Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn Relief

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest, commonly experienced after eating or while lying down. It is most often caused by acid reflux, which is when the acid in your stomach backs up into the esophagus. This can cause discomfort, pain and even damage to the esophagus if left untreated. While medication is available to treat heartburn, effective home remedies, such as apple cider vinegar, can also go a long way. In this article, we will discuss the benefits, dosage, and potential risks of using apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for heartburn, as well as other natural remedies to consider. Whether you experience heartburn regularly or infrequently, effective and efficient treatment is crucial for ongoing health and wellness.

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries. Made by fermenting apples, it contains acetic acid, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is a popular home remedy for many ailments, including heartburn.

ACV's chemical composition is what makes it effective against heartburn. The acetic acid in ACV neutralizes stomach acid and reduces the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. Additionally, the vinegar stimulates the production of digestive juices, which can help prevent acid reflux.

Beyond acid reflux and heartburn relief, ACV has numerous potential benefits. It may help regulate blood sugar levels, promote weight loss, and reduce inflammation in the body. Some studies have also shown that ACV can boost immune function and improve heart health.

However, it is important to note that the scientific evidence for many of these benefits is still limited. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using ACV or any other home remedy.

Even though ACV has many potential benefits, it does have some potential drawbacks, which will be discussed further in the sections below.

Treating Heartburn with Apple Cider Vinegar

As a natural remedy for heartburn, apple cider vinegar has gained popularity due to its effectiveness in treating acid reflux. To use apple cider vinegar for heartburn, follow these steps:

Dosage and method of using apple cider vinegar as treatment for heartburn

- Mix one to two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar with a glass of water.
- Drink this mixture 20-30 minutes before meals, or when experiencing acid reflux symptoms.

It is essential to dilute apple cider vinegar with water to avoid potential irritation to the esophagus and stomach. Additionally, the right dosage may vary depending on personal factors such as age, sex, and the severity of the acid reflux symptoms. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine appropriate dosage.

Comparison with medical treatments for heartburn

Apple cider vinegar works by balancing the acidity levels in the stomach, thereby reducing acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. While medical treatments, such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors, or H2 blockers, also reduce stomach acid levels, they may present adverse side effects and be unsuitable for some people.

Furthermore, apple cider vinegar has negligible associated risks and is cost-effective compared to most pharmaceutical treatments. However, this natural remedy is not a replacement for proper medical care. Seek medical attention if you experience frequent or severe acid reflux or heartburn symptoms.

Best practices and potential challenges when using apple cider vinegar for heartburn

When using apple cider vinegar as a remedy for heartburn, it is essential to adopt particular best practices, such as:

  • Taking notes of the symptoms and dosage to track progress
  • Drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Eating healthily, avoiding acidic foods, caffeine, or alcohol
  • Elevating the head while sleeping to avoid acid reflux at night
  • Avoiding apple cider vinegar when experiencing severe acid reflux symptoms or if allergic to it

While apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for heartburn, it may present some challenges, such as an unpleasant taste, throat irritation, or allergic reactions. If any adverse effects arise, discontinue use and seek medical attention if necessary.

In summary, apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy for heartburn that can complement or replace traditional medical treatments. However, proper dosage, best practices, and awareness of potential risks are critical for successful use.

Precautions When Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn

Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy that has been used for generations to ease symptoms of heartburn. However, as with any treatment, there are potential side effects and risks that people should be aware of before using it.

Potential side effects of using apple cider vinegar as remedy for heartburn

While apple cider vinegar is generally considered safe, there are a few potential side effects that people need to be aware of. These include:

  • Stomach irritation or upset
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Reduced potassium levels in the body
  • Throat irritation or burns from the acidic nature of the vinegar

To avoid these side effects, it is important to only take small doses of apple cider vinegar and to dilute it with water or other liquids.

Special considerations for at-risk populations (e.g., pregnant women and people with diabetes)

People with certain health conditions, such as pregnant women or those with diabetes, should exercise caution when using apple cider vinegar for heartburn. There is limited research on the effects of apple cider vinegar on these populations, and it may interact with medications or have negative impacts on overall health.

If you have a pre-existing health condition, it is always best to speak to a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment.

Risk factors for worsening heartburn or acid reflux while using apple cider vinegar

While apple cider vinegar is touted for its beneficial effects on acid reflux and heartburn, it is not a solution for everyone. Certain risk factors may make heartburn or acid reflux worse when using apple cider vinegar, such as:

  • Underlying digestive issues or disorders
  • Ingesting spicy or acidic foods
  • Consuming alcohol or caffeine
  • Being overweight or obese

To minimize these risks, it is important to make lifestyle changes to complement any natural remedies, such as eating a healthy diet, avoiding trigger foods, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Additional Home Remedies for Heartburn

Heartburn is a common condition that millions of people experience. Although apple cider vinegar may be an effective remedy for reducing heartburn symptoms, it's not the only option available. In this section, we will provide an overview of additional natural remedies for heartburn.

Overview of other natural remedies for heartburn

1. Ginger: Ginger is a root that's commonly used in cooking and medicine. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the esophagus and stomach. Compared to traditional medication, ginger may be a safer solution.

2. Bananas: Bananas are a natural antacid that can counteract acid reflux. They help neutralize stomach acid and reduce symptoms like nausea and heartburn. Moreover, bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber, making them an excellent addition to any diet.

3. Chamomile tea: Chamomile is a herb that's often used for medicinal purposes. Drinking chamomile tea can help reduce inflammation and promote relaxation in the body. It may also help reduce symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn.

B. Comparative benefits and limitations of other home remedies

While apple cider vinegar has been shown to be an effective remedy for heartburn, other natural remedies may work better for some people. Ginger, bananas, and chamomile tea all provide unique benefits when it comes to reducing heartburn symptoms. Unlike medication, they may have fewer side effects and may be safer to consume regularly.

However, it's important to note that some natural remedies may not work for everyone. People with severe or chronic cases of heartburn should seek medical advice from a healthcare professional before attempting to treat it with home remedies.

Evidence-based recommendations for combining apple cider vinegar with other natural remedies

If you're experiencing heartburn, you may be looking for an effective solution to ease your symptoms. While there's evidence to support the use of apple cider vinegar and other natural remedies, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider before combining remedies.

Combining natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and ginger or chamomile tea may provide additional benefits. However, it's essential to distinguish between remedies that are beneficial and remedies that can cause harm when used together.


In conclusion, using apple cider vinegar for heartburn can be an effective and natural solution for many people who are seeking alternative home remedies. Through this article, we discussed the benefits and challenges of using apple cider vinegar, the best practices in dosage and administration, the precautions to consider, and the potential side effects and risks for at-risk populations.

As a Health, Nutrition, and Fitness expert, my recommendation is to start with small doses of apple cider vinegar and invest in high-quality and organic vinegar brands. Regularly consult with healthcare professionals before and during using Apple Cider Vinegar at home or for more serious health conditions. This home remedy is not a substitute for a proper diet, medication, or professional medical advice.

Overall, it is essential to recognize that natural remedies may not work for everyone, and that chronic heartburn may indicate a more serious medical condition that requires expert attention before using these home remedies. Therefore, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before trying an apple cider vinegar treatment for heartburn.

Remember: Proper knowledge, attention to diet and lifestyle habits, and consistency in following guidelines without overdoing it can lead to safer and more positive results. Apple cider vinegar can be a complementary remedy for heartburn, but it is essential to use it with caution and informed consent.


What is heartburn? Heartburn is a feeling of burning discomfort in the chest that often occurs after eating or lying down. It is caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus.

How does apple cider vinegar help with heartburn? Apple cider vinegar can help neutralize stomach acid and promote digestion, reducing the frequency and severity of heartburn symptoms.

How should I use apple cider vinegar to treat heartburn? It is recommended to dilute one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in eight ounces of water and drink before meals or when symptoms occur.

Are there any potential side effects of using apple cider vinegar for heartburn? Possible side effects include tooth enamel erosion, throat irritation, and low potassium levels. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before using apple cider vinegar as a remedy for heartburn.

What are some other home remedies for heartburn? Other natural ways to treat heartburn include chewing gum, drinking chamomile tea, and avoiding trigger foods such as caffeine and spicy foods.

William H. McDaniel, MD

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling is the former clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and is a current member of the corresponding faculty in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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