Is there a good natural alternative to Ranitidine? by Connie b. Dellobuono

Answer by Connie b. Dellobuono:

Natural ways to combat heartburn from Dr Mercola:
Your First Line of Treatment – Unprocessed Foods and Probiotics
Ultimately, the answer to heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function. Eating large amounts of processed foods and sugars is a surefire way to exacerbate acid reflux as it will upset the bacterial balance in your stomach and intestine. Instead, you'll want to eat a lot of vegetables and other high-quality, ideally organic, unprocessed foods. Also, eliminate food triggers from your diet. Common culprits here include caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine products.
Next, you need to make sure you're getting enough beneficial bacteria from your diet. This will help balance your bowel flora, which can help eliminate H. pylori bacteria naturally without resorting to antibiotics. It will also aid in proper digestion and assimilation of your food. Ideally, you'll want to get your probiotics from fermented foods. If you aren't eating fermented foods, you most likely need to supplement with a probiotic on a regular basis. Ideally, you'll want to include a variety of cultured foods and beverages in your diet, as each food will inoculate your gut with a variety of different microorganisms. Fermented foods you can easily make at home include:
•Fermented vegetables
•Chutneys
•Cultured dairy, such as yoghurt, kefir, and sour cream
•Fish, such as mackerel and Swedish gravlax
Addressing Low Acid Production
As mentioned earlier, heartburn is typically a sign of having too little stomach acid. To encourage your body to make sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid), you'll also want to make sure you're consuming enough of the raw material on a regular basis.
High-quality sea salt (unprocessed salt), such as Himalayan salt, will not only provide you with the chloride your body needs to make hydrochloric acid, it also contains over 80 trace minerals your body needs to perform optimally, biochemically. Sauerkraut or cabbage juice is also a strong—if not the strongest—stimulant for your body to produce stomach acid. Having a few teaspoons of cabbage juice before eating, or better yet, fermented cabbage juice from sauerkraut, will do wonders to improve your digestion.
Other Safe and Effective Strategies to Eliminate Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Besides addressing your day-to-day diet and optimizing your gut flora, a number of other strategies can also help you get your heartburn under control, sans medications. The following suggestions are drawn from a variety of sources, including Everydayroots.com, which lists 15 different natural remedies for heartburn;6 as well as research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine,7 the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,8 and others.
1. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
 As mentioned earlier, acid reflux typically results from having too little acid in your stomach.

You can easily improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water.
 2. Betaine
 
Another option is to take a betaine hydrochloric supplement, which is available in health food stores without prescription. You'll want to take as many as you need to get the slightest burning sensation and then decrease by one capsule. This will help your body to better digest your food, and will also help kill the H. pylori bacteria.
 3. Baking soda
 
One-half to one full teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in an eight-ounce glass of water may ease the burn of acid reflux as it helps neutralize stomach acid. I would not recommend this as a regular solution but it can sure help in an emergency when you are in excruciating pain.

4. Aloe juice
 
The juice of the aloe plant naturally helps reduce inflammation, which may ease symptoms of acid reflux. Drink about 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice before meals. If you want to avoid its laxative effect, look for a brand that has removed the laxative component.

5. Ginger root or chamomile tea
 
Ginger has been found to have a gastroprotective effect by blocking acid and suppressing helicobacter pylori.9 According to a 2007 study,10 it's also far superior to lansoprazole for preventing the formation of ulcers, exhibiting six- to eight-fold greater potency over the drug! This is perhaps not all that surprising, considering the fact that ginger root has been traditionally used against gastric disturbances since ancient times.

Add two or three slices of fresh ginger root to two cups of hot water. Let steep for about half an hour. Drink about 20 minutes or so before your meal.

Before bed, try a cup of chamomile tea, which can help soothe stomach inflammation and help you sleep.

6. Vitamin D
 
Vitamin D is important for addressing any infectious component. Once your vitamin D levels are optimized, you're also going to optimize your production of about 200 antimicrobial peptides that will help your body eradicate any infection that shouldn't be there.

As I've discussed in many previous articles, you can increase your vitamin D levels through appropriate amounts of sun exposure, or through the use of a safe tanning bed. If neither of those are available, you can take an oral vitamin D3 supplement; just remember to also increase your vitamin K2 intake.

7. Astaxanthin
 
This exceptionally potent antioxidant was found to reduce symptoms of acid reflux in patients when compared to a placebo, particularly in those with pronounced helicobacter pylori infection.11 Best results were obtained at a daily dose of 40 mg.

8. Slippery elm
 
Slippery elm coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, and contains antioxidants that can help address inflammatory bowel conditions. It also stimulates nerve endings in your gastrointestinal tract. This helps increase mucus secretion, which protects your gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity. The University of Maryland Medical Center12 makes the following adult dosing recommendations:
•Tea: Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 g (roughly 2 tablespoons) of powdered bark, then steep for 3 – 5 minutes. Drink 3 times per day.
•Tincture: 5 mL 3 times per day.
•Capsules: 400 – 500 mg 3 – 4 times daily for 4 – 8 weeks. Take with a full glass of water.
•Lozenges: follow dosing instructions on label.

9. Chinese herbs for the treatment of "Gu" symptoms caused by chronic inflammatory diseases
 
So-called "Gu" symptoms include digestive issues associated with inflammation and pathogenic infestation. For more information about classical herbs used in Chinese Medicine for the treatment of such symptoms, please see the article, "Treating Chronic Inflammatory Diseases with Chinese Herbs: 'Gu Syndrome' in Modern Clinical Practice," published by the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

10. Glutamine
 
Research14 published in 2009 found that gastrointestinal damage caused by H. pylori can be addressed with the amino acid glutamine, found in many foods, including beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, and some fruits and vegetables. L-glutamine, the biologically active isomer of glutamine, is also widely available as a supplement.

11. Folate or folic acid (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins
 
As reported by clinical nutritionist Byron Richards,15 research suggests B vitamins can reduce your risk for acid reflux. Higher folic acid intake was found to reduce acid reflux by approximately 40 percent. Low vitamin B2 and B6 levels were also linked to an increased risk for acid reflux. The best way to raise your folate levels is by eating folate-rich whole foods, such as liver, asparagus, spinach, okra, and beans.

Is there a good natural alternative to Ranitidine?