As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more and more heartburn. For awhile, it seemed like every passing year awarded me more frequent and more painful episodes. At one point, I actually went to see my doctor because I felt like there was something seriously wrong with me. Like I was about to drop dead of a heart attack at the ripe old age of 31. He told me that I had acid reflux and that he could prescribe something for me to take every day for the rest of my life.
Naturally, I wasn’t too keen on that.
Eventually, I found my way to an Ayurvedic remedy, Trikatu. It actually contains a fairly spicy pepper, which, I know, seems counterintuitive to the whole idea of heartburn. But, Ayurvedic doctors believe it’s very important to strengthen digestion with herbs and spices, not douse it with water. Which, honestly, is why I think I used to get heartburn after eating spicy foods, I always drank too much water with it.
Anyway, back to Trikatu. It is a mixture of ginger, black pepper and long pepper.
(This is what whole long pepper looks like. Picture by Charles Haynes.)
I buy mine here. When I remember to, I take it preventatively, like when I know I’ve eaten a whole bunch of stuff that I shouldn’t (pizza late at night, too many beers, giant Thanksgiving dinner) and I also take it after I’m already feeling bad. I never take it on an empty stomach.
And it works. Quickly. Like faster than any regular over the counter stuff I’ve ever taken for heartburn or indigestion.
Once I was describing Trikatu and my stomach problems to a friend of mine. How I don’t think I’m lactose intolerant, but cold milk in the morning tends to give me a stomach ache and how Trikatu helps. She decided to give some to her daughter, whose story sounded a lot like mine. She had actually thought her daughter was suffering from car sickness or extreme stress at school because she got nauseous almost every morning on the 30 minute drive to school.
Two weeks later she called to tell me that her daughter was taking Trikatu every night (it was too hard on her stomach to take in the mornings) and that her stomach problems were almost completely gone.
I feel sure that there are quite a number of people out there that just couldn’t tolerate it. My dad, for instance, tried it and told me that it hurt his stomach. Probably those with ulcers or sensitive stomachs couldn’t handle it. But, for those people whose doctor has given them the go ahead, it has worked wonders for me (and Joey and Jeff and Kam and Jenny and Brad).
I do not feel that just because something is natural, that it is completely safe. They wouldn't work as medicines if they didn't cause significant changes in the body. And even though something may be safe at the suggested dose, does not mean it's safe in higher quantities. Also, it's important to remember that what works for one person, may actually exacerbate problems in another person with a different medical history. It is for these reasons that I suggest you check with your doctor before taking anything new. (Also, in case you haven't gathered, I am not a medical professional. Nor do I play one on the internet.)
Spicy Pee (Natural Help for UTIs)
Acupressure for Constipation