What are the Home Remedies for Esophagitis?

Esophagitis is inflammation of the esophagus, often caused by irritation from stomach acid refluxing into the esophagus (acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease – GERD), infections, medications, or certain medical conditions. While severe cases of esophagitis may require medical treatment, there are several home remedies and lifestyle changes that may help alleviate symptoms and promote healing:

  1. Dietary Modifications: Avoid trigger foods that can exacerbate esophagitis symptoms, such as spicy foods, acidic foods and beverages (e.g., citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, and carbonated drinks), fatty or fried foods, and chocolate. Opt for a bland, low-acid diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and non-citrus fruits.
  2. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals: Instead of consuming large meals, eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to reduce the likelihood of acid reflux and minimize irritation to the esophagus.
  3. Avoid Eating Before Bed: Avoid eating large meals or snacks right before bedtime, as lying down shortly after eating can increase the risk of acid reflux. Allow at least 2-3 hours between your last meal and bedtime.
  4. Elevate the Head of the Bed: Raise the head of your bed by 6-8 inches by placing blocks or wedges under the bed frame to prevent stomach acid from refluxing into the esophagus while you sleep. Alternatively, use a wedge-shaped pillow to elevate your upper body during sleep.
  5. Chew Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help stimulate saliva production, which can help neutralize stomach acid and reduce acid reflux.
  6. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol: Smoking and alcohol consumption can exacerbate esophagitis symptoms and increase the risk of acid reflux. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake to reduce irritation to the esophagus.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help dilute stomach acid and promote saliva production, which can help protect the esophagus from irritation.
  8. Avoid Tight Clothing: Tight-fitting clothing, especially around the waist and abdomen, can increase pressure on the stomach and exacerbate acid reflux. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to reduce pressure on the stomach and lower the risk of reflux.
  9. Gargle with Warm Salt Water: Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation in the esophagus. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle with it several times a day.
  10. Marshmallow Root: Marshmallow root has mucilaginous properties that can help soothe and coat the esophagus, reducing irritation and inflammation. Drink marshmallow root tea or take marshmallow root supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

If your esophagitis symptoms persist or worsen despite home remedies, or if you experience difficulty swallowing, chest pain, persistent heartburn, or signs of bleeding (such as black or tarry stools), consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. They can recommend lifestyle modifications, prescribe medications, or perform further evaluation if necessary to manage esophagitis effectively.