The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of apple cider vinegar and sodium bicarbonate – also known as baking soda – for several pathologies causing acid-base balance. This includes a variety of diseases like peptic ulcers, metabolic acidosis, and even epilepsy. But it also has risks that an amateur or someone seeking home remedies may overlook. There are several contraindications and underlying etiologies that must be highlighted before starting treatment with apple cider vinegar and baking soda.
The Dynamic Duo:
Baking soda and vinegar have been used as cleaning agents for a very long time. Basic science classes and the cliche volcanic eruption projects have demonstrated how explosive reactions occur after the two products are mixed. This happens because baking soda is basic while vinegar is a weak acid. The two react to form a salt and release carbon dioxide and water. Since they’re at two opposite spectrums of the pH scale, their reaction ends up canceling out each other’s acidity and alkalinity – thus forming a fairly neutral and balanced solution – called the buffering effect.
Understanding with the Pathophysiology of Gastric Ulcers:
Our bodies naturally maintain the above explained buffering effect in every compartment – be it the blood, gut, or intracellular environment. The blood remains fairly alkaline. While the stomach has a very low acidic pH. Normally, our body cannot handle extremes of pH – both alkaline or basic. But the stomach acid is a protective mechanism against pathogens in the food we ingest. Hence, for the protection of the lining of the stomach, a thin layer of mucus is secreted. Acid and mucus-secreting cells work unanimously to protect against bacteria and the gut, respectively. An imbalance in these two parameters causes stomach ulcers. Anything that causes an increase in gastric acid production and a decrease in mucus secretion destroys the lining of the stomach and causes peptic ulcers. You can read more about this in detail here on Newportnaturalhealth blog.
Here is where apple cider vinegar and baking soda help. Since the dynamic duo is famously known for its neutralizing effect, it can be successfully used as a protective mechanism in a compromised stomach environment. Huge success has been seen when a paste of the two ingredients was applied to aphthous ulcers found in the mouth. Taking the same principle a step further, the condition is now used for protection and acid-base buffering in the gut.
Using the Right Proportions of the Ingredients:
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar tend to have an explosive reaction if they’re not used within a fixed proportion. Hence mixing one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with half a teaspoon of baking powder in warm water isn’t recommended. Add honey to make the solution flavourful. Drink this once a day to relieve symptoms associated with peptic ulcers – this includes belching, bloating, acidity and pain. Be careful not to overdose.
Medical Treatment is Still Superior go Home Remedies:
There have been complications of excessive use of apple cider vinegar and baking soda – although they are uncommon. That is why you must never start a remedy without informing or consulting your family doctor. Procedures are carried out in a hospital-based setting where the solution is infused directly into the gut to neutralize the imbalanced environment. Nonetheless, it is not the first line of treatment and proton pump inhibitors are recommended. Their use has been revolutionary since they bring down the acidic secretion, subsequently normalizing the gut pH. For recurring psychological stress ulcers, home remedies like these can be tried out and in patients where pharmacological compliance is low.
The gist of the material is that the biochemical properties of the dynamic duo are proven to be effective for acid-base balance but there are still many complications that do not make this the first line of treatment of peptic ulcers. Especially in cases that need more aggressive treatment, but vinegar and baking soda can only be used at a fixed dose and concentration. Moreover, the treatment is deemed useless in peptic ulcers caused by H. Pylori. Thus, a complete medical examination, lab tests, and investigations are imperative before any home remedy is started – for its prolonged use may lead to more harm than healing.