12 Useful Benefits of Natural Apple Cider Vinegar

Updated on April 4, 2020
Kenna McHugh profile image

I worked alongside top natural health professionals and experience as a fitness instructor educated me on health tips I am proud to share.


My Morning Ritual

Since my late teens, I've added raw, organic apple cider vinegar to my glass of water in the mornings and drink it down before my cup of coffee or breakfast. There were times when I stopped this morning ritual, but I always returned to the practice after noticing a difference in my overall health. If it wasn't apple cider vinegar in my morning water, it was fresh lemon juice.

A Powerful Cleaning Agent

As an organic, natural, and non-distilled substance, apple cider vinegar is an effective and powerful cleansing and healing solution. Throughout centuries it's been cited as a natural antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria.

That is not why I drink it each morning. My tablespoon of the organic liquid in a glass of water each morning helps cleanse and rejuvenate my body. At the same time, it keeps my body's pH balance at a healthy level.

Of the many whole food choices out there, apple cider vinegar is one of the cheapest and most natural food sources to incorporate into a detoxification weight management program.

— Amy Leigh Mercree, Apple Cider Vinegar Handbook: Recipes for Natural Living

Europeans Brought Apples to America

Apples were introduced to America when the Europeans settled in the new country around the 1600s. Once the apples became a staple crop, the settlers pressed hard apple cider, and some of that was allowed to ferment and become apple cider vinegar. The solution became a condiment and a preserving agent for vegetables. The vinegar was also used for household tasks like cleaning and disinfecting. Every homesteader used it as a medicine for whatever ailed a person at the time.

An apple hangs from a branch, ripe and ready for picking.
An apple hangs from a branch, ripe and ready for picking. | Source

Antibacterial Agents

During the American Revolution, apple cider vinegar sterilized wounds or festering injuries on injured soldiers. Patients found the treatment soothing and refreshing. During ancient times, apple cider vinegar used to make tonics to ward off diseases and other ailments.

All in all, the acetic acid of the vinegar acts as an antibacterial agent. It cleaned and sterilized the wounds and disinfected the households. These days, apple cider vinegar treats much less severe conditions.

"Outlander" Episode Used ACV for Skunk Smell

While watching one of the Outlander Season 4 episodes on Starz, Ian's wolfhound met his smelling fate with a skunk. Ian, being from Scotland, knew nothing about skunks. A local mountain man helps cure his dog by bathing the dog in vinegar. Even though it is a natural deodorant for humans, vinegar is an effective antidote for skunk smell.

Do you use apple cider vinegar?

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Twelve Benefits of Using ACV

  1. Bathe With Apple Cider Vinegar: Do the skin a favor and take a hot bath with a cup of apple cider vinegar. Human skin is acidic, so the vinegar bath increases the pH level and treats the skin. People experience softer and healthier-looking skin after taking a bath with vinegar. Anyone with a sunburn needs to take an apple cider vinegar bath to heal the skin.
  2. Rid the Feet of Fungal Itch: People with toenail fungus or athlete's foot soak their feet in apple cider vinegar. Men treat jock itch with the vinegar as well. The antibacterial properties of the vinegar kill the fungus (Budak, Aykin, Seydim, Greene, & Guzel-Seydim 2014).
  3. Natural Deodorant: When someone wants to naturally keep their body odor down, a little dab of apple cider vinegar works. They take their two fingers and soak them with apple cider vinegar then dab under their armpits. The vinegar kills the odor while feeling fresh.
  4. Treats Colds and Sore Throats: For people who want to fight a sore throat or even a cold, apple cider vinegar is a cure-all. Or, they can take it every day to ward off any germs or bacteria.
  5. Cough Remedy: Relieving discomfort from a cough or persistent cough that refuses to go away try adding local honey to warm ACV. Drink the tonic regularly until cough or even cold is gone. The tonic helps you sleep through the night with sips taken each time your cough wakes you up.
  6. Helps Manage Type 1 and 2 Diabetes Patients: ACV achieved standing as one of the sources that help reduce type II diabetes symptoms. Like diabetes medications that block the body’s absorption of sugars and starches, apple cider vinegar does similar actions, according to Arizona State University’s Professor and Associate Director of Nutrition Program Carol Johnston. American Association of Diabetes confirmed that ACV helped reduce the blood sugar levels of type 1 diabetes patients. Studies support that apple cider vinegar consumption improves insulin sensitivity in type II diabetes patients who are insulin-resistant (Iman, Moallem, & Barahoyee 2015).
  7. Treatment for Dandruff: If you have dandruff and want an effective natural remedy, Apple cider vinegar is your answer (Budak et al. 2014). Dr. Oz confirms ACV is an excellent treatment for dandruff. On his website, he reports the acidity of ACV changes the pH of the scalp, preventing yeast from growing. Using a spray bottle, pour in 1/4 cup ACV and 1/4 cup water. Shake the spray bottle until the ingredients are well mixed. Spray your head and hair, take a large towel, and wrap your head tight with it. Keep the head covered for 15 minutes to 60 minutes. The longer you keep your hair wrapped, the better. Wash your head of hair with shampoo and conditioner. For the recommended treatment is to do this twice a week.
  8. Treats Acne: For over a decade, studies prove that ACV treats acne and reduces scarring caused by the skin condition. The vinegar prevents the development of Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria liable to cause acne. Vinegar contains antibacterial traits and effective when used on various strains of dangerous bacteria.
  9. Whitens Teeth: ACV brightens your teeth and smile by brushing your teeth with the vinegar. Make sure you rinse out your mouth and don’t overdo it. Too much of a good thing can remove enamel from your teeth.
  10. Air Freshener: Some commercial air fresheners do more harm than good when it comes to cleaning the air. They manage to mask the odors while introducing new unsuitable particles to the atmosphere. ACV is a more effective and inexpensive alternative. You can create a spray or set some out in a glass or ceramic bowl. As a spray, the formula is one part water to one part ACV in a spray bottle. You create a fine mist anywhere there are smells. Using a bowl, add the same about of water and ACV, but make sure the water is warm so it evaporates into the smelly room.
  11. Fatigue: Two teaspoons of ACV in a cup of water with two teaspoons of honey makes an excellent energy boost. Mix the ingredients well. You can prepare the drink ahead of time.
  12. Heartburn: I like to mix well one teaspoon of ACV with one cup of filtered water and drink it after every meal, but this isn't guaranteed to work for everyone as limited scientific evidence suggests its efficacy.

Apple Cider Vinegar has excellent antibacterial properties, but its benefit in your first aid kit go far beyond that, especially when it comes to your skin.

— Amy Leigh Mercree, Apple Cider Vinegar Handbook: Recipes for Natural Living

Quality is Important

The best quality of apple cider vinegar should be available in every home. I drink a non-distilled, organic, raw version of the liquid. The better the quality of vinegar, the better it is for the body. The vinegar is supposed to look cloudy, which means it's a high-quality grade because it is raw.


Budak, N. H., Aykin, E., Seydim, A. C., Greene, A. K. and Guzel‐Seydim, Z. B. (2014), Functional Properties of Vinegar. Journal of Food Science, (79), R757-R764. Accessed July 23rd, 2019.

Iman, M., Moallem, S. A., & Barahoyee, A. (2015). Effect of apple cider vinegar on blood glucose level in diabetic mice. Pharmaceutical Sciences, 20(4), 163.

(1998) Entani E1, Asai M, Tsujihata S, Tsukamoto Y, Ohta M. Antibacterial action of vinegar against food-borne pathogenic bacteria including Escherichia coli US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Nakano Central Research Institute of Nakano Vinegar Co. Ltd., Handa, Japan

Managing adolescent acne DP Krowchuk - Pediatrics in review, 2005 - pdfs.semanticscholar.org… Bacteria Propionibacterium acnes is an anaerobic, gram-positive diphtheroid that colonizes

R Miglani, GN Karibasappa, AS Dodamani… - Indian Journal of Oral …, 2012 - indjos.com the effectiveness of sodium chloride and vinegar in reducing the varying degree of dental fluorosis, effects of hard and soft

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

  • Can apple cider vinegar be used to treat plantar warts?

    Yes, apple cider vinegar is one of the most effective remedies to apply. Take a cotton ball, soak it in AVC, place it over the wart on the bottom of the foot, and secure it with duct tape. It is best to reapply every few days until the wart is gone.

© 2018 Kenna McHugh


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    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      12 months ago from Northern California

      You are welcome, Anita. There are so many uses for ACV. I plan to add more to the article.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      12 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for sharing Kenna. I use ACV myself on a daily basis. However, your hub has shown me some more uses for ACV.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      18 months ago from Northern California

      Patrick, You are welcome. Thank you for sharing, too. Wishing you the best 2019.

    • Patrick Patrick profile image


      18 months ago from Nairobi

      Many people in my country are changing the type of foods they eat to more natural foods directly from the farms and small gardens (we mostly use cow dung for fertilizer ;) ) since the rates of heart diseases, cancers and such diseases started to be on the rise. So yes, I agree with you on consuming more healthy meals rather than fast foods and processed meals. This article will help many people. Thank you for sharing.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      18 months ago from Northern California

      Patrick, Thank you for the feedback. Yes. I heard about ACV helping people with diabetes. Diabetes is an interesting disease and became prevalent in the US after the FDA formulated a plan to increase food's shelf life, taking all the nutrients out food - aka process food. I lost a friend to diabetes because he refused to change his way of eating. With that, ACV is amazing food and is used for so many different ailments.

    • Patrick Patrick profile image


      18 months ago from Nairobi

      Great article. I have also seen many people with diabetes in my community using it.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      18 months ago from Northern California

      Audrey, Thank you for sharing my article on FB. ACV is one of those remedies that need to be shared and help others become healthier.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      18 months ago from Northern California

      Leland, I am not familiar with Vernor's. If it takes the edge off, wonderful. I dilute my ACV but sometimes it is a bit edgy if I don't add enough water. I am drinking some right now.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      18 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Kenna

      This is such a good hub on this topic, I've shared it on my Audrey Hunt Facebook page. I love ACV and use it daily. Thanks.

    • Leland Johnson profile image

      Leland Johnson 

      18 months ago from Midland MI

      Kenna- I'm off to the kitchen right now for my 2oz of Bragg's apple cider mixed with a cup of diet Vernor's. Maybe I'll try the water dilution as your article suggests. The fizz form the Vernor's takes the edge off nicely though.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      19 months ago from Northern California

      Zia, Thanks for the visit and comment. Anything that can handle armpit odor naturally is magically and better for the body.

    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 

      19 months ago from UK

      I find this article quite useful. I could probably use this magic vinegar as a natural deodorant to get rid of the armpit odor. Thanks for the tips.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      19 months ago from Northern California

      Liz, Your grandmother was a smart woman. I drink apple cider vinegar every day, and my body loves it. Yes. white vinegar is great for cleaning. I use it on carpet spills.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      19 months ago from UK

      My grandmother, who suffered with arthritis, used to drink cider vinegar by the glass. I have also had white vinegar recommended as a glass cleaner.


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