Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

No alternative medicine therapies are proven to treat GERD or to reverse damage to the esophagus. Still, some complementary and alternative therapies may provide some relief, when combined with your doctor's care.

Talk to your doctor about what alternative GERD treatments may be safe for you. Options may include:

  • Herbal remedies. Herbal remedies sometimes used for GERD symptoms include licorice, slippery elm, chamomile and marshmallow. Herbal remedies can have serious side effects, and they may interfere with medications. Ask your doctor about a safe dosage before beginning any herbal remedy.
  • Relaxation therapies. Techniques to calm stress and anxiety may reduce signs and symptoms of GERD. Ask your doctor about relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery.
  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on your body. One small study reported that acupuncture helped people with heartburn that persisted despite medication. Ask your doctor whether acupuncture is safe for you.
Apr. 13, 2012