By Michael A. Smith, MDheartburn symptoms such as burning, burping, or indigestion at least once a week. The most common triggers are food, medications, and stress, although a number of things can trigger heartburn for people.
This recurring, low-level regurgitation of harsh stomach acids and food from your stomach into your esophagus can actually damage the delicate lining of your esophagus and increase your risk of problems in your upper digestive tract. So, heartburn can be more than just annoying — it can be destructive as well.
Without a doubt, knowing and avoiding your own triggers is the first step in stopping the burning. However, we know that this sometimes isn’t enough. So, what do you do when heartburn sets in and you need relief? These are the typical things that people reach for:
- Calcium pills
- Aluminum pills
- Prescription drugs
That’s where limonene comes in. Limonene is an all-natural ingredient from orange peels, and we’ll take a look at this powerful nutrient below.
Limonene Puts Out the Fire of HeartburnLimonene is a novel, all-natural solution for heartburn. It comes from orange peel and has been shown to provide fast-acting and long-lasting relief from the horrible burning sensation that we’ve all learned to hate.
Limonene is thought to coat the stomach wall and supports normal muscle contractions in the intestines. a healthy resting tone of the smooth muscles of the esophagus.1
In an unpublished study, 89% of participants reported resolution of heartburn after taking 1000 mg of orange peel extract every other day. Yes, you read that right ... every-other-day dosing provided significant relief.2
In a controlled, double-blind second phase of this same study, 83% reported significant relief after two weeks of using orange peel extract. No adverse effects were reported, and some participants even reported relief lasting up to six months.2
Keep in mind, limonene is all natural and doesn’t contain any potentially harmful compounds, such as aluminum. Also, it doesn’t impair your body’s absorption of critical nutrients such as calcium or shut down the production of the stomach acids you need for normal, healthy digestion.
A Two-Step Approach to Finding ReliefThe first step is to identify your triggers. For this post, we’re going to focus on two categories of triggers — food and medications.
Here are the top 10 heartburn-inducing foods according to WebMD3:
- Tangy citrus fruits – oranges (NOT the peel), grapefruit
- Garlic and onions
- Peppers – all colors and heat level
- Peppermint – especially after a rich meal
- Aspirin and ibuprofen
- Bisphosphonates – like Boniva™
- Blood-pressure drugs – like beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers
- Sleeping pills and sedatives – like Valium™
- Iron replacement
- Potassium replacement
- Antidepressants – like Elavil™ and Deprinol™
The drug triggers can be harder to deal with though, since you may not be able to avoid certain medications. Ask your doctor about alternative medications, but don’t be too surprised there aren’t any. If this is true for you, limonene might be your only hope in finding relief.
If you want to try limonene, start by taking it every other day for the first two weeks, then decrease it to 1-2 per week. Let us know how it works for you!
- Altern Med Rev. 2007 Sep;12(3):259-64.
- Willette RC, Barrow L, Doster R, Wilkins J, Wilkins JS, Heggers JP. Proprietary study. WRC Laboratories, Inc. Galveston, Tx.
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