Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux: Cure & Preventative

A common question about home remedies and acid reflux is, “Can I drink apple cider vinegar for acid reflux?” The answer is a resounding YES! But vinegar and acid reflux do not sound like they should go together, right?! We are happy to tell you that there are many people that have found relief with this home remedy!

If you are concerned about prescription or over-the-counter medications, consider combining healthy dietary and lifestyle changes is a natural home remedy. Drinking of apple cider vinegar before meals for a natural way to alleviate and prevent occasional heartburn symptoms. Apple cider vinegar for acid reflux could be a healthy and all-natural combination that works well to cure your symptoms.

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What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux is described as “a chronic symptom of mucosal damage caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the esophagus” (Wikipedia). This is referred to as heartburn.

Other symptoms of acid reflux include painful swallowing, sore throat, nausea, chest pain, increase saliva production, and coughing.

Around the bottom of the esophagus is a circular muscle that relaxes, allowing food and liquid to enter the stomach. This muscle, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), normally remains closed and to keep digestive acid and food in the stomach.

Those who suffer from acid reflux, or GERD, have a malfunctioning LES valve that opens when it shouldn’t, allowing hydrochloric acid from the stomach into the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation in the chest and/or throat that is also known as acid reflux or heartburn.

An occasional episode of heartburn is generally nothing to be concerned about. However, frequent heartburn can be a serious problem.

How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux

One of the most popular home remedies to reduce or eliminate acid reflux is to drink apple cider vinegar.

Here is a good recipe:

2-3 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar

8oz of water (warm water is easier to drink)

Mix and drink before meals or whenever you have heartburn.

Some believe that the acetic acid in vinegar increases the pH level in the stomach because acetic acid is a weaker acid than hydrochloric acid (or stomach acid). Others believe vinegar (acetic acid combined with its acetate salt) helps to buffer and maintain stomach acid at a pH level of about 3.0. In this milder acidic environment, there are less problems with the esophagus and the stomach can still efficiently digest food, therefore causing less heartburn.

Drinking apple cider vinegar for acid reflux regularly improves digestion and allows for more mineral absorption and may also play a role in reducing acid reflux problems.

What about Over-the-Counter Antacids?

The pharmaceutical industry has misled many of us to believe that most stomach disorders are a result of too much stomach acid. The truth is, most stomach disorders are caused by not having enough acid.

When the stomach is lacking acid, it churns violently so as to make the best use of what acid is available. In-turn, this causes the existing acid to pressurize and flow back into the esophagus.

Antacids seem to work because they make what churning acid that your stomach has less potent, which makes it less painful. In rare cases when stomach acid is being overproduced by the stomach, it is usually the body attempting to compensate for antacids that have been routinely administered.

Eventually, the effects of taking antacids will harm the body more. Users will now suffer from improper digestion, only temporary help in relieving acid reflux symptoms, and in-turn actually causing the very excess acid problem that they had been trying to eliminate from the beginning.

As a general good practice, drink an apple cider vinegar for acid reflux tonic on a regular basis to help prevent and even cure acid reflux problems.

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Some Interesting Facts from

Apple cider vinegar is generally made from crushed apples. Bacteria and yeast are added to ferment the liquid. At first, the liquid is similar to a hard apple cider because of the alcohol content. More fermentation changes the alcohol into vinegar.

Organic and raw apple cider vinegar are both allowed to ferment naturally. These liquids are unfiltered and typically take on a brownish, cloudy appearance. This process leaves behind the “mother of apple.” This is a cobweb-like substance found at the bottom of all bottles of organic apple cider vinegar. Non-organic apple cider vinegar is pasteurized, and the mother of apple is removed.

It’s thought that the mother of apple is rich in enzymes, proteins, and pectin. Because of this, organic varieties are considered the gold standard when used to treat health conditions such as acid reflux.

What are the benefits of apple cider vinegar?

The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar can provide several health benefits. For some people, acid reflux may be a result of too little stomach acid. Apple cider vinegar may be beneficial because it introduces more acid into the digestive tract. This acid is also effective against several types of bacteria and acts as an anti-microbial agent.

Apple cider vinegar may even help people with diabetes manage blood sugar. Ingesting vinegar can raise your body’s insulin sensitivity. This allows the insulin to move glucose through your body and decrease your blood sugar levels.


Raw or unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains “the mother of the apple,” which is high in protein.
Apple cider vinegar may introduce more acid into the digestive tract. If your acid reflux is the result of too little stomach acid, this may be beneficial.
The acetic acid found in the vinegar fights against bacteria and other foreign bodies.

What the research says

Apple cider vinegar could help improve acid reflux in people not taking medications and with minimal risk. However, there’s limited supporting evidence.

One study found that raw or unfiltered apple cider vinegar can prevent heartburn. But more research is needed to determine whether apple cider vinegar is a consistent and reputable way to treat acid reflux.

How to use apple cider vinegar to treat acid reflux

You may try using apple cider vinegar to relieve acid reflux symptoms, but there’s no guarantee it will work. It’s thought that this home remedy helps balance your stomach pH by neutralizing stomach acid.

It’s generally accepted as safe to consume a small amount of apple cider vinegar. It should be diluted with water. This should relieve any burning sensation caused by the acid in the vinegar.

It can also prevent the acid from damaging the enamel on your teeth. To avoid this, you should drink it through a straw, if possible.

Many people find the taste of apple cider vinegar to be sharp or sour. You may consider adding honey to the solution to taste.

One teaspoon to one tablespoon is a typical dosing range. This should be diluted in one cup (8 oz.) of water.
— Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D.

Risks and warnings

Some people may experience side effects after consuming apple cider vinegar. This includes:

  • tooth erosion
  • blood thinning
  • throat irritation
  • decreased potassium

These side effects may be worse if you use undiluted or large amounts of apple cider vinegar.


  • Apple cider vinegar may interact with certain medications, including diuretics, laxatives, and heart disease medications.
  • You shouldn’t use apple cider vinegar if you have an ulcer, because it can aggravate your symptoms.
  • Drinking vinegar, even when diluted in water, can also wear down your teeth enamel.

Other acid reflux treatment options

Conventional treatments for acid reflux include prescription and over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes.

Medications used to treat reflux include:

  • antacids to help neutralize stomach acid
  • H-2 receptor blockers, such as famotidine (Pepcid), to block the receptors in the stomach that release acid
  • proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec), to reduce acid production

Lifestyle changes that may help acid reflux include:

  • eating smaller meals
  • avoiding foods and beverages that trigger heartburn
  • quitting smoking
  • not lying down after eating
  • elevating the head of your bed several inches

Sometimes conventional treatments aren’t enough. Serious complications from acid reflux can include esophageal scarring or ulcers. To avoid these complications, your doctor may recommend a surgery called fundoplication. In this procedure, the upper part of your stomach is wrapped around the lower esophagus. This strengthens the esophageal sphincter to prevent reflux.

What you can do now

Although anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar may be a useful remedy, there isn’t a firm medical basis for this treatment. If you do explore this option, remember to:

  • Consume apple cider vinegar in small quantities.
  • Dilute the vinegar with water.
  • Speak with your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen with use.

You should work with your doctor to create a treatment plan that’s best for you, whether it’s lifestyle changes, medications, or a home remedy.

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