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What are Some Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar?

By K T Solis
Updated May 16, 2024
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Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar used as a natural medicine. The Ancient Babylonians used vinegar as early as 5000 BCE, convinced that it had the power to heal. Even the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates employed vinegar as an antibiotic.

Vinegar comes from the French world that means "sour wine," and is created by the combined interaction of yeast and bacteria located on juices or grains. Apple cider vinegar is created by crushing organic apples until the juice is removed. The apples are placed in wooden barrels to provide them enough time to mature.

As the apples ferment, the substance is changed into vinegar. When the mixture matures, a cloudy bacterial foam called the "mother" forms. The mother can be seen when the vinegar is held up to the light.

Apple cider vinegar is a folk medicine that some people use to treat a variety of ailments. The uses for apple cider vinegar vary, but many uses relate to health. Proponents of the vinegar state that it can treat arthritis, prevent cancer, fight infection, help boost the memory, control weight, and assist with digestion. Believers in this natural medicine also are convinced that apple cider vinegar can treat sinus infections, soothe sore throats, improve cholesterol, and treat skin conditions like acne. They feel that the uses for apple cider vinegar far outweigh any conclusive evidence from scientists.

Those who take the daily supplement can consume it in both liquid and tablet form. It can be found on supermarket shelves, purchased from health food stores, or bought online. People who take apple cider vinegar in liquid form usually consume two (9.8 mL) teaspoons of the vinegar mixed with a glass of water. They often drink it before each meal or sip it throughout the day.

Although health-conscious people consume the natural remedy on a daily basis, scientists have not concluded that consuming apple cider vinegar offers any true benefits. In fact, the liquid can even be considered harmful for some people. For example, vinegar is highly acidic since it contains acetic acid. As a result, people need to remember to dilute the vinegar with water before consuming. If not diluted, the vinegar can erode tooth enamel and damage tissue inside the mouth and throat.

Those who suffer from osteoporosis or low potassium should probably not take apple cider vinegar. This is because the vinegar can cause lower bone density and low potassium levels. Apple cider vinegar contains chromium as well. This changes the level of insulin in the body. As a result, diabetics should receive permission from the doctor before using the vinegar each day.

Anyone who desires to use the vinegar in hopes of improving her health should keep in mind that more research needs to be conducted before determining whether or not it contains health benefits. Although vinegar has been used for thousands of years in order to improve the body, this does not mean that it's an effective cure for a variety of ailments. By conducting further research on apple cider vinegar, consumers can make educated decisions on whether they should add the liquid to their daily diet.

Other uses for apple cider vinegar include cleaning jewelry, ridding the house of gnats, and sanitizing kitchen counters. People use apple cider vinegar to wash hair, clean microwaves, remove soap scum from bathrooms, and other general cleaning tasks. There are countless uses for apple cider vinegar that have nothing to do with personal health. Since it is inexpensive and easy to use, many people purchase it to take care of countless household needs.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon259728 — On Apr 07, 2012

Apple cider vinegar is the best thing I have ever tried. It absolutely helped my acid reflux as well keeping me from having to have surgery on a very painful heel spur and bursa. It also stopped my gout. I used to have it regularly. I haven't had it now for three years. Wow! It increased my joint motion as well. I am 58 and my blood levels have improved as well.

By wordsmatter — On Feb 28, 2011

"Those who suffer from osteoporosis or low potassium should probably not take apple cider vinegar. This is because the vinegar can cause lower bone density and low potassium levels."

What are your sources for the above quote, and why do you not feel obliged to cite them as a matter of course, Solis and Harris?

It seems to me that people who are genuinely wise and/or geeky are smart enough to realize the importance of citing their sources.

By pharmchick78 — On Nov 04, 2010

I'm so glad that you didn't get caught up in all the hype of the apple cider vinegar craze.

Although there certainly are a lot of apple cider vinegar uses, as with any supplement, you can't expect more from it than it's designed to give.

A lot of people that I meed in my work get confused when they buy apple cider vinegar and then don't immediately lose 20 pounds, get clear skin and cured joint problems.

Unfortunately, that's just not the way it works, and any salesperson or web site that tells you differently is simply wrong.

I'm not trying to rain on the whole apple cider vinegar parade, but I think it's important that people realize exactly what apple cider can do, and what it simply isn't designed to do. Doing a little research before hand in this matter will save you all kinds of heartache down the road, and maybe a little money too.

By closerfan12 — On Nov 04, 2010

I always keep some raw apple cider vinegar on hand for cleaning, but I also take it occasionally as a health supplement.

I've always had really good results when taking it for acne, and my daughter also uses it to make her hair shiny.

So although I totally agree that people do tend to have too much blind faith in the medicinal uses for apple cider vinegar, it's not all bad.

If nothing else, it keeps my floors shiny, and that's good enough for me!

By LittleMan — On Nov 04, 2010

Although I agree that it's a mistake to regard organic apple cider vinegar as some kind of cure-all, I think that there's certainly no harm in taking it.

Of course, you should only take it diluted, and in appropriate amounts, but as long as you don't overdo it, I think that there's nothing wrong with trying to take advantage of the health uses for apple cider vinegar.

Who knows, maybe a few years down the road the scientists will come up with some evidence that raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar really is fantastically beneficial to your health!

In the meantime, I think that it's certainly not a bad supplement to take, and can be very beneficial to some people, as long as its taken properly.

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