According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 60 million Americans experience heartburn from acid reflux at least once a month and 15 million deal with heartburn each day, so it’s no wonder that people are willing to try almost anything when it comes to dealing with the unpleasantness of acid reflux. From sipping on chamomile tea to eating ginger root, there are a number of natural, at-home solutions that you may hear recommended to soothe the burning sensation, bloating, and discomfort that so often comes with acid reflux. But there’s one at-home remedy that might be a little tougher to swallow: drinking pickle juice.
Pickle Juice: Can It Help With Acid Reflux?
That’s right — many people who suffer from acid reflux swear that drinking pickle juice is a fast, natural way to help relieve their symptoms. And while you may love a slice of pickle with your sandwich or even enjoy one just straight out of the jar, there’s a big taste difference between eating a pickle and drinking the juice that cucumbers are pickled in to become, well, pickles. If you are someone who can manage to drink pickle juice without puckering, it’s impressive, but unfortunately there’s no research to prove that it will actually relieve acid reflux.
The reasoning behind drinking pickle juice for acid reflux is that it’s a straight shot to giving your gut a nice dose of lactic acid bacteria — a good, probiotic bacteria found in cucumbers that promotes intestine health. But fermenting cucumbers into pickles and putting them through processing removes a lot of lactic acid bacteria it originally contained, meaning it will likely do little when it comes to squashing heartburn. Vinegar, the other main component of pickles, has been said to bring some people acid reflux ease, but in others it can exacerbate heartburn symptoms, making it extremely person-dependent and probably not worth the risk of irritating your acid reflux even more.
Home Remedies For Acid Reflux
What can help your acid reflux is a series of lifestyle changes that will provide more long-lasting relief than draining pickle juice into a glass. Staying away from your specific acid reflux trigger foods (things that may be spicy, greasy, acidic, or alcoholic), eating smaller portions, not eating two to three hours before bedtime, and quitting smoking can all lead to easing and eliminating acid reflux. For immediate relief, having a product like TUMS Chewy Bites in your bag or pocket will work so fast you’ll forget you had heartburn to begin with, as it goes to work in seconds by neutralizing acid on contact. Unlike pickle juice, TUMS is the No. 1 doctor-recommended brand, taking the guesswork out of what will really help your heartburn.