Apple Cider Vinegar: Is It a Super Tonic?

Often used in salad dressings, apple cider vinegar could also be of use to you as a natural remedy. It is reported to help ease a sore throat, relieve sinus congestion, calm intestinal troubles, and rid your scalp of dandruff. Also, if you have diabetes, apple cider vinegar could even help keep your blood sugar balanced.

Although cider vinegar has not been subjected to a great deal of scientific investigation, many documented personal anecdotes and clinical reports seem to confirm what advocates of natural folk medicine have been saying for centuries about its curative powers.

If you want to try apple cider vinegar for any of the following conditions, use these formulas as guides:

  • Sore throat. Gargle with a small amount of slightly diluted apple cider vinegar sprinkled with a pinch of hot (cayenne) pepper.
  • Cold and cough. According to Penny C. Royal, author of Herbally Yours, homemade cough syrup made with apple cider vinegar, honey, and spices can help soothe a persistent cough. Combine 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger and cayenne pepper, two tablespoons of water, one tablespoon of honey, and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until ready to use, then take one teaspoon at a time.
  • Dandruff. After shampooing, rinse your hair with a combination of one part cider vinegar to three parts water, or two tablespoons of vinegar diluted in six tablespoons (or 1/3 cup plus one teaspoon) of water.
  • Diarrhea. Dilute apple cider vinegar with water and stir in a tablespoon of honey and drink.
  • Food Poisoning. Apple cider vinegar's antimicrobial properties may help offset gastrointestinal symptoms associated with food poisoning, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. They recommend adding two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to one cup of water, and drinking this combination several times a day.

Other Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

Besides treating minor medical disorders, diluted apple cider vinegar will clean hard surfaces around your house such as kitchen counters and appliances.

Try dabbing a little under your arms for natural odor protection. Vinegar alters the pH of your skin, which discourages the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

As a home remedy, apple cider vinegar may help soothe the symptoms of many common ailments, but it is never a substitute for professional medical care. If your symptoms persist, or if you have a fever or a serious medical condition, speak to your doctor.

Also, too much apple cider vinegar over time can lower your blood potassium levels and increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. If you regularly swallow straight cider vinegar for any reason, Harvard University's Dr. Richard Lee recommends that you rinse your mouth with plain water to preserve the enamel on your teeth.




The Campus Barber/Duke University: Dandruff

Hlebowicz, J, et al.; "Efect of Apple Cider Vnegar on Delayed Gastric Emptying in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Pilot Study."  Gastroenterology 2007; 7:46. Web.  7 Nov 11.

Lee, R. "Is Vinegar Good for the Arteries?" Harvard Health Publications.  Web. 7 Nov 11.

McMillen, B. "Home Remedy for a Cough." University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Bradfor, PA  (Royal, Penny C. "Herbally Yours" 1982; Sound Nutrition) Web. 7 Nov 11.

University of Maryland Medical Center