How to Get Rid of Heartburn. An Instant Home Remedy.

I’m very sorry you’re possibly up Googling in the middle of the night because you have terrible heartburn and the blinding pain from it.  I was in your exact same position a few years ago. Looking up how to get rid of heartburn in the middle of the night.  This is the instant cure I found.

2 hotdogs cooking on a BBQ with a bottle of French's mustard to the side.

Skip right to the remedy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I thought long and hard about what kind of wonderful post to bring you today that would be in keeping with the theme of this made up holiday. ❤️Today, like a good little Valentine’s cynic,  I bring you a cure for heartburn.

I’ve had gut issues for as long as I can remember. I don’t think I stress about stuff or get tense, but my stomach thinks otherwise. My stomach thinks I stress out A LOT and it, being the extremely thoughtful organ that it is, gets angry for me. Angry like a nest of wasps made out of acid. So my stomach takes care of all the stress and anxiety I feel, without having to bother my pretty little head about it.

I’ll believe in my mind that I’m moving along fine in life not being bothered by a thing when my stomach will start to tighten up. Then I’ll feel a bit bloaty maybe. Then I’ll notice my stomach is tightening, hard as a rock and ballooning to approximately the same size as a Water Buffalo. You know how when a country thinks conditions are unsafe and it’s under attack, it’ll go into lockdown? My gut goes into lockdown. Like North Korea.

I used to think I had some type of rare and special disease but as it turns out ………….. I have gas. Gas in itself isn’t all that bad. Especially if you make your living by belching the alphabet (which I do not). It’s when you can’t get the hell rid of the gas. When it just builds up and builds up inside your tiny little locked down stomach.

There’s no movement going on in my gut or intestines. You know how your stomach gurgles throughout the day? I have no gurgling. There are no gurgles. I’m gurgleless. I bend, I stretch, I move around. I even hop on the spot in an attempt to burp myself (which actually works). I do Yoga poses entitled “Wind Releaser” and twist back and forth trying to force some kind of movement out of my stomach and convince it that everything’s O.K. No one is attacking it.

I have no stress, I’m not bothered. Unless you count how stressed and bothered I am by the excruciating pain in my methane filled gut.

And then I burp (or otherwise) and everything is fine with the world.

The other thing I get the odd time, which is equally excruciating, is heartburn. I have a very important sounding condition you see called, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD for short.  Basically it means angry acid makes its way out of my stomach and up towards oesophagus.

To help stop that I take a medication.  I don’t get heartburn symptoms from GERD a lot, maybe 2 or 3 times a year but it’s always when I’m sleeping (that just makes it more noticeable because the acids can make their way up) and it always wakes me up wondering what the hell is going on, and did why did I eat a pot of  blazing fire in the middle of my sleep?

When this happens I get out of bed, plump my pillows up so I can sleep with my  head up (having your head and neck elevated helps make it harder for acid to travel up your throat) and then I head downstairs into the kitchen for my favourite cure.

There is one and only one way to get rid of heartburn instantly. I know the Internet will tell you various home remedies work but I can tell you they do not. At least not on my overprotective, angry, North Korean stomach.

How to Get Rid of Heartburn?

A teaspoon of mustard on a gold plated ornate spoon.


Yes. A teaspoon of mustard. Regular old, Heinz or French’s mustard. Eat it. If it bothers you imagine there’s an Ikea hotdog underneath it. The first time I did this I remember almost gagging. The hotdog thing helped me out a lot. Now I kindda enjoy my teaspoon of mustard.

It is a genuine heartburn home remedy that works. It really does. 

I’ve heard of and tried all of the other tricks. Salty water, soda water, cider vinegar, Gaviscon, Tums …. all of it. And the only thing that has ever, actually, truly worked instantly … is mustard.

Discovering mustard works as a home remedy was almost as shocking as when I discovered my frozen yogourt tampon cure for yeast infections.   

It does NOT work 100% of the time, but it works most of the time. So if you’re up in the middle of the night right now, stop reading already and go and eat a teaspoon of mustard to see if it helps.

I can’t absolutely and completely guarantee that this is going to work for you but I can tell you it’s worked for a lot of other people (you’ll see proof in the comment section) and definitely works for me when Kim Jong-un rears his ugly head (and weird haircut) in my gut.

A spoon full of sugar may make the medicine go down, but a spoon full of mustard can destroy a dictator.

If you have another proven heartburn trick let us all know. Not something “you’ve heard works” or something you’ve read about please, only things that have actually, for real, worked for you.  The Internet is a big fat liar so everything you read on it isn’t always true. Except this mustard trick. It’s true.  

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Not all the time, not every single time, but a LOT of the time you can get *instant* heartburn relief from a teaspoon of mustard. Cross my heart, it\'s a thing and it works.


  1. Maryanne says:

    I’ll try mustard when I am out of Granny Smith apples.
    Try it Karen…..a peeled Granny Smith works all the time for me

  2. Connie Tyler says:

    I use good old baking soda in some water. Good for everything.

  3. Tracy King says:

    When I was pregnant (both times) I had wicked heartburn. I would eat some canned papaya and a few almonds. I don’t know how to buy fresh papaya, it all smelled like vomit to me. The canned stuff was great. With my first, it was chunk or two, 2-4 almonds, great! Done! With my second, he was a real burner. Half a can of papaya and a handful of almonds and it would finally calm. My veterinarian (yup, for my cat, but I want him as my primary care physician for myself) told me to essentially go paleo, no bread, blah blah blah. But it worked. ugh. So that’s what has worked for me. Now with occasional heartburn, sometimes just a few almonds work, but it works best with the papaya.

  4. L. E. Bruce says:

    I am glad I don’t have acid reflux because I hate mustard. However, there is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence on The Peoples Pharmacy web site that a teaspoon of mustard will instantly stop leg cramps. There is another cure for leg cramps which saves me from choking down disgusting mustard. Put a bar of soap under your sheet! It works. I don’t know why, and I don’t care.

  5. H says:

    I’d rather gargle my entire stomach’s worth of acid than eat mustard, but this is still really interesting.

  6. Sondra says:

    There is a simple solution for this problem besides mustard and it is the following…..change to a Whole Foods Plant Based diet without fat or heavily spiced foods.

    Now, I know that most people will not consider this as a viable option but if you are like I was in the past suffering frequently with major pains in my chest to the point doctors admitted me to the hospital because they thought I was having a heart attack then you might be open to a real solution to the problem. After four days in the hospital, tests ever hour, many dollars spent, I was finally told I had a hiatal hernia! I was also told on release from the hospital to go home and live on Prilosec the rest of my life! That was their solution?

    Not being one to accept that future I went on a hunt and turned up Dr. John McDougall, Neil Barnard, Drs. Collin Campbell and Esselstyne and became educated on what the heck was going on with my insides. It was the FOOD! The great Western Diet! Do free searches on any medical issues on Dr. MDougall’s website. His site has free information plus there are YouTube lectures by Dr. McDougall and others on the WFPB lifestyle. My problem was solved by 98% and only rears its ugly head when I over indulged in heavily spiced or fatty foods.

    I now eat a flavorful diet filled with thousands of grains, legumes, beans, veggies, fruits and treats and almost NEVER have an episode. It took a couple of months before I noticed I wasn’t having any more flare ups with the hernia. I eliminated eating anything that had a face or their by-products and the chest pains stopped, arthritis hand pains went away and another benefit was that I lost 40 pounds over a year…slow and easy and have kept it off for 4 years!

  7. Helen says:

    Thanks for the interesting post. My father in law had acid re-flux many years ago. My mother in law said that all his symptoms stopped if he ate a few cubes of Paw Paw (Papaya) before his evening meal. My husband has the same problem and just tried the paw paw a few weeks ago, and so far its working out well. He has stopped waking up at night with heart burn. I did read the comment about the papaya enzyme so we are going to give that a try. We can let you know in a month or so if it works as well as the fresh fruit.

    • I have done this one recently and thrown the PPI out the window as they are causing other problems, to take a small glass with 2inches of cold water 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and a good squirt of pure lemon juice mix well swallow ACID REFLUX GONE!
      and it tastes lovely. like a really nice refreshing drink.


  8. m'liss says:

    Other than during pregnancy, I get acid reflux rarely, perhaps once every couple of years. I was told no chocolate or tea after dinner & I have to admit, one of these two have been involved in each incident. My remedy of choice, which has always worked, is 1/4 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in warm water, but I’ll definitely try the mustard.

  9. Catherine Safer says:

    The trouble with too much acid in the tummy, it’s the same as not enough. Symptoms are quite similar. Have a bit of vinegar/lemon juice. If things get worse – too much acid. If things improve – not enough. If not enough – have a cup of water every morning with a bit of lemon juice. If it’s gross, add honey. Drink up and be free……If too much acid…..I can’t remember the solution because it’s late and I’ve had a couple of beers.

  10. Sue G Stamper says:

    Only had heartburn when I was pregnant, but mustard is my savior when I have leg cramps. The kind that kick in when least expected. Mustard at 4am is tough, but the cramps are gone in less than 5 minutes. When traveling or on vacation, I keep packets with me at all times. If on Amtrak, I just grab some in the snack car if I run out or get low!

  11. Jan in Waterdown says:

    So glad you mentioned V Day is a made up thing. My husband used to say that and it bothered me a tad but once I got my head around it, I realized he was right! We no longer succumb to the what to do? what to buy? guilt and just relax. ❤️ (that’s for you!)

  12. khfrench says:

    I have the same problems (acid reflux, heartburn or whatever it is)- on occasion, and it’s always at 2:00 am. I have never tried the mustard remedy, but I have discovered that an ounce of pickle juice works for me – 100% of the time. Just regular ordinary pickle juice right out of the jar. Dill, bread and butter or sweet pickles – they all work. I will keep the mustard remedy in mind next time though, just for a change of pace. Thanks for another good share!

  13. Lupe says:

    Next time I will definitely have to try that! I love mustard!!! This is my remedy but it’s store bought I eat 2 Bonine (for motion sickness); they’re chew-able and taste pretty good and like you said prop yourself up with pillows. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  14. Lynn says:

    Hi Karen I never had a problem till I was 55 then I had appendix out 😕 then bang , it started with a vengeance. I have found Apple cider vinegar helps me , but I also like mustard on lots of things since appendicitis Of late an both combine to help me.

  15. Shannon Kerley says:

    Now, this may not work for everyone; but everyone I know that has tried it, swears by it… Pickle juice. Not pickles, just the pickle juice. Drink it straight from the jar if you have to, but take a swig when you feel that little burn start, and it’ll take away that feeling pretty quick! Trying to rally any and all Total Wine or BevMo stores to carry bottles of straight pickle juice! Why not, Brooklyn Bookers have come into vogue again at the bars!! Google it, kids!
    Anyway, give it a shot and see if it works for you. Might be a bit easier to come down that a spoonful of mustard!

  16. Audrey A. Ogilvie says:

    Karen, I remember when you recommended this some time ago. It works like an absolute charm. Like you, it only happens to me occasionally. Last night was one of the few times. Had been to a lunch party with fabulous rich and sugary food. Woke up in the night with a blazing camp fire in my throat and headed downstairs to the fridge. I have recommended this cure to others, saving them from calling the paramedics. Your sound advice is always welcome.

  17. Audrey D. says:

    Karen, I love your blog. Just want to give a heads-up – if you take meds for stomach acid, be sure to check if you are on Proton Pump Inhibitors or H2 Blockers. May make a BIG difference for your bones.

    Years ago I was treated with meds and they greatly reduced the chronic cough caused by all the acid, but I got osteporosis after being on them several years. I cannot prove causality, but make sure you read the fine print where it says if you use them too long you “are at risk for fractures”. I went off the PPIs, got two shots of Prolia and got my bone density back.

    A few years later my doctor put me back on a different drug and I forgot to check if it was a PPI. Bone density went down again. My Bone doctor convinced my Ear, Nose & Throat doctor to change me from Proton Pump Inhibitors to H2 blockers. I have also reduced my portion sizes considerably to try to reduce the acid reflux naturally. Have to wait till August for my next bone scan but meanwhile I will certainly try the mustard route.

  18. beth pulsipher says:

    Papaya enzyme! Comes in chewable tablet form from just about any pharmacy. I get mine from Walmart, chew 4 or 5 small sweet tablets, and pain disappears. I carry bottles at home and in my travel luggage, and it works every time.

  19. Eileen says:

    I had terrible gas in my 30s and 40s. And stopped eating anything with sugar in it. Gas Stopped completely. Like a miracle. If I eat junk, like corn candy, once a year, here it comes, gas and a headache. Sugar really messes me up.

    I’ll keep the mustard in mind. I don’t drink soda either. All chemicals.

  20. whitequeen96 says:

    I actually bought a box of mustard packets from Amazon. I gave some to several friends to keep in bedside tables and coat pockets. My Mom has Alzheimer’s, so she’s always horrified when I recommend it, and always amazed when it works in less than 5 minutes. It IS counter-intuitive, but it’s extremely effective.

  21. Gayle m says:

    I have GERD and my only symptom is a cough–from stomach juices reaching my larynx. Was prexcribed Prilosec 24. So I elevated the head of my bed 6 inches and added 2 pillows. Helped. Then I started having more stomach issues. Lots of dicomfort. So they upped the Prilosec. Twice. Nothing was helping and I was so uncomfortable when I ate. So i dropped the meds, and all symptoms disappeared. The meds were the problem. So…10lbs later…lol.

  22. Susan Mouser says:

    On the other hand – a spoonful of sugar will almost always stop the hiccups. My daughter was born with almost constant hiccups and her foster mother taught me that. For infants, baby spoon of sugar with drops of water to liquify. For grownups, granulated dry and toss it back fast. Worst that can happen, you ate a spoonful of sugar! No one ever believes me until they try it!

  23. Leslie Russell says:

    It’s past midnight. I’ve been on my phone all day, mostly looking up answers to random weird shit like how to fix my phone charger and the perfect technique for applying gel polish to keep it off your cuticles. I’ve said “OH! I wanted to find out how to…” and been gone all day. Then tv…I actually started watching a documentary about cats taking over the internet. I don’t have cats or like them very much. GO TO BED!! Ok, so I’ll just mix up my baking soda in water to put on my nightstand…maybe a peek at my email…
    MUSTARD???? See? There’s a reason I’m awake!
    Thank you, Karen.

  24. Letty Regan says:

    Heartburn… great movie with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Definitely appropriate for Valentine’s Day.

  25. AronM says:

    Wow, mustard! It never occurred to me. I don’t think a lot of people know about this either. Wow, thanks so much for this tip. I might try this but yes, I think I might gag as well as I’ve never eaten a spoonful of mustard before. I’ve been experiencing heartburn these past couples of months and I’ve read a lot of tips about heartburn relief (check it out here if any of you are interested: I’ve tried them and some have been pretty effective but wow, mustard? This is new. Very interesting. I’m trying this for sure.

  26. Safetydog says:

    My husband has had major gas and heartburn issues for years. He tried your mustard tip several times and … it worked! He was surprised! He’s used over the counter products and prescription. The mustard proved reliable and cheap.

  27. Old Man says:

    Whenever I think I’m having a heart attack, I drink a half teaspoon of baking soda (tastes like old refrigerator)in half a glass of water.
    If I instantly burp & feel better, I know it’s not my heart.

  28. Sabrina says:

    Omg! This mustard thing worked for my heartburn quicker than any remedy I’ve tried. Thanks so much. I was at work suffering with horrible heartburn and constant spitting,it worked for the heartburn but not the annoying spitting.

  29. Bethany says:

    Hi Karen!

    I just wanted to thank you. You blew my mind! I read this post and tried it out when I got home from work. You see I’m 7 months pregnant and along with being pregnant comes heartburn. Your mustard trick is a life saver. I have posted about it on a bunch of mommy boards and to all my Facebooks friends. I also now carry mustard packet in my purse. Yes I steal them from various places but it’s for a good cause! Thank you so much for sharing this tip!

    P.S. Love the new site!

  30. Joy says:

    I’m a little late to this conversation, but wanted to add my two cents. I’ve had serious intestinal/etc issues the past year and went to numerous traditional doctors before ending up with a chiropractor who also did “nutrition response testing” (I’ve actually never been to her for chiropractic care, only nutrition). It looks like voo-doo and works like magic. If you can find someone who does nutrition response testing, I’d highly recommend it. After a year of killing my thyroid, going through a miscarriage, mono, pneumonia, laryngitis, bronchitis, and the flu (twice), I’ve finally started to find health. I had my first ‘normal’ blood test results in over a year! I can sleep! I don’t have heartburn anymore! :) I appreciate that this doctor doesn’t just mask or attack symptoms (like heartburn ‘remedies’ that don’t actually fix the core issue), she determines the core cause and treats that (and once that is fixed, the symptoms go away). It’s a fantastic way of approaching medicine and, like I said, I’ve personally seen great results.

  31. Aurora Clarke says:

    Gas, Bloating, Heartburn, indigestion are all the result of food allergies or food intolerance. For me it was Wheat and Dairy! Blissful gut now for 3 years :-)
    Do get tested Karen

  32. Christina says:

    Wow, I’ll definitely try this next time…beer was the only thing that ever worked for me, but I can’t have gluten anymore. :(

    I had the exploding stomach DAILY for years, and then learned I was allergic to leafy (and other) greens. Stupid lettuce.

  33. Pati Gulat says:

    I have terrible heartburn almost every day and THIS MUSTARD THING WORKS !!!!! I am so happy !! I finally have gotten a full night’s sleep without waking up in the middle of the nite to choke down two Tums and a Ranitidine ! Girlfriend, I could hug you til your ribs bleed ! Only I live in Louisiana and its not real feasible. Thanks again for doing all that 2 am research….

    • Karen says:

      “Girlfriend, I could hug you til your ribs bleed !” Well that doesn’t sound like something a good Christian would do. It sounds like something I would do, lol. I’m glad it worked for you Pati! I’ve had a lot of people say they’ve tried it since I wrote this post and so far it’s worked for everyone. It really does sound like the sort of dumb thing you read on the Internet that wouldn’t work at all but … IT WORKS. Sleep well. ;) ~ karen!

  34. Pam says:

    Okay…. I tried the mustard trick you Mamasan of the North Korean Gastric Gambit! It’s like someone told my dad about wearing a copper bracelet; I can’t say it works, I can’t say it doesn’t work, but it works for me. So far. Last night I screwed up my nose, ignored the imaginary Kosher hotdog on the counter, and gulped a teaspoon of the stuff. Didn’t think it would work, at first, because I was getting that mustardy burn along with the heartburn but that only lasted a short time. Not being sure it wasn’t a fluke, and having another bout of heartburn mid-morning today, I tried it again. I maaaaaay not have gotten a full dose this time (do those plastic picnic spoons really count as a teaspoon?) because it didn’t comPLETEly go away, but it sure did reduce pretty fast. So, guess this will be my new go-to gastric soother (ignoring that imaginary hotdog, Kosher or not, in the mean time).

  35. Vanessa says:

    I swear by baking soda in water. It even suggests taking it for heartburn right on the box! It has worked for me every time. I have even taken it when I feel overly full to try to get ahead of heartburn and just release pressure. It always works. But there have been times I’ve been out and couldn’t get my hands on baking soda, mustard is easier to come by. I’ll give it a try.

  36. Kim from Milwaukee says:

    Mustard is high in magnesium which keeps leg cramps away, helps you sleep, and is probably what is calming your heartburn.

    If you make a magnesium ‘oil’ with magnesium flakes and water, spray it on your skin before bed, you should be able to get enough to keep the issues from occurring again.

    By the way, any kind of pop is going to deplete your body of essential minerals, like calcium and magnesium. Just saying. And the aspartame is horrible for you as well….

    • Karen says:

      Funny story for you … I don’t believe aspartame is bad for you. Nutritionists and the Internet seem to think it is but doctors and The American Cancer society do not. Also I don’t mind a spoon full of mustard so I’m gonna stick with that, lol. (Magnesium is the one vitamin in the world that I take … for migraines). ~ karen!

  37. Heather (mtl) says:

    How convenient! I sat down to yet another episode of that dreaded ‘I’ll be up all night’ burn, just as I started reading your blog. Well, to the mustard I went. That was nearly 30 mins ago and yes, I do feel better. I’m still sitting as I was (I used to have to sit upright or walk and neither work for my sleep patterns).
    The reflux started late last summer and seemed better with pantoprazole. Until a couple of days before Xmas that is, when it backfired and the symptoms worsened. I stopped everything partly out of desperation, partly because I got a rash daily. Go figure. Then the lungs felt like they were closing, as in not enough oxygen was getting in (was given oxygen during a colonoscopy and not only breathed better, but the tingling in the legs went away-yay!). Was told all this reflux & lung issue had to do with a terribly inflamed sinus. After countless nosebleeds (one was 15 hrs long!) I don’t even want to bend down to pet the cat.
    However, my garden is finally producing tomatoes (I’ll roast them for later) and yummy beets (will do the same). With reflux/gas and GERD, one has no appetite, which I think probably makes the situation worse. Drinking a big glass of water seems to aid some…. if I continue to stay upright.
    Thanks for your helpful posts and thanks, too to your oh so helpful readers!
    PS: I know I can talk up a storm, but I don’t think I’ve ever written ‘The Great Novel’ before!

  38. Nancy S in Winnipeg says:

    I’m allergic to mustard – and all the vegetables in that plant family.
    I wish I could eat cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, rutabagas, and mustard again. I used to love it.

  39. Rondee Blessing says:

    A shot of pickle juice will do the trick every time which might be easier to stomach then mustard….just sayin’.

  40. A gozillion years ago I had heartburn/pain so bad I walked stooped like a 90-yr. old looking for a penny on the sidewalk. All. The. Time.

    It got so bad the only ‘food’ I could eat was a milkshake. Although the milkshake diet sounds awesome, and I did in fact lose weight, turns out you really can’t live on milkshakes. Sigh.

    So, I finally cratered and went to the doctor for the test where you drink this vile, thick, white shit – and you have to drink the WHOLE thing, but I didn’t because halfway through I nearly puked it all up so they figured half was better than none and proceeded – then they strapped me to this table that went up and down and over and around and they watched my stomach on a fluoroscope as I rode the roller coaster.

    Turns out my sphincter (stomach sphincter, that is) doesn’t close all the way. This means that when I eat it’s like dropping a rock into a vat of acid and standing there as it splashes back up into your face – technically, esophagus – eventually eroding holes in the parts of your body that are not supposed to have acid splashing around on them. That, in turn, can lead to cancer. Since that didn’t sound like fun I started taking Prilosec every day. That was almost 20 yrs ago now, and I never have heartburn…unless I overstuff my on Thanksgiving. I tell myself every time that I won’t do it again, but do I listen to me? Nooooooooooooooooo…..sigh……

  41. Oh if this works for me you are a life saver. This is something that I have never heard of, but will be giving a go for sure. I suffer terrible heartburn and reflux on a regular basis, something that gives me a lot of discomfort and pain. Here is to hoping that mustard works for me.

  42. Kasia says:

    I used to get heartburn quite regulary, wake me up in the middle of the night, nothing worked, etc. etc.
    Then, I had a REALLY bad episode, I was crying, moaning, hunched over, and begged my husband to take me to the ER. He did. I had gall stones. They were big enough that they couldnt be passed through the duct and would block it, causing this intense pain. The pain radiates in your chest, feeling like heartburn, but it’s not. I had my gallbladder removed two days later, and I haven’t had heartburn in years.

    So for those of you that mention having really really bad episodes like this, maybe it is actually a gall stone issue, and not heartburn at all. Worth looking into anyway.

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