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GERD Remedies: Folk Medicine and Holistic Treatment

Last Modified on Mar 10, 2015

GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is an increasingly common digestive disorder that can result in extreme pain and damage to one's overall health. Usually, this condition is the result of some weakness or problem in the lower esophageal sphincter at the base of the esophagus, above the stomach. This valve should prevent the stomach's contents from returning up toward the mouth, but weakness or damage can make this seal faulty.

Acids escaping from the stomach can then burn the esophagus and throat, causing the common symptom of heartburn while often further worsening the leaky valve that initially caused the health issue. Sleep is often interrupted by the pain of the condition, and because lying down can exacerbate the upwards flow of stomach acids; and over the long-term GERD can result in a number of additional conditions, including a restriction of the throat from inflammation and even certain cancers. Natural remedies for GERD include changes in diet, especially acid/alkaline pH adaptations, and changes in physical posture, especially at night.

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Most Popular GERD Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar61
Pickle Juice11
Dietary Changes10
Multiple Remedies4

User Reviews

Table of Contents

Almonds   3  1   

Posted by Ellen (Tx, US) on 10/30/2014

[YEA]  I have been trying different things for acid reflux. Raw almonds worked better than anything else. I didn't even eat very many. I ate about a tablespoon of slivered almonds. Fantastic results! I will be buying more almonds tomorrow! Thank you.

Posted by Sharon (Lockport, IL) on 03/19/2008

[YEA]  Eating a handful of raw almonds stops GERD dead in its tracks. My daughter ate almonds throughout her pregnancy whenever heartburn hit. It worked for her also.

Replied by Nick
Johnstown, PA

[NAY]   See i have the opposite reaction, when i eat any kind of nuts, my acid reflux gets hella worse.
Replied by vanya
Frankfort, IN

[YEA]   ALMONDS have to be raw!!! If they are roasted your reflux will get worse! Other nuts will not work for reflux! I eat raw almonds every time when I feel the acid is comming back, and it works... thanks

Apple Cider Vinegar   61  4   

Posted by Cecilia (Nashua, NH) on 02/03/2015

[YEA]  This ACV is like a magic. I've been sick for more than three weeks now & I've been taking Prilosec for ulcer & GERD but I keep on having heartburn continually like 5-6x a day. I thought by looking for alternative end cure as I was waiting to get a CT scan would be worth it so I came to see what earth clinic suggests. So I asked my boyfriend to get me a bottle of ACV from Shaws & he came to me with a bottle of ACV, just a regular ACV. I've poured two tablespoon on a cup of water & drank it. It's been 3 days that I have no heartburn. This is a miracle cure. I still have the muscle aching from the spasms but the heartburn is gone. I am very grateful to the people who vested time & energy to write this gift of love & care on the internet; it is quite a miracle that I responded very well with it. This is why I am adding my testament to it. I will post more in a couple more days & see what the CT scan would show. I have all the symptoms of heartburn, nausea, vomiting, weakness & I know I have hiatal hernia.
My gratitude to all of you. Cecilia

Replied by Bodulica

[NAY]   For me, after 3 days - absolute disaster! I don't know how to repair the damage. It is really bad.

Posted by Morgan (Grass Valley, Cal.) on 01/23/2015

[YEA]  I was slightly concerned with the ACV and acidity. I have GERD gas trial upper reflux disease and have literally been through every kind of antacid there is including prescription. After I was left with no other option for this, I tried ACV and oh my god I love the stuff!. I have turned into a " spokesman" for it with heartburn. It makes sense, vinegar is a base which neutralizes acid. We all learned this in school or from the movie fight club and on the bottle it says, I think, either 3% or %5 acidity, but I am seeing a never ending list of the benifits that come from it - RAW apple cider vinegar.

Posted by Cornelia (New York, New York) on 10/26/2014

[WORKED TEMPORARILY]  Has anyone had problems with ACV not working anymore? I have been taking it 3 times a day for over 2 months and was reflux free and a few days ago just started to feel some symptoms again. Am I taking too much? Or can it stop working?? Please help. I am so devastated as it seemed a miracle that I was cured.

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc

Hey there Cornelia,

About Acid Reflux and how the ACV is not working...well, ACV will work in mild Reflux cases, but you have to do your part as far as making sure the food you eat is within Reflux Control Bounds.

For instance, it is well known that coffee and ice cream, all milk in fact and red meats, chilies, and even too much sugar products at night can all contribute to the problem of reflux. The diet has to be moderated and made as alkaline as possible. If you do that you'll find the ACV will carry you the rest of the way to getting the reflux greatly under control.

This has been my experience at least. Reflux control is dual; right diet and right digestion.

Apple cider vinegar   61  4   

Posted by Cornelia (New York, New York) on 10/25/2014

[WORKED TEMPORARILY]  Has anyone had problems with ACV not working anymore? I have been taking it 3 times a day for over 2 months and was reflux free and a few days ago just started to feel some symptoms again. Am I taking too much? Or can it stop working?? Please help. I am so devastated as it seemed a miracle that I was cured.

Replied by Anon

My precious Mom uses Colostrum 4 - 6 pills/day and it seems to really have helped her with acid reflux. Every now and then if she has discomfort after a meal she'll eat fresh celery sticks and that seems to solve the problem too.

Hope you find a solution and are quickly pain free.

Apple Cider Vinegar   61  4   

Posted by Dropjaw28 (Washington, DC) on 09/02/2014

[YEA]  Wow. I have been suffering with GERD for 10 years and like most people, have been using proton pump inhibitors every day. I've also been anemic (iron and B12 deficient) for at least the past few years. I only recently connected the two issues through research on my own after taking iron and B12 supplements didn't help my anemia. Prevacid was preventing my stomach from absorbing needed nutrients - is the theory. I wanted to get off of the Prevacid, but my acid reflux was debilitating.

I've used ACV many times for sinus infections, but taking it every day wasn't something I was sure I could do. After about 4 weeks of taking it 2-3 times per day (2 teaspoons in cold water) my reflux was completely fixed to the point that I'd forget to drink it since I wasn't dying from reflux symptoms. I'm not gonna lie, it was difficult; ACV is acidic itself and can cause temporary worsening of reflux, it also doesn't taste great. While using it for sinus problems I'd always mix it in green tea with raw honey, but honestly the cold water mix was easier to get down.

I've been making an effort to drink it once per day for general health, but I have gone weeks without it with no reflux, even when I sometimes drink coffee or wine. Thank you Earth Clinic!

Replied by Jamesh

Hi there, that Apple Cider Vinegar with or without yeast.

Posted by Happy2tell (Adelaide, Australia) on 04/07/2013

[YEA]  Hi there, three years ago I suffered from whooping cough which made my asthma worse as well. I needed to take prednisolone (steroids), as well as other asthma medication by the bucketload to be able to breathe. I ended up with systemic thrush and GERD (reflux for short) and was put on nilstat and nexium. If I ran out of nexium or ate something fatty, the reflux would almost choke me, to the point where I went to hospital to see if I had cancer of the throat. I had also gone back to study and was really stressed, which made the reflux worse as well. No cancer, but no reason for the the reflux to be so bad.

After a bit of research, I started to take apple cider vinegar with honey as I was desperate. The reflux disappeared almost immediately. Goodbye nexium. It has been over 4 months now and I have had no problems with reflux whatsoever. If I have had a spicy or fatty meal, I chase it with Apple Cider Vinegar and honey and I have no problems. I now have a cold and am sipping on Apple Cider Vinegar and honey.

Replied by Zark
Emerald City, The Land Of Oz

[YEA]   Yes, I did try ACV for my reflux. It did work but I had to take it regularly, and I was concerned about my teeth - they started to hurt from all the acidity.

Rutin worked better for me as the reflux has now been gone for a few weeks and I don't need to take anything regularly to keep it that way. In other words it was a proper cure. Just don't take when pregnant as it could possibly bring on delivery.. maybe.

Posted by Beryl (London) on 06/26/2012

Hi - I've been suffering with digestive problems for some time now, belching, pain, and the doctor two months ago prescribed Lansoprozale, which for the first two weeks was very successful in relieving the symptoms and also vertigo which I'd had for three years, but then I started with dull pains in my back and arms, which I attributed to the Lansoprozale. So I had a two week break from it and, of course, the pains in my stomach and the vertigo returned. I tried again with the Lansoprozale and started with a nasty cough which disappeared after I stopped taking it. The doctor then put me on Omeprazole, and after just two capsules my throat felt as though it was swollen and my chest hurt.

I'm now wondering whether I have low stomach acid, though when I mentioned it to the doctor she dismissed the idea. However, today after experiencing stomach pain I took apple cider vinegar and got almost instant relief.

I've also been taking bentonite clay this last week, but I am wondering if I have low stomach acid whether taking the clay would make things worse, by removing what little acid I had from my stomach. Goji

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa

Hi Beryl, If you feel you have low stomach acid, add betaine hcl. You can take tablets when you eat. I read about it here on EC about a year ago and added it in because it just felt like my food would sit in my stomach for such a long time! That alone creates so many problems and according to my Traditional Chinese medicine doctor, is a root cause of many disorders that most people don't even associate with their digestion or lack of, I should say.

I don't think the bentonite clay would add to the low stomach acid. As a matter of fact, the benefits of bentonite clay are amazing! It always needs to be taken on an empty stomach and will help regulate your intestines, whether it is constipation, diarrhea, indigestion or even ulcers. Clay works to help heal the whole body so its benefits I think outweigh your fear of it causing low stomach acid. One thing you must be aware of though is that because it has such powerful binding abilities, you must separate any medication use from clay use by 3-4 hours.

Hope this information helps you make an educated decision. Take care, Lisa

Replied by Bill
San Fernando, Philippines

1102 Posts
Hi Beryl... There is a very simple way to improve digestive problems. First, take both betaine HCL and pancreatin enzymes at mealtimes.

If you are low in stomach acid then keep increasing your bretaine hydrochloride tablets until you feel your stomach is too acid. Then cut back by one tablet and stay at this dosage until you again feel an acid feeling in the stomach. Keep cutting back like this until you no longer have to take the betaine.

Secondly, taking half a teaspoon of Sea Salt twice a day with water outside mealtimes will help to supply the the necessary chloride to help regenerate your stomach acid to proper levels again.

Bentonite clay should normally be taken outside mealtimes. It has a gentle action (I've used it) which helps to remove pathogens, heavy metals and toxins electrically from the intestines. The Bentonite clay particles have a negative charge which attracts positively charged heavy metals, pathogens etc which are thereafter safely excreted later.

Posted by Wplush (Honolulu, Hi, United States) on 05/25/2012

For the past year, I've been suffering from what I believe is acidosis. My medical doctors initially thought it was GERD, but couldn't find any significant evidence of GERD. I tried all medicines for GERD and even went through surgery to fix it with no avail. In the past year, I began breaking out in Eczema for the first time in my life. My current symptoms are a dull/burning pain in my stomach, throat, mouth, tongue, and lips. It's pretty constant throughout the day. I've read so many good things about ACV so I decided to try it. I've been using 2tps in water 3-4 a day for the past 10 days. My skin is slowling improving amazingly as my dermatologist just gave me a steriod cream which barely helped. The dull/burning pains in my stomach, throat, and mouth still remain but I believe it is linked. It could be inflammation or something similar. But the skin changes and digestive issues happened around the same time so that's why I think they are linked.

People of Earth Clinic, what do you think? Do you think my issues with my skin and the burning pains are related? How long do you think it will take for my body to get the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar? Thank you.

Replied by Dud
Up The Creek In, Wv, USA

Wild guess:

1] you are addicted to milk and drink it every day.

2] your body is in-tolerant of milk, and gives you a burning gut syndrome. [= inflamed intestines]

Posted by Lana (Burnaby, Bc) on 12/09/2011

[YEA]  I tried and can't believe that all these years I had been suffering with such horrible heartburn. I was seeing a therapist for depression from being in constant pain from gerd. Nothing helped. I mean I tried everything.

This is my first week on Apple Cider Vinegar today was the first day I haven't had pain from heartburn in 10 years!!!! So grateful that I tried this. just a couple teaspoons in the morning and a couple in the afternoon first time in so long I have NOO pain.

Posted by Jimmy (Janesville, Wisconsin) on 07/29/2011

[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]  So, I started taking Apple Cider Vinegar for my gerd and in 4 days it seems to working well areadly I take 2 tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tbs of honey in 160oz mountain water an sip it all day. My only problem is that tounge feels a lttle burnt and looks teared up and white is this normal?

Posted by Cara (Nashville, Tn) on 06/03/2011

I have suffered from reflux for most of my 40 years and am at my wit's end needing relief. I have taken a variety of PPIs over the years and they have "managed" my GERD to varying degrees of "success. " I put those terms in quotation marks because I am discovering that the relief I've received is at the expense of my health in other areas. I have pernicious anemia and even taking B12 shots do little to keep my levels at a normal number. I'm also experiencing iron-deficiency anemia and other malaborption problems that I am convinced are related to the medication I'm taking. I want to get off of it, but am hesitant because of the pain and disruption this causes. (It also aggravates my normally very mild asthma. ) I bought some HCl/enzyme capsules, but after 3 pills, my esophagus burned like it hasn't in a very long time. I think I'm going to try the ACV approach along with a papaya digestive enzyme and probiotics. I hope that reestablishing the healthy flora in my digestive system will help me achieve real success and restore my health on many levels.

If anyone has other suggestions I welcome them. Thanks!

Replied by Mike
Montreal, Quebec

HCl/enzyme capsules will work IF YOU KNOW HOW TO CONSUME THEM PROPERLY. Don't take HCL without water or milk otherwise of course it will burn your esophagus because it is pure acid. The best is to take it before, between or after a meal. HCL is important against GERD because it kills of many bacterias that regularly causes your reflux problem. ACV is good also but bad for your liver since it is a form of pure vinegar. Try HCL/Enzyme as a first and let us know the effect it has on your digestive system then if that does not work, there is also plan B. Mike
Replied by Dixie
Aptos, Calif

Can you use regular Vinegar too and Hintz Apple Cider? When I was a child I drank it all the time. Now I have Acid reflex and sometimes even with medication it gets out of control so I hate it. Am willing to try this and would love if it works to get off medication all together. Also heard if you take medication for this it takes away from your bones and that isn't good.

Thanks, Dixie

Replied by Nylle
Falls Church, Fairfax County

[YEA]   The best and most effective cure for acid reflux, even the most serious case, is to drink one to two tablespoonful of Sesame oil on a empty stomach first thing in the morning. It will be difficult to stomach during the first few days but there after you will acquire a taste for it. Also take the same quantity fifteen minutes after the night meal. Please do not drink any water immediately after drinking the oil it will defeat the purpose. It has to be taken every day for about ten days for a permanent cure. The roasted sesame seed oil is more effective than the cold pressed and it has to be 100% pure oil. This oil is available at any Chinese grocery. It is also very necessary that one drinks hot water with one's meals. Drinking cold or iced water or drinks after each meal will only prolong the ailment and inhibit cure. Spicy and/or oily food for the night meal is a no, no. It will only aggravate the stomach acid.
Replied by Hannah
Paris, France

Hi Nylle, I'm interested in the sesame oil. I have some virgin oil that I started using for oil pulling, but I am not sure I understand which oil you are recommending. So in the scheme of Extra Virgin, Virgin, Refined and Pure, you are saying to get Pure is that correct?

Will it specify that the sesame seeds have been roasted on the bottle, or is the name "Pure" simply a way of stating that roasting is a part of the process?Are there any brands you would recommend?

I currently live in Paris, France and the nearest Chinese grocery is not near at all. I did see a Pure sesame oil at my local grocery store but I wasn't sure if it would do.

Also, is this a cure for GERD or only acid reflux? Thanks for your help!

Replied by Payitforward
Tx, US

I personally would not use Apple Cider Vinegar or HCL at all for treating acid reflux. Those who have used it for years may have compromised their intestine lining. Treating AR is best by consuming low acid and low fat foods. The first several days of the diet you will find great relief. As you detox your system from being overly acidic. Also, calcium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate will help relieve symptoms at night.

Posted by Osama (Khobar, Saudi Ar) on 05/31/2011

I suffer from GERD which disturb my life Im using nexium 40 daily it is good but I read on the net about the benifit of apple cidar , Im interisting in using it but I want to know 2 things

1- how to use

2- where I can find to buy

Replied by Arsh
Dubai, Dubai, Uae

Hi osama,

1- u can buy organic ACV (apple cidar vinegar ) at a pharmacy which does sells natural or health nutrition supplements is the requirement, as it would be unpasturised and would be consumed in water.

2- for GERD - Acid reflux...

as prescribed by previous posts by followers..

mix 2 teaspoon / ( increase it to 2 tablespoon with time ) in one glass of water (8oz approx )

for best result so that ur stomach shouldnt get irritated ( try adding sodium bicarbonate ) yes its soda bicarb and not baking soda powder....

this too is available at same such pharmacies.

this wil help to neutralize bit of acid to alkalanize it to ph 6 - 7.

here Acid ( ACV) is used to treat acid reflux (another higher kind of acid ).

hope it helps u.

I have same condition since many years and I am trying it since a week. first day it did irritated my stomach so I taken anacid ( omeprazol) which is the only solution being given by doctors till date....but since last week, now im not having any anti acid pills, and its keeping fine!

lets hope inshallah this should help us all to cure our long held ailments amin!

Posted by Lauragrace (New York, Ny) on 05/24/2011

[YEA]  Well it's been 2 days since starting the standard ACV cocktail for GERD. I'm putting 2 teaspoons of organic ACV into a full glass of spring water and adding 2 teaspoons of raw organic honey. It's actually delicious, but most important of all is that I haven't had to take a Prilosec in two days!!!!!

I'm also following GERD guidelines re eating but that alone hasn't helped in the past. I've read a ton about ACV and its vitamins/minerals and all the positive benefits of this cocktail.

I stopped taking daily vitamins so I can really test the effectiveness of 2 ACV cocktails a day. Yesterday I had 3 but tasted and smelled the vinegar a little too much so cut back to 2 today and feeling great.

I was concerned about the effects of ACV on the liver and teeth and possible damage to the esophagus but further research hasn't turned up anything specific so I shall continue forging ahead! Thanks for this great site.

Replied by Jim
Houston, Tx.

If the ACV does not work for you, try ACIPHEX. It is a prescription that works better than Nexium. I have been on it for about 4 years now nad can count the number of times I have had a breakthrough on my hands. When I was taking Nexium I had breakthroughs every week at least twice and a lot of times more. ACIPHEX helped me, my doc says it's like Nexium but made a little bit different(just like man and apes! ). IT REALLY WORKS!!
Replied by Bev

About 5 times a year I suffer with an attack that is either heartburn, acid reflux or gerd. For me it is very painful and I even get a fever sometimes. But I wanted to share what brings me the most relief during an attack and that is throwing up. Even if I have to induce it it helps so much with the pain. Instant relief.

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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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