Hiatus Hernia

A hiatus hernia is a tear, weakness or protrusion (herniation) of part of the stomach through the diaphragm at the opening of the Esophagus. The symptoms associated with a hiatus hernia include acid reflux, pain similar to heartburn in the chest or upper stomach, nausea, indigestion or bloating. However for many people it can be asymptomatic. Sometimes patients experience heartburn and regurgitation, when stomach acid refluxes back into the esophagus, this occurs generally due to a weakness of the esophageal sphincter not holding the contents of the stomach down. In Chinese Medicine this weakness and production of reflux is termed Rebellious Qi. In time, the disruption of digestion causing weakness to the sphincter may begin a vicious cycle whereby the degradation of the esophageal sphincter causes decreased digestive function and vice versa.


  • Consider the risk factors explained above
  • Reduce pharmaceutical antacids which treat the problem and not the cause of the problem


  • Slippery Elm may alleviate the discomfort due to the mucopolysaccharides having a demulcent (soothing) effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Add a teaspoon of Slippery Elm to foods such as water, yoghurt, fruit or smoothies. Slippery elm is a carminative to the gastrointestinal tract and will help the sphincter to relax and healing of the digestive wall
  • The mineral Magnesium is an important factor due to a deficiency being associated with muscle tension. Magnesium may help the herniation to relax and reposition itself
  • Psyllium (husks) may alleviate the discomfort associated with hiatus hernia
  • Herbs to increase digestion and reduce overacidity are Chamomile, Licorice, Magnolia, Atractylodes, Aloe Vera, Peppermint, Evodia, Marshmallow, Poria, Citrus Peel, Zizyphus, Cardamom, Asian Hawthorn, Alfalfa and Slippery Elm
  • The minerals Silica and Calcium Flouride are specific minerals which may help to reinforce the integrity of the esophageal sphincter and reduce the acid