Apple cider vinegar is more than just a dipping sauce or a salad dressing. It is a versatile product that has been proven to have healing benefits, it started with Hippocrates and it is still being used now to treat various ailments.

Based on historical records, vinegar was discovered around 5,000 BC by the Babylonians by accident. The French calls it vin aigre which means sour wine. This accidental discovery turned out to be great because it was an extremely versatile product even during the ancient times.

Even back then Hippocrates discovered that it had a lot of healing properties and used it when treating wounds. Chinese also used vinegar as to treat ailments as early as 1,200 B.C.

One of the most popular types of vinegar, the apple cider (or ACV) is touted by a lot of natural health advocates as having a lot of health benefits some of which include weight loss, diabetes control and improving cardiovascular health.

If you look around the web, you'll see that there are a lot of benefits, some are backed by scientific research while some aren't. My goal here is to enumerate all of these benefits I find here and link to the sources.

Let's dig in to those benefits one by one.

First I've divided it into two sections, those back with scientific research and those without.

Backed by scientific research

The benefits listed here are backed by at least one scientific evidence. The studies done here are not just on humans but also on cells and different animals like rats.

1) Apple Cider Vinegar is Rich in Acetic Acid - It Increases the Body's Capability of Absorbing More Minerals

Let me make this clear, Acetic acid is not vinegar, it is a bacteria found in vinegar that is produced during the fermentation process. Acetic acid is one of the inherit bioactive components that is responsible for its therapeutic properties [1].

There are two types of fermentation, fast and slow.

In a fast fermentation process bacteria culture is added making this technique possible.

In a slow fermentation process, acetic acid bacteria grow on the surface of the liquid. During the weeks of fermentation, a nontoxic slime (consisting yeast and acetic acid bacteria) is accumulated and is known as the mother [2].

Here's how it looks like...

Some manufacturers remove the "mother" through a filtration and pasteurization process but some health advocates say that this should not be removed because it contains pectin, enzymes and trace minerals which is the source of a lot of the health benefits though it is not proven scientifically.

This ingredient is responsible for the tart flavor and the biting odor of vinegar.

Acetic acid content in vinegar varies between 4 to 7% in distilled vinegars and 5 to 6% in wine vinegars. Bragg unfiltered ACV (one of the more popular brands) contains 5.14% of acetic acid [3].
Tip: The FDA says that diluted acetic acid is not vinegar and should not be added into any food product that is expected to contain vinegar.
2) Has Cancer Fighting Properties

In 2014 alone over 1.6 million people in the United States was diagnosed with cancer and there were over 500,000 deaths and it is the most common cause of death in America [4].

Vinegar can help in this area because research has shown its capabilities of shrinking and even killing cancer cells.

Tests have been done to see the effectiveness of vinegar (namely rice wine and sugar cane, not ACV) on cancer cells. Results have been positive but most of the research was done in laboratories on cells or animals rather than actual people [5, 6, 7, 8].

There was one test done in China done on actual living people, it showed that vegetable and vinegar consumption reduced the risk of oesophageal cancer [9] but a separate study in Serbia showed vinegar consumption increased risk of bladder cancer 4.4 times [10].

Based on these studies, vinegar is found to have anti-tumor properties thanks to the acetic acid bacteria. And since vinegar comes from various plants, it contains polyphenols which is known to have anticancer and antioxidant properties.

3) It is a Proven Disinfectant and Bacteria Killer

Before any scientific study was done, Hippocrates has been using vinegar to treat wounds over 2,000 years ago [11] and modern research has proven that vinegar can kill some types of bacteria like E. coli and S. aureus.

It isn't as effective as commercial products like Clorox but it does not have chemicals in it so it is safe to use in washing produce and is also known as a natural food preservative [12, 13].

4) Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

One of the biggest risk factors of having high cholesterol is it can lead to various heart ailments. Once bad cholesterol clogs the arteries, there is a huge risk of cardiac arrest.

Apple cider vinegar can help lower because it contains chlorogenic acids that help lower LDL or bad cholesterol, preventing it from accumulating and crystalizing in the bloodstream [14]. Take note that the research done was only done to rats which may or may not translate to same results on humans.

One study done on over 70,000 women showed that an increased intake of oil and vinegar salad dressing reduced the risk of ischemic heart disease [15].

5) Prevents the onset of Diabetes by lowering Postprandial Glycemia

For those who don't know postprandial glycemia simply refers to the elevated blood sugar levels that occur after a meal - this is a big factor why pre-diabetics progress to type 2 diabetics.

The term pre-diabetes means that an individual has elevated blood glucose levels but not high enough to be considered as type-2 diabetes. If left undiagnosed it can lead to type 2 diabetes in 10 years or less [16].

Researchers from Arizona University found out that drinking vinegar juice that included 20 grams of apple cider vinegar, 49 grams of water and 1 teaspoon of saccharine after a meal (bagel and orange juice) resulted in a 35% decrease [17].

Another way to lower down postprandial glycemia is walking around for 15 minutes after a meal instead of sitting down like most of us do [18].

6) Reduces Bacterial Infections on Teeth

In a test done on 100 teeth that was exposed to the E. faecalis bacteria has shown that apple cider vinegar was able to reduce bacterial count but not completely remove it. The test was done on teeth extracted through a root canal and not live teeth inside the mouth [19].

7) Research Says That Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Type-2 Diabetics Improve Insulin Sensitivity

In a study done by the American Diabetes Association in 2004, 3 groups of people were given a concoction of 20 grams apple cider vinegar, 40 grams of water and a teaspoon of saccharine and after 2 minutes were give a meal that consisted of white bagel, orange juice and butter.

These 3 groups include people with type 2 diabetes and non-diabetic individuals who are either insulin sensitive (these are control subjects) or insulin resistant. 29 people in all participated in the study.

The study revealed that adding increased insulin sensitivity to insulin-resistant individuals by 34% and type 2 diabetics by 19% [20]. Dr. Mercola who also cited the study said that the type 2 diabetics who participated in the study improved blood glucose levels by 25% while pre-diabetics had lower blood glucose compared to health individuals (control subjects) who participated [21].

8) Vinegar Can Help in Losing Weight

There has been a new study done by Japanese researchers that acetic acid found in vinegar could prevent the accumulation of body fat.

One test was done with mice the other with people.

The test done on mice (the latest study)

In their study laboratory, scientists fed two groups of mice with a high fat diet. Afterwards one group was given acetic acid and one group was not. The mice that were given acetic acid developed less body fat (up to 10%) compared to mice that were not given acetic acid [22].

Test done on people

175 obese but health people were divided into two groups. One group took water and the other vinegar along with their diets (they had similar diets). At the end of 12 weeks the people who took vinegar lost an average of 1 to 2 pounds [23].

While vinegar may have properties that can break down fats, nothing beats exercise and eating the right food.

Not backed by scientific research

The benefits listed here don't are not backed by scientific research so take it with a grain of salt.

Some of the home remedies have worked for people and I've linked out to the sources but remember that it may not work on you.

I've added these to the list as a reference for you just in case you have one of these conditions and want to try something holistic to see if it cures it. Again this is for informational purposes only it is not meant to replace a doctor's advice.

9) A Natural Teeth Whitener

Vinegar has been touted as a great cleaner that you can use to replace chemical cleaners but did you know that you can also use those same cleaning properties to whiten your teeth naturally? ACV is a natural cleaner that has antibacterial and disinfecting properties [24].
Tip: Dr. Glassman recommends people to gargle a mixture that includes two parts water and one part ACV for about a minute.
10) A Natural Treatment for Itchiness Caused by Bees, Mosquitos and more

It isn't fun to be bitten by a mosquito or a bee, their stings itches like crazy. If you're in an unfortunate situation where you are stung by one of these insects there's apple cider vinegar to the rescue. ACV is effective because it balances the skin's pH levels and less acidic than other types of vinegars.

You can also use this to treat poison ivy rashes. Did you know that 18th century medical practitioners have used vinegar to treat poison ivy rash [25].
Tip: To treat itchy stings, saturate a cotton swab and rub it on the affected area.
11) All Natural Energy Drink

If you're a basketball fan, you most likely are familiar with Galorade, a famous energy drink made famous by Michael Jordan. It turns out that it isn't as healthy as the commercials may want us to believe.

Why not try apple cider, along with lemon water it helps give you a natural energy boost because it contains potassium and enzymes.

A good alternative minus the artificial flavoring is diluting 2 teaspoons of ACV with a glass of water [26]. To sweeten it a tiny bit, add a tablespoon of honey.

12) An All-Natural Deodorant

A synthetic deodorant works by blocking your sweat glands and preventing it from sweating which is one way our body naturally detoxes. Notice that if you've used a deodorant that your armpit feels dry even if you shower.
Tip: If you're willing to experiment, try rubbing a little bit of ACV on your armpit. People say that it naturally deodorizes and since it has a similar pH level as the skin, it is safe to use. It'll leave a vinegary scent but once it dries up the smell will go away [27]. If you've tried this let me know in the comments section below.
13) Arthritis Be Gone

This debilitating condition that affects over 50 million Americans is painful. My mother has it and she has trouble writing or using her fingers for long periods of time.

There is no scientific research that has been done to prove that vinegar works on arthritis, there have been success stories of people using cider vinegar and feeling better afterwards - from not being able to walk for more than 30 minutes to walking as long as they want [28].

14) Can Increase Calcium Absorption

ACV isn't rich in calcium per se but one of the ingredients in it, acetic acid can increase the body's ability to absorb more minerals like calcium This would be beneficial to people (especially women) who are lactose intolerant still get their daily requirements of calcium through other sources like vegetables [29].

Research has been done to test this claim [30] but only to rats so it is inconclusive whether or not this will have the same effect on humans.

15) Clears Stuffy Nose

ACV has been touted in a number of articles as a great home remedy for clearing a runny nose because it contains potassium which helps unclog mucus and acetic acid that prevents bacteria growing [31].

16) Gets Rid of Warts

A wart is caused when a virus (the human papilloma virus) gets through the topmost protective layer of skin usually through a cut. This nasty skin condition is highly contagious and can grow on any part of the body [32].
Tip: One effective way of treating this skin condition is using a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar. Apply the soaked cotton on the wart then hold it place with a band aid [33].
17) Helps Sooth Acid Reflux, Heartburn and Indigestion

Acid Reflux affects 25 to 40% of the adult population in the United States. One of the symptoms of acid reflux is a burning sensation of the esophagus which is located just behind the heart, hence the term "heartburn" [34, 35].

There are several factors that trigger this - alcohol, poor diet rich in fatty foods, overeating, being overweight.

According to Thomas Corriher, stomach ailments like heartburn and indigestion isn't caused by excess acid. On the contrary he states that it is caused by a lack of it so instead of using antacid or baking soda for treatment, he recommends using ACV because it is acidic in nature [36].
Tip: After taking a teaspoon of ACV and a glass of water, do not brush your teeth immediately because ACV being acidic will soften the enamel and the toothbrush will abrade this protective layer. Wait an hour after taking this remedy before brushing your teeth [37].
18) Improves the Gut

The key to a health body is a healthy stomach. It was Hippocrates who said that all "disease begins at the gut". So it makes sense to take this seriously.

One way of improving digestive health according to Debbie Davis is drinking apple cider vinegar, especially if you're eating starchy foods.

Instead of being absorbed by the gut and going into the bloodstream, the excess starch feeds the good bacteria. Excess starch also causes elevated post meal blood glucose levels - another cause for diabetes.
Tip: To get this benefit Davis recommends buying unfiltered ACV, the cloudy type that contains the "mother" - that she says is full of probiotics which also helps with indigestion [38].
19) Improves Skin Health by balancing pH levels

One way ACV helps improve your skin's appearance is through exfoliation were the acids found in the vinegar "digests" dead skin cells which then reveals a new layer of skin.

Another reason why natural health supporters like to use ACV is because it has the same pH level as the skin - this helps balance pH and acidic mantle [39].

Scarlett Johanson maybe the biggest advocate of apple cider vinegar, as a brand endorser for Dolce & Gabbana, having flawless skin is a must in her job. What's her secret? In an interview done with Elle UK, she says that she washes her face with yes you guessed it, apple cider vinegar.

20) Lowers Blood Pressure

Junji Takano narrates in his blog how consuming vinegar (not ACV in particular) helped him lower within 6 months. He consumed it by mixing 4 tablespoons with all of his side dishes [40].

21) Natural Remedy for Shingles

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zolster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. People who've had chickenpox in the past are at a higher risk of developing shingles because the virus can reactivate after being dormant for reasons not completely clear.

Traditional medication involves the use of painkillers and antiviral medication. If the condition is severe enough antidepressant medication is prescribed [41].

One individual disagrees with this and he says that visiting a chiropractor would be more beneficial. He also recommended sprinkling cayenne pepper powder on the lesions then cover it with a rag soaked in ACV [42].

22) Rejuvenates Hair and Prevent Dandruff

Women will go through a lot when prepping for a big party - have their makeup done, fix their hair and put on that nice gown. The after party cleanup is also as tough, they'll have to remove their makeup and wash their hair.

One great way to remove styling products from your hair is using ACV. This holistic expert recommends diluting a third of a cup of ACV into 4 cups of water then pouring that mixture on your hair after shampooing then rinsing afterwards with cold water. In short this is an all-natural replacement for a conditioner.

ACV will help balance the scalp's pH levels, kill bacteria and prevent dandruff from forming [43].

If you want to be bolder, try this "no poo" method.

If you head over at, Martha Norgaard agreed to do an experiment where she will not use regular shampoo and conditioner, instead they used baking soda and ACV mixed in water. She was very happy with the results saying "It's softer, shinier, and less frizzy than before" [44].

23) Relieves Muscle Pain

Muscle soreness is inevitable after a hard work out and if you're looking for some immediate relief, Lillian Beard from recommends wrapping a cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar to the affected area for 20 minutes. It is said to be effective because it draws out the lactic acid from the muscles - this is responsible for muscle soreness [45].

24) Removes Excess Candida

Candida is a fungus that is present in the body. This actually helps the body digest food and absorb nutrients. The problem lies when there is an excess of it where candida will break through the wall of the intestine creating what you call a "leaky gut".

Some of the symptoms include lack of energy, loss of memory, having severe allergies and skin infections [46].

One way to counteract excess candida is drinking ACV mixed with water and honey [47].

25) Removes Nasty Foot Odor

If you're an active man, you know how sweat can build up in our feet inside the shoes and if you don't take care of it - it can lead to smelly feet or worst athlete's foot.

One way of preventing or eliminating odors is rubbing your feet with paper towel soaked with ACV. It will balance the pH levels and remove the bad odor from your feet [48].

26) Soothes Those Nasty Sunburns

There are no scientific studies to back this claim but a lot of people have claimed that this works so here goes.

To treat sunburn a lot of people recommend mixing apple cider vinegar with water to help soothe the burning sensation. Mixtures varies, Andrea from recommends two cups of ACV to a bathtub of water then soaking for 15 minutes [49]. This eHow article recommends mixing 2 tbsp. of ACV to 1 to 2 cups of cold water [50]. You can find more information about sunburn treatment here, here and here.

27) Stops Hiccups on Its Tracks

A father of a 13 year old girl made an anti-hiccup concoction of apple cider vinegar and sugar. It proved to be such a relief for her that she started her own company Hiccupops. Her idea was such a hit that it was featured in Mashable.

28) Takes Away Bad Breath

If you suffer from bad breath try to gargle half a teaspoon of ACV with a cup of water [51]. says that it has antiseptic properties makes it a great natural remedy for bad breath [52]. says that it helps with your digestive health thus improving breath odor [53].

29) Treats Ear Infections

Ear infections are caused by either a bacteria or virus in the middle ear. Oftentimes it is a result of an illness like cold, flu or allergy [54]. If the doctor is not available you can try any of the home remedies listed in the link.

One of the natural remedies for treating ear infections is apple cider vinegar. This particular remedy calls for mixing one part water and one part apple cider vinegar (or alcohol) then soaking a cotton ball. You then take the cotton ball and plug it in the ear and leave it for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes lay down on your side then take out the cotton ball to drain the liquid. This according to the article will remove fungus inside the ear.

30) Treats Leg Cramps

Remember one of the benefits I mentioned earlier how ACV helps calcium absorption (it also improves magnesium absporption)? Well this actually helps in treating leg cramps as well [55].

31) Treats Sore Throat

Sometimes the best treatment for sore throat can be found in your home. ACV is one such remedy, since it is acidic, germs will have a hard time surviving in this acidic environment. Add a tablespoon of ACV to 6 to 8 ounces of water. Make two glasses, gargle the first glass then drink the second glass. Do this every hour [56]. This mixture can also be effective on strep throat.

32. Yeast Infection Treatment

By average 3 out of 4 women will experience having yeast infection at one point or another in their lives. Women who suffer from it will experience itching and some burning sensation.

Normally it goes away by itself without the need for any medication but if the itchiness becomes uncomfortable, one home remedy recommended by is adding two cups of vinegar into a tub of warm water then soaking for around 15 minutes - women have seen improvement after soaking 3 to 4 times [57].

How to consume apple cider vinegar?

Never drink apple cider vinegar in its purest form, it is highly acidic and can cause the teeth's enamel to erode. The high acidic nature of ACV can also damage the tissues in your mouth and throat [58] as well as the digestive tract.

Also avoid consuming too much of this as it can also lead to low potassium levels and low bone density.

Mix with water

A straightforward approach in consuming ACV is diluting it in water. Mix in one to two tablespoons of vinegar with a glass of water. You can also add honey for added flavor but I'd recommend drinking it without honey.

Add it to salad dressings

If you eat a lot of salads, adding ACV to your homemade dressings is another great way of integrating this to your diet.

How much should I take?

If you want to consume this as a part your daily health routine there is no hard scientific study on how much is ACV is safe. Bragg (an ACV manufacturer) recommends individuals to take 3 "cocktails" or a mixture of 1 to 2 teaspoons of vinegar along with 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw honey to a glass of distilled water [59].

You could also add this when making homemade vinaigrettes or as a meat seasoning when cooking Asian dishes.

Use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Nutritionists and health experts agree that if you're consuming apple cider don't buy the filtered or distilled variety but go for the unfiltered one like Bragg. It is made from organic apple cider that contains 5.14% acetic acid and every tablespoon will give you 11mg of potassium.

Since ACV is made from apples, it contains a substance called malic acid that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to treat myocardial ischemia (a type of heart disease) [60].

The great thing about vinegar it has other uses as well, people have used it to as an all-natural home cleaner, pet flea remover and even an aftershave. If you're using it for cleaning, an ordinary white vinegar would do, it's cheaper too.

If you've found success using ACV to treat any of these conditions please let me know in the comments section below. If this article has been useful for you, please spread the word.