Apple Cider Vinegar For Acid Reflux 2024: Does It Work?

apple cider vinegar for acid reflux
Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy for acid reflux. Photo:

Each article is created without any external influence. When you use our provided links to buy products, we receive a commission as an affiliate. To understand how we generate revenue, please read our advertising disclaimer.

Acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD,[1] is a common digestive disorder. It occurs when the stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing a range of uncomfortable symptoms. These may include heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and a sour taste in the mouth. 

While there are various treatment options available, including medication and lifestyle changes, many people seek a natural remedy to alleviate their symptoms. A remedy that has gained popularity is apple cider vinegar for acid reflux. This article will explore the potential benefits of apple cider vinegar or ACV, for women and men who have acid reflux. We will see the risks and scientific evidence behind using ACV as a natural remedy for acid reflux relief. We will also see more health benefits of ACV and how to use it properly.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Acid Reflux?

There are limited scientific studies that suggest that apple cider vinegar may provide relief for some people with acid reflux. The idea is that the acidity of this vinegar might help balance the pH levels in the stomach, preventing excessive acid production and reducing symptoms of acid reflux.

However, it is important to note that lifestyle and dietary changes are generally considered the first line of defense against acid reflux. Always consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice on managing acid reflux and other gastrointestinal issues.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Acid Reflux: Is It Good?

does apple cider vinegar help with acid reflux
Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy for acid reflux. Photo: stefamerpik/freepik

Imagine you are having a delicious meal, and suddenly, you feel a burning sensation creeping up your chest. GERD occurs when stomach acid flows back through the lower esophageal sphincter, causing that uncomfortable burning feeling. 

If you’ve experienced acid reflux, you know it’s not something to be taken lightly. Symptoms include a burning sensation in the chest or heartburn, regurgitation of acid or sour-tasting liquid, difficulty swallowing, and even a persistent cough.

So, does taking apple cider vinegar help with acid reflux? The potential benefits of organic apple cider vinegar for GERD are thought to be attributed to its ability to increase stomach acid production.[2]

The acetic acid in ACV is also believed to have antimicrobial properties that help combat harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. However, scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for acid reflux is limited. One study[3] identified a brand of chewing gum with ingredients including ACV, papain, and licorice that helped with a case of GERD. 

Some individuals report that ACV improved their acid reflux symptoms, while others experienced worsened heartburn or irritation. It’s crucial to recognize that what works for one person may not work for another. Excessive consumption of ACV can lead to tooth enamel erosion and digestive tract irritation. 

Before incorporating ACV into a routine for acid reflux, consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide personalized advice based on individual health conditions and medications.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apple juice. It contains acetic acid and other beneficial compounds. Its production involves a two-step process.

First, crushed apples are pressed to extract their juice. The juice undergoes alcoholic fermentation, where natural sugars transform into alcohol with the aid of yeast. 

Subsequently, acetic acid bacteria (Acetobacter) further ferment the alcohol into acetic acid. This gives the vinegar its characteristic sour taste and strong aroma.

One distinguishing feature[4] of some types of apple cider vinegar is the mother’s presence. This cloudy substance consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria that form during fermentation. 

Many people believe that the mother enhances the health benefits of ACV. Choosing unfiltered, unpasteurized, and organic varieties ensures the inclusion of the mother.

ACV is widely used in cooking as it is a versatile condiment in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. Beyond its culinary applications, it has a rich history in traditional medicine and is sometimes incorporated into wellness routines for potential health benefits.

How To Take Apple Cider Vinegar For Acid Reflux

While some people can relieve acid reflux symptoms by using ACV, it’s essential to approach its consumption cautiously and in moderation. 

Here are some suggestions on how to take apple cider vinegar to treat acid reflux:

Dilute With Water

how to take apple cider vinegar for acid reflux
One good way to have ACV is by diluting with water. Photo: rahela2studio/freepik

Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a large glass of water. Start with a lower amount of ACV alongside your daily supplement and vitamins. You can also gradually increase it if needed, depending on your tolerance. If you are wondering how often to drink apple cider vinegar for acid reflux, you can have it every day with this method. 

Sip Before Meals

Take the diluted ACV solution about 15-30 minutes before a meal to aid digestion. Avoid consuming raw apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach, as this increases the risk of irritation.

Consider Honey

If the taste is too strong, add a teaspoon of honey to the diluted apple cider vinegar acid reflux mixture. Honey may also provide additional soothing properties.

Monitor Your Body’s Response

Pay attention to how your body responds to ACV. If you experience any adverse effects when you consume apple cider vinegar, such as increased heartburn or irritation, discontinue use.

Choose The Right Type Of Apple Cider Vinegar

When using apple cider for GERD, choose raw, unfiltered, and organic apple cider vinegar that contains the mother. 

Other Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

While our major focus today is apple cider vinegar for heartburn, ACV is widely known for its many health benefits. Note that scientific research is ongoing. That said, some potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar include:

Weight Management

The potential link between apple cider vinegar and weight management has generated interest. Studies suggest mechanisms that might contribute to weight loss.[5] 

One proposed mechanism is the impact of ACV on satiety, the feeling of fullness. ACV may influence appetite regulation, leading you to consume fewer calories and lose fat as a result. 

ACV may also positively affect blood sugar levels,[6] potentially benefiting individuals with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed in this area as there are no conclusive results yet.[7]

Heart Health

ACV might help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.[8] Acetic acid, a key component of ACV, has been associated with reducing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, it’s essential to note that more research is needed to establish the effectiveness of ACV in humans.

Antimicrobial Properties

ACV has been traditionally used as a natural disinfectant and preservative due to its antimicrobial properties. It may help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Studies also confirm that it is a useful antimicrobial agent.[9] 

Digestive Health

Some people use ACV to alleviate digestive issues[2] such as indigestion and bloating. It may also promote gut health by improving the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Skin Health

ACV is sometimes used topically for skin conditions[10] like acne, eczema, and fungal infections. However, it’s crucial to use caution and dilute it to avoid skin irritation.

Anti-inflammatory Effects

The anti-inflammatory effects[11] of ACV are suggested by studies in animals. Although this must be verified for humans it indicates that ACV may be useful for conditions involving inflammation.

Risks And Safety Tips

While ACV can offer relief for some individuals, it’s important to note that it may not work for everyone. Is apple cider vinegar good for acid reflux? There are a few potential side effects and precautions to consider. Here are some considerations and safety tips:

  1. Tooth erosion: ACV is acidic and can erode tooth enamel. To minimize this risk, avoid sipping or holding diluted ACV in your mouth for extended periods. Use a straw to reduce contact with teeth.
  2. Digestive issues: Some individuals may experience digestive discomforts, such as indigestion or stomach acid when consuming ACV. Start with small amounts and monitor your body’s response.
  3. Allergies:  While rare, some individuals may be allergic to components in apple cider vinegar. Monitor for any signs of allergic reactions, such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  4. Quality matters: Choose raw, unfiltered, and organic apple cider vinegar with the mother for potential health benefits. 
  5. Moderation is key: Excessive consumption of ACV may lead to adverse effects. Start with small amounts and use them in moderation.
  6. Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Limited research is available on the safety of ACV during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your routine.


So, does apple cider vinegar help with heartburn? We have seen the benefits of apple cider vinegar and how it may relieve some individuals dealing with chronic acid reflux.

However, it’s important to approach it cautiously and consult a healthcare professional. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution; other natural remedies and lifestyle changes can also help manage acid reflux effectively.

Before starting any new treatment or remedy, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking medication. They can provide personalized advice and ensure that using apple cider vinegar is safe. Also, see your doctor if symptoms persist after using apple cider vinegar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does apple cider vinegar heal your gut?

Some people believe apple cider vinegar may support gut health due to its potential prebiotic properties. However, scientific evidence is limited. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice on gut health and dietary choices.

Who should not take apple cider vinegar?

Individuals with certain health conditions,[7] like gastroparesis, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, should avoid apple cider vinegar. Also, those allergic to apples or with acid reflux may experience worsened symptoms.

What can I drink for acid reflux?

Water, herbal teas (like chamomile or ginger), and non-citrus, non-mint-infused water can be soothing for acid reflux. Avoid acidic and caffeinated beverages, as well as alcohol, which can exacerbate symptoms. Adjustments should be based on individual tolerance.

+ 11 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. NHS inform. (2023). Gastroesophageal reflux disease. [online] Available at:
  2. Schulz, R.M., Ahuja, N.K. and Slavin, J.L. (2022). Effectiveness of Nutritional Ingredients on Upper Gastrointestinal Conditions and Symptoms: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, [online] 14(3), pp.672–672. doi:
  3. Brown, R., Sam, C.H.Y., Green, T. and Wood, S. (2014). Effect of GutsyGumtm, A Novel Gum, on Subjective Ratings of Gastro Esophageal Reflux Following A Refluxogenic Meal. Journal of Dietary Supplements, [online] 12(2), pp.138–145. doi:
  4. Gopal, J., Vimala Anthonydhason, Manikandan Muthu, Enkhtaivan Gansukh, Jung, S., Sechul Chul and Sivanesan Iyyakkannu (2017). Authenticating apple cider vinegar’s home remedy claims: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties and cytotoxicity aspect. Natural Product Research, [online] 33(6), pp.906–910. doi:
  5. Solaleh Sadat Khezri, Atoosa Saidpour, Hosseinzadeh, N. and Amiri, Z. (2018). Beneficial effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on weight management, Visceral Adiposity Index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects receiving restricted calorie diet: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Functional Foods, [online] 43, pp.95–102. doi:
  6. Hadi, A., Makan Pourmasoumi, Ameneh Najafgholizadeh, Clark and Esmaillzadeh, A. (2021). The effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, [online] 21(1). doi:
  7. Tine Louise Launholt, Christina Blanner Kristiansen and Hjorth, P. (2020). Safety and side effects of apple vinegar intake and its effect on metabolic parameters and body weight: a systematic review. European Journal of Nutrition, [online] 59(6), pp.2273–2289. doi:
  8. Sahar Dadkhah Tehrani, Mahdi Keshani, Mohammad Hossein Rouhani, Seyed Adel Moallem, Bagherniya, M. and Amirhossein Sahebkar (2023). The Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Clinical Trials. Current Medicinal Chemistry, [online] 31. doi:
  9. Darshna Yagnik, Serafin, V. and Shah, A.J. (2018). Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports, [online] 8(1). doi:
  10. Luu, L.A., Flowers, R.H., Kellams, A.L., Zeichner, S., Preston, D.C., Zlotoff, B.J. and Wisniewski, J.A. (2019). Apple cider vinegar soaks [0.5%] as a treatment for atopic dermatitis do not improve skin barrier integrity. Pediatric Dermatology, [online] 36(5), pp.634–639. doi:
  11. Tripathi, S. and Papiya Mitra Mazumder (2021). Comprehensive investigations for a potential natural prophylaxis—A cellular and murine model for apple cider vinegar against hydrogen peroxide and scopolamine induced oxidative stress. Drug Development Research, [online] 83(1), pp.105–118. doi:


Dr. Susan Adeosun (MPH, MD) is a medical doctor and public health enthusiast. She has over five years’ worth of experience in public health and preventive medicine and is a firm believer in the famous phrase… See More