Herbal Health Information on Acid Indigestion

A burning feeling in the throat, pain, wind, abdominal discomfort and nausea can all be symptoms of acid indigestion. Indigestion may be indicative of a gastric or duodenal ulcer so it’s best to get it checked out with the doctor.

I know I do harp on about diet but really if you suffer indigestion then you must look carefully at your diet.

Acid indigestion is caused by the overproduction of stomach acid, produced to digest high protein foods such as meat, eggs and fish.

High fat foods, high protein foods and stress will increase the amount of stomach acid produced.

So diet wise it is better to have a fairly bland diet until the acid levels return to and are maintained at normal levels. A large heavy meal will also increase acid levels and result in you being awake in discomfort for most of the night.


Bowl of porridge/muesli/ cornflakes or rice krispies with semi skimmed milk.

Do not eat high fibre cereals as the fibre may aggravate an already irritated stomach, especially if you have an ulcer.

Fruit and juices are high in acid so are best to avoid, apart from lemon juice which has an alkaline effect in the stomach.


Bowl of soup but not tomato, or a baked potato, or a sandwich, made with white bread low fat spread and chicken breast or lean ham. Sorry no cheese, which is too fatty.

If you want fruit, pears and bananas are fairly low acid fruits, low fat yogurt is ok but everything in moderation.


If you can have your main meal at lunch time that is much better for you than in the evening when the digestion is working hard but the body is also trying to shut down for the night

I won’t be too specific here but the usual meat and two veg is good. Make sure the meat is lean and your portion amount is not too big. No fry –ups and don’t add too much fat or oil into the cooking.

Spicy foods, especially Chilli containing foods need to be avoided as they may aggravate the condition.

Foods to avoid are:-



Fatty foods

Full fat cheese

High fibre foods

Acidic fruits and juices




Herbal Medicine aims to reduce stomach acid levels and coat and protect the stomach and gut lining as well as ensuring good production of other digestive enzymes so that the food is properly digested and the waste eliminated.

There is a plant called Meadowsweet, which I call a wonder herb, alongside Dandelion, Elder, Yarrow and Hawthorn.

Meadowsweet grows on the downs near us but really likes to grow near streams or rivers or on marshy land. It is a beautiful plant standing tall with cream coloured feathery flowers which smell of bitter almonds. Although I have seen it on our walks this summer, growing beside a stream at Shinewater Lake, I have not had time to video it, so that pleasure awaits us next year.

Meadowsweet is anti-inflammatory as it contains salicylic acid, an aspirin related chemical. It is acid reducing due to the Salicin content, the herbalist’s bicarbonate of soda and has protective properties due to its high mucilage content. Marshmallow root has high mucilage content so is also protective for the stomach lining in high acid conditions. Along with these two herbs it is important to make sure that the rest of the digestive processes are functioning well especially the breakdown of fats. For this purpose I would use, either Milk thistle, which improves liver and gall bladder function, or Chamomile, which improves digestive function and is a tonic to the gut. Chamomile is also calming and soothing for the nervous system and is an excellent herb for increased stomach acid if it is stress related.

You may find over the counter preparations of these herbs but make sure they are licensed products so that you know they have been through rigorous trials.

You are also welcome to visit me in my clinic for help. The clinic details can be seen by clicking here or on the “clinic” tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information