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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions

81 Comments

  1. THIS IS SO TRUE!!! I can’t begin to express how amazing apple cider vinegar (ACV) is in heartburn relief. I had chronic heartburn for years. I was on so many different medications for it (between 5-6 at one time). I used to carry around a vial of baking soda if I would get an attack so I could mix it with water and down is quickly to counteract the acid that was supposedly causing my heartburn. But the more I became Paleo and gluten free, the more articles about natural living I read and the this was one of the first remedies I tried. It worked–fast. Like freaky-good fast. I went cold turkey on all my medications and have been med-free for almost 9 months. My heartburn didn’t go away completely, but it is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced. I have both ACV tablets and the Bragg’s liquid. The tablets are great to carry around in your purse and I take one every morning. The liquid is great for it’s quick effectiveness.

    Be careful of taking too much in a day and causing real acid burn. My husband hates the smell of the liquid stuff but honestly I can’t care so much when it has provided me with so much relief. I try to drink the liquid out of a tightly closed water bottle so he’s less likely to smell it.

    Also, if you start to take it regularly, you may notice some “body cleansing” symptoms which I researched and are totally normal and go away in a few days-two weeks.

  2. What if you have a hiatal hernia? I have tried this and it really doesn’t seem to help. I’m assuming that it not working is due to the hernia…. The reflux is so bad that I am considering the Nissen Fundoplication Surgery

    • ACV or any added pro-acid supplements are CONTRAINDICATED in hiatal hernias!!! This is because your problem is purely mechanical. You could have the best digestion in the world but still experience acid reflux because of the hernia allowing what’s a normal pH for the stomach leak into the esophagus where the pH is much too low. You may also have trouble with digestion, but it’s advised people with more mechanical issues do not increase stomach acid because you won’t know when enough is enough and can do damage.

    • My chiropractor helped me with my hiatal hernia. I was lying on my back and he basically pushed down and across the left side of my torso, starting underneath my ribs. He did this several times very hard then told me to do it to myself several times at home. Poof. All gone. Very relieved.

    • I had the NFS done several years ago, and it does work. However, as with all surgeries, there are some ‘unintended consequences.’ It was years after the surgery before I could eat salads again w/o having the runs. And I can no longer vomit, which isn’t generally a problem unless you get the flu or stomach poisoning. Have been to ER three times, at a cost of $1,500 each time, because when you HAVE to vomit and can’t you keep retching till you pass out. It’s pretty painful. I now have a script for Zofran, an anti-spasmodic that stops the retching almost instantly and WEAR a tablet in a pill holder around my neck with my Medical ID. So be sure to ask your Dr. about side effects of the surgery AND ask to speak to others who have had it done. One of my friends had the same surgery by the same Dr., and she has not had the inability to vomit issue and has lost 35 lbs. So it’s different for everyone. And while NFS does cure the reflux, it doesn’t cure heartburn, and you may end up back on Prevacid or other meds. I did for a while. And I do have excess of stomach acid – one of the pre – surgery tests measured it and it was off the charts. Good luck.

      • I’ve ben slugging it down straight from the bottle…REALLY intense, but it kills the heartburn fast. I’m so glad to know that it’s better to dilute it with water. I’ve sometimes stirred in an equal amount of honey…easier to take, but still mighty effective.

      • There is no advisement on the bottle to contraindicated drinking it straight. I take one tablespoon nightly for my chronic indigestion. I do usually drink a bit of water after because of the taste, and I take it on a full stomach, but I have never had issues. I guess I can’t figure there’s much difference between consuming it quickly (which I also figure keeps it from bathing my tooth enamel) and consuming it on a salad, etc.

  3. I couldn’t find any source that backed the argument that high pH causes the lower esophageal sphincter dysfunction. Even if it were true, drinking any kind of vinegar (acetic acid) would not increase the acid levels it would decease them. In fact, this solution would act as an antacid.

    If you want to increase the acid levels (decrease pH) you have somehow pump HCL into the stomach. The body is too complex to be making the bold statements of assurance present in this article. This article has it’s facts reversed. There are so many factors that control the sphincter that keeps the stomach closed off from the esophagus. These signals are controlled by a variety of factors that doctors have been studying for years. To say that an alkaline stomach environment is bad makes no sense because it triggers acid production.

    I’m all for natural cures, but if people are using this method and praying for a cure rather than seeing a doctor and receiving medication before a hole rips through their esophageal lining, the liability would be on you, my friend. Perhaps not legal liability… because you have a disclaimer, but a moral liability.

    Would it be possible to include a disclaimer on the article to see a physician if pain persists?

    The truth is that the cure for acid reflux is diet and exercise. There is a direct correlation between obesity and and this disease. If a person is unwilling to put in the effort, they have to take the drugs so they can alleviate the symptoms which can lead to serious health problems. Sure, it’s like using a bandage to fix a broken arm, but it’s the only alternative.

    • I think your reasoning sounds scientific, but I personally have had fast relief of heartburn with this technique. And, I know many friends that it works for as well. I do agree with your concern that the article ought to include a disclaimer. Good advice.

      I haven’t taken an antiacid in almost 7 years and I used to go through a bottle of pepto each week. I typically take 2 cinnamon tablets and the heartburn goes away, however, I have found this method to be faster and always effective. Cinnamon doesn’t always work.

    • I can understand your skepticism but this is biology. It is supported by science as well as the work of thousands of practitioners across the world. It is not refuted in mainstream medicine that too little acid causes heartburn, but, unfortunately, Big Pharma can’t profit off that fact. They profit by selling a product that works against the body.

      There are some great resources for education about the role of stomach acid and how we can help the body produce more HCL naturally. I recommend the book Why Stomach Acid is Good for You by Dr. Jonathan Wright, here it is on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1gRgvbD

    • @ Bob- Do you know of anyways to treat acid reflux do to a hiatal hernia?? OCT PPI’s no longer help me and the Nissen Fundoplication procedure sounds pretty scary to me, so I am really trying to find an alternative to that.

    • Ingesting an acidic substance in no way would increase the stomach’s pH. There isn’t much real difference in “pumping HCl” into the stomach (which can be accomplished by taking HCl supplements) or ingesting an acidic substance such as vinegar, except what your mouth and esophagus experience.

    • “Take the drugs…alleviate the symptoms.” You must be a doctor. I don’t know about you, but I’m more interested in finding the root of the problem, not just treating the symptoms. Doctors aren’t interested in finding the cause for people’s suffering. And there’s a direct correlation between obesity and heartburn? I’m thin as a rail, and always have been. I know a lot of folks who are not obese who suffer heartburn on a regular basis.

    • After reading the article and your comment I agree with you, except for the running out to the doctor part. People always freak out and run to the doctor. There are so many common sense ways to cure yourself that very often seeing a doctor seems like a joke to me.

      You’re right though, diet and exercise are the general cause of all this, but no one is going to change that. One of the previous comments said their doc recommended eating dinner earlier and raising the head of their bed. $500 visit for a common sense answer. Could have said “stand up and move your legs around for an hour after dinner” but that would seem too much like exercise…

  4. My husband seems to have too much stomach acid. He has to eat something once or twice in the middle of the night to calm down his stomach. Any suggestions? We eat non gluten and mostly paleo.
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance

    Johanna

  5. I used to take prescription meds for this problem, after awhile they didn’t work. Someone suggested probiotics, it did help but to expensive for ongoing help…someone else suggested Kefir, I bought some, it did the job then I learned how to make it myself. So easy to do, I got a starter from someone else and have been making and drinking it for over two years with no problems. I drink the Kefir in morning shakes with 1/2 an avo + other foods such as spinach and or pumpkin puree, it varies ~and have some at night with my vitamins. I have also found that eating a foods that are more alkaline than acid is a tremendous help. It is not possible to eat all alkaline foods, there aren’t enough of them. There are lists online showing the different of acid/alkaline levels. We assume citrus is an acid, true outside the body it is, inside the body it changes to alkaline, get a list for help with this. I have also found that avocados are helpful with the heartburn issue and I have at least 1/2 of one each day. I have also used the ACV it does work. So I would suggest using the ACV and my suggestions above for relief.

  6. Lauren I just have to tell you that apple cider vinegar is also a cure for the hiccups. Put 1 tsp in a cup of water and take sips until they are gone. I hate the hiccups and this works every single time!

  7. Lauren,

    ACV is an old-timey remedy for heartburn and it does work. As a longtime heartburn sufferer, I’ve been using it for several years. I start the morning with a tablespoon of Bragg’s in 12 ounces of water before my morning coffee. This eliminates the belching I used to experience before taking the vinegar. I continue to sip vinegar all day long, adding a couple of teaspoons to a pint of water. The ACV takes care of the bulk of my symptoms. I also take digestive enzymes (with Betaine HCL) as an added measure. Diet is important, too–I’ve found that a carbohydrate-restricted diet works wonders for me. Whenever I go off my diet, the problems return.
    Love your site.

  8. I just wanted to say thank you. This works wonders for me and my 9 year old who was a 28 weeker and still has occasional heartburn. He is quite thin, and a very active child, and I am 5’3″, 128 lbs, eating Paleo, and marathon training. So I believe that rules out the diet and exercise/obesity issue somebody mentioned. Lol. We love acv & raw honey. It helps for sore throats, sinus congestion, etc as well. 🙂

  9. This is one article I find confusing. I was brought up on apple cider vinegar, warm water and honey and I loved it. As a child we often had it as a bedtime drink.
    Now days if I go near it I get severe gastristis. It causes me so much pain I have take Nexium.
    I love all your articles but this one I am struggling with.

      • I have tried kombucha (I’m 4 mo’s pregnant) and drink it almost daily. Alas, I am experiencing the typical pregnancy heartburn almost daily, so I was super excited to see this post and am heading into my kitchen to try this NOW. Yay! PS – our family eats 99% organic, plant-based/free range/grass fed/no dairy healthy diet so I’m fortunate that pregnancy seems to be the only time it hits me.

  10. It did not work for me. In fact it made my heartburn much much worse and it lasted for hours and I love sour vinegary things but the taste that stayed in my mouth for half a day afterwards completely turned me off. I tried it for a week and the heartburn and reflux reached a ridiculous level and I went back on prilosec.

    • I would strongly recommend working with a nutritional therapist if you want to transition of your Prilosec. It requires a gradual transition, with support to heal the stomach lining and support gastric juice production. In most situations like yours, the Prilosec has kept your stomach acid levels so low that the immediate introduction of ACV was too acidic for your damaged stomach lining. This can cause burning and heartburn. I can’t tell you to stop any medications, but I can tell you that a nutritional therapist can support YOUR decision to transition off Prilosec and get your digestion fixed.

      • I want to try to get off prilosec too. I am 48. I have been taking it for about ten years it seems. I used to smoke and eat really bad. I used to shoot up drugs and drink. I got heartburn so badly that I could not sleep or stand up. The prilosec took it away. I live a really healthy lifestyle now and I don’t want to be on this drug forever but I am afraid. Last time I tried to get off the prilosec it really hurt.

        I appreciate your help, and, you can email me if you want. Ted

  11. So basically you are advising pregnant women to consume unpasteurized items which are a high risk food for even those that are not pregnant. Are you kidding me? I sincerely hope that noone has endangered their baby by listening to this crock.

  12. Hi there,
    Thanks for al the helpful advice and recipes.
    Apple cider vinegar also helps very well with stomach gas.
    Just about stops it completely.
    I have had a sore throat for months. The doctor gave me medication
    for a ppost nasal drip. The apple cider vinegar has sorted my throat out.
    Happy Christmas
    Regards
    Lyn

  13. I was on numerous medications that slowly were introduced by my DR. The Dr. retired so after 4 years I felt generally bad. As none of the med’s were life threatening issues to make a long story short if I stopped immediately just uncomfortable. I personally made the choice to stop but changed over immediately to natural products precisely at that time. I think I had acid reflux for a day or two. I began using apple cider vinegar but also using medicinal benotite as well for better digestion and energy in my case. The use of these after a few weeks brought my system back into balance. The medicinal benotite is the best cleanse method I found combined with my diet change of course. I am still under way towards healing using both of these products.

    Jeff

    • I forgot one element which is something to strengthen my system Fulvic or Fulveric acid. These 3 elements taken separately seem to be working very well. The Fulveric acid is to ensure I have 80 plus natural minerals in my daily diet for the body to repair itself with a healthy diet of course. Salmon to me is the only meat source that has the similar food source that is the same of 100 years ago. Something we cannot say for other meat sources like beef or chicken for example. All to say that my healing items I use the most are apple cider vinegar, medicinal benotite for internal use and fulvic/fulveric acid supplement form.

  14. I am 6 months pregnant with my 4th baby, and have recently begun experiencing heartburn for the first time EVER. (I have never had any issues like this before, and have a moderately to mostly healthy diet/lifestyle.) I wanted to try a natural remedy the first night it was very bad, and so after searching around the internet, I decided to try the raw apple cider vinegar. It INSTANTLY made my heartburn so bad I could hardly breathe. I frantically drank some milk and ate raw honey by the tablespoon, which barely reduced the pain. In desperation, I got dressed and drove around our small town to get apples, papaya extract, kombucha, or something else that I had read about. The only place open was a gas station, which only had Tums. I took over twice the recommended dosage (on accident–I didn’t know there was a limit!) and it barely touched the pain. Since then, the heartburn has been on and off, and I’ve been taking digestive enzymes and papaya extract, but I CANNOT bring myself to try the vinegar again. A friend of mine with heartburn says she’s tried it twice: once it worked very well and the next made it much much worse. What is possibly the problem here that this remedy would work for me exactly opposite of what happens for other people? What sort of things could I be researching in order to find the root problem?

    • Heartburn is also a symptom of laxity of the valve between the oesophagus and the stomach. You can have low acid AND laxity causing heartburn. When pregnant the laxity is worse from hormones. Any amount of acid in the stomach will give you heartburn if you have laxity.

      So trying the additional acid methods (like ACV) with a lax value will make things worse because your stomach just can’t keep the acid in there. It’ might improve your gastric emptying and if the stomach can empty the acid production will rest until the next meal, but… the valve is still lax and the little acid remain may still reflux up.
      What to do instead? That’s what I’m wondering. Aside from positions and the occasional use of things (like gavison) the topically soothe the oesophageal lining?
      Anyone who has ideas please comment because there are clearly a subgroup not being helped by ACV/HCL alone…

  15. I tried the ACV once and it made it SOO much worse. I then put a tsp of baking soda in about 4 oz of water and drank that. It instantly made it go away. And so now, if I get the least bit of indegestion, I use the baking soda and water. If it is REALLY bad, I add 2 or 3 tsp. It does make you belch, but it helped me SOO much!!

  16. I normally don’t have heartburn but after a drink ACV in the morning I experience horrible heartburn. Suggestions?
    I also use ACV as a rubbing agent for my spider veins and then a vitamin k lotion.

  17. Hello Lauren! Thank you for this wonderful article! I have one question: do you use warm water, cold water or water at room temperature for mixing the ACV and honey. Thank you <3

  18. My husband says that the ACV CAUSES his heartburn…after taking it with lemon (he uses this to reduce his kidney stones) honey and molasses he says for hours he burps and has heartburn and tastes the Vinegar…HELP!!!

  19. Respectfully, I was a little skeptical. I had been taking omeraprazole (prilosec) and it works, but it’s a little expensive and I wanted to try something natural. I found this while I was at the onset of some heartburn, thought I’d be my own guinea pig, and it was relieved almost IMMEDIATELY! Thank you!

  20. I have been suffering from painful acid reflux symptoms that doctors found difficult to diagnose. Needless to say, pills and antacids didn’t cure me and the relief was temporary and sometimes insignificant.It wasn’t Until I tried the natural remedy you recommended it helped me in ways that I still cannot comprehend. My acid reflux symptoms are a thing of the past. It’s like I have never suffered from heartburn.

  21. I tried the vinegar, but couldn’t swallow it as I was already close to vomiting from heartburn. I thought another acid should work, so I tried lemon juice in a little water. It worked within minutes, and between that and propping up my head, I was able to sleep!

  22. I’ve been on Nexiam for 18months after treatment to fix my stomach lining. I am traveling and ran out of Nexiam for the last 5 days. I experienced the horrible burning effect last night. I tried antacids, yogurt, some food but it just got worse- so much so that I experienced the shortness of breath, salivating and the feeling to puke as well as the terrible chest pain. Needless to say that I would not have been able to sleep – even sitting up in bed was a torture. I decided to search online for anything that could help. My luck I just bought ACV hours before – I’ve never used it before!!! It really helped almost instantly and I slept very well……..for the long haul……I really do not know yet what I will do, as this really just is “the morning after”. Thank you for this great help

  23. thanks for sharing! ACV rreally works…just had heartburn attack, i googled up and end up in this page…immediately bought ACV and in few minutes after taking them the pain gone!! Thank you again!! Had heart burn for many years…

  24. I have pretty bad heartburn. I have tried all these medicines and natural remedies. The truth of the matter is these natural remedies don’t really work. As much as people claim their validity, it doesn’t help GERD sufferers. I myself have tried all these products from PPI to antacids. The only one I’ve found to help me without having the side effects of PPI’s is Episolve GI. I take about four before I go to bed as I have heartburn worst through the night. Episolve GI took the edge off my morning heartburn. I can’t highly recommend Episolve GI enough. Apparently it has a combination of Olive Oil and Calcium Carbonate. It also lasts a couple of hours opposed to TUMS that lasts a short period. http://www.episolvegi.com

    • You can’t say that a natural cure for heartburn isn’t going to work and I doubt that that you tried everything. Yes there are some natural things you can try to help ease your heartburn but unless you educate yourself your never going to cure yourself of the problem. Heartburn is a warning sign that something is wrong in your system. Masking the symptom might make you feel better temporally but unless you treat the source of the problem the body will continue to be at dis ease and you will become a medication user. pills aren’t meant to cure there is no money in curing.

      • You’re right. I can’t technically say a natural cure for heartburn isn’t going to work. But I will say it because if it were true, there wouldn’t be any antacids on the market! Anyone can good natural remedies for heartburn, but obviously it’s not working because there are GERD sufferers like myself. It is important to take care of heartburn before it damages your tissue permanently. I was just stating that I had rough nighttime heartburn because of my GERD. What happens is that the stomach acid at night slides near to the esophageal opening seeping out. It’s extremely uncomfortable. No “Home Remedy” is going to stop this from happening. What I was saying is that I took Episolve GI to help with my nighttime heartburn. It lasts for a moderate amount of time. When I wake up in the morning, the pain is not gone, but it is MUCH more bearable. I’m just protecting myself from further damage at night. So I recommend you try it… http://www.episolvegi.com

  25. I love ACV and use it a lot. I had heartburn for over 25 years and finally got diagnosed as Coeliac last year and, hey presto, my heartburn has completely disappeared! All those years suffering with digestive and other problems (I’m 56) and tons of money spent on health practitioners of all types. Cutting out gluten changed my life completely. That said, the use of ACV for heartburn is wonderful and works really fast. I love your blog.

  26. What to do if this actually makes your heartburn worse? I get very occasional heartburn, and I’ve had it twice this week so I just tried this remedy. OH MY GOD- SO MUCH FIRE!!! I would rate the heartburn I was experiencing before as moderate. Now, after drinking the ACV as instructed, it is so severe I want to throw up. It burned going down, and has been burning for the whole 30 minutes since drinking.

    Anyone have any remedies for ACV-induced (or perpetuated, I guess) heartburn???

  27. Hello Lauren !

    Thank you for your eye-opening site and sharing with the world.

    I have been suffering from GERD/Heartburn for last five years. Had an ultra-sound test done which much to my surprise came out normal (at least in the reports). Changed doctors one after another without any successful treatment. But never took an antacid. And to this day I still don’t know whether I have low or high stomach acid.

    Recently I had lukewarm lemon (1/2 squeezed) water on completely empty stomach thinking I might have low stomach acid. The result was that I had inflammation in my tummy for about 4-5 hours and I was uneasy.Kindly let me know what this says about my stomach acid since I am in a very puzzled state of mind.

    Thanking you ,

    Regards, Swati.

  28. No! This is the wrong dilution amount. The amount of ACV that gets to your stomach is great and it does help with heartburn, but traveling down there is the problem! you need more than 1/4-1/2 cup of water – you need at LEAST a cup per 2 tsp of ACV. A family friend found out the hard way; she is a dietitian and used to swear by the amounts listed in this article, but now she has permanently lost her voice. It always sounds raspy, as if she is very sick or is about to really lose it for good, and it’s because of the amount of ACV she consumed without enough water. She warned me to change the amount of water I drank ACV with before it became too late for me. 2 tsp per 1 CUP of water, not 2 tsp per 1/4-1/2 cup.

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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