How to Treat GERD Naturally - Art Solbrig Protocol

| Modified on Aug 01, 2023

by Art Solbrig
February 01, 2021

GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, happens when the sphincter at the esophagus base that connects the mouth to the stomach no longer closes tightly and allows stomach acid and food to backflow into the esophagus, creating a host of uncomfortable symptoms. The esophagus becomes inflamed and irritated because it is not meant to be exposed to stomach acid.

Who Can Get GERD?

GERD is a common issue in the general population. I regularly post on a Parkinson's Disease forum and, interestingly, GERD is 4.1 times more likely to occur in people with Parkinson's Disease! (1)

Age is another common factor in people with GERD, but there are many more causes, which I will discuss below.

One popular school of thought is that GERD may be caused by too much stomach acid. Another popular counter-theory is that it is caused by too little stomach acid.

In any case, what happens is that stomach acid back-flows into the esophagus, the tube that connects the stomach to the mouth. Stomach acid is not supposed to get into the esophagus, but the esophagus becomes inflamed and irritated when it does. If left unchecked at the extreme, GERD can result in esophageal cancer.

Gerd Remedies

Common Symptoms of GERD

The main symptoms typically seen in patients with GERD are:

  • heartburn
  • burping
  • chest pain
  • sore throat
  • hoarseness
  • bad breath
  • noises in the throat

In severe cases, symptoms include:

  • gurgling noises caused by regurgitation of food or acid
  • bloating
  • stomach is hard to the touch

Remedies for Excess Stomach Acid

For the school of thought that GERD can be caused by excess stomach acid, antacids are often recommended.


They include proton pump inhibitors (PPI) like Prilosec, Nexium & Prevacid, antacids such as baking soda or Tums, and histamine antagonists such as Cimetidine/Tagamet and Zantac, which work as histamine receptor antagonists.

Remedies for Insufficient Stomach Acid

For those that feel that GERD is caused by too little stomach acid, treatment may consist of supplementing with Betaine HCI, which also contains Pepsin.

Betaine HcL with Pepsin

Pepsin acts to break down proteins, assist in the digestion process, and naturally occurs in the stomach lining.

Betaine HCI is one of the body's first lines of defense to kill pathogens in food and help break down food proteins and improve absorption. Having enough hydrochloric acid is very important for overall health.

In actuality, GERD is often caused because the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus is not closing tightly enough to prevent acid reflux or prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus.
The sphincter can be repaired or replaced via surgery if it will no longer close tight enough to prevent acid reflux and may be required in severe conditions. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is how it is referred to.
The sphincter is a bundle of muscles, and weak muscles will not get the job done right and allow the sphincter to close tightly as it should to prevent acid and food from reentering at the bottom of the esophagus.
The addition of Betaine HCI with Pepsin is thought to possibly strengthen this muscle group.
Another school of thought is that supplementing with Betaine HCI (hydrochloric acid) with Pepsin can strengthen the sphincter and stop the acid reflux. The sphincter is purported to tighten in response to being exposed to more stomach acid via Betaine HCI.

I tried this supplement years ago with great success. More recently, GERD has returned and so I have again started on a Betaine HCI regimen with Pepsin. I will update this post as my experiment progresses.

Here is a link describing how increasing stomach acid may tighten the sphincter.

Why Does GERD Occur?

The following article link below may offer several reasons why GERD occurs, including: diet, stress, medications, age, bacterial infection, zinc deficiency, and stomach surgery.

As we age, hydrochloric acid production for the stomach declines (Hypochlorhydria), and there is further increased risk once we turn 65. (2)

Potential Remedies for GERD

Here are two links showing some of the most popular and researched natural remedies for GERD:

How Some People Have Used Betaine HCI for Acid Reflux

This study shows how Betaine HCl is used for Gastroesophageal Reflux.

Where to Buy Betaine HCl

Here is a link to a well-rated, inexpensive betaine hcl product on Amazon.

NOW Supplements, Betaine HCl 648 mg, Vegetarian Formula, Digestive Support*, 120 Veg Capsules

Since my current experiment taking Betaine HCl with Pepsin is still in progress, I will report back as soon as I find out if the supplement is as effective as the last time I used it years ago effectively to relieve GERD and related symptoms.

Homeopathic Remedies for GERD

Although hydrochloric acid is produced naturally for the stomach, some people do not do well with the addition of Betaine HCI and in those cases, there are other remedies such as Homeopathy, which is generally very well tolerated.

Homeopathic preparations for GERD include: Natrum Phosphorica, Iris Versicolor, Robinia, Nux Vomica, Phosphorus, Lycopodium, and Carbo Veg.

Related Links:

Bill Thompson's GERD Protocol
Effective Natural Remedies for GERD Relief - Holistic Approach
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux Relief

Art's Gerd Protocol Update

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Art (California) on 06/18/2021 2089 posts

So this is the update to my GERD experiment that I promised as soon as my experiment was complete and it is now complete!

What I found out this time is that my condition was worse than last time I had GERD years ago. That time I was able to get by with less Betaine w/Pepsin tablets in order to strengthen the esophageal sphincter muscle group to prevent food and acid from back flowing into the esophagus. This time it required more pills for a slightly longer period of time. I started this experiment at the beginning of February 2021.

I was using capsules that contained 325 mg of Betaine each and as I titrated my dose upward, I ended up having to go up to 8 capsules at dinner before I felt the burn from to much Betaine and I immediately neutralized it with baking soda water and went down to 7 capsules with meals. This was more Betaine than I had ever had to take the first time I used this method and it was not very convenient to have to take 7 capsules with meals so I got some 650 mg tablets and took 3 of these with heavy meals and 2 with light meals.

Within a few weeks, I was able to reduce the dose to 2 tablets with heavy meals and 1 tablet with light meals. After a couple more weeks I was able to reduce to 1 tablet with all meals and in about another 2 weeks I was down to 1 tablet with dinner only. Every time I reduced the dose it was because I was starting to feel the "Betaine burn" and each time I felt it, I immediately drank water with baking soda in it to neutralize the excess acid. Soon I found that even one tablet of Betaine gave me the burn and I stopped taking it.

This is very similar to what happened when I used Betaine to get rid of GERD years ago and this time it worked again, but it required more Betaine than last time. I plan to keep Betaine HCI w/Pepsin on hand for use when I eat a large meal that includes meat just to help keep the esophageal sphincter muscle group strong and avoid the return of GERD.

I waited this long to update because I wanted to be sure the effects would be lasting and they appear to be because I no longer have GERD nor do I need to take the Betaine any more!


Replied by Mona

I'm trying to figure out if I have low stomach acid. How do I know for sure? Is the gastrin test any good? I've read that HCL Betaine will create problems if your stomach lining is inflamed. What to do? Thanks.

2089 posts


Ask your doctor to test the pH of your stomach. If it is below three, you do not have low stomach acid. If it is 3 or higher you have low stomach acid or hypochloridria. There are simpler ways to check for stomach acid, but they are not going to be as accurate.


Melatonin + Increased Hydration

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ellen (Portland, OR) on 12/19/2021

I was on PPI drugs for over a year for GERD. The GERD gave me syncope, coughing, and dizziness related to low blood pressure. The drug only made things worse by suppressing the acid. I had some improvement from choosing alkaline foods over acid ones, and paying attention to food combining, but I could still get very ill from even alkaline foods, including GERD cures aloe Vera juice and apple cider vinegar.

Nothing worked until I did two things. I took liquid melatonin once every day and I made sure I was drinking at least 3 pints of water a day, shooting for 4 when I could. I put a pinch or two or unrefined salt into each pint. This helps to prevent low blood pressure and helps the body to not just urinate out the water right away.

After a couple of weeks (relief/success was instant! ), I got off of the antacid drug (I chose to taper because it virulently I suppressed acid when you try to kick the drug suddenly), and I have never had a return of the problem that made me a basket case afraid to go out (in case I fainted; the acid was always making me feel hot and very dizzy, with a wildly erratic pulse). I went to a general practitioner and several specialists, but it was only by doing my own Internet research and implementing the EarthCiunic suggestion of melatonin (plus following proper hydration practice for someone of my weight and activity level) that I was helped.

I am completely cured of the issue. I no longer lie awake with GERD/cardiac distress, though I do urinate three times a night because of the water I drink. I am 78 years of age and an athlete. Thank you, EarthClinic, and Art from California who posted about melatonin as a GERD cure!