If you are suffering from acid reflux, apple cider vinegar is something you should definitely try.
Apple cider vinegar is not an overnight cure for chronic acid reflux symptoms. However, over time it may help you heal acid reflux and get your life back!
Make sure to always dilute the apple cider vinegar with water. Otherwise you may feel more pain or you may feel sick.
Try combining the apple cider vinegar treatment with other natural home remedies explained below. You may heal even more quickly!
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is essentially fermented apple liquid.
Bacteria and yeast are added to liquid from crushed apples and fermented for a long time. During the fermentation process, first the apple liquid turns to alcohol, then into vinegar (1).
Apple cider vinegar is known as the miracle vinegar.
People use apple cider vinegar for many purposes including:
- improving general health
- helping with weight loss
- cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- for cooking
Causes of Acid Reflux
If you have acid reflux, your heartburn mostly occurs immediately after meals and the pain would be worse if you lie down.
If your pain occurs only several hours after eating, you may have gallbladder disease, which may feel very similar to acid reflux.
What Is Happening In Your Body?
When you have acid reflux, a muscular valve that is supposed to prevent food and stomach acid from coming back up from the stomach is not working properly (2).
This causes your stomach acid to enter your esophagus. Your esophagus cannot tolerate the stomach acid, and this causes pain.
The following behaviors and conditions create more risk of getting acid reflux (3).
- Drinking excessive soda, coffee, tea, or alcohol
- Eating certain foods you do not tolerate well such as very spicy foods, fatty foods, chocolate, and citrus
- Eating immediately before sleep
- Certain prescription and over the counter drugs including antibiotics and pain killers
- Being overweight
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Acid Reflux?
Due to the fermentation process, apple cider vinegar ends up with healthy elements such as acetic acid, catechin, caffeic acid, and gallic acid. These elements have powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that help with acid reflux.
Another way apple cider vinegar helps with acid reflux is by providing acid directly to your stomach. This may sound painful to you, but it works because acid reflux is often times caused by too little acid in the stomach (4).
Over time, apple cider vinegar may help to improve the general acid levels in your stomach.
The pectin in apple cider vinegar also may help with any stomach spasms caused by acid reflux.
How To Take Apple Cider Vinegar To Help Acid Reflux
Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with warm water.
You can add honey to make it taste better. If possible, use raw honey since that in itself has nutritional benefits.
You can drink the mixture at any time, up to 3 times a day.
If you ever get tired of drinking the mixture or want to try something different, you can make apple cider vinegar salad dressings. Below is one delicious recipe.
Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
- ¼ cup organic, raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw honey, optional
- 1 minced garlic clove
- salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients well and enjoy. Store in a sealed container in a refrigerator and mix well before each use.
Adapted from this recipe.
Which Apple Cider Vinegar Is Best For Acid Reflux?
To get the maximum benefits, use apple cider vinegar that is:
- organic, meaning the product was grown without any chemicals or additives
- raw, meaning the product was not heated
- unprocessed, meaning the product was not processed which may alter the original form and elements of the product
- unfiltered, meaning the vinegar was not filtered to remove particles or sediments called the “mother” to make it look clear
How can you tell if the apple cider vinegar is organic, raw, unprocessed, and unfiltered?
First of all, make sure the product has the “USDA Organic” seal, which requires adherence to the strictest standards available today. Only organic manufacturers who meet these strictest standards are allowed to use this seal.
Second, make sure the apple cider vinegar looks murky and has substances that look like cobwebs floating at the bottom. These substances are called the “mother” and contain the healthy bacteria, enzymes and proteins (5) that help with acid reflux.
Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
Being an acid, apple cider vinegar may erode your tooth enamel over time. If you drink apple cider vinegar frequently, be sure to use a straw.
Excessive and long-term use of apple cider vinegar may lower your bone density, and may lower your potassium levels.
Apple cider vinegar may interact with certain medications including those for:
- heart disease
Other Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has numerous other health benefits (5) including:
- ability to increase good bacteria in your gut
- ability to help with weight management
- ability to balance blood sugar
- ability to reduce oxidative damage with its antioxidants
- ability to fight cancer cells
Other Remedies to Try for Acid Reflux
Below are other home remedies you can try for acid reflux. You can combine them with the apple cider vinegar treatment.
Baking soda may work as an emergency solution for pain from acid reflux (6). Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda in ½ glass of water.
Aloe vera juice helps heal the lining of your stomach and reduce inflammation. Drink ½ cup before each meal.
Probiotic supplements will introduce tons of good bacteria in your gut. These good bacteria will help fight off the bad bacteria that may be causing the acid reflux.
Other good sources of probiotics are fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi.
Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antioxidant properties. Ginger will help fight the bad bacteria that may be causing the acid reflux.
Cut off the ginger skin and cut off 2 to 3 slices of ginger. Place them in 2 cups of hot water, and let them steep for 30 minutes.
Tips When Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux
- Start with a very diluted, small quantity. Increase the volume and frequency slowly.
- Do not use as an emergency solution for pain
- You will not see an overnight result, so be patient and continue drinking diluted apple cider vinegar
- If drinking apple cider vinegar frequently, use a straw to avoid damaging the tooth enamel
- Stick to the recommended dosage and frequency
- If you are trying to get off acid reflux medication, it is recommended you do so gradually, under the supervision of a physician
(1) Wikipedia; Apple cider vinegar; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_cider_vinegar
(2) Dr. Mercola; Heartburn Drugs Increase Mortality — How to Safely Address Indigestion: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/07/19/how-to-safely-address-heartburn.aspx
(3) WebMD; What Is Acid Reflux Disease?: https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/what-is-acid-reflux-disease#1-2
(4) Dr. Mercola; Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits and Uses: https://articles.mercola.com/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits-uses.aspx
(5) Dr. Axe; 20 Unique Apple Cider Vinegar Uses + 6 Major Health Benefits: https://draxe.com/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/
(6) Healthline; Can Store-Bought Baking Soda Really Treat Acid Reflux?: https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/baking-soda