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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Study finds many home remedies for acidity trump pharma drugs

AHMEDABAD: Next time you suffer from an acidity attack, rush to your kitchen instead of a pharmacy. A series of tests conducted by Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), Ahmedabad, found that many home remedies are more effective than pharmaceutical medications.
As per the results, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs like antacids provide relief for a maximum span of around 58 minutes, while home remedies like roasted gram are effective for up to 104 minutes.
Out of 17 home remedies for acidity that CERS tested for their degrees of effectiveness, the researchers found that 15 of them are effective in mild cases of acidity. Among the 15 effective remedies, four showed longer relief periods compared to OTC antacids. These include roasted chana, mixture of fennel and sugar, fennel and raw egg mixture and milk which provided relief for 104, 89, 87 and 71 minutes, respectively. In comparison, OTC antacids including Eno Fruit Salt and Gelusil MPS liquid gave relief for 58 and 57 minutes, respectively.
"We created artificial stomachs in our laboratories and conducted the tests. The results revealed that despite their ready availability and cheap prices, many home remedies are more effective than popular pharmaceutical drugs," said chief general manager of CERC Pritee Shah.
The study, however, found that jaggery and soda water, a common home remedy, do not provide any relief. The tests also revealed that, "Though milk and milk-based home remedy provided significant relief, according to doctors, the calcium content in milk may cause rebound acid secretion."
The relief periods of cucumber, ripe papaya, banana, buttermilk and vanilla ice cream were in the range of 23 to 35 minutes. Isabgol, pudina leaves and coconut water also provided short-term relief. Their relief periods were 5, 10, and 14 minutes, respectively. Chilled water provided relief for two minutes only.
The study also pointed out that patients who regularly suffer from acidity or related disorders should take medication like over-the-counter antacids and that severe acidity should be treated with medicines.


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