Are you trying to figure out how to get rid of acid reflux with a natural alternative or just exploring options? If so, you may have seen or heard of a ‘natural remedy’ for acid reflux called d-Limonene, a compound extracted from the rinds of citrus fruits. While it seems strange that an extract derived from a common trigger could help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux, some believe it can do just that.
What is d-Limonene?
D-Limonene is a compound extracted from the rinds of citrus fruits, like lemons, grapefruits, and oranges. Because it tastes good, it’s often used as a flavoring in everything from juices and soda to ice cream and pudding. The compound has also been used to treat conditions like gallstones, high cholesterol, heartburn, and even cancer.
Is d-Limonene an effective heartburn remedy?
Several small studies have been conducted to evaluate d-Limonene’s effectiveness as a heartburn remedy (Altern Med Rev 2007;12(3):259-264). In one, participants with chronic heartburn were recruited to discontinue their current medications and take 1,000 mg of d-Limonene every day or every other day instead. After two weeks, 89% of participants reported complete relief of symptoms. In another small study, participants were given either 1,000 mg of d-Limonene or an identical looking placebo. After two weeks, 86% of participants taking d-Limonene reported complete symptom relief compared to just 29% in the placebo group. In both studies, the improvement happened over time, suggesting results are best when the supplement is taken for at least ten days. While these results are promising, both were small studies, so it’s difficult to generalize the results.
Researchers aren’t sure why d-Limonene seems to improve heartburn symptoms. Some theorize that d-Limonene may coat the lining of the esophagus and stomach, protecting them from the effects of gastric acid exposure. Others theorize that d-Limonene supports healthy peristalsis, which helps keep the esophagus clear of the stomach contents.
D-Limonene is readily available online and in health food stores in the forms of tablets, capsules, and liquid extracts. The typical dose is 1,000 mg per capsule, although the exact dose depends on the age and condition of the person taking it. Many heartburn sufferers take one 1000-mg capsule of d-Limonene every other day for 20 days to see if it improves their symptoms; however, you should always check with your health care provider to determine what works best for you. How to take d-Limonene for acid reflux.
Are there side effects?
While d-Limonene is safe in the amounts used in foods, there’s not much information about the safety of taking larger medicinal doses. Some users report that at higher doses the supplement makes them tired and can cause diarrhea. Additionally, d-Limonene can interact with other medications. The supplement appears to alter how fast the liver breaks down certain medications, which increases the risk of side effects. Other medications, including some popular heartburn medications, can also impact how the liver breaks down d-Limonene, altering how the body metabolizes the supplement. WebMD provides a complete list of potential interactions, so be sure to check for any medications you may be taking before considering d-Limonene supplements. And, because there isn’t enough information about the safety of d-Limonene supplements, you shouldn’t take them if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Want to give it a try?
Remember that dietary supplements are not regulated and, in general, haven’t been tested for safety. Keep in mind also that natural products are not always safe and dosages are important. While d-Limonene is just one compound extracted from the rind of citrus fruits and there’s no indication it triggers symptoms, it may be best to avoid this home remedy if citrus is one of your personal triggers. Always be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking d-Limonene.