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Great-Grandmother's Indigestion Remedy with Vinegar and Honey Conquered Upset Stomach

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Q. My great-grandmother brought a folk remedy for upset stomach with her from Norway. When I was little and had a bellyache, I'd be given a tablespoon of cider vinegar plus a tablespoon of honey dissolved in a bit of hot water, mixed in a regular drinking glass that was then filled with cool water. It's actually quite tasty and it works every time, almost instantly!

Several years ago, the owner of a restaurant in my neighborhood was complaining that his stomach was extremely upset. Nothing he'd tried had worked, including an entire bottle of the pink stuff. He couldn't take the night off and go home (and he never complained about anything, so it must have been bad).

I suggested the cider vinegar/honey remedy. He told me I was crazy, but since he had nothing to lose by trying it, and wisdom from family matriarchs was nearly sacred to him, he trotted off to the kitchen. A few minutes later he was back to his old self and couldn't stop grinning. Then he spread the word. I was still hearing about it weeks later.

A. Thanks for telling us about the origin of your remedy. We have heard from many readers that this can be surprisingly helpful for heartburn and indigestion.

Some worry that the vinegar will erode tooth enamel, so we were pleased to get this suggestion from a reader: "Use a straw to bypass the teeth so that the vinegar will not harm them." One might also rinse with water and wait half an hour before brushing the teeth, since vinegar could soften enamel and make it susceptible to abrasion.

You will find other simple remedies for indigestion in our Guide to Digestive Disorders.

 

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9 Comments

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Sounds a lot more healthful than the commercial anti-acids. Is the tablespoon of honey a requisite? I'm trying to cut down on sugar.

Makes sense, because upset and acidic stomach is not due to too much acid, it's due to too little to keep digestive function adequately supported. In the same way, adding a sprinkling of chili powder to a drink of water will do the same thing. People with upset digestion are often advised to follow a bland diet, but I think that's the very opposite of what may actually help them.

If indigestion is a frequent problem one should try some digestive enzymes. Start with a mild one that has only 200 mg or so of betaine HCL and the natural enzymes such as lipase etc. Many people have insufficient stomach acid and this will result in soft bones down the road. Increase the dose gradually until one does get an "acid stomach" and then back off to the last good dose.

I've been taking digestives for over 30 years. I just had a serious fall two months ago and broke my leg. The break was high on the femur and a single break. The Orthopedic Dr. was amazed that it was a simple break because of my age. I am 68 and obviously my bones are strong. Also the fall did not affect the hip, which amazed him as well.

One word of advice. One doesn't always get indigestion with faulty digestion. If one's fingernails crack, peel, and generally are weak one should try the digestives.


A teaspoon of honey is definitely not a prerequisite.

I cured my severe "reflux disease" by the use of Apple Cider Vinegar (in the form of chewable tablets) after the use of large quantities of antacids stopped working for me, and after trying some Prilosec samples one time, which I had. I didn't like the way that Prilosec made me feel but I've never had any problems with the apple cider vinegar.

"PPI" ("Proton Pump Inhibitors") of which Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Aciphex, Protonix and others are grouped, can be dangerous to your overall health in the long term because they interrupt the body's natural process of producing HCL ("Hydrochloric Acid") in the stomach's parietal cells for the body's production of gastric juices for the use of the digestion of food.

PPI's also interfere with your body's basic absorption of basic and trace minerals such as Calcium, Iron and other minerals as well.

Finally, PPI's were almost removed from the market by the FDA when they were first introduced to the American Market in the early 90's due to being suspected of causing, "Carcinoid Tumors", but were not removed for some reason.

There may be a place in medicine for the appropriate use of PPI's but the "natural approach" in treating "indigestion" (now called, "Reflux" by Big Pharma) is a better approach, and certainly safer, and much more affordable for you, I would think.

My mother's advice for a tummy ache when I was a child was,"Lie down flat on the floor and put your knees up." After a few minutes the pain would subside. Why? I don't know. I have used it sometimes as an adult with success.

I tried this and it works great! Thanks! It definitely worked better for me than just ACV in water and it sure tasted better!

I have used "that pink stuff" for ages, but decided to try the cider vinegar and honey. Good bye "pink stuff!"
Thanks

I tried apple cider vinegars Bragg's brand. After a week I developed horrible stomach pains. I had to stop using it. My system just can't handle it. Use with caution.

I guess that due to genetic variation and other factors, that we are all quite different from a pharmacologic point of view.
ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar Chewable Tablets) has worked quite successfully in my case for treating what has commonly become known GERD or, "reflux".

It's now quite well documented in the medical literature that the use of so called, "PPI's" (Prilosec or Omeprazole, Prevacid or Lansoprazole, Nexium, Aciphex and, the others), as well as H2A's (such as Pepcid or Famotidine, Zantac or Ranitidine and the rest) have been shown to be quite dangerous and, are never recommended for long term use.

That's just an fyi.

In your case you might want to see a GI (Gastroenterologist) Physician as an adjunct to your health care team, if you aren't already seeing one.

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