Apple cider vinegar is a staple in many kitchens, but did you know its uses go way beyond making tasty dressings and marinades?
Apple cider vinegar has been suggested as a treatment for everything from cleaning your kitchen and washing your hair to treating warts, acne, bacterial vaginosis, and even obesity.
But are these claims true, or exaggerated old folk tales?
Here’s the truth behind common claims for apple cider vinegar. Read on to find out how you can use apple cider vinegar to improve your health.
5 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar: Myth or Fact?
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help You Lose Weight: This fact might sounds far-fetched, but it’s actually been backed by research. Scientists theorize that apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight by increasing your sense of fullness 3 4, reducing the amount of food you consume. That’s because the acetic acid it contains works to suppress your appetite.3
Apple cider vinegar may also interfere with your body’s digestion of starches, which would reduce the amount of calories you digest after eating starchy foods.3
Apple cider vinegar isn’t a quick fix for losing a lot of weight, but the research suggests that daily doses could help supplement a good diet and exercise regiment.1 Studies have shown that people who drink apple cider vinegar every day lose more weight than those who don’t.2
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Treat Acne:
Apple cider vinegar is recommended not only for drinking, but also for topical use to help a variety of skin ailments including poison ivy, sunburn, bug bites, and even bruises.
That’s because apple cider vinegar has natural antibacterial properties.3 4 When used as a daily facial toner, it counteracts the bacteria that causes acne, and helps to prevent future breakouts. (Even Scarlett Johansson swears by it!) The acidity of the vinegar also help to balance the pH of your skin, leaving it softer and healthier.3
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Can Get Rid of Warts:
Because apple cider vinegar contains high amounts of acetic acid, it may also help to reduce and remove warts.4 You can apply apple cider vinegar to your wart by soaking a cotton ball in the vinegar and holding it to the area with a bandage.
While scientific studies are lacking on apple cider vinegar for warts, it’s popularly considered to be an effective remedy.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Soothes and Prevents Acid Reflux: Apple cider vinegar may help to relieve stomach problems including acid reflux. That’s because it mimics the acid level of your stomach, helping you to digest food properly by improving the acid content of your stomach and soothing intestinal spasms.4 5 Its natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties may also help in digestion problems.6
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Helps With Joint Pain, Muscle Cramps and Arthritis: Joint pain and arthritis can be exacerbated if you’re not properly digesting all the necessary nutrients from the food you consume. A bit of apple cider vinegar, as mentioned above, can help the process of digestion and ensure you get the nutrients you need, possibly helping to relieve your arthritis, joint pain, and muscle cramps.7
The calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus that apple cider vinegar contains will also help to nourish your body and prevent joint pain.8 The pectin in apple cider vinegar may also help to combat toxins in your body, which build up in your connective tissues to cause pain in your joints.7 8
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a powerful acid, so it can be dangerous to drink it straight by itself. Some studies found that daily apple cider vinegar consumption was linked to tooth erosion1 2, so be careful about getting it in contact with your teeth on a regular basis. Doctors recommend limiting your dose to 1 or 2 tablespoons, diluted in a glass of water or clear juice like apple juice, once or twice a day.1
Drinking vinegar daily could potentially interfere with certain medications (including diuretics, laxatives, and medicines for diabetes and heart disease), so be sure to check with your doctor before starting any regular apple cider vinegar treatment.1
WebMD. Apple Cider Vinegar and Your Health. 2015. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/apple-cider-vinegar-and-health. Accessed December 18, 2015.
Khakpour D. Beyond the Hype: Apple Cider Vinegar as an Alternative Therapy | The Whole U. 2015. Available at: https://www.washington.edu/wholeu/2015/07/07/beyond-the-hype-apple-cider-vinegar-as-an-alternative-therapy/. Accessed December 18, 2015.
Jung A. Apple Cider Vinegar: 13+ Health Benefits. Reader's Digest. 2015. Available at: http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/. Accessed December 18, 2015.
Mercola J. Surprising Apple Cider Vinegar Uses: How It Can Change Your Life. Mercolacom. 2015. Available at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/21/apple-cider-vinegar-uses.aspx. Accessed December 18, 2015.
Shaw J. Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for Acid Reflux | LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONGCOM. 2015. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/478034-apple-cider-vinegar-benefits-for-acid-reflux/. Accessed December 18, 2015.
University of Maryland Medical Center. Food poisoning. 2015. Available at: https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/food-poisoning. Accessed December 18, 2015.
Walling E. Learn How to Relieve Arthritis and Joint Pain with Apple Cider Vinegar. NaturalNews. 2009. Available at: http://www.naturalnews.com/026715applepain_vinegar.html#. Accessed December 22, 2015.
Home Remedies For Life. Apple Cider Vinegar for Arthritis | How to Cure Arthritis with ACV. 2015. Available at: http://homeremediesforlife.com/apple-cider-vinegar-for-arthritis/. Accessed December 22, 2015.