Can Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help Acid-Reflux?
Update: I've added an update on the results of this experiment at the end of this article.
I’ve been hearing from a number of sources lately that Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent antidote for acid-reflux. As a person who likes to deal in verifiable facts and research when it comes to treating medical conditions, I’ve been dismissing this claim, since knowledge of basic chemistry and the PH scale (although extremely …EXTREMELY limited) tells me that vingar is an acid and if you want to balance out excess acid in your stomach you use something alkaline, like baking soda or antacid tablets.
When I drink coffee or soda, both great sources of acid, my reflux gets worse. So how will Apple Cider Vinegar help me? It’s supposed to be the magical cure for everything from obesity and high blood pressure to arthritis and gout.The fact that there are so many claims for the health benefits has me even more skeptical than I started out.
There’s all kinds of anecdotal recounts of the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar, but so far, I’ve found no controlled studies that support the claims. But I would try my own little experiment and see if it makes a difference.
It should be said that I am a woman with rampant acid reflux. I started treating it when my daughter was born, 13 years ago. I have prescription medication that I am lousy about taking, so most often I treat it with your garden variety antacid tablets. There is a limit to how much of those you are supposed to take and generally I find I could use about 5 or 6 a day more than I should take.
All sources seem to recommend raw, unfiltered (with the mother) ACV so I picked up a bottle of Bragg Organic ACV (I've also seen recommendations for the Whole Foods Organic Store Brand and if I continue this and it's cheaper I'll try that too).
First, I tried just downing a straight tablespoon of the stuff and I do NOT recommend you do this! It was so strong I could hardly breathe! I felt like a tremendous dork for not realizing it would likely be highly irritating to drink it straight.
I put the bottle back in the fridge and left it there for a couple months. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I was pretty sure I would never touch it again. Then I found a “recipe” for a drink that most people said was tolerable, especially for people who can’t tolerate drinking it straight.
I dunno who these people who can drink it straight are, but I imagine their throats must be lined with iron or something.
Seriously, I thought I’d die after I drank it straight. It was that bad. But yanno, you might be one of those iron-coated throat people so you should totally drink it straight and see what happens (seriously, don’t… I don’t want you suing me because you did die — it’s awful, I promise).
So, this time I am drinking 16oz of warm water with 2T of ACV and 2T of Agave syrup (also raw and organic). It’s not bad. In fact, if you measure it by the “clutching my throat and gasping for breathe” scale, it’s pretty awesome.
My plan is to drink this three times a day for a month. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Unfortunately, I gave this up shortly after I started the process. I couldn't stand Apple Cider Vinegar without diluting it in large amounts of water and from what I could tell, I did not benefit from taking it. To be fair, I did not try this for long, so it's entirely possible it might have worked for me if I'd been able to stick with it.
I have found that brewing and drinking fresh ginger tea does work very well for me. This past winter, I started making it with a bit of lemon and honey when I had a cold and found the pleasant side effect of soothing my acidic stomach. From what I have read, this doesn't work for everybody, but it's worth a try!
If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you. ~ Oscar Wilde