Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): a review of conventional and alternative treatments

Altern Med Rev. 2011 Jun;16(2):116-33.


Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), a common disorder in the Western world, can lead to complications that include esophageal stricture and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Multiple challenges are associated with GERD treatment. First, lack of symptoms does not correlate with the absence of or the healing of esophageal lesions. Second, proton pump inhibitors, the current standard of care for GERD, are ineffective for the majority of GERD patients who have non-erosive disease. This article discusses these challenges, investigates the mechanisms of damage in GERD, and explores the existing data on unconventional forms of treatment, including melatonin, acupuncture, botanicals, and dietary interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Antacids / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Artemisia
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Cyclohexenes / therapeutic use
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Limonene
  • Melatonin / therapeutic use
  • Mentha piperita
  • Nonprescription Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Terpenes / therapeutic use


  • Antacids
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Plant Extracts
  • Terpenes
  • iberogast
  • Limonene
  • Curcumin
  • Melatonin