These are my favorite Quick Fixes for GI upsets, when your normal is just off.
Herbal bitters engage the entire digestive system. They increase digestive function- both mechanical and chemical- in the stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines, and everywhere else. This includes secretion of things like saliva, bile, stomach acids, and pancreatic enzymes.The bitter taste cools and draws down too, so an upset system that's hot and burpy can feel better.
Take bitters after you eat if there's discomfort, or even before if you anticipate it.
Apple Cider Vinegar
9 out of 10 people with "reflux" actually don't have ENOUGH acid
Food stays in your stomach until the food's pH is low, or acidic, enough to open the valve into the intestines. If your stomach isn't making enough acid to get the pH that low, the slightly-acidic food ball remains indefinitely... or until the esophagus can't hold it down anymore, like when you're sleeping. That's the burn of reflux- food that's acidic gets into the esophagus because it's not acidic enough to get into the intestines.
Adding vinegar to the mix can lower the food's pH enough to continue digestion. Alternatively, antacids work by neutralizing ALL the food, which may relieve discomfort but doesn't help digestion.
However, if you can't take the actual vinegar, there's now encapsulated vinegar! The enzymes and other goodies have been extracted from the acetic acid, so these capsules can make a decent substitute for the real deal.
If you're up for the challenge, try 1-2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar in a splash of water and see how you feel. Bonus points for using raw vinegar, it has probiotics. Speaking of which...
Food sources of probiotcs are naturally fermented foods. Think raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, kvass, and more. Notice how all those are strange sounding words from different languages? All traditional cuisines (SAD, the Standard American Diet, does NOT count!) have fermented foods as condiments. And that's how these are best- a dab of yogurt sauce, a forkful of sauerkraut, a fermented pickle. Adding a probiotic food to each meal helps digestion for that meal.
Certainly not ALL of them, but these are common herbs many of us can get a hold of quickly:
Good luck! Tell me what works best for you, too, in the comments below.