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Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux

Last Modified on Jul 11, 2015


Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux
Apple Cider Vinegar for acid reflux is one of the most effective and popular old-timers home remedies. ACV's pH balancing abilities, as well as its vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients make it a fast and effective natural treatment for GERD and acid reflux.

Acid reflux is a common condition that can produce many different symptoms. This condition is also known as GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease and an estimated 60 million Americans suffer symptoms once a month or more. Symptoms of acid reflux may include stomach discomfort (dyspepsia), heartburn and regurgitation. The latter produces the feeling of acid backing up in your mouth or throat. This often produces a bitter or sour taste.

There are many medications that are taken for acid reflux, but one inexpensive natural remedy that over 250 Earth Clinic readers have found effective is apple cider vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar is a traditional remedy that is used to treat many ailments. The natural acidity of apple cider vinegar actually helps to reduce stomach acidity and also aids in the breaking down of fats. This helps to relieve conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux. The best way to take apple cider vinegar is to use two or three teaspoons in a glass of water prior to meals. Raw and organic apple cider vinegar is preferable.

Continue reading below for the wonderful user reviews on this fast-acting natural remedy for acid reflux from our contributors! Tried this remedy? Please share your feedback!


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User Ratings

YEA (272)
84%
NAY (18)
6%
BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS (9)
3%
BETTER BUT NOT CURED (13)
4%
WORKED TEMPORARILY (4)
1%
WARNING! (1)
0%
SIDE EFFECTS (7)
2%

User Reviews

Apple Cider Vinegar   272  18   

Posted by Rohit (New Delhi, India) on 06/20/2015

[YEA]  I have been using ACV, one tablespoon with a full glass of water once a day - I am happy to say that this dose is adequate for the acid reflux that I was having.

Another method to prevent reflux is to have half an apple before going to bed with some honey.

Posted by Justin (New York, US) on 03/22/2015

Hi I was experiencing acid reflux for a long time. I believe it to be caused by years of taking glucosamine, omega 3, vitamin c, bayer 81 low dose, calcium and vitamin every day for years on an empty stomach. I had recently stopped the aspirin but I also drank a lot of coffee and ate late at night. Anyway last Sunday I started getting a burning pain in my stomach on the right side between my navel and my breast bone. By Monday it was still there worsening when I ate. I went to the doctor, he had me do a cat scan and sonogram. Both came back negative. He started me on opremezol and told me I neEd to have an endoscopy to see what's wrOng. I took it for two days and stopped because I did not like the way it made me feel and was reading how bad it is for you.

I tried the vinegar last night and today. I took it when I woke up. I was fine until noon after lunch. I started getting a lot of burning but I am not sure what caused it. I took some vitamin d and had a juice of greens with some ginger. My stomach was burning like crazy but all of a sudden it just stopped and now I feel better than I have in a very long time. Should I continue with the vinegar? Did it burn because it's just starting to work and now it's ok.? I am so afraid to do more harm to my body. But I am liking all I am reading on here and feel so much better right now. Is vitamin d bad when your stomach is like this? I heard vitamin d deficiency causes reflux. I also took the vinegar teaspoon straight last night and my teeth feel sensitive today. Are they damaged? Please help.

Posted by Jacqueline (London, England) on 02/11/2015

[WORKED TEMPORARILY]  Hi all,

I think this site is wonderful, and I was hoping someone might be able to help me. I've had acid reflux/silent reflux/LPR for the last three months, it started with a flu bug but I carried on experiencing a burning sensation in my throat along with heartburn, dry mouth and a bad taste. The doctor thinks it is caused by reflux. The doctor gave me omeprazole which I took for a week which made the problem worse. I believe that I have low stomach acid rather than too much.

I started taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with warm water and honey in the morning and evening which helped tremendously, however it seems to have become less effective, and I'm finding that I have to take more and more to get any relief.

My question is, am I taking it correctly? Should I take it with meals or on an empty stomach? Can too much ACV cause problems? I was so relieved to find some relief, but now I'm worried that I'm back to square one.

Replied by Mama To Many Donate

Tennessee
02/12/2015
Dear Jacqueline,

It is discouraging that it seems to be taking more and more vinegar to get the results. I tend to think that you would get to a point of too much of a good thing. I personally would not want to be taking more than 4 T. Ideally, 2 T. per day or less.

When I was using ACV for reflux in pregnancy, I just had some ACV in my water and sipped it all day. I would tend to think it is best taken between meals, but you may need to just try different things and see how you do.

Have you tried other things? Making sure you are well hydrated, limiting things like coffee and soft drinks, eating less processed foods, smaller meals, etc. are all things that could be helpful.

Is it possible that your gall bladder is involved in any way? When I have a gall bladder flare up, I have reflux symptoms. Recently, when I had the flu, I had a terrible flare up that responded to nothing and had me about out of my skin in pain. I used a castor oil pack over my gall bladder area with a heating pad and the pain resolved in 20 minutes. I kept the castor oil pack on for several hours.

Just some thoughts. I hope you be feeling very well soon.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Jamie
Uk
02/28/2015
I've been having GERD symptoms for 6 months and have been on daily PPI since my diagnosis. I also had a camera inspection 3 months ago that found a hiatus hernia and a tiny (microscopic) instance of Barretts. Fortunately, from the biopsies, the cells appear normal and are not dangerous.

But, taking PPI, trying Lanzoprazole and Omeprazole to ever increasing dosages (now 2x30mg per day), my symptoms are no better.

I am generally fit and healthy, have a good diet and consider myself fortunate that I don't suffer from some of the more extreme symptoms that some here appear to. I can sleep right through at night and have only noticed an acid taste in my mouth recently. My main symptoms are a feeling of congestion in oesophagus, tightness of throat and a cold tongue.

I am strongly considering stopping the PPI medication today and starting the ACV recipe, but before I go against my specialists advice of PPI treatment, I wondered if anyone has had a camera inspection before and after self-medicating with ACV, and whether there had been any change in the cells in the oesophagus? Basically, I don't want to take ACV if it only masks the symptoms, but is still doing harm and turns the tiny amount of Barretts in to something serious.

If anyone can offer any insight, I would be grateful. Thanks.

Replied by Amaryliss
Ireland
03/24/2015
Hi, I had a serious reflux and the helicobacter, ulcers, doctors put me on nexium which ruined my body, this sucks the important acid from your body. I went on a research trail, and came across a fabulous book called 'hard to stomach'. I started on L Glutamine, and took a good mineral supplement before I took these tablets I had a camera the doctor told me the scars would not heal, and even taking antibiotics might not help, then I started on a strict no fat diet and took l glutamine and minerals when I went back to get the camera the doctor said he was amazed the stomach he seen before was not the same the ulcers were gone and my reflux healed. Best of luck
Replied by Jr
Ks, US
03/30/2015
What mineral supps are you using?? ie magnesium-zinc??

Posted by Kyle (Vero Beach) on 11/21/2014

[YEA]  I am 26 years old and have suffered with acid reflux for the past 4-5 months. I tried just about every drug available, Zantac 150, Tums, Tagamet, Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Zegerid, Famotidine, and Carafate. Nothing worked effectviely for more than a week or two. The best medication I found was Zegerid and it began to stop working about 20 days into the treatment. My friend's wife is really into homeopathic remedies and he told me that she got him to used apple cider vinegar when he has heartburn and it worked and I should try it. At the time my Zegerid was working fine, but that upcoming weekend it began not working and I had bad reflux for 3 nights. On Monday morning I went to the store and got some apple cider vinegar because I had taken 4 1000 mg tums, and two acid reducers the night before to no avail and I was desperate. After just 1 tablespoon of ACV I felt dramatically better. I began to take it before and after meals and my symtoms were held at bay. For the next three mornings I woke up with no reflux but still a sour feeling in my stomach, on the fourth morning I woke up with neither and felt great. I still take the ACV before most meals and sometime afterwards and am happy to report that my acid reflux is finally under control!

Replied by Wayne
Harbour Grace, Nl
01/07/2015
My friend you are so right , , , it works wonders! but on times when I eat the wrong snack going to bed and I have no ACV I have used the old black fish and chips vinegar and it worked instantly; Sometimes, out of desperation, I have downed the vinegar from bottled Garlic, herring and other preserved products and got instant relief.
Replied by Julie
Hudson, Wi
02/12/2015
I just started this today, because my Omeprazole is no longer working for me. Too soon to know if it's helping. I have one question. Should I stop taking the Omeprazole if I continue, or use both.
Replied by Bill
San Fernando
02/12/2015
1165 Posts
Hi Julie...ACV is good for many things and it will certainly help with reflux symptoms. Your problems are probably caused by low stomach acidity -- not too much acidity.

But ACV is not the cure for reflux. I define a cure as when you take a substance or nutrient for a while and your symptoms go away. And then, when you stop taking that nutrient, the problem does not come back. If you take ACV then you are just treating the symptoms by just increasing stomach acidity -- but you are not treating the core reason for your reflux problem, which is lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. So that's why when you stop taking the ACV the reflux usually comes back because you still have the low stomach acid problem.

When you supplement ACV or even ordinary vinegar you are simply adding or increasing the acidity of the gastric acid. This certainly helps to increase the acidity of the stomach but doesn't actually heal your problem -- which is due to lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

So do you want to heal your problem completely or do you prefer to take ACV for the rest of your life to accommodate your symptoms ?

If you have low stomach acid then taking Omeprozole -- a gastric acid inhibitor -- will lower your stomach acid levels even more. This is probably the worst thing you could take if you already have low stomach acid problems.

If you want to actually confirm whether you have low stomach acid(causing the reflux problem) then you should ask your doctor for the Heidelberg Test. This test measures the actual strength of your stomach acid.

To cure your stomach acid problem you should follow the protocol shown here on EC.

Posted by Gena (San Fran, California) on 03/28/2014

[YEA]  I have been trying apple cider vinegar for acid reflux the past 2 weeks and I have to give it 2 thumbs up! I take 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water a half hour before eating. Wow, what a difference in my digestion and no more acid reflux! Oh and people are asking if I've lost weight. Guess I look better.

Posted by Gina (Montana, Usa) on 12/11/2013

[YEA]  Just wanted to confirm that apple cider vinegar for acid reflux is amazing! I read about it on Earth Clinic a few weeks ago and have been taking just 1 teaspoon on water before my dinner meal. I have no more acid reflux problems!

Replied by Vanessa
Philippines
12/11/2013
Hi! Do you have to use warm water with ACV for acid reflux? I have been suffering for a month now and the medicines I tried like omeprazole and pantopraloze only made my feeling worse after a temporary relief. I always feel week all day, would like to vomit, I can't wait and I have nausea. I tried 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water upon waking up this morning and it has already improved my condition. I pray that this would be the cure for me. -)
Replied by Gina
Montana, Usa
12/14/2013
Hi Vanessa, I have been using both warm and room temperature water with the apple cider vinegar. Now that it's winter, I am craving hot water with ACV! Good luck to you. I truly hope it works for your acid reflux.

Posted by Kay (Jax, Fla, Usa) on 12/08/2013

[YEA]  I have been reading this website for a couple of years now and I read about all the great things ACV does. Well, I tried this and it does work. I was diagnosed with Acid Reflux after an endostomy. I was put on Omoprofhil(not sure of spelling). After taking the medicines for about 4 months, I decided to try the ACV. I put a 1/2 teaspoon in a 1/2 glass of water and drink it in the morning and before bed. I have been doing this now for two months and no longer to I have to sleep on elevated pillows, I have not heartburn or belching. Its been fantastic! Just wanted everyone to know, it does work.

Posted by Zark (Emerald City, The Land Of Oz) on 11/07/2013

[YEA]  ACV works! I started taking ACV for my prostate problems (worked for that too) and then noticed the reflux had gone away too! Wow how cool is that, what an amazing little home remedy this is. I'm using about 1 and a half tablespoons in juice once or twice a day.

Replied by Zark
Emerald City, The Land Of Oz
11/07/2013
Make sure to start with a smaller amount of ACV and build up. Also be sure to mix with juice or water and not to take it straight, as evidently some folks have trouble with the acidity.

Posted by Christine (Plymouth, Conn) on 03/25/2013

I too thought that ACV seemed an unlikely solution to reflux. I have been on all the meds and they actually seemed to make it worse or I had side effects. So I started to do my own research.

My chiropracter explained that the ACV actually can balance the acid in our stomachs. At this point I am ready to try anything.. Like to warm up the vinegar, honey and water like a tea. Am also trying aloe.

Posted by Kelitababy (Yucaipa, Ca, Usa) on 10/10/2012

[WARNING!]  I had heard how beneficial ACV was for acid reflux and other things, so I bought bottle from a health food store, went out to my car, opened it up and took a big swig. Disaster struck, I couldn't breath, the strong fumes from undiluted ACV force the epiglottis to close and I could not breath, I thought I was going to die right there, but finally recovered. Lesson learned.

Replied by Cali
Usa
10/02/2014
It's never recommended to take ACV straight. It's highly acidic, which is why you had a bad reaction. Always dilute it with water (e.g. 1 tsp per 8 oz of water).
Replied by Kyle
Vero Beach, FL
12/15/2014
[YEA]   Yea, taking a straight gulp of Apple Cider Vinegar is like gulping a glass of lemon juice. I am glad to hear you survived, that was a courageous move!
Replied by Bryan
Texas, US
12/27/2014
[YEA]   hahaha! Thats awesome, no worrys I tried the same thing. The minute it hit my tongue I spit and was having difficulty breathing. Try mixing it with water.. but I just found it funny cause I made the same mistake lol

Posted by Eddors12 (Wheat Ridge, Co/usa) on 09/22/2012

I have been using ACV for over a year to successfully control my acid reflux I take 2tbs. morning and evening I was diagnosed with acid reflux and did not want to take any more meds. In my case mine is being caused by prescriptions, which im confident I will be able to go off of eventually. If you are on meds your body does not produce enough acid thereby causing the symptoms, Just for the record I am 65 yrs old and 57 lbs overweight which I am now working to rectify. If anyone has any questions please contact me thru this site and I will reply I am on it regularly.

Replied by Michael
Lexington, Ky
11/12/2012
I have acid reflux and take prescription meds which does not seem to do anything. Is apple cider vinegar safe and effective. How much should you take and when? Please help, I am really desperate.

Posted by Tina (Odessa, Texas) on 09/12/2012

Do I continue taking my reflux meds while trying ACV for severe acid reflux.

Replied by Tina
Houston, Usa
09/12/2012
Tina, Lifelong acid reflux can be cured by eating probiotic rich foods like home-made kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and lacto-fermented veggies. Kefir especially is incredible since it goes into the gut and re-colonizes by adding more good bacteria to your body. Much needed!

See here http://culturedfoodlife.com/ to make cheaply at home, or buy BUBBIES brand sauerkraut and dill pickles since they are loaded with probiotics.

Take ACV too.

You should feel brand spanking new in no time.

Tina

Posted by Nel (Manila, Philippines) on 08/08/2012

Bill from San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines- Is there anyway we could talk? Would want to chat and gain more information from you about this condition I have and which has taken over my life. I stay and live in Manila. It would be much appreciated to hear from you. Have been suffering from really really bad laryngeal-pharyngeal reflux or silent reflux.

Replied by Deo
Quezon City, None
10/13/2012
hi po.. Anu po gusto nyo itanong about sa (GERD)?? im from philippines to! ^_^

Posted by Sealbeachluvr (Antelope Valley, Ca) on 07/03/2012

Replied by Bill
San Fernando, Philippines
07/03/2012
1165 Posts
Hi Sealbeachluvr... The reason ACV has worked to help with your Reflux problem is because ACV is acid. To help you understand this, a short simple description on how digestion works will help.

* When food enters the stomach, the hydrochloric acid secreted by the stomach normally works to kill all the bacteria and the protein-digesting stomach enzymes(pepsin) partially digest the food with the muscles around the stomach helping to mash and breakup the food. The purpose of this stage is to fully prepare the food for the next stage -- main stage duodenal digestion in the upper intestines.

* When the stomach acid is at the correct strength -- and only when it is at the right acid strength -- a hormone is released into the blood called secretin which in turn triggers the secretion of the pancreatic enzymes in a solution of bicarbonate(alkaline) into the duodenum for main stage digestion.

* If the stomach acid or food chyme mixture in the stomach is not at the correct acid strength (low acid) then the pancreatic enzymes and juices will not be triggered and released for main stage digestion(alkaline) in the duodenum and the acid food mixture (chyme) will just sit there in the duodenum stagnating, rotting and fast breeding bad pathogens with associated spread of pathogens into the upper intestines leading to further problems later. This also causes reflux.

* Another twist to this problem is if your body also lacks bicarbonates. As already described, your pancreas needs stores of bicarbonates to neutralize the acid food coming into the duodenum from the stomach. So if you are lacking bicarbonate stores, the acid food passing into the duodenum will not be neutralized and, again, acid intestine and reflux will be the result.

Therefore two things become apparent:

* You must ensure that your stomach acid levels are at their correct strength and amounts for proper and complete digestion to occur.

* You must have adequate stores of bicarbonates in the pancreatic juices to fully neutralize the acid chyme or food when it passes from the stomach into the duodenum for main stage digestion.

It is also fairly obvious to me that the reason ACV helps against acid reflux is because it is acid -- so this helps to increase your stomach acidity which is what you need to do.

You have already said that your doctor gave you some pills for your reflux. Generally doctors give PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) which actually work to massively inhibit stomach acid because doctors always seem to incorrectly assume that reflux is caused by too much stomach acid, when in fact the direct opposite is true in 90% of reflux problems -- which is usually caused by too little acid in the stomach -- as I have already described above.

To help remedy your problem:

* Take betaine hydrochloride tablets at mealtimes. The way to find the correct dose of betaine(and thereby find the correct stomach acid strength) is to increase the dose slowly by one tablet at mealtimes until there is an acid feeling. Then cut back by one or two tablets. Later you will again get an acid feeling so cut back again. Do this until you no longer have to take the betaine hydrochloride tablets -- your stomach acid is now normal.

* Take pancreatin enzymes to ensure proper digestion in the duodenum.

* Take 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt with water once or twice a day outside mealtimes. The chloride from the Sea Salt helps to generate hydrochloric acid (HCl) which may be lacking in your stomach. Sea Salt also provides your body with other useful minerals.

* Take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate(Arm & Hammer brand is fine) with water a half an hour after you finish each of your daily meals when all the food has moved out of the stomach into the duodenum. This greatly aids alkaline main stage digestion in the duodenum and also helps to replenish bicarbonate stores in the pancreas. This will also act to reduce the reflux and will also help to reduce the burning acid pain.

* To increase your appetite take B Complex vitamins everyday.

Replied by Windhill Whistler
Rocky Face, Ga
07/13/2012
Why have several people said they drink the avc and water with a straw?
Replied by Nat
Woodstock, Va
10/05/2012
Warning: Not everyone who has Acid Reflux or GERD suffers from "too little stomach acid, " which is the reason that is usually given for taking ACV. Some people simply DO have TOO MUCH acid production, and ACV will make it worse. I tried ACV and it never did anything but give me heartburn and increased reflux.

The truth is, pouring acid on top of acid is NOT always a good idea, no matter what anyone here says. If your problem is excess stomach acid, your condition will get worse. Just take the omeprazole, fo heaven's sake. :)

Replied by Sherri
Charleston, Illinois
10/08/2012
Absolutely! I tried the ACV (the mother kind) and it made my problem much worse. I have to take nexium because of a stomach surgery I had a few years ago. I have plenty of acid believe me... Lol. Acid reflux is absolutely no fun, especially if it happens in the middle of the night and goes up your nostrils or into your brochials. That happened to me two nights ago even with the Nexium that I take.

I am now onto a few things that I am trying for another condition. One of the things I am using is Tumeric and first tried it last night. Last night was the first night without any reflux symptoms at all! I am hoping I stumbled onto something that also works for my stomach.

Replied by Marisa
Houston
10/24/2013
Hi I read your response to the other person, and I have so many questions for you, I was diagnosed with acid reflux like five weeks ago, and I am taking Omeprazole, I don't feel much better, I have no burning sensation or heartburn but I feel like I have food all day long in my troath, I have cut on diet coke and caffeine and try to eat smaller portions. But I don't feel much better, How do I know if I have low acid or high acid? should I just try the apple cider vinegar and see if it works, another person said that not everyone has low acid, so I am confused, what do you recomend I should do? I am really desperate of course.

Thank you in advance for your help. Marisa

Posted by Reginald (Rowlett, Tx) on 05/17/2012

[YEA]  I really had very bad gerd and having problems swallowing thick food I heard about Apple Cider Vinegar and the first time I took it it burned in my stomach. I seen a change in my acid reflux the very next day and it didnt burn anymore. I noticed a big increase in my energy level lol and I mean I have lots of energy now. I dont feel the burning in my stomach and have stopped taking proliscec. I take ACV in the morning and night before bed. 2tbs in 1cup of water and it smells and taste bad but the results for me are worth it. I'll be taking this stuff for the rest of my life. O yea it has really helped with my constipation also.

Replied by Sharon
Pittsford, Mi
02/02/2013
This is in response to Reginald from Texas. Yes, the ACV and water tastes bad, but add some honey to taste and it actually tastes pretty good. Honey is very benificial. I put 1 tablespoon of ACV, the mother kind, to 8 oz. of spring water. I heat about 4 oz. and then add 1 teaspoon of honey. (I save the other 4 oz. for later in the day. ) The honey will then dissolve better. Enjoy! :)

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