Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux (Heartburn)
People always tend to seek home remedies when confronted with any minor problems, be it a broken household item or health problems. Especially, when it comes to minor health problems, most people look for natural home remedies. These remedies are quite effective when you know what you're dealing with.
Among these common health problems, acid reflux or heartburn is one of the disturbing ones. Luckily, there are many home solutions to this problem.
One of the popular remedies comes from the use of Apple cider vinegar. Even though the benefits of apple cider vinegar is still a controversy, due to less scientific researches, it is believed and used by many.
Apple cider vinegar is one of those do-it-all remedies, that is also used for numerous other problems such as dandruff removal, cough and cold, yeast infection, treatment of sore throat, acne, hair treatment, removal of warts and moles, etc.
Some people have given testimonials showing its amazing benefits, whereas for some, apple cider vinegar has shown it as trigger for heartburn causing acid reflux.
Apple cider vinegar, as a home remedy, depends on your body’s ability to adjust to the acidic nature of it. So you have to be certain you are not allergic to it.
Related: Side-effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
What is Acid Reflux (Heartburn)?
Heartburn is the burning feeling in the upper chest, throat, lower chest and stomach area along with pain. The major cause of heartburn is Acid Reflux, also known as Gastroesophagael reflux. It is a condition where the contents of stomach flows back to esophagus due to the opening of Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) spontaneously with fewer contractions.
When there is less acid in the stomach, it churns to mix all the food in its natural acid. While moving violently, the stomach gives pressure to the sphincter and food flows back towards the food pipes. This causes stomach acids mixed with food to reach esophagus, which doesn’t let food get digested due to lack of acids.and, in turn, irritates the wall of the food pipe, causing heartburn.
Causes of Acid Reflux (Heartburn)
Some foods and beverages are known to trigger acid reflux. Quantity of food also can cause acid reflux in people. Some foods that causes it are
- High-fat foods
- Fried (oily) foods
- Foods based on tomatoes
- Coffee and other caffeinated drinks
- Carbonated drinks, etc.
How does apple cider vinegar work for acid reflux (heartburn)?
There are no scientific evidences that prove apple cider vinegar cures or treats acid reflux. All of the hype is created from theories of general people and their experience. Testimonials given by the people who used it, made it famous as it is today in many websites.
Many believe the acid present in apple cider vinegar helps in digestion of food, which is not digested by stomach acids. This is done by breaking down fat, making it easier for digestion. There is also a high content of magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, and some other trace minerals in Apple cider vinegar which help in digestive process.
Similarly, Acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is weaker than natural acid present in the stomach, known as Hydrochloric Acid. The mixture of both acids make the stronger acid weak helping in balancing the pH level and reducing the acid content of stomach. Balanced pH level helps in maintaining less acid which is said to open the sphincter automatically from time to time.
Apple cider vinegar, in all, helps in digestion and maintains an alkaline environment of the stomach eliminating the cause of Acid Reflux. This allkaline environment of the stomach is also said to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral in nature.
How to use apple cider vinegar for treating acid reflux (heartburn)?
Some methods that can be used to consume apple cider vinegar in the best way are:
- Mix a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water (8 ounces) and drink it before having your meal whenever you get heartburn. Use warm water instead of cold or room temperature water to reduce the bad smell of apple cider vinegar.
- You can also add a spoon of honey to it, which is rich in potassium and is good for neutralizing stomach acids.
- Add apple cider vinegar to your daily foods for better taste and balanced pH.
- You can also add it to different juices, teas, smoothies, cocktails, etc.
- Mixing it with a small amount of baking soda so that its pH level is close to 7.0 is also a good way to use apple cider vinegar to prevent its side-effects.
Always make sure you use a diluted form of apple cider vinegar as it is a strong acid and can burn your organs. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after consuming apple cider vinegar as it can erode enamel layer of teeth. Try to use the “mother” apple cider vinegar in its organic unfiltered form as it works the best.