For many of us the holidays mean family gatherings and delicious feasts. Don’t let heartburn put a damper on your holiday eating plans. Here are 5 natural remedies that help with heartburn.

  1. Aloe juice

Aloe is well known for its skin nourishing properties and its ability to help with sunburns. However, aloe is not just good for your skin; it also helps with inflammation in general, which can be important when trying to relieve heartburn.

Be aware that “Whole Leaf” aloe juice has laxative properties, so if you do not need laxative support, then only buy juice made from the inner gel of the aloe plant.

Directions: Drink ½ cup of aloe juice, cool or room temperature, before meals.

  1. Chew gum

A Journal of Dental Research study found that those suffering from chronic heartburn experienced relief when they chewed a piece of sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal.

Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and it is believed to dilute and clear away stomach acid more rapidly. While the study was done for chronic sufferers, the same reasoning should also apply for occasional heartburn.

Directions: After each meal, chew a piece of sugar-free gum for 30 minutes.

  1. Don’t lie down after eating

When you lie down, gravity works against you, putting pressure on the stomach and making it easier for stomach acid to travel up the esophagus.

Directions: Avoid reclining or lying down for at least 3-4 hours after each meal.

  1. Apple cider vinegar

While this advice may seem counter-intuitive, acidic foods can sometimes help with heartburn. Your lower esophageal muscles – the group of muscles surrounding the opening to the stomach that tighten to prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus, reacts to acid. The more acidic the contents of your stomach, the tighter these muscles contract. Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar can raise the acidity level of your stomach and stimulate these muscles into clamping down.

Directions: Mix between 3 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar into 8 ounces of water and drink it. Try it before meals and before bed time, and monitor to see if this improves your heartburn.

  1. Avoid tight clothing

Tight pants, belts and skirts put pressure on your abdomen and can contribute to heartburn. By pressing against the abdomen, pressure is put on your stomach which can force stomach acid past your lower esophageal muscles and into the esophagus.

Directions: Avoid tight clothing and belts that put pressure on your stomach area.