Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows up into the food pipe. This common condition affects 60 million Americans per month and 20 to 30 percent of people in the Western world. It can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Many people are interested in home remedies to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux. In this article, we look at the evidence for lemon water.
Does lemon water relieve acid reflux?
Lemon water may improve acid reflux for some, but could make symptoms worse for others.
According to a 2012 review, lemon juice has a history of use in Eastern and Western practices to aid digestion and gastrointestinal issues, including acid reflux.
However, there is no research to suggest that it works. In fact, because of its acidity, lemon juice could make acid reflux worse.
Some sources say that lemon water has an alkalizing effect, meaning that it can neutralize stomach acid, which may reduce acid reflux. However, this is not backed up by research.
Lemon juice is acidic, with a pH of 3, while water has a pH of around 7, which is neutral. This means it is neither acidic nor alkaline.
Some people may find that drinking a glass of lemon water can improve their reflux. For others, an acidic liquid, such as lemon water, could even make their symptoms worse.
How do you use lemon water for acid reflux?
There is no research to suggest that lemon water will relieve the symptoms of acid reflux. If a person still wants to try this home remedy, they can consider the following advice:
- Mix 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of fresh lemon juice with 8 ounces (oz) of water. If it tastes too strong, add less lemon juice at first. Always dilute lemon juice with water to reduce its acidity.
- Some people drink lemon water 20–30 minutes before each meal in an attempt to stop acid reflux from happening.
- Drink a small amount at first and see how the body reacts. Slowly graduate up to a full glass if appropriate.
- Drink lemon water with a straw, because the acid in the juice can damage teeth and enamel.