Whether my job carries with it undue stress, or I’m just a type A personality, I have routinely taken heartburn medication for at least 15, if not 20 years. In fact, knowing that I would be miserable in any situation without them, I packed heartburn pills in my bug-out-bag. They went with me on business trips, accompanied all holiday meals, came before date nights, church socials and any other occasion where food would be present. Often, even when food wasn’t present, the heartburn pills were still a necessity. I spent $40 to $50 per month on heartburn medication.
I hate being dependent on anything, but I couldn’t live (comfortably) without these pills. What’s worse, my gallbladder had started hurting. I knew I had to get rid of the heartburn pills, but I didn’t know how. Diet wasn’t the answer, even water gave me heartburn. Sometime around mid-September I heard a guest of a podcast I listen to talk about treating heartburn with pickles. Yes, pickles; but not ordinary pickles – organically grown, lacto-fermented, non-pasteurized pickles. They’re made without any vinegar at all, and they have changed my life. I haven’t taken heartburn medication in about four months now. My gallbladder has stopped aching, and if I do get a touch of heartburn, water will put out the fire – rather than before, when drinking water was the same as throwing water on a grease fire.
I haven’t been able to eat the pickles everyday, but I ate enough in the beginning that I could stop taking medication. Now just a few pickles once-in-a-while keeps heartburn at bay. I will grow my own cucumbers this year, but for now, $10 at the farmer’s market every eight weeks sure beats $50 at the pharmacy every four weeks.
If you suffer from heartburn and are looking for a way to manage it naturally, here’s my recipe:
10 to 12 smallish cucumbers from the farmer’s market
Whole Pepper Corns
A bay leaf or two
Dissolve 1 Tablespoon of sea-salt for each pint of water (because it’s hard to know how many pints of salt water will cover your cucumbers, I prepare several pints in advance each with 1Tbs of sea salt). Chop your desired amount of garlic and onion, and place in the bottom of a clean container. It can be plastic or glass, but not metal. Add some whole peppercorns, a bay leaf, ample amounts of dill weed, and then fill the jar to within two inches of the top with sliced cucumbers. Pour in enough saltwater to cover. Weigh down the cucumbers so they won’t float out of the brine – I use a small Tupperware lid wedged into the top of my jar. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.
The pickles will get bubbly and start getting cloudy. If your container is sealed very tightly, you’ll need to let off the pressure once or twice per day. When the pickles are fairly cloudy, put them in the refrigerator. This will slow the fermenting process.
You’re supposed to wait three weeks before eating, but we can never wait that long. Usually one week is all we can accomplish before starting to eat them – not due to heartburn anymore, but because they’re so good!!!
For more on our journey to self-reliance visit: http://thegoodstorehouse.blogspot.com/