If you have acid reflux, a hot cup of tea may be a great choice to drink this winter. According to a study of public health survey data involving more than 40,000 people in Norway published in Gut in 2004, researchers have found that drinking tea does not affect the risk of acid reflux. However, there are some teas that may be a better choice for you than others.
For gastroesophageal reflux disease, the American Dietetic Association recommends drinking caffeine-free herbal teas, except those teas made with peppermint or spearmint. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine may make heartburn worse. Peppermint has also been found to make reflux symptoms worse.
Chamomile tea may be a good choice. Chamomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants. According to the National Institutes of Health, chamomile has been used for centuries as an important medicinal herb. Some research has found that products containing certain herbal combinations that include chamomile may be beneficial for an upset stomach. Those who are allergic to ragweed and daisies, however, may want to avoid or carefully introduce chamomile tea into their diet.
Licorice tea may also prove helpful for acid reflux. For years, the herb licorice has been credited with easing stomach pain. Licorice extract can help reduce inflammation in stomach ulcers, according to a laboratory rat study by pharmacists at Jordan’s Al-Isra University that was published in the journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientist_s_. Licorice tea is one way to ingest licorice, but it is important to note whether the tea is just licorice flavored, or made from the actual licorice root. While there may be great benefits to licorice, check with your doctor if you are pregnant or are taking prescription medication, as licorice can cause health problems for some people.
Ginger has long been used to treat nausea and other stomach disorders. Ginger tea can be made simply by pouring boiling water over 1 teaspoon of grated ginger root, then straining out the ginger before drinking. A teaspoon of maple syrup can be added if the ginger is too strong of a taste. Ginger has been considered to be a safe herbal medicine with few side effects, according to a research review by pharmacists at Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University, published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2008.
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_Dr. Tracy Davenport is a health writer, advocate and entrepreneur who has been helping individuals live their best life. She is co-author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux. Follow Tracy’s love of smoothies on Twitter. _