My husband has been suffering from stubborn heartburns, along with gas. He thinks that his stomach is producing too much stomach acid and that needs to be settled by taking an antacid medicine (like “Tums”). He grew up in a family that always relies on medication for every little health issue. He usually takes over-the-counter pain relief medication for his minor headache. However, when treating some digestive discomforts like stomach ache, and nausea, his parents typically encourage to drink POP! specifically ginger ale or sprite (it sounded very strange to me when I first heard this, because no one says that in my culture)
Here are some possible causes of his heartburn from my observation:
- Food choice – he complains after eating certain foods (especially tomato sauce and spicy foods)
- Lack of digestive enzyme due to aging – he could handle the same foods when he was younger
- Not enough chewing – he tends to eat fast
- Overweight – he has been gaining weight lately
- Amount of food he eats – he can eat a lot
I wanted to help him but I wasn’t sure where to start. I have been telling him to chew well, not to overeat, suggested to lose weight, to limit consumption of potential heartburn causing foods… what more?
There are so many digestive aids supplements at a health food store and I am sure some of them are helpful. However, they are quite pricey and there is no guarantee that the product he chooses is the right kind for him. There must be other options to alleviate his discomfort without expensive supplements.
Then I thought about “Apple cider vinegar” as an alternative option which helps improve digestion by increasing stomach acid. People tend to believe that too much stomach acid is causing heartburn, but it is likely opposite; heartburn occurs due to inadequate stomach acid and/or low stomach acid.
What I found at a health food store is a raw, organic and, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar which contains what is known as “the mother” of vinegar. This product went through a double fermentation process, so that produces loads of raw enzymes and beneficial gut-friendly bacteria. How amazing is that?!
Here are some health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV) by NATURAL MEDICINES:
- Colds: Traditionally, 2 tbsp ACV in 1 cup water has been taken three times daily.
- Digestion aid: Traditionally, one 285mg tablet has been taken with meals.
- Hypertension: Traditionally, 2 tsp of ACV mixed in water, has been taken in the morning.
- Food poisoning: A dose of 2 tbsp of ACV has been taken in a cup of water (anecdotal).
- Weight loss: Traditionally, 1 oz. ACV and 1 tsp of honey has been taken in 1-4 oz. of warm water before each meal.
Dr. Jon Gabriel also suggested to drink a glass of diluted ACV water or lemon water to start a day as a part of a “detox lifestyle”. This inexpensive alternative is my hope to help my husband’s digestive discomforts for now. He started drinking a glass of water mixed with 1 tsp of ACV first thing in the morning for a simple detoxification. Then, he drinks another ACV water 15-20 minutes before a big meal whenever he can, to prevent heartburn. He will continue to do this for two week to see if his symptoms improve.
To add, it is important to remember that ACV must be diluted. Straight ACV may damage tooth enamel and/or burn inner mouth and throat tissue. Also, if you are on medications, I recommend you to check with a healthcare provider before adding ACV into your diet.
All is well, all the best!