Q. I have read your articles about various ways to treat heartburn naturally. What I have found most helpful are chewable papaya enzymes. They work GREAT!
A. We have heard from other readers that chewing a tablet with papain, an enzyme from the tropical fruit papaya, can help with heartburn. Although we could find no recent scientific research supporting this natural approach, we did locate an article in the British Medical Journal from April 3, 1886. A physician writing about acid reflux (dyspepsia) noted that, “this drug [papain] is extremely valuable in this form of indigestion.”
Papain is found in powdered meat tenderizer because it breaks down proteins. Anyone who is allergic to latex should steer clear of papaya enzymes, though. Papaya might also cause an allergic reaction for such individuals.