I made the tea, expecting it not to work, but in about an hour, complete relief. WOW!!!

I have been drinking flax seed tea for a couple of years. I put 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 tbl spoon of whole flax seeds (I use the brown ones) on to slow boil for 6 minutes – then I steep the water (with lid on) for 10 minutes. ( I also use a mesh tea ball as I don’t eat the seeds )
I have it warm with my oatmeal first thing in the morning. However, if I can’t drink the whole 2 1/2 cups – I still enjoy the tea when cooled and finish it at my lunch meal or over the course of the day.
It’s good for acid reflux and preventing gall bladder attacks – provided you’re not eating poorly.
Hope this helps. Natural is the only way to go…..

I see comments but no replies. How much should a person drink a day and when on the flax seed tea, anytime?

My doctor told me that I have Barrett’s Disease and to continue PANTOPRAZOLE. I have been taking promethazine to help me sleep and I have noticed that the Pantoprazole is not working. My acid reflux is awful.
1. I have started to eat slowly in the morning my oatmeal, flax seed and berries but I get heart burn even after taking the pantoprazole one half hour before breakfast. I get home from school and I eat around 4:00 and the heartburn starts a couple hours later.
Is the promethazine causing the problems?

Have just boiled the flax seed and it is cooling down – how much do you drink at one time – and when?

I am trying this tonight, but I can speak as to why it may help: aside from the oils in the seeds probably providing some soothing to the esophagus and stomach, flaxseed is also a great source of both magnesium and calcium — two of the most common ingredients in typical antacids, but without all the binders and over-processed garbage. And they probably also provide some or many of the digestive enzymes that antacids limit or kill off altogether.
I took Nexium or Protonix continuously for the last eight years. One of the side effects is malabsorption of B12, because the stomach cells that create acid also create something called intrinsic factor, which binds to the B12 and allows it to be absorbed. By shutting down or slowing down those cells, you have the same effect on the creation of intrinsic factor. After 8 years, I had no energy whatsoever. I stopped taking Nexium and within 48 hours I had energy again. But the reflux has slowly come back, so I have been looking for short- and long-term remedies that don’t come from a pharmaceutical lab. Can’t wait to try this one.

eating bananas, almonds, yellow mustard, aloe vera helps. Nexium and other medicines like that have serious side effects the long run.

Worth a try, nexium worked for me but very costly and also affects the good acid needed for proper digestion. I also tried a produce with d-lumonene suggested by wellness pharmacy. Didn’t work for me but might help others.

Prior to reading your article, I was aware of some of the benefits of flaxseed and I use it milled in a lot of my cooking. I have been pescaterian for three years and now weaning off fish to be vegetarian so the omega-3 is important. I came upon your site because I wanted a recipe for tea for myself. My husband suffers from acid reflux so I will have him drink it for a couple of weeks to see if it helps. He still eats meat on rare occasions. We take only a few supplements because we incorporate a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in our lifestyle (not diet.) I will keep you posted.

I don”t think you eat garlic for acid reflex, you eat it to lower HBP, cholesterol, cancer, infections, flu etc….

Why would you eat garlic if you have acid reflux? That is one of things that cause it.

Do u take chamomile tea before during or after meal?

Three docs told me to take prevacid and other drugs. I refused, as I knew they absorb calcium in my body, and therefore put me at risk for fractures.
I totally had to change my diet. I eat slowly, and w/ purpose, also eat 1/2 of what I used to. ALSO… I drink 2-3 cups of chamomile tea… just the normal stuff in a tea bag, w/ hot water. Let it steep a good 5 min, add honey. I researched this and found it reduces inflammation in my esophagus.
I haven’t tried the flax seed tea… makes sense. Also totally stopped any beer, or wine, and no chocolate. I just mentally had to psych myself for this. It has paid OFF! I’m now gradually easing back to small amounts. of fatty foods, and other items above. I encourage all to read the book..”The Inside Tract.” My reflux was a 10 on a scale of pain. It’s down to a 4-5. Also, I eat a lot more veggies that I used to!

Do you drink the entire batch per day, or divide it up into “doses”????? Are you still going without meds?

I’m interested in anything that will help me get off Prilosec.

I know the baking soda remedy worked for me.

have much carbs did you eliminate? what do you eat instead? if can’t eat dairy/cheese, options seem to be limited for snacks etc. no or little fruit, no cheese. etc.

I started the flax seed tea and it definitely seemed to help. Like the other readers, though, the instructions are unclear. How much of the four cup batch do you drink each day. When? in four installments or all together? Also, did the writer really have no recurrence of reflux? Are there any side affects to the tea? Can one drink a cup or two of it daily (as I still cannot believe that one week of it cures reflux.) Please give us more info. Imagine if this could really replace all these antacids!

Have you tried eliminating gluten? My husband’s daily use of Prevacid ended when we started restricting our carbohydrates.

Interested in follow up on many of the questions.

When do you drink flax water? Before or after meal?

I drank one glass of flax water 6 to 8 oz. as for the baking soda, I used to drink 1 glass of water after meals.

How often one needs to take the baking soda? Daily ? Before or after meal?
People’s Pharmacy response: Baking soda is used for symptomatic treatment of heartburn: when it hurts, you take it according to the directions on the box.
Anyone who needs that type of treatment every day should really see a physician about the problem rather than relying on baking soda. There may be a serious medical issue that needs treatment, for one thing, and for another, there is a lot of sodium in baking soda.

How much do you drink? The full 4 cups at once? 4 cups a day?

I think you need to go down and check the box then submit. I let 1 or 2 tbs of flax seeds stand in water for 20 min. or more then drink the water, it helps with stomach or if you eat something that doesn’t agree with you. Also apples help, but flax seeds has better results. When I was told to eat two fresh garlics (sliced) they told me to take this water before and after eating the garlic.

baking soda 1 tsp. with a glass of water (old remedy in Europe) its is alkaline and balances the over acidity.

Did the use of the flaxseed tea permanently take away the acid reflux? Is it the resulting mucusy thick fluid that which affects the reflux? Did the person who suggested this do other things simultaneously to affect the reflux?
I have been using Nexium but it doesn’t seem to do much good. If you make the suggested batch of tea using 4 cups of water, how do you store it? Refrigerate or not? How much do you drink per day and when do you drink it – before dinner or after?

Please put me on the follow-up comments email list for this topic.

interested in any suggestions for getting off pppi’s

Worth a try. Thanks. If you do not want to take fennel seeds capsule, you can buy fennel seed powder from an oriental store at very reasonable price. Just take 1/2 teaspoon after your meal to help with digestion and acid reflux.

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