One of the Best Natural Heartburn Remedies: Betaine HCl

If you’re searching for chronic heartburn and indigestion relief, look no further! Betaine HCl is among the top natural heartburn remedies. Learn what this marvelous supplement is and exactly how to take it.

natural heartburn remedies

Baking soda, chewing gum, aloe vera, ginger, vinegar and mustard are other popular ways to ease heartburn naturally.

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Acid-blocking proton pump inhibitor drugs (the little purple pills), antacids, and other heartburn medications work by reducing stomach acid levels. But sometimes heartburn and indigestion are not caused by high stomach acids levels at all. In fact, these unpleasant symptoms can be triggered by low stomach acid levels.

This startling assertion begs the question: Why would you take a pill to further decrease your low levels of stomach acid?

A better, more natural approach to indigestion relief, successfully used by many practitioners and patients of natural medicine, is to treat hypochlorhydria—the condition of low stomach acid production. 

If hydrochloric acid secretion is measured and hypochlorhydria is documented, or if stomach acid output is believed to be low, betaine HCl capsules can be taken on a trial basis; if they work, they can be continued indefinitely. In fact, one of the top natural heartburn remedies is to begin a therapeutic trial of supplemental betaine HCl and see if that brings indigestion relief.

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What Is Betaine HCl?

Betaine HCl is a naturally occurring, acidic form of betaine, usually derived from beets. Even if you do not undergo gastric pH analysis, a trial of betaine HCl can be safely undertaken, as outlined below, for mild heartburn and indigestion relief.

If you have been diagnosed with GERD or are currently taking an acid-suppressing drug (such as a proton pump inhibitor), you should discontinue your medication on your own. Consider working with a qualified integrative physician to determine which natural heartburn remedies may be right for you.

The procedure for taking betaine HCl as one of the natural heartburn remedies is as follows:

  1. On Day 1, start with one capsule (usually 8-10 grains, or 500-600 mg) of betaine HCl, at the beginning of each meal. (Note: This means a full meal, not a snack.).
  2. Monitor for any side effects—a warming sensation, discomfort, pain, or burning in the throat or stomach. If you experience any of these symptoms after just one capsule of betaine HCl, stop. (You likely do not have a problem with low HCl and need a different form of treatment for indigestion relief, such as melatonin or d-limonine.) If these side effect symptoms are not present, proceed to Step 3.
  3. Increase your dose by one capsule (this would be two capsules or a total of 16-20 grains for Day 2) of hydrochloric acid (betaine HCl) at the beginning of each full meal. If you note any of the above side effects, decrease your dose to the level at which you had no side effects (the day before) and maintain this dose. If these side effect symptoms are still not present, proceed to Step 4.
  4. Increase your dose as described in Step 3. Each day increase the dose until you feel a warming sensation or until you reach a dose of five capsules of betaine HCl per meal. Do not take more than five (5) capsules with a meal without working in conjunction with a physician. This process will increase your stomach acid to just the right level to properly digest your food, thus working as one of the best completely natural heartburn remedies.

One precaution is that betaine HCl should not be used at the same time as aspirin, ibuprofen, corticosteroid drugs, or other anti-inflammatory medications. These medications can cause stomach bleeding and ulcers, and betaine HCl can aggravate ulcers.

The Anti-Aging Benefits of Betaine HCl

Taking betaine HCl with meals not only can bring indigestion relief and serve as one of the most effective natural heartburn remedies, but it will improve digestion and help provide all the benefits of improved absorption and assimilation of nutrients.

Without treatment of hypochlorhydria, keep in mind that enzyme systems, cells, tissues, and organs can’t repair themselves, and we age faster. So don’t be fooled by the myth of “acid indigestion.” If you are searching for non-drug, safe, and natural heartburn remedies and indigestion relief, find out if the problem really is low stomach acid production. If you have hypochlorhydria, correct it with betaine HCl. You’ll be helping your body heal naturally and function optimally.

For related reading, see these University Health News posts:

Do You Have Experience with Betaine HCL?

Some of you may already be successfully using betaine HCL one of the top natural heartburn remedies and for better digestion of your foods. If so, please tell us your experience. You’ll be helping thousands of other readers who are just now learning about this as a possible solution to their heartburn woes. Place your experience in the “Comments” section following the end of this article.

This post was originally published in 2013 and updated.

  • When you say no aspirin when taking hcl , do mean at the same time or not at all? I am on an aspirin regime.

  • Marina L.

    Where do I find a qualified Integrative Phycisian? Is there a directory that I can use to find a good one? Please respond. Thanks

  • taking one teaspoon full of apple cider vinegar before meals has significally helped my heart burn. I now only take occasional zantac, instead of 3/ day. Do you need to stop asprin completely if i take betaine

  • Magali D.

    I have GERD and just took a BETANIE HCL but I opened the capsule and drank it with water since I can’t swollow pills, and I ate chicken with broccoli (SCD DIET) I’m having really have heartburns, esophagus feels like there’s acid, stomach burning and pain. Did i do it wrong? And is there any other way to get ACID in my stomach??!!

  • Of course you shouldnt open the capsule. It will burn your esophagus. The whole idea is that the pill reaches your stomach rapidly where it can change the ph of your stomach very quickly in ten minutes or less to a very low level. The idea is that if you take it with meals that it will help to digest and break down the protein in the meal. As long as you start off with one tablet and make sure it’s washed down enough then shouldn’t feel too much negative effects. If you ever take this again only take the capsule or you could burn yourself and do damage.

  • I would like to start this program. I have osteoporosis. Will this cause more of a problem? I know I should have more acid in my diet.

  • Many year ago I read that when you go out of the country especially down south, you can easily get food poinoning. Some times mild and others really bad. It was suggested to take one 500 mg. cap of betane (HCL) with your last bite of food at each meal. The knowledge is that it will help you attack bacteria and other pathogens that can make you sick. I am a traveler and have followed this rule diligently. I have never gotten sick abroad. I do it also when i go to eat at restaurants.also. I am very happy that I found this info.

  • Been struggling with sever episodes of wind/ bloating after meals to the point where it just becomes part of your life. Saw many Dr’s did many tests. 34 when it started. Female. Colonoscopy, Endoscopy nothing…. Tried various remedies etc but nothing worked. Came accross HCL/ Betaine and started trailing. Used tablet form first which did not do much and then switched to Biocare capsules. Took 1-2 capsules once a day after lunch. Some times less as would feel warm sensation but always drank plenty of water. I also did three appointments accuouncture. Try to eat healthy and excercise but am no health freak. Normal weight for height – just try to eat balanced. Am 39 now and for about 2 years now nearly symtom free. Very rarely get uncomfortable and almost never take HcL now. I firmly believe it has contributed to me getting better as was a bit coincidental and definitly not placebo as get the odd bout of bloatiness maybe once in a few months. Am lucky, I know there are people out there still struggling. Be also realistic with your way of living what you eat and how active you are. Exercise is SO important. Even just 30mins a day. Look at your stress levels too. Good luck

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