Vinegar For Heartburn
Is Taking Vinegar For Heartburn Helpful Or Safe?
Is taking vinegar for heartburn safe? Is it effective? Does it make sense? Taking vinegar for heartburn, whether it is white vinegar, or the slightly more pleasant tasting apple cider vinegar, has been touted as an excellent home remedy for heartburn.
Can An Acid Help Relieve Excess Stomach Acid?
Taking vinegar for heartburn doesn’t seem to make all the much sense, since heartburn is caused by an excess of stomach acid, and vinegar is acidic. It would seem that taking vinegar for heartburn would be like attempting to put out a fire by throwing a little gasoline on it.
On the other hand, drinking milk would seem to calm things down a bit, and would therefore tend to relieve the discomfort of heartburn. That’s not always true however, as milk in the stomach can soften cause more gastric acid to be produced, making a bad thing even worse. Vinegar on the other hand, is an acid, an acetic acid to be precise, which is much less acidic than stomach acid, and conceivably could be of some help in relieving the discomfort of heartburn.
Treat The Condition – Not Just The Symptoms
By putting 2 and 2 together, it might seem to make sense that vinegar would offer more relief than milk when it comes to dealing with heartburn. The answer to this is “maybe”. Sometimes however, when we take something that relieves a symptom, we can actually be making the condition causing the symptom worse, and this could be happening if one regularly takes a little vinegar to relieve the symptoms of heartburn.
Food Items To Avoid
The May Clinic has a list of 14 food items that can trigger heartburn. Vinegar is at the bottom of the list. That doesn’t mean it is less apt to trigger heartburn than the other foods. It just happens that the list is in alphabetical order. Milk is not to be found on the list. Some of the other foods that are listed are alcohol, black pepper, coffee, fried or fatty food, mustard, onions, soft drinks, and tomato sauce. The foods listed are either spicy, fatty and therefore slower to digest, or acidic. When you consider the company vinegar is keeping, it’s hard to see how it can offer much in the way of relieving heartburn.
Vinegar Does Have Its Good Points
Vinegar can do some good things as far as digestion is concerned, though it should always be used in moderation. Apple cider vinegar for example, is high in certain enzymes that promote digestion. Apple cider vinegar is a staple in many kitchens, and it is widely used in salad dressings. A small amount of apple cider vinegar as a part of a meal can reduce bloating, or the formation of gas, which often will occur if the digestive process is too slow, or the foods being eaten are difficult to digest. In this respect, apple cider vinegar is in most instances very good for you, as long as it is taken in moderation. Vinegar, when taken too often or in excessive amounts however, can irritate the lining of the throat. In smaller amount it is quite safe, one exception being if one suffers from heartburn. Another exception would be a case in which the vinegar interferes with a particular medication.
It is true that taking vinegar can help the digestive process perform more efficiently, and in doing so lessen the chances of heartburn symptoms being experienced. Lessening the number of incidents of heartburn isn’t quite the same however as relieving heartburn when it does occur, and vinegar is certainly not a cure for heartburn. This could be however, one reason why some might feel that vinegar is good for heartburn.
A Lack Of Clinical Evidence
There isn’t a single piece of documentation from an authoritative source that recommends vinegar as a remedy for heartburn. Nor is there any record of any research having been done in this area. Doctors, clinics, or medical institutions that have been asked the question – “Is vinegar good for relieving heartburn?” – have said either no or probably not, and most have indicated that suggesting vinegar as a remedy for heartburn is nothing more than folklore. In that respect, vinegar is about as useful for relieving heartburn as stump water, gathered in the moonlight, is useful for curing warts. In any event, the use of vinegar for treating heartburn symptoms is either not recommended or considered harmful.
There are a number of herbs and herbal-based home remedies that are recommended for heartburn relief, but getting the advice from a doctor would seem to be the best approach to take. One home remedy that seems to work and doctors generally would not have a problem with, though some dentists might, would be to chew gum. Chewing gum encourages the formation of saliva, which is said to be helpful not only for the purposes of digestion but for helping control the formation of stomach acid as well.
To summarize, avoid certain foods, see your doctor, chew gum, and don’t rely on vinegar to resolve or relieve your heartburn problem.