▷ How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux

By Allen Dunn / September 6, 2018
Apple Cider Vinegar and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux. If you’ve never experienced it, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. But if you are among the tens of millions of Americans that suffer from occasional or regular heartburn like I do, you know that it can run the range from mildly unpleasant to downright excruciating. In fact, the pain in your stomach and chest can be so intense that it is easy to mistake it for a much more serious condition, like a heart attack. So, what is it, and what can you do about it?

Acid reflux is a condition that’s caused by the digestive acid in your stomach coming up through your esophagus into your chest. That’s right -- digestive acid. While those juices may be perfectly fine in your stomach thanks to a protective coating of mucus, the esophagus is not so lucky. When released into the esophagus, the stomach acid starts to do what it’s supposed to do.

That means that when you feel that familiar burning sensation in your chest or throat, you are literally digesting your own esophagus. Sound gross? It is. And what’s more, it’s dangerous too. While a little heartburn here and there might be no big deal in the grand scheme of things, long-term acid reflux can lead to GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), which in turn can lead to other, more serious, problems like cancer.

Luckily, there are many solutions out there. Yes, you can go the pharmaceutical route if you want to. However, if you’re looking for a more natural, cost-effective, remedy you’ve come to the right place because I’m going to show you how you can deal with this problem by using a product that most people keep on hand in their pantry: apple cider vinegar.

Laura Myers

Laura Myers, RDN

The Nutritionist says...

"It is important to always remember to notify your healthcare provider when deciding to start any new supplement or medication regimen. Apple cider vinegar (though natural) can interact with certain medications so it is important to inform your doctor first to make sure it is safe to use daily. Apple cider vinegar in large quantities can also decrease the level of potassium in your body, which can be dangerous if you are taking a medicine (i.e. diuretic or insulin) that also decreases your potassium level. Overall, apple cider vinegar is generally noted as safe in adults with few side effects noted."

Apple Cider Vinegar?

Yes, that’s right: it’s not just a food ingredient. Apple cider vinegar is made from, in case you don’t know, fermented apples. It’s easy to make, and if you have the time I recommend trying it yourself, but that’s not important right now. What is important is that apple cider contains acetic acid, the end result of the fermentation process and the chemical responsible for apple cider vinegar’s strong, pungent odor and taste that some people find mildly unpleasant. It is also the chemical that lets apple cider vinegar work its healing wonders on your upset stomach, so I think we can forgive it if that means it comes with a few hang-ups, right?

To make the most out of this natural wonder, you only need a couple of items:

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey to taste (optional)

And that’s it! Couldn’t be easier, right?

So, how can you make the most of this simple remedy? We’re going to have to cover a few basic steps, including choosing the right apple cider vinegar, making sure to mix it properly, and having the patience to realize that this isn’t an overnight solution.

Step 1: Get the Vinegar Ready

This sounds pretty easy, and it is. However, you may be wondering what kind of apple cider vinegar to buy. Even though there are many different brands out there, the differences between most of them are minimal, with one exception: whether or not the apple cider vinegar is organic or non-organic. So, what’s the difference? It is generally accepted that, when used as a home remedy, organic apple cider is preferable.

Organic apple cider usually contains “mother of apple,” a by-product of the natural fermentation, which helps to give it a cloudy appearance. This substance is thought to be rich in enzymes and proteins and makes the vinegar healthier and more effective in dealing with digestive issues. Non-organic apple cider vinegar has been pasteurized and, as a result, does not have this substance. So, get whatever brand of apple cider vinegar you want, but opt for the organic, non-pasteurized variety so you can be sure to eke out all of the benefits you can.

Step 2: Mix the Vinegar Into the Water

This is another easy step, but an important one. Since you are drinking vinegar, it’s important to remember that vinegar is an acidic substance. If you don’t dilute it with water it can have several negative effects on your body. 

First, it can erode your teeth. Enamel might be the strongest substance in our bodies, but it’s not strong enough to withstand the corrosive effects of acid over time. Prolonged exposure to apple cider vinegar can start to wear down that enamel covering, causing you a host of problems.

Second, drinking straight apple cider vinegar can burn your esophagus. Hey, remember that burning sensation you were experiencing? The one you’re trying to fix? Well, if that burn is caused by the acid coming into direct contact with the lining of your esophagus, I think it makes sense that adding to that problem by introducing another highly acidic solution into the mix is not going to win you any Nobel Prizes for science any time soon.

Finally, apple cider vinegar can interact with certain medications, such as laxatives or diuretics, and cause some pretty unpleasant side effects. If you are taking anything, it’s always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before adding another daily regimen.

Step 3: Drink

How’s that taste? Probably not great, since you’re drinking vinegar. Still, you have to power through it and drink the whole glass to get all of that vinegar in your stomach! The good news is you can sweeten it up with a little bit of honey. You don’t want to add too much, but just enough to take the edge off is perfectly fine and won’t interfere with the effect of the apple cider vinegar in any way.

Honeyed or not, drink the mixture right before every meal, or right after, if you prefer. Just make sure that you drink it close enough to your meal that it will be in your stomach when your food is freshly introduced, to help aid in the digestion process.

YOU Can Control Your Blood Sugar...

...Using Apple Cider Vinegar. Click to Read the Research.

Step 4: Repeat

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Good things come to those who wait. All in good time. Patience is a virtue. Choose your saying, but make sure you understand the point: while you may notice some short-term relief, this isn’t a cure that happens overnight. The acid reflux may start to ease its symptoms sooner rather than later, but you need to stick with the treatment long enough to have a more permanent effect or you could just end up right where you started.

How long? It depends, but it will definitely take a little while for the vinegar to do its job. Repeat this process daily for at least three months before taking a break. If, after a couple of days off, the familiar burning sensation starts to creep back up your chest and into your throat, then start the process back up for an additional three months or so before trying it again.

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So, How’s That Work Again?

It might seem a little counterintuitive at first. I mean, to treat an acid problem you are actually ingesting more acid. What’s the logic behind that, you may ask? There’s more to this than just a real-life application of “fighting fire with fire.” Thankfully, there’s some real science behind this trick. It is thought that one possible cause of acid reflux, believe it or not, is a lack of stomach acid.

Drinking the vinegar helps to slowly bring the natural acid back to an acceptable and functioning level. Another line of thought is that the vinegar helps to lower the pH levels of the existing acid in your stomach so that it is not too acidic, but still capable of digesting your food. Others think it actually helps to reduce the amount of acid in stomachs that produce too much. Regardless of the reason, the outcome is still the same.

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Promotes GREAT Health...

In the End . . .

If you ask me, we’ve suffered long enough. Acid reflux is painful, and if left untreated it can have serious detrimental effects on your day-to-day activities, not to mention your social life. That’s why it’s important to fight it as soon as possible. And as you can see, it’s quite easy and cheap to do so.

If you seriously cannot get around the taste of apple cider vinegar, you can always just take it in capsule form and skip all that unpleasantness. For my money, though, this is the way to go. It’s an easy, inexpensive fix. For the cost of a couple of bucks, you have a long-term solution that can turn your life around. So, what are you waiting for?

Have you tried using apple cider vinegar in the past? If so, did it work? Have you tried something else that also works? Do you have any tips that I missed? I’d love to hear from you -- let me know in the comments!

About the author

Allen Dunn

Allen Dunn is a self-described health nut that enjoys researching different ways to improve daily life naturally. He is particularly interested in natural remedies and has written extensively on apple cider vinegar. His writing reflects this and can be found throughout the Organic Daily Post website.

Refluxo Gastroesofágico - May 23, 2017

Interesting article for anyone looking for information on reflux.

dospad.net - July 6, 2017

Thanks for the excellent guide

Jackiebhagat - October 2, 2017

I have started taking apple cider about 6-7 months ago. I German friend of mine introduced me to it. Since I started taking it, my blood pressure came down drastically and other digestive problems have improved. I did now really know the right quantity to take therefore I was most like taking too much on a daily basis but nevertheless, I do not have any negative symptom that I am aware of. Now that I have read and educated myself on the quantity and also how to take it, I will follow your instruction.

I thank you very much


Kris Naillon - October 12, 2017

I just tried this last night as my reflux was terrible. Anyway it was 3 am and could not sleep. So I mixed it up and drank it and it really worked. Much more than antacids ever did. I was able to go to sleep in about 30 minuets.

Marissa - December 20, 2017


I found this when I needed it most. .
But I am wondering how can I use the ginger root and baking soda to eliminate my acid re-flux?

I’m hoping for your reply.
Thank you.

Marian Santiago - January 30, 2018

I tried doing this for the first time, however, there was a burning sensation in my stomach immediately after drinking it. Is this normal? Should I continue? I have been diagnosed with GERD over a decade ago and have been agonizingly dealing with it.

John Vandehey - February 10, 2018

Excellent article Sabrina and it DOES work.
Cheap & easy also as you’ve stated.
Not only an informative article, but VERY well written – a common sense approach and succinct.
You nailed it.

Charlotte Cummins - March 6, 2018

I am taking the drug Metformin because i suffer from PCOS, th Metformin is causing me to have indigestion and acid reflux, some days worse than others. I have tried the apple cider vinegar with the mother twice now and almost immediately i am getting indigestion after taking it, is that normal ?


Celesta Lampkins - March 12, 2018

I started saying this, but I did not finish before I lost the connection. Please post. Thanks

I am currently on Pantoprazole 40mg bid. I have tried and compared the treatment of heartburn with pantoprazole and with vinegar and water. The vinegar and water works faster and better than the prescription medication. I did not start having heartburn until I stopped eating cucumbers and tomatoes marinated in vinegar at least once or twice a week. At the time I did not connect the vinegar with the remedy for acid reflux. I was treating acid reflux before I was diagnosed with acid reflux. Since I started the vinegar and water remedy, I am taking the prescribed medication once a day or as needed. What else is interesting, I no longer have a problem falling asleep and staying asleep since I starting drinking one full glass of water with two tablespoons of vinegar. I will cover this with my doctor on my next visit. I strongly urge anyone who tries this remedy to check with their doctor especially if you are taking other medications that may be interfered. However, if you are in good health and need help with your heartburn problem, give this a try.

I started saying this, but I did not finish before I lost the connection.

Karen - April 7, 2018

At the same time that I was diagnosed with mild GERD (Feb, 2018), and put on Zantac, I also began to see an Acupuncturist for an unrelated issue. She mentioned the acv…which I had been using 2T in a qt. of herb tea, daily, as a “sipper,” last year. So I had no trouble starting back to the 1/2 T. in 8 oz of water, before meals, that was suggested. Although, I’ve been adding liquid Stevia to take that edge off, vs. honey! Unfortunately, my ENT said I was doing better and just cut the dose of Zantac. He didn’t want to hear about the acv but I’m sticking with it! Thanks for the support in my “gut” telling me the acv was the better way to go!

Donald Hamelin - April 20, 2018

Interesting , would like to know approx. How to mix, cider to water.

Clay Salon - April 24, 2018

I was diagnosed with Acid Re-flux 2 weeks ago and was admitted in the hospital for about 3 days and 2 nights. Right after I was discharged, my doctor prescribed me Pantopazole + Domperidone.

However, taking the prescribed med corresponds a lot of side effects so I decided to end my 7 days medication on the 4th day.

It feels better and normal not until I went back to the lifestyle that triggers my re-flux. Smoking, alcohol, bunch of foodies and others. I’d been thinking of having a schedule consultation on my doctor. But then I read one article suggesting ACV in treating Acid Re-flux. It made me read numbers of article regarding the effect of ACV on acid levels in the stomach along with lessening of gas inside. Until one day I decided to buy Bragg ACV with mother.

I’m taking it 3 times a day. Two (2) tablespoon diluted in 8 oz of warm water. Usually upon rising, afternoon, and early evening. It felt better and hoping for better results on the coming days, weeks, or months!

To all the people who were experiencing the same, don’t be afraid to take alternatives especially those proven effective and safe. If you’re feeling worst, then stop.

Pam - May 4, 2018

I am a 65 year young female. I suffered with GERD and have a hiatus hernia. My doctor put me on Lansoprazole, a Proton Pump Inhibitor immediately. 9 year later after all of the horror stories in the Press about the bad side effects of being on PPIs (osteoporosis , dementia etc) I decided to take myself off them. I didn’t gradually come off them, I stopped immediately having done a lot of research on how to do this. I ordered a prescription of Gaviscon Advance from my doc as a back-up then started taking Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (from Asda in the UK) in water, 3 times a day before meals. I then started to take a teaspoon of Inulin Powder, a Pre-biotic, in a small glass of warm water every evening. I no longer need to take the Apple Cider Vinegar but continue with the nightly Inulin. I no longer have any acid reflux and do not need to take Gaviscon either.

Lorie - May 13, 2018

I was taking PPI for my acid reflux and esophagus choking problems. Broke my leg ( never have broken any thing in my life before ) and started reading about how those medicines suck the calcium out of your bones. THAN I ran into a lady at my job who used to work for an attorney and she said all the clients were on PPI’s and they were having their organs shutting down !!!!! I stopped the pill and started taking apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons with some Ice and crystal light ( that makes it taste fabulous ) Yea I had 3 hard weeks getting stomach upset getting off the pills and I finished eating at 8 pm each night but after the 3rd week , my stomach problems are gone !!! my belching and gagging is almost gone completely and I have NO MORE acid stomach :))) I did a bone density test and I am 1 line into Osteoporosis . I think I caught it in time so I take LOTS of calcium. Its worth the 3 awful weeks to get off that poison I was taking

Bonnie Roberts - May 28, 2019

Does the vinegar capsule work just as good as drinking the Vinegar solution?

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