Before I tell my whole backstory, I want you to know, I have found a way to manage my GERD and it can definitely work for other people, too. Two years ago, I found this treatment, and my GERD symptoms went away completely (I could drink coffee, alcohol, eat spicy food again). I'm back to having bad acid reflux symptoms-- but that's only because I was supposed to take the stuff on an "as needed" basis, and instead, I ignored whenever I felt slight symptoms again. So it's my fault. When I was 18, I started feeling scary pain in my chest on a daily basis, and went to a doctor. After getting an upper GI, I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, gastritis, and GERD. At that time, I was put on Protonix, and I took that for an entire year. After I felt like my symptoms weren't coming back, I stopped taking it one day and felt fine. A couple years later (when I was 22), I had a major toothache that required a root canal-- and I was taking the maximum amount of ibuprofen for a couple weeks. This aggravated my esophagus and my GERD symptoms came back full force (pain in the chest, bloating, rawness and a lump sensation in my throat, regurgitating food...). I went to a doctor, and since my insurance wasn't great, I was told to take 2 Prilosec a day for as long as I had symptoms. I followed through with this for 2 months and had absolutely no relief. One day, I went in to a licensed acupuncturist who practices chinese medicine, for something unrelated (allergies). I was nervous about it and it was my first time every trying alternative medicine. During my consultation, he asked me a lot of questions and found out I had acid reflux. He told me, "I can get rid of that. If you want, I'll put you on some herbs and you'll get better." I was really skeptical, but since the pills I had been taking had no effect, I thought it wouldn't hurt to try, especially when he was making such a strong claim regarding its effectiveness. He gave me this GROSS powdered mixture of herbs, which I had to take twice a day dissolved in tea. It made my blood pressure go up, so he also put me on a liquid herb mixture to counteract that, which worked. After just a week and a half of taking the stuff (which is all natural-- herbs, and ground cuttlefish bone), I stopped getting hearburn and the other related symptoms. Over the next couple months, I was gradually weaned off the strong gross powdered mixture (I took a couple other less intense herb mixtures, ending with one in a capsule form), and one day, the Chinese doctor told me I could stop taking anything. I was totally better. I could exercise with no symptoms, eat whatever I wanted... it was amazing. However, he did tell me I should take the capsule form herbal mixture whenever I started to feel symptoms again (which is a reality, having a hiatal hernia). Unfortunately, I ignored that piece of advice. Now, a couple years later (I'm 25) after having symptoms once in a while only during stressful times in my life, I let the acid reflux get REALLY bad again-- back to where it was before. So finally, I went back to the same Chinese medicine doctor a week ago and started taking the gross powdered stuff again. I'm supposed to take it for another week before I go in to see him again. But, I can tell you that I'm already feeling relief again! So much so that a couple days ago I started drinking coffee again and eating fried foods, and quickly realized it's still too early to do that... my esophagus needs to heal first. I just wanted to share all of this, because I never thought I would be the "kind of person" who takes herbal stuff to treat a chronic illness like this. But it worked better for me than anything else I've ever tried, and actually cured my heartburn for a couple years, during which I didn't need to take anything. And I fully believe it will work again, once I've finished the cycle of treatment again.