Heartburn and sciatic nerve pain (sharp pain down your back/leg on the right side of your body) are pretty commonplace among pregnant women. I experienced both in most of my four pregnancies, and the "magic milk" recipe below relieved both and kept me going, along with regular chiropractic adjustments.
It's not the tastiest, but if you can chug it down you'll find your heartburn, along with sciatic nerve pain, pubic pain, and other pregnancy-associated aches will probably fade as well. I've successfully used it to relieve my own heartburn and sciatic nerve pain. Take the following recipe as a "might as well try it" home remedy, because it can't harm you (unless you're allergic to one of them), being entirely composed of food items. Here are the three simple ingredients:
1. Almond Milk (I like this brand)
This alone can sometimes be enough to beat heartburn, especially the unsweetened version. You can find it at the store or make it yourself in the blender with blanched almonds. If you're using it in this recipe, be prepared to use the pre-sweetened version from the store or sweeten it yourself with real Maple Syrup or raw Honey (optional...but recommended).
You know that BRIGHT YELLOW spice found in the Indian food isle of the grocery store? (Or in the bulk spice section, or baking section). It's SO good for you! An anti-inflammatory, cancer-preventing superfood, turmeric has been getting a lot of press lately in the blog world as the main ingredient in "Golden Milk", a healthy, delicious concoction like hot chocolate, only WAY better for you. Turmeric is considered antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial. Even better if you can find it fresh in its root form (kind of like ginger, only ORANGE!).
It's important to note that while an incredibly beneficial and safe food, turmeric is not recommended in large doses to pregnant women. Stop using if you feel any side effects like increased nausea or uterine contractions (especially in the first trimester), and if you have surgery planned (such as a cesarean birth), don't use within two weeks of that date (can increase bleeding during surgery). Don't use if you are prone to bleeding disorders, or if you are allergic. Always talk to your care provider if you're uncertain.
Turmeric is what helps those pesky aches go away, especially when paired with...
3. Black Pepper
This is the ingredient that makes one of my friends call this drink "the drink of death". It is a bit hot and difficult to swallow. And yet, this final ingredient is what seals the deal, making this drink so effective at relieving aches and pain. You see, the main part of turmeric that makes it so powerful, curcumin, has poor bio-availability. Which basically means our bodies have a hard time absorbing it to make it really effective, unless, in this case, it gets paired with piperine, which is a naturally-occurring chemical found in...you guessed it, black and white pepper. On its own, black pepper aids better digestion, boosts metabolism, and helps control obesity, all things pregnant women can get benefit from, so don't leave this one out!
For more detailed information on the increased bio-availability of turmeric with black pepper, check out this article called "Five Proven Benefits of Turmeric and Black Pepper Together," which includes reference to several studies!
Ready for the recipe? Okay, keep scrolling!
"Magic" Natural Pregnancy Heartburn Relief Drink Recipe
1/2 cup almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened - store bought or homemade fine)
1 tsp turmeric powder (this might be way too much for you - start with 1/2 a teaspoon and work your way up if you need to)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (even a pinch is better than nothing, so use as much as you can take!)
Optional: honey or maple syrup to sweeten
Mix all ingredients and immediately chug - don't give the spices time to settle! You can expect relief from heartburn within minutes, and pain relief in 15 - 30 minutes.
As for how many cups you can drink a day, I found that, for me, this recipe would relieve pain for twelve hours or more, meaning I only drank it once on days when I felt extreme sciatic pain and/or heartburn. As a rule, listen to your body. If you find you need it more often than once or twice a day, consider seeing a chiropractor or talking with your care provider, as there may be a more serious issue causing your pain.
What have you used to relieve sciatic nerve pain? Have you tried this "magic" milk? Comment below!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be taken as medical advice.