Mustard for Heartburn Relief? The Truth Revealed

As part of our ongoing series on heartburn relief, we are revealing whether certain popular home heartburn remedies have the capacity to relieve heartburn or whether these claims are simple myths.

In this article, we will be covering the use of mustard to relieve heartburn. This popular heartburn remedy is rumored to be quite effective at reducing the symptoms of acid reflux.


What the Research Says About Mustard

Unfortunately, there is not a single shred of evidence that suggests that mustard seed has any valuable effect on acid reflux. A search on PubMed returns no interesting results.

However, there is one thing to be considered: mustard itself has several ingredients. Most mustard varieties are a variation of mustard seed, water, vinegar, and salt, with perhaps a few additional ingredients based on flavor (i.e. Dijon mustard has additional ingredients).

If you have read any articles on this site, however, you will recognize vinegar as a powerful heartburn remedy. The active ingredient in vinegar, acetic acid, is a strong stimulant to saliva production. Try eating some mustard directly and you will end up with a surprising amount of saliva in your mouth!

As a result, it is likely that mustard may indeed reduce heartburn, but it does this primarily via vinegar, which contains acetic acid.


Mustard Versus Vinegar – How to Use this Heartburn Remedy

The good news is that mustard is likely to work to reduce the burning pain associated with reflux. The bad news is that it is basically diluted vinegar and is likely to be less effective than taking a teaspoon of vinegar directly.

Fortunately, mustard does have one advantage: it tastes better and can be used in a variety of recipes. You could simply include mustard in your cooking or use it for a topping on sandwiches or other dishes.

A common way to include mustard in your cooking is to use it when making chicken. Cooking chicken in some chicken broth, Italian spices, mustard, and garlic is a very common recipe. Best of all, the spices include very little in the way of extra calories, making this a healthy way to enjoy chicken, and the mustard may reduce the likelihood you wind up with heartburn.

Whenever cooking with mustard, you will want to do so at low heat. For example, you would cook the chicken and herbs at medium heat; after the chicken has thoroughly cooked, you could add in the broth and mustard and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. This allows the mustard and broth mixture to act as a marinade, keeping the chicken soft.


Mustard as a Heartburn Remedy

Mustard can work as a heartburn remedy because it contains vinegar, a strong stimulant of saliva. Try adding it to your cooking and you may find that you avoid heartburn altogether.

Since it is vinegar and not mustard seed that reduces heartburn symptoms, be sure to use real mustard and not mustard seed. Some flavored mustards may have less vinegar than traditional mustard, so be sure to check the ingredients list.

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