Achalasia is also known as esophageal stricture or corkscrew esophagus. It is a disease characterized by the throat’s inability to move the food down into the stomach. This incurable disease progresses slowly and there is no treatment for it other than surgery. Home remedies and natural treatment like homeopathy and the use of essential oils etc mainly focus on providing symptomatic relief to patients. Before we study ways to manage achalasia at home, let us take a look at its causes and symptoms.
Causes and Symptoms of Achalasia
The disease is caused due to ‘loss of nervous coordination’ of rhythmic squeezing movements at the end of esophagus. This leads to a buildup of swallowed food and one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in swallowing food-both solids and liquids
- Weight loss
- Acidity and heartburn due to backflow of blood and food (GERD)
- Chest and stomach pain
- Gradual nerve damage
- Food can sometimes spill into lungs causing pneumonia
Let us look at some ways to treat achalasia naturally.
Home Remedies for Achalasia
1. Colloidal silver
Colloidal silver might not help with swallowing difficulties caused due to esophageal stricture but it can help build immunity and fight bacteria and viruses in these immune-compromised individuals. Aside from taking a few drops of colloidal silver in water internally, patients can also inhale its steam or use it in a nebulizer spray. This will help clear the nasal airways and throat and keep the respiratory tract clear from regurgitated food.
2. Dietary restrictions
It is very important to follow a strict diet when suffering from this disease. Patients should ideally stay away from nuts, artificial dyes, wheat, bread, fruit, meat and dairy products. Apple sauce, smoothies, fresh juices and soups are the ideal foods as they are easier to swallow. Energy giving foods like peanut butter etc can also help. Water, herbal teas and coffee are also acceptable.
3. Chew the food well
Chewing each morsel of food is also very important to those suffering from this disease. Drink water or hot herbal or green tea with meals to push the food down.
4. Goldenseal tincture
Certain herbs can also help you treat achalasia naturally. Goldenseal is an important herbal remedy that can heal hernia and other diseases like esophageal stricture.
5. Manage GERD symptoms
GERD or acid reflux is an annoying symptom of this condition that can keep patients up all night. We have discussed many home remedies for GERD here. The important ones are:
- Juniper berry and angelica tea to calm the tomach.
- Avoiding foods like peppermint, oranges, fried foods, tomatoes, sodas, pizzas etc
- Sleeping vertically with head raised
- Eating soft foods like noodles, soups, eggs, cooked soft rice, yogurt, meatballs, turkey, deli thin meat strips, and pudding.
6. Raw honey
Raw honey, especially manuka honey, has many health benefits and also antibacterial properties. Honey fights symptoms of GERD, gives energy and soothes acid reflux. Taking honey before bedtime can help patients sleep better. The antiseptic action of honey also heals the esophagus. (Never give honey to infants or children below the age of three.)
Doctors recommend magnesium for achalasia. Magnesium along with calcium and other minerals neutralizes the acid in the stomach. Always combine magnesium supplements with aluminum as the former causes diarrhea and the latter causes constipation; so taking both together helps balance these effects out.
8. Coconut oil
Many patients have benefited using coconut oil for achalasia. Start with a single tablespoon of virgin coconut oil daily. This will prevent choking and vomiting and enable you to swallow food safely. Slowly increase the dose to 2 tbsp per day.
9. Achalasia homeopathy treatment
Achalasia is best treated by an experienced homeopath. But you can try following remedies to help with difficult in swallowing:
- Cimicifuga 6C
- Alumina 6C-for dry throat and chronic constipation
- Phosphorus 6C-is recommended for sour belching, sour stomach and bad taste in mouth as well as for vomiting after eating.
10. Essential oils for achalasia
Many essential oils are known to help with dysphagia, difficulty in swallowing and other symptoms of achalasia. These include Frankincense, Basil, Myrrh and Helichrysum.
Make the following blend and mix it with a glass of water. Sip the mixture slowly using a straw. The idea is to coat the throat with the oils which are all anti-inflammatory in nature and soothe the esophagus:
- 2 drops each Basil, Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils. Basil and Myrrh are anti-inflammatory and Frankincense is a healing oil.
- 1-2 drops of Cinnamon essential oil for taste
Also apply Helichrysum oil topically to chest and throat area.
Apart from these home remedies for dysphagia caused due to achalasia you can also try acupuncture. Puncturing and moxibustion therapies help stimulate certain energy meridians in the rib area to relieve the symptoms of esophageal stricture.