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in swallowing or sore throat and cough for asthma, sinusitis or allergies.” She adds that heartburn and indigestion are sometimes treated with over-the-counter antacids, which are ineffective for these. Koufman helps her patients, includ- ing professional singers, to overcome acid reflux with a two-week detoxifica- tion program consisting of a low-acid, low-fat, pH-balanced diet. “For two weeks, avoid acidic foods (nothing below pH 4),” she advises. “Eat fish, poultry, tofu, melons, bananas, oatmeal, whole-grain breads and cereals, mush- rooms and green vegetables. Refrain from fried foods, chocolate and soft drinks. Basically, consume nothing out of a bottle or a can, except for water.” She remarks that reflux is definitely curable by following a proper diet, although it can still take up to a year for a person to become totally symptom-free. Noted Integrative Physician

Andrew Weil agrees with Koufman’s recommendations. He suggests de- veloping an exercise and relaxation strategy, because stress and anxiety worsen reflux symptoms, as well as increasing fiber intake by eating more whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of purified water. Keep a log to track foods and beverages that worsen symptoms, and avoid alcohol and stimulants like caffeinated beverages and tobacco that irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Weil also suggests ingesting a slip- pery elm supplement according to label directions, which can help heal irritated digestive tract tissues, and chewing a tablet of deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) or taking a half-teaspoon of a DGL supplement powder before meals and at bedtime. Reduce doses after symptoms are under control.

“For most people, there is probably a middle road—having an occasional glass of orange juice or soda doesn’t cause reflux disease—but if that’s all you drink day in and day out, it’s likely to create a problem. For people with known reflux disease, a period of ‘acid/pepsin detox’ makes good sense,” concludes Koufman.

Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Visit her website for the recorded interview.

Hoboken’s Own ‘SKINNY CHEF’

Shares Remedies for Acid Reflux

ennifer Iserloh, also known as “the skinny chef” nationwide, offers a few suggestions for dealing with acid reflux. She recommends including ginger in the diet. “Ginger is alkalinizing,” she says. “It contains an active compound called gingerol, a powerful


anti-spasmodic and antiseptic.” To make a soothing ginger tea, she recommends boiling two tablespoons of sliced ginger in water. “Or, for faster relief, chew a teaspoon of raw ginger and chase with room- temperature water,” she advises. “Sparkling water is a healthy alternative to sugary or diet sodas, but

Jennifer Iserloh

can aggravate acid reflux,” Iserloh says. “Instead, try iced Rooibus (or redbush) tea. Like ginger, it can soothe, is caffeine-free and has a wonderful, rich flavor.”


2 quarts boiling water

4 Tbsp Redbush tea or 8 small Rooibus tea bags Ice for serving


Steep the tea in the boiled water for three to four minutes. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating in an airtight container. Serve with ice. Will keep for up to 2 weeks.

“Skinny Chef’ Jennifer Iserloh, of Hoboken, is a leader in promoting nutritious, easy meals. A classically trained chef, certified yoga instructor and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she is the author of 50 Shades of Kale and Healthy Cheats. For more information, visit

natural awakenings July 2013 17

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