Have you ever experienced a nasty burning sensation in your chest area, or a rather uncomfortable acidic feeling that seems to stick in your throat..? If so, then you probably know all about heartburn, otherwise known as acid reflux. It’s unpleasant and painful but what causes it? The bitter aftertaste involved had me always thinking I had eaten too many acidic foods, but I was surprised to learn that that may not be the whole story.
Many of us know that there is a muscle at the opening of the stomach that acts like a valve, closing each time food passes through it  and that when this muscle doesn’t work efficiently, some of the stomach’s acid can pass back up through the oesophagus and cause some discomfort. What I didn’t realise, however, was that heartburn can also be caused by too little stomach acid..! 2]
I suffered from heartburn for years and, therefore, always had some antacids handy (in my bag, bathroom, nightstand, desk drawer, etc..). What I noticed over time was that it was an effective band aid, but it didn’t solve my issue. In fact, I simply needed more and more antacids to gain the same results. I first decided to tackle my problem by improving my food choices, which made a huge difference already in the frequency and severity of my heartburn, but I also wanted to find a more natural solution for the odd bout of indigestion that I did still suffer from – one that I could use long-term as well.
I had read and heard some anecdotal evidence about the benefits of apple cider vinegar in helping to alleviate heartburn and was keen to give it a go. I decided to tread carefully and read up on the various risks (i.e. be aware of medications that don’t mix with apple cider vinegar, ensure you don’t suffer from stomach ulcers, and sip the diluted solution through a straw to minimize any potential damage to tooth enamel).3] Suffice it to say, I was very happy with the results, and I haven’t looked back since. It may not be for everyone – especially those with a more serious form like GERD 4] but, if you’re like me and only suffer the odd, mild bout every now and then, try combining a glass of water with a teaspoon (or two) of organic apple cider vinegar and see if that helps – it may be just the natural solution you’ve been looking for..!
1&4] Stuart, Annie. “Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms, Causes, Tests, and Treatments.” WebMD, WebMD,https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/what-is-acid-reflux-disease.
2] “Low Stomach Acid – Fact or Fiction?” The Functional Gut Clinic, 21 Dec. 2019, https://thefunctionalgutclinic.com/blog/news/low-stomach-acid-fact-or-fiction/.
3] McDermott, Annette. “Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Acid Reflux?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 8 Mar. 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/apple-cider-vinegar-for-acid-reflux#risks-and-warnings.