How Effective is Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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Acid reflux is an often painful condition in which stomach acids make their way into the esophagus. The result is a burning sensation that can be so severe that some sufferers wonder if they are experiencing a heart attack. While there are a number of prescription and over the counter medications to take for this condition, there are those who recommend the use of apple cider vinegar for acid reflux, claiming it to be an effective, nutritional, and safe way to ease the problem.

Many proponents of the use of apple cider vinegar for acid reflux note that the range of nutrients in the vinegar has a great deal to do with the vinegar’s ability to calm an upset stomach that triggers the flow of acid into the esophagus. Rather than attempting to shut down the production of stomach acids, the contents of the vinegar help to restore the pH balance, which in turn signals the stomach to produce smaller amounts of acid. As the natural production of acid slows in compliance with the pH balance, less acid leads into the esophagus and the discomfort begins to fade.


One of the most common recommendations for using apple cider vinegar to treat acid reflux is to utilize vinegar that still contains what is known as the mother. This simply means that the vinegar has not been filtered, and still contains the minute clumps of particles that developed during the fermentation process. It is often claimed that the mother helps to enhance the nutritional value of the vinegar, increasing its effectiveness in treating acid reflux.

Typically, proponents of the use of apple cider vinegar for acid reflux will suggest the preparation of a simple tonic that includes a couple teaspoons of the vinegar, a cup of warm water, and possibly a third ingredient such as baking soda or cayenne pepper. The combined ingredients are consumed quickly, usually as a means of minimizing the effects of the rather pungent taste of the tonic. Many people report that the home remedy produces results in just a few moments, leaving the individual totally relieved of their pain.

It is important to note that while the anecdotal evidence for the use of apple cider vinegar for acid reflux is ample, there are relatively few controlled studies that support the efficacy of this home remedy. In addition, even practitioners who recommend regular use of apple cider vinegar tonics note that in situations where recurring heartburn and acid reflux take place, consulting a physician is imperative. Since acid reflux can also be the sign of more than one underlying health issue, the origin of the frequent heartburn should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.


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