Contrary to popular belief, heartburn DOES NOT result from excess stomach acid. Excessive stomach acid is a medical condition known as hyperchlorhydria, and medical texts tell us it is extremely rare. Yet antacids and acid blockers are the second largest selling drug class. This stems from the outdated notion that acid reflux involves too much stomach acid. But the fact is that these drugs can actually make the condition worse by neutralizing the remaining acid, or by preventing its secretion.
Lack of stomach acid also encourages overgrowth of yeast in the stomach.
There are several things that can be done. In Europe digestive bitters are very popular for treating heartburn. These are bitter tasting herbs, usually sold in liquid form since they must come in to contact with the tongue to work. Bitters work by stimulating the bitter receptors on the back of the tongue. This in turn stimulates a nerve, known as the vagus nerve. This in turn increases the production of stomach acid, bile secretion and pancreatic enzyme secretion. They also have a cleansing effect on the liver, and the bile increasing effects make it useful for dissolving cholesterol based gallstones. Since bitters do cleanse the liver it is important to drink a lot of water throughout the day when using them.
Most health food store's should carry it, ask for digestive bitters. We use
digestive grape bitters, when needed, which is not very often anymore. My wife use to complain about having heartburn all the time.