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Best Herbal Teas for Acid Reflux (GERD) and Heartburn

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Heartburn and acid reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can be very irritating and in the worst case, they can make your life almost impossible. I know this from personal experience as I have suffered from both for many years.

I wrote this article to explain what are heartburn and acid reflux, what is causing them, and what are the best herbal teas and other remedies for these conditions.

Teas for Acid Reflux

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As for most diseases and conditions, you often have a genetic tendency for them and then there is a triggering factor (or factors) causing the onset of the condition. I have inherited a sensitive stomach that is often causing me problems.

However, I had never suffered from heartburn or acid reflux until I was 30 years old. That’s when I had a busy and stressful job and was consuming a lot of coffee daily. In addition, I was not sleeping enough and drank quite a lot of alcohol as well.

man with stress

All of the above-mentioned habits contributed to increasing occasions of heartburn and other digestive problems, and finally having quite a serious acid reflux.

I went to a doctor and got some pills, and maybe they helped a little bit, but I realized I have to change some things in my life to get better.

Let me first explain briefly what are acid reflux and heartburn, what is causing them, and what are the things you should avoid if you are experiencing these problems.

I will also tell you what are the best herbal teas for treating them. And finally, I will give my best tips for avoiding and treating them based on both my own experience and research.

Acid Reflux and Heartburn Explained

As many as 20% of the US population suffers from heartburn about once per week. So it is quite normal to have heartburn every once in a while. But having it often for a long period of time can make your life very uncomfortable and cause serious health problems.

When it becomes a longterm problem it is called acid reflux or GERD, which will be discussed a bit later in this article.

Best Herbal Teas for Acid Reflux and Heartburn

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is irritation of the tube that connects your throat and stomach (esophagus). It is a burning sensation caused by stomach acid that has gotten into the esophagus.

Heartburn is often related to a malfunction of a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). LES is supposed to open only to let food into the stomach.

When LES stays open for too long or doesn’t close completely, the stomach acid is let into the esophagus.

A common trigger to heartburn is overeating, especially when you eat greasy and fried foods. Also, stress and lack of sleep can lead to heartburn.

Pregnant and obese people suffer from it most often, because their condition puts extra pressure on the stomach, causing the stomach acid to move upwards.

Symptoms of Heartburn

The length of heartburn symptoms can last only for a few minutes, or it can last for several hours.

The symptoms include the following:

  • Burning sensation in the esophagus/upper stomach and in your throat.
  • Bad taste in your throat and mouth. The taste is usually acidic and sour, even close to vomit.
  • Sore throat, chest pain, and cough.

What is Acid Reflux (GERD)?

Having acid reflux disease means that your stomach acid is constantly moving up to the esophagus and you suffer from heartburn at least twice a week for a prolonged time.

Hiatal hernia is one of the most common causes of acid reflux.

Having a hiatal hernia means that the upper part of your stomach and LES have bulged through an opening in your diaphragm.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

The most common symptoms of acid reflux are:

  • Heartburn and the related symptoms (above)
  • Constant burping and/or hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Bloating

What to Avoid

There are certain foods, drinks, and other habits that should be avoided if you are suffering from acid reflux and heartburn.

List of foods and drinks that should be avoided, or at least used carefully:

  • Spicy, fatty, and fried foods, especially in large amounts
  • Citrus fruit, tomato sauce, and vinegar
  • Garlic and onions, especially raw
  • Coffee and chocolate
  • Alcohol and carbonated drinks
  • Peppermint tea. Even though it is usually considered a digestive aid, too much of it can promote the relaxing of stomach muscles, including LES.

Other Risk Factors

Other risk factors that can cause acid reflux and heartburn:

  • Constant stress and/or lack of sleep
  • Being pregnant
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating too much at one time
  • Laying down after a meal
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Medication such as muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, painkillers, and blood pressure medication

Here is a great video about acid reflux and how to avoid it:

How To Stop Acid Reflux | How To Treat Acid Reflux (2018)

Best Herbal Teas for Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Herbal teas can provide help with treating many different diseases and conditions, including digestive problems.

When I quit drinking coffee for a while and instead started to drink herbal teas after each meal, I immediately noticed that my symptoms were relieved.

Here are the best herbal teas for treating acid reflux and heartburn.

1. Ginger Tea

Ginger is one of the most important ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine, and it can be used to treat many illnesses from the common cold to joint pain and digestive problems. It is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds and has strong anti-inflammatory capabilities.

In order to avoid acid reflux, it is important that your digestion is working properly.

If the food stays in your stomach and intestines for too long, it can cause problems like increased gas production, that contribute to acid reflux.

Ginger stimulates the flow of digestive juices and helps with speeding up gastric emptying, thus helping with achieving a normal digestive function. In addition, ginger tea is an effective remedy for nausea which is a common symptom of acid reflux.

Ginger tea is one of the best herbal teas for acid reflux

Ginger tea contains phenolic compounds that can reduce gastric contractions, which reduces the chance of stomach acid going upwards into the esophagus. It can also help with relieving gastrointestinal irritation and reducing the inflammation of the esophagus.

Read my guide about using ginger tea for acid reflux for more details.

So ginger tea is definitely one of the best herbal teas for relieving your symptoms related to acid reflux and heartburn.

However, it should be used in moderation, as too much of it could even make the symptoms worse. I recommend starting with 2 cups of strong ginger tea after meals and increasing the dose carefully if needed.

You can use fresh ginger to make your ginger tea or check out my favorite ginger tea products in this article.

2. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a flowering plant that belongs to the daisy family. Chamomile tea is usually made from either German chamomile or Roman chamomile and it has a high concentration of flavonoids and antioxidants.

Chamomile tea has been traditionally used for reducing anxiety, help with sleeping, and to aid with digestive issues.

a cup of chamomile tea

Like ginger tea, also chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that may reduce the inflammation of the esophagus that is caused by stomach acid. Chamomile tea can also aid with reducing gastric acidity which can help with heartburn and acid reflux.

As mentioned earlier, stress and lack of sleep can often be triggers for acid reflux. As chamomile tea reduces stress and helps with sleep, it can help with avoiding the onset of acid reflux.

If you are planning on buying chamomile tea, I recommend that you read my article about chamomile tea brands and products.

3. Licorice Tea

The medicinal properties of licorice tea have been known for thousands of years, and it has been used mainly as a cough medicine, sedative, and digestive aid.

For acid reflux, the main benefit of licorice tea is that it can increase the mucus layer of the esophageal lining, which helps protect it from stomach acid.

You can find the best licorice tea products in this article.

4. Slippery Elm Tea

Native Americans have used the inner bark of slippery elm tree as medicine for centuries.

Similar to licorice tea, slippery elm can also create a protective coating in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it helps with stimulating mucus production in the intestines, which provides more protection against acidity.

5. Marshmallow Root Tea

Marshmallow root has a high concentration of mucilage, meaning that when you mix it with water it becomes gooey. This goo can create a soothing and protecting layer on the surface of the irritated esophagus, thus reducing the symptoms of acid reflux.

Marshmallow Root
Fresh Marshmallow Root

How to Treat Acid Reflux and Heartburn

I am still sometimes getting the occasional heartburn or even a period of one week when I feel like acid reflux is coming back. Fortunately, it’s nothing compared to what I had five years ago.

In the worst phase, I would wake up at about 4 AM having a very uncomfortable and burning sensation in my throat and upper stomach. Then I would try to continue sleeping, but instead, end up rolling in the bed and feeling horrible until the alarm clock rang.

Soon it would be time to go to work. I would feel tired and stressed because in that state even a simple task can seem overwhelming.

There is a Way to Recovery

Then how was I able to get better? It didn’t happen overnight, and it was not just because of drinking herbal teas, although they helped a lot.

Basically, I just started eliminating all the factors that I felt were making my condition worse.

I quit drinking coffee and alcohol for a while, started avoiding greasy and spicy foods, and tried to do more relaxing things like walking in nature.

I also started drinking herbal teas after each meal, and before going to bed.

I would usually drink ginger, chamomile, or licorice tea. Or why not make a herbal blend that contains one or more of those ingredients?

Based on research and my own experience, the 5 herbal teas mentioned in this article are the ones that I recommend. However, you can also try other herbal teas.

For example, hibiscus tea can be a great digestive aid and help with treating acid reflux and heartburn. On the other hand, it is also quite acidic, so it could even make it worse.

We are all individuals, so experiment with different herbal teas to find the ones that are best for you.

Herbal Teas are Good for Acid Reflux

I think that drinking herbal teas after eating really aided my digestion and lessened the symptoms.

But it wasn’t just that. I also needed to substitute my coffee and alcohol drinking with something else. So at work, I would drink herbal teas instead of coffee. At home before going to bed, I would drink a cup of chamomile tea instead of a beer.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that you can never have a cup of coffee or a few beers. As your stomach gets better you can consume coffee, tea, and alcohol again, but in moderation.

Especially if you start feeling that the symptoms are coming back again, take it easy for a while.

I also noticed that drinking yerba mate tea is much better for my stomach than coffee. I drink mate tea almost every day, and it doesn’t seem to cause any problems.

8 Tips for Getting Better

If you are suffering from acid reflux and heartburn, my best tips for getting better are:

  1. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, or any other drinks that contain caffeine. At least until you are free of any symptoms.
  2. Start drinking the herbal teas mentioned in this article. Drink them after each meal. Try which ones feel best for you. You can start with ginger and chamomile tea.
  3. Avoid eating greasy and spicy foods for a while. Eat something that is easy on your stomach. Here are some of my favorites: oatmeal, yogurt and granola, clear fish or chicken soup, steamed fish with ginger sauce, steamed vegetables, and chicken breast.
  4. Avoid eating too much or too late in the evening, and don’t lay down after eating. You can go for a relaxing walk after eating, it’s good for digestion.
  5. Quit drinking alcohol for a while. Especially hard liquors are bad for your already irritated esophagus.
  6. Quit smoking cigarettes.
  7. Try to get rid of stress and sleep well. I know this is not easy, but you can try some of these tips: stop working and using a computer and phone at least one hour before going to bed. Instead, put on some relaxing music or meditate, and drink a cup of chamomile tea.
  8. If your acid reflux is worst during the night time, you can try to sleep in a position where your upper body is elevated. A position kind of like between laying down and sitting up. This will help with preventing your stomach acid from flowing into the esophagus. You can achieve this if you have one of those beds that has a motor and can be adjusted. You can also just try to put something under the legs of your bed on the other end to lift it up a bit.

If you are wondering which teas are acidic check out this article: Is Tea Acidic or Alkaline?

Acid Reflux and Heartburn FAQ

Why heartburn and acid reflux happen?

Heartburn is a burning sensation that happens when stomach acid gets up into the esophagus. It is often related to a malfunction of a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

Having acid reflux disease means that your stomach acid is constantly moving up to the esophagus and you suffer from heartburn at least twice a week for a prolonged time. Hiatal hernia is a common cause of acid reflux.

How to treat acid reflux and heartburn?

Avoid drinking coffee, tea, or any other drinks that contain caffeine. Instead, drink the herbal teas mentioned in this article.

You should also keep away from greasy and spicy foods for a while. Eat something that is easy on your stomach. Avoid eating too much or too late in the evening, and don’t lay down right after eating.

Quit drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes (at least until you get better). Try to minimize stress and sleep well.

What are the best herbal teas for acid reflux and heartburn?

Based on research and my personal experience, the best herbal teas for acid reflux and heartburn are:

  1. Ginger tea
  2. Chamomile tea
  3. Licorice tea
  4. Slippery elm tea
  5. Marshmallow root tea

Is hibiscus tea good for acid reflux?

Hibiscus tea aids digestion and some people find it good for treating acid reflux and heartburn. Yet, it is also quite acidic, so it could even make it worse.

Is blue ternate good for acid reflux?

Blue ternate, also called butterfly pea, contains antioxidants that may help relax the stomach muscles and aid digestion. Thus, drinking blue ternate tea can aid in relieving the symptoms of acid reflux but there is no research to directly support this.

Is chai tea bad for acid reflux?

Chai tea might not be good for acid reflux because the caffeine of black tea and the milk used for making chai tea can cause the symptoms to worsen.

However, there is an easy solution to this:

Leave the black tea out, or use only a small amount of it. Another option is to replace it with rooibos tea and use plant-based milk (e.g. almond or soy milk) instead of dairy.

Furthermore, chai includes ginger which is actually one of the best herbal remedies for acid reflux and heartburn.

I hope that you found this article useful, and if you are suffering from acid reflux and heartburn, I really hope you will get better soon!

If you have questions or comments, please post them below.

Ps. If you found this article useful, could you please share it so others can also try these tips. Thanks!

Enjoy your tea, and life!


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20 thoughts on “Best Herbal Teas for Acid Reflux (GERD) and Heartburn”

  1. Hi Joonas, this is a very informative article and I have a family member that is suffering from GERD. She uses ginger tea to help her with her symptoms, especially with the nausea. But I also see other kinds of teas that have important health benefits that can help her with other problems like insomnia. This will be very useful for her. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Jimmy,

      Great to hear that you found some useful information from my article. I hope she will find a remedy for the insomnia from herbal teas and get better!


  2. Reading in 2020! Great article! I’ve been a chamomile tea drinker because I found it helps in my acid reflux. Will send this to a friend. Thank you

  3. Hi Joonas
    thanks for such an informative article. already feeling at ease as I prepare to change my diet. I have chronic gastritis that I have been battling with for some years. thanks again

    • Hi Agnes,

      I am very happy to hear that you found my article useful. I hope that my tips will help with the gastritis!

      All the best,

  4. Hi Joonas, Thanks so much for all the great advice and information in your article, on the causes and and relief ideas of helping with acid reflux. I’m in my 60’s and have never had this until the last few months. I’ve always lead a healthy lifestyle but during the lockdown due to the pandemic, I definitely had a little more red wine than I usually drink! I’m convinced this was a trigger for me. I will use all the ideas you have shared and hopefully get rid of this citation.


    • Hi Sheri,

      Yes, red wine can certainly trigger acid reflux. It has happened to me also. I think it’s the combination of tannins and alcohol.

      I hope my tips will help you!

      Best Regards,

  5. Hi Joonas, Thank you for all the info. My problem right now is the coughing. I’ll be trying the licorice tea also. It sometimes scares me because it also seems like breathing isn’t what it used to be since I’ve had acid reflux. It feels heavy on my upper chest.
    Thank you

    • Hi Peggy,

      I recommend that you try licorice ginger tea. It’s a great combination and also tastes good.

      I hope that your acid reflux will get better soon!


  6. Hi Joonas. I have had a dry cough for about two years and it’s dry. Never get acid reflux. Only just stared getting it quite bad. This all Makes sense. The cough. Anti inflammatorys I love black tea and coffee. I have know to lay down after I have eaten. I’m burping which I never do I’m very bloated and a little gassy. Thanks u so much for your informative video. Muchly appreciated.

    • Hi Angela,

      Yes, seems like it’s better to stop drinking coffee for a while and try herbal teas instead. I hope you will get better!


  7. I’ve had acid reflux for years, but has recently gotten so much worse. Found a supplement I was taking had black pepper extract in it. Yikes! I also take a supplement with green tea extract which might be good to ditch as well. I will follow your suggestions and hopefully put the reflux to bed for good!

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I really hope you will get better! Just give it some time and be careful not to eat anything that might make it worse.

      All the best,

    • Hi,

      It really depends, we are all individuals. But I think in most cases it can be cured or at least managed. Just quitting alcohol, coffee and cigarettes, and a healthier diet can help a lot.


  8. I have found hibiscus tea (I drink a brand with hibiscus flowers, orange peel, rose hips) to be very helpful with acid reflux.

    • Ok, thanks for this information!

      For me, ginger & chamomile has been the best combo but good to know that hibiscus can help as well.



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