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How to Prevent Heartburn with Green Tea

One reader discovered that a daily cup of green tea could prevent heartburn. Could it work to help you with GERD or acid reflux?
How to Prevent Heartburn with Green Tea
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Many Americans take a lot of medications. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find ways to manage some common health problems with simple non-drug approaches? One reader found a way to prevent heartburn with a cup of green tea.

The Green Tea Coincidence:

Q. I would like to share a helpful remedy. A few years ago, I would have an acid reflux attack twice or three times a year. I tried Prilosec a couple of times, but I was concerned about long-term side effects of PPI drugs, so I decided to stop it.

Coincidently, around the same time I stopped taking Prilosec tablets, I started drinking one cup of hot green tea most days for the flavonoids and antioxidant benefits. Little did I know at the time, but I had found a way to stop my acid reflux attacks.

I was talking with someone a couple of years ago who regularly travels to China on business. This person told me there is a belief in Asian cultures that green tea gets rid of fat. I hope this might help someone else prevent heartburn and GERD.

Will Green Tea Prevent Heartburn?

A. Thank you for sharing your experience. We are not sure whether green tea really does anything to get rid of fat, or whether that would make a difference for heartburn. It’s good to know this simple remedy worked for you.

Epidemiological studies conflict on whether drinking green tea protects from reflux or acts as a trigger (BMC Gastroenterology, Nov. 15, 2012; Gut and Liver, March, 2014; Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, Dec. 9, 2014; Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, Mar-Apr., 2015; Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health, online Aug. 5, 2016).

A self-experiment like the one you have done, along with keeping good records would allow other readers to determine their own reactions. This doesn’t qualify as true science, because it applies only to an “N of 1,” but when that one is you, that’s the reaction that is relevant to you.

You can find other ideas for non-drug options to prevent heartburn in our Guide to Digestive Disorders.

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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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