I’ve suffered with digestive problems seemingly my entire life. I don’t even want to think of how much money I’ve spent on over-the-counter and herbal remedies. I’ve tried antacids, acid reducers, slippery elm, marshmallow root, the list goes on. Some things didn’t help at all while others worked for a short time then my heartburn and stomach pains returned.
As I approached middle age, certain foods would have me doubled over in pain, especially if they were acidic foods (citrus fruits and tomato sauces) or foods with sulfur in them (eggs, onions and garlic). I’d get heartburn, acid reflux, and pain in the upper right area of my stomach, sometimes in the middle.
I went to the doctor and she said I had the beginnings of “gallbladder problems.” It was nothing life-threatening but she recommended keeping a food diary and, obviously, staying away from foods that set off an attack. She said if it got worse I may need gallbladder surgery. She also offered a prescription medication I could take. I always try to handle things as naturally as possible before going the route of prescription medication or surgery, so I set out to find something that would help with my gallbladder and digestive issues.
The first thing I did was change my diet. While doing a search online I found a lot of contradictory information. Some websites recommended low carb, others low fat. Keeping the food diary was a real eye-opener. I discovered several seemingly innocent foods and how they’re prepared that would set off an attack. For example, scrambled eggs don’t bother me yet over easy where the yolk isn’t cooked will cause problems. I can have cooked garlic and onions, but not raw. With tomatoes, I can have raw tomatoes but not cooked. This really helped to shape my diet and avoid too many episodes of stomach pains, though didn’t take care of it completely.
I mentioned that I had already tried many herbal and over-the-counter remedies, but they didn’t work at all or were short term at best. Also, over time this can get expensive buying bottle after bottle! I did some more research and found several websites that recommended raw apple cider vinegar for gallbladder health, digestive problems, and more. I decided to give it a try and bought a bottle of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar at the grocery store.
The raw vinegar is said to work best since it’s not distilled or pasteurized. Distilling vinegar kills off the beneficial properties of raw vinegar. You want a naturally fermented vinegar with the “mother.” Bragg’s is a good brand and the one I use most. If you can’t find it at your local grocery or health food store, you can order it through Amazon or iHerb. Raw apple cider vinegar is said to be a natural antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs, bacteria, mold and viruses. It’s been a natural remedy for over 2,000 years. That’s a pretty good track record!
The recommended dosage if you’re experiencing stomach or gallbladder pain is ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar in one glass of warm water. You can add honey or stevia to sweeten it if you like. When I had an attack, I made this drink and gulped it down. I have to admit, it’s not the best tasting drink, but within five minutes my stomach pain was absolutely gone!
For daily use you only need 1 tablespoon of the raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water, sweetened to taste. I do this every morning as soon as I wake up and sometimes around dinner time as well. It’s truly changed my life. Although I still need to be careful with certain foods, I can occasionally have spaghetti sauce or an orange without a flare up. I’ve also noticed other benefits of having my “daily cocktail.” I seem to have more energy and my complexion looks great.
If you have digestive problems or suspect your gallbladder is sluggish or acting up, see your doctor and keep a food diary to find your own trigger foods since everyone is different. Try to avoid those foods as much as possible. Also give raw apple cider vinegar a try and you might find that your stomach problems disappear.