Ten Tips for Esophageal Spasms

| Modified on Oct 16, 2020
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Esophageal spasms are a painful and often scary condition with an unclear cause. Natural remedies for esophageal spasms include aloe, cayenne, and modified eating habits.

The esophagus is a muscle that normally contracts to move food from your mouth to your stomach. Spasms of this muscle can cause severe pain that may even feel like a heart attack. Spasms are often triggered by certain foods, stress, or other medical conditions like GERD.

Remedies to Use During An Attack

Cayenne Pepper

While for some, spicy foods can trigger esophageal spasms, for others, cayenne pepper actually brings relief to the spasms. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to 6 ounces of juice and sip it slowly.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is soothing and can be taken warm or cool, depending on what is most soothing to you. Some people find that very hot or very cold drinks can trigger an attack, so do avoid extreme temperatures in your tea.


Keep a small bottle of water in your purse or in your back pack. If you experience an attack, slowly sip on your water. Take slow deep breaths between sips.

Apple Cider Vinegar

A tonic made with water and apple cider vinegar is helpful to the digestion. Add 1 tablespoon of raw and organic apple cider vinegar to 12 ounces of water. Sip the tonic slowly during an attack. You may find that consuming this tonic once or twice a day will prevent attacks in the first place.

Remedies to Prevent an Attack


Aloe vera is commonly used for digestive problems and may help with esophageal spasms. A few tablespoons of the juice of aloe vera can be taken before meals to prevent spasms.

Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is commonly used to provide a natural form of concentrated nutrients, including magnesium, to the body. Because of the nutrients and magnesium, blackstrap molasses is helpful to prevent muscle spasms from a variety of causes.


Magnesium is critical for proper muscle function. The esophagus is a muscle and it needs magnesium to work properly. Magnesium is also a mineral needed to help muscles relax. It is commonly used for muscle spasms and  muscular problems.

Figure out Your Triggers

Triggers for esophageal spasms differ from person to person. For some, bread will cause the problem. For others, bread will relieve the problem. Caffeine or alcohol can trigger an attack. Stress, fast eating and partially chewed food can trigger attacks.

Modify Your Eating Habits

Fast food societies are a breeding ground for a variety of health problems, including esophageal spasms. Not only is fast food very low in nutrition, it is generally eaten as its name implies - "fast." Eating quickly is terrible for your digestion and can cause esophageal spasms. Make an effort to slow down and enjoy your food. Chew it thoroughly. If you only have a short break to catch a bite, consider a kefir smoothie instead of a meal. Kefir smoothies are available at many grocery stores. Kefir is good for your digestion. It contains protein to keep you going for a while. Fruit kefir smoothies contain sugar, which helps if you need an immediate boost. Most importantly, the kefir provides nutrition to you quickly but does not need to be chewed. This reduces your risk of spasms, which are commonly caused by eating quickly and not chewing food adequately.

Get Your Health Under Control

Oftentimes esophageal spasms are companion to other health problems, especially digestive problems. Search out natural remedies for other health problems that you experience and your spasms may vanish without any additional effort.

Finally, do get a professional medical opinion, especially if you are experiencing an esophageal attack for the first time. Because the symptoms can mimic a heart attack or accompany a heart attack, it is critical that you know exactly what you are dealing with.

Do you have a natural remedy for esophageal spasms? Please send us some feedback.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Julie (Tn) on 10/18/2016 4 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I occasionally have esophageal spasms associated with acid reflux. Anyone who has experienced their esophagus suddenly going into spasms knows what an incredibly painful phenomenon it is; it also can be scary since it somewhat mimics cardiac chest pain. I have found no pattern as to when it happens, no particular foods to blame. (In fact, sometimes it happens on an empty stomach.)

So, cayenne pepper: I have found that cayenne pepper shuts this down - completely, and usually within a matter of seconds. I place a pinch of cayenne - sometimes even half a teaspoon or so - on the back of my tongue, let it sit there for a second and swallow very gradually. (Hard to explain but I hope that's clear! ) I just let it slowly go down my throat. Of course, this will make you cough like crazy, so have something to drink handy.

I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV (for those old enough to get that joke) and there may well be a number of different causes for esophageal spasm, so I can't vouch for this cure for everyone. But for me, it's so effective, simple, and cheap that I wanted to share with others who suffer this very painful condition and might be on the prescription drug pinwheel, trying one thing after another that may not work or may cause side effects. Gather your courage and give this a shot!

Cold Water

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Magnolia16 (Keller, Va) on 10/19/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Esophageal Spasms

A doctor's wife told me of this cure for these painful spasms: drink a glass of cold water. This works for me also and I just keep a bottle of water by the bed as my spasms occur mostly at night. But come to think of it, I have been doing the ACV and honey twice a day for about a month now, and have not had any spasms.

MSM, Lavender Oil

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Jergar (Ca) on 03/09/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, been diagnosed with esophageal spasms, after heart palpitations ruled out. Valium does work to stop them, but I didn't want to walk around like a zombie all day. I have suffered from GAD for years also. Started researching and remembered about a Lavender oil supplement for anxiety. After not sleeping for a few days went and got some and combined with 900mgs of MSM 3 times a day which is good for muscle spasms. This combo stopped the spasms within 8 hrs! Lavender oil is super for bad nerves and the MSM is also a calming agent and is good for the stomach and your body in general.

So this is my remedy . 1 or 2 soft gels of lavender oil, 900 mgs of MSM morning noon and night you can take with meals for a total of 2700mgs, get a good quality MSM . You can take more MSM if needed. I'm guessing that the spasms are caused by over active nerves. You can ask your DR. but they don't have a clue. Hope this helps someone out there believe me I have felt and feel your pain and anxiety.

Replied by Jergar

Update from JerGar on esophageal spasms.

Hi, I have added things to my remedy, have found that skullcap really calms my nerves and thus has an effect on esp spasms. I don't have that nervous feeling in my throat . Also started taking magnesium powder, fish oil and b vitamin complex. A plus is my anxiety level is way down also! I'm convinced a lot of illness is because of almost no nutritional value in our food, so we must supplement with vitamins and minerals. Good Luck to everyone!

Replied by Jergar Update2
(Yucaipa, Ca.)
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, this is a good one!

Was talking to my 84 year old mother told her about my esophageal spasms in my throat . Still having them once in a while. She said oh you have nervous throat. Take 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of raw honey let dissolve in your mouth and swallow slowly. Do it once a day. It's been 2 weeks haven't had a attack since! And no tightness or nervous feeling in my throat! So I've added this to my other remedies but have stopped the skullcap - too sedating.

Replied by Jergar Update# 3


While doing more research on ESP, came across another site where people were having the same symptoms as I have. Tightness in throat, spasms, fluttering heart etc. These symptoms are caused by the Vagus nerve. This nerve runs to every major organ in our body. It regulates the heart rate, stomach acid and the fight or flight response and other functions. If it is damaged or not toned it will cause the problems many of us have! Stress has a direct effect on this nerve! Lavender oil works directly one this nerve from what I've read, that's why it gives some relief.Lemon Balm also and it helps you retain gaba that keeps you calm. But you have to stimulate the Vagus nerve also. You can do this a few different ways. Go online and search Vagus nerve stimulation. The one I found that works best for me is this breathing exercise, Breath in and out through your nose. Breath in for 4 secs. Hold it for 4 secs. Breath out for 4 secs.Hold for 4 secs. Then repeat this cycle 6 to 12 times 3 times a day. I started this 1 day ago and felt better almost immediately! Had the best sleep with almost no fluttering feeling in my chest . By doing this exercise you are toning the Vagus nerve, hopefully with good nutrition, coco nut oil and raw honey that gave me relief from the throat spasms, herbs and the breathing exercise, life will return to normal. Please do the research and give this a try.

Replied by Inge

Hi Jergar,

Would you be so kind and tell us what brand name of lavender oil (all say for external use), B complex and MSM that you use? I have already spent soooo much on supplements that I rather try what you're using. Thank you so much in advance! Inge

Replied by Ove

These spasms can be extremely painful. I'll begin to use the breathing exercise mentioned by Jergar.
At least it makes you feel good when done.

According to Mayo Clinic a peppermint sweet may calm the nerves and prevent attacks.

Stress is bad, I've never had an attack being in motion, exercising (walking, cycling, jogging, badminton, tennis etc...).

The most painful ones coming at work...have to calm down :).

Replied by Matt
(Houston, TX)
5 out of 5 stars

I've had esophageal spasms for going on 10 years. I've had every kind of test and have taken all sorts of medicines because of incorrect diagnosis. I've been taking the MSM alone since I have yet to find lavender oil and in about 4 days I've had maybe a very light and short lasting spasm which quickly went away with some cool water. I'm taking 1000mg of MSM a day morning noon and night. Thanks for the tip! So far so good. Before I read your post the frequency was become debilitating and this has really helped me. Thanks again so much!!!