apple cider vinegar

Heartburn is a consequence of stomach acid splashing back into the lower part of the esophagus, where it causes damage and pain. Many people have shared their unusual home remedies for heartburn, from grated apple or a handful of almonds after a meal to the old classic, a bit of baking soda in a full glass of water.

Baking soda is basic, so it counteracts the acidity that is causing trouble. Saliva, too, is basic, by the way, so chewing gum or sucking on hard candy to stimulate saliva often works surprisingly well against heartburn. Make it sugarless to protect the teeth.

Vinegar, on the other hand, is acidic, so it is a bit of a surprise that many people find a sip of vinegar either straight or mixed into water is helpful against heartburn discomfort. In this sound clip, a radio show listener reports his experience using apple cider vinegar to alleviate symptoms of heartburn.

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  1. Diane

    I’ve been taking ranitidine twice daily with occasional Tums extra strength. Today my brother told me about the ACV treatment. He’s been taking this for a year now with excellent results. Tonight I was experiencing heartburn, and decided to take a TBSP of ACV! I happen to like vinegar so I downed a TBSP straight. Not great, but not bad either. IMMEDIATELY I experienced relief! I cannot believe it! Better than Tums or anything I’ve ever taken!

    Thanks to all about using a straw, I’ll do that from now on. Also, GREAT idea about just adding it to more foods as well as keeping it out as a condiment. **Wondering about side effects and how often I should take it to PREVENT heartburn, rather than relieve it afterwards.

    • Samantha
      Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

      It isn’t recommended to drink straight ACV, it should be mixed with water…and a bit of honey is always good!

  2. Steve

    Brags vinegar works, best of all it reduces the asthma type symptom I get, works better than the pariet rannitine combination I currently take, I would be interested to take a test of the stomach acid to determine the actual situation. Personally I think life style changes are also required to be successful including losing weight, cutting right down on sugar, cutting right down on bread.

  3. dele

    I have gusy tried apple vinegar and it worked perfectly for me.
    I would like to know if there is any side effect of using it .

  4. Felicity V.

    Can anyone tell me if acv in caplet form would work for treating heartburn? I just can’t drink the stuff.

  5. bugs

    Based on many home remedies I tried Apple cider vinegar with water and honey. The pain got worse and the burning sensation was getting bad. Waited and waited hoping it would get better but it just got worse and I had the worst acid reflex attack. So unfortunately it did not work me :-(

  6. Sarah

    I got my husband to try it tonight. I mixed two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a couple of ounces of water and he drank it. It felt worse right away (burned while it went down) and we waited, and waited, and waited, and it continued to get worse. He just started burping up apple cider vinegar and acid reflux became much more intense.

    Doesn’t work (at least for him).

    • Marilyn

      It’s best to add one tablespoon organic ACV to 4 ozs of filtered water and a squirt of raw honey. Works! Tastes great too, with the honey!

      • D

        NO. If it is causing burning, it should be discontinued right away.

  7. Beth
    United States

    I can attest to the efficacy of apple cider vinegar for reflux. I used to take various combinations of omeprazole, ranitidine, famotidine, Gaviscon, and Tums to keep my reflux at bay. At some point on any given day I had to take at least one of these. Now, at first sign (usually about 15 minutes after eating), I take 1-2 tsp of vinegar (I currently use unpasturized and unfiltered) in about 2 ounces of water. I am careful to keep it off my teeth as much as possible and to rinse with and drink fresh water after. This has truly worked. I no longer take any of those meds. On the rare occasion, I will have 2 Tums before bed. All you need to do is try it to see if it works.

  8. DS

    I first saw the mustard cure here and it does work. Thank you.

  9. henry a

    hopefully I will receive a reply as the urinary frequency symptoms have returned, 2 months later, and primary doctor suggested I restart the myrebetriq medicine, in addition to Jayln.

  10. Lindsey

    I have been suffering with heartburn all day long. Eating Tums Smoothies like they were going out of style. On my 4th Zantac for the day.. Until I decided to bite the bullet and take the nasty tasting Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. It worked!! I used a teaspoon in a half cup of water. chugged it down. And voila! No more heartburn!! I will from now on use this nasty tasting method, but awesome working method :)

  11. KL

    Hi, I have been told by the Gastro that I have reflux or GERD, I am currently taking xanax because of my other condition of Hashimoto’s and the tremors and I developed a tolerance and have to take this pills like six times a day although the least potent one 0.25 I have read that these could be the cause of my condition of reflux.
    I started drinking the AVC yesterday but still have the symptoms and the burping, does anyone knows how long it takes to have an effect on your body. OH, I have an appointment tomorrow with a psychiatrist to wean off the xanax and maybe this will help also once I am free of this hell, because it is hell having to take those pills and it can’t be done fast since it could be dangerous.
    thank you for any feedback

    • Beth
      United States

      For me, the relief is instant, but I have typical GERD and am not taking other medications. At first sign of reflux I take 1-2 tsp in about 2 oz water. I am careful to keep it off my teeth, then rinse after and drink fresh water.

  12. henry a.

    I was diagnosed with prostatitis, after having a nuclear stress test, breaking out in a full body rash, and then experiencing frequent urinations, along with urgency and aches. I did have prostate cancer and was treated last year with 44 radiation treatments.
    The doctor has prescribed flomax, Cipro, and Myrbetriq. Today is day 18 and the course of antibiotic is for 21 days; I am feeling slight improvement, but still get up frequently at night to urinate; I am tired as I have been having interrupted sleep for so long. What is my prognosis? I am 75 years old.

  13. L.D.

    I was interested in your comment about Magnesium being a culprit in your GERD. I have been suffering with GERD for about a month. I was taking Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc tablets every day and sometimes increased the Magnesium with a separate dose of just that. How did you find out that Magnesium was a problem?

  14. Terry

    I can’t imagine drinking vinegar. That’s got to taste awful. I find that the baking soda and water method works best for me. And it doesn’t taste that bad.

  15. Cady H.

    I agree with PEM. If you suffering from heartburn symptoms, then you must desist from having acidic foods because they only escalate heartburn symptoms.

  16. PEM

    Something less acidic will react to something more acidic as a base reacts to an acid.

  17. Loufa47

    When it was determined that fish oil caps and magnesium were the culprits of my GERD and chronic diarrhea, I was able to reduce my Prevacid dose to the minimum after stopping these supplements. I started drinking about 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar (with mother – the cloudy stuff in the bottle) and a tall glass of very cold water every day for the past week.
    I’m feeling better by the day and should be able to stop the Prevacid after my next doctor’s visit. And, the best part, I find the vinegar/water combination suppresses my appetite too.

  18. Liz H

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. Most people’s stomach acid decreases with age, while heartburn increases with age. Our stomachs function best in their normal state, which is hot and acidic. When working efficiently, they digest food quickly and pass it on to the upper intestine.
    When it takes a long time for the stomach to do its job, the partially digested food sits there too long, and irritates things. I usually take a betaine HCL supplement any time I eat a lot of meat. Years ago, I took a lot of prescription Prilosec, Nexium, etc. I still had painful heartburn. I was very surprised to see it resolve completely once I acidulated my stomach.

  19. zqicvs

    A tiny bit of baking soda in water, works every time. It’s cheap and there’re no side effects, that I know of.

    • Jeff

      Side Effects are
      Sodium Bicarbonate is what Raises your blood Pressure to the roof.

      Maybe if you experience heartburn once and a while every month it may be okay.

      But , GERD is a long time thing….. Baking Soda is out the question!

  20. VFC

    A mouth full of plain old yellow mustard works for me-I have heartburn breakthrough every now and then in spite of Dexilant. Quick, easy, and handy!

  21. RLB

    Not surprising that the vinegar worked. The medical profession is so enchanted with PPI’s that they feel that the purple pill or similar are the only answer. For an individual who has unsatisfactory results with antacids, it may come as a surprise that the problem may be too little rather than too much stomach acid. The cider vinegar increases the acidity and, if that is the problem, the burning sensation goes away temporarily. Another option, more convenient than the vinegar is the supplement Betain Hydrochloride. It naturally restores the Hydrochloride balance of the digestive system.

    • Jeff

      Nexium can reduce Acids So low that your body can have a Bacteria Overgrowth

  22. SC

    I have been taking about a Tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar and mixing it with a bit of honey and about 8 oz water. It works very well for me.

  23. DS

    But look up phytobezoar. Celery is bad for that. Some people with “acid reflux” do not have ENOUGH acid. I suspect that is why taking apple cider vinegar may help. Does it help break down the food so it leaves the stomach in the right direction? I have taken to putting a cruet of cider vinegar along with pink salt on the table. Together they are delicious on food, especially potatoes.

  24. BLH

    I am surprised you folks didn’t correct the caller, immediately, when he said that one acid neutralizes another!!

  25. Karen S.

    I’ve been suffering for years from reflux, last year I tried apple cider vinegar and it worked wonders, with a diet of no dairy and no gluten, now I’ve been reflux and heartburn free for about 1 year.

    • dele

      Please how far did you used it before it was finally gone.

  26. F. R. C.

    The best remedy for heart burn is celery! My piano teacher had a lot of it and I suggested she try celery. The next time I saw her, she said, “It works!” A lot better than the meds with side effects I’d say. And I don’t think it would interfere with any meds.

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