How Does Vinegar Work for Heartburn?
The very thought sounds ironic, doesn’t it? Using vinegar for heartburn does not at all seem like a good idea. Ingesting more acid to resolve an acid issue can only be considered ridiculous, right? Nevertheless, it is one of the best possible remedies you could employ. The main reason this remedy seems paradoxical and wrong to us, is because we don’t really understand why we have heartburn in the first place.
Heartburn does not originate from an excess amount of acid in the stomach. The stomach is meant to hold acid, just as much as blood vessels are meant to hold red blood cells. The truth is that indigestion is a result of not enough acid in the stomach. So why is there acid coming up into my esophagus producing the burning feeling we all know as heartburn? This is because the stomach must violently churn to use its precious, and now limited resource.
As a result, acid begins to come through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES only opens and closes the entrance to the stomach. When no food is going down the esophagus, the LES stays closed. However, the LES opens as the pressure between the upper esophagus and the stomach neutralizes. With this entrance opened, the hydrochloric acid from the stomach comes up since the stomach is churning so violently to digest our food, causing acid reflux. Whenever we shift positions at this time, such as bending over, the acid rises further through our esophagus producing the pain and burning we know all too well. This is why indigestion can happen so quickly after eating.
By taking 1-2tsps of vinegar, diluted by water, you can experience relief from heartburn. The vinegar adds more of the necessary natural resource your stomach needs in order to be calmed. As the vinegar goes down the esophagus, the LES realizes that more acid is being introduced and closes tightly to prevent acid from coming up the esophagus. This leads to pain subsiding and the proper amount of acid in the stomach being restored. Apple cider vinegar is the best type of vinegar to use, and be sure to purchase it in a glass bottle. If the vinegar has been packaged in plastic, the acid in the vinegar will have eaten away at the plastic, although subtly, and will have unseen plastic components within the vinegar.
After a short amount of time, the vinegar should have done its job and you’ll experience relief. If the vinegar has not worked, it could mean that there is a more serious problem, such as an ulcer. If this is the case, contact your doctor right away.