A listener wonders whether herbal tea before bed could calm reflux. Nutrition Diva has a surprising answer.
Q. "Is there a good tea to drink before bed for acid reflux?"
A. There are certainly a few things you don't want to drink if you suffer from reflux. Caffeine can exacerbate reflux - but you're probably not drinking caffeinated beverages before bed anyway. Alcohol, however, can have the same effect, so avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for several hours before bedtime.
Herbal tea is caffeine and alcohol-free, but one of the most popular bedtime blends contains peppermint. Although many people think of peppermint as being a stomach soother, it actually can make reflux worse by relaxing the muscle at the top of the stomach that is supposed to keep stomach acid from traveling up into the esophagus.
See also: How to Avoid Acid Reflux
A tea that contains chamomile and/or licorice root (but no peppermint) would be a soothing and relaxing choice. Or, you might want to try a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in water. Although it may seem crazy to drink something acidic in order to prevent acid reflux, this folk remedy actually has something to it. The acidity of the vinegar causes the muscle at the top of the stomach to close more tightly, preventing the acid from backing up into the esophagus.
Whatever your nighttime beverage, drink it at least 60 minutes prior to lying down. And if you are experimenting with vinegar, be sure to rinse your mouth with fresh water afterwards (and before brushing your teeth) to protect your tooth enamel.
See also: Does Lemon Water Ruin Your Teeth?