Apple Cider Vinegar: Is It Really a Magic Cure-All?

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 in Frugal For Everyone, Health | 36 comments

apple cider vinegarI first learned about Apple Cider Vinegar from my readers when I posted Salad Dressing Doesn’t Require Chemicals. The salad dressing recipes included used plain white vinegar but several commenters suggested using apple cider vinegar instead, claiming it was a superior product.

Apple cider vinegar’s greatest claim to fame is its alleged health benefit. However, as with many natural health products, there have been few in-depth scientific studies done to support that. Any claims made are mostly based on folk medicine. That doesn’t mean they don’t work – many old-time remedies are very effective, something world health organizations are starting to acknowledge.


As always – if you have chronic health problems or are taking any kind of medication, do not take ACV without checking with your doctor first.

Apple cider vinegar is not a cure-all but rather, when used right, an effective way to maintain the body’s pH balance in order to prevent disease.

Unless advised to do so by a medical or homeopathic doctor, apple cider vinegar should not be used to treat disease.

Do not overuse. Start slow with ½ to 1 tsp. per day and slowly work up to no more than 2 Tbsp. a day (although I personally think for long-term use 1 Tbsp. (3 tsp.) a day should be the maximum, but that’s just me – I tend to err on the side of caution).

Always dilute apple cider vinegar. Drinking it straight can lead to loss of tooth enamel and burn the mouth, throat and esophagus.


Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits:

  • Leg cramps. I can personally vouch that this works. I add 1/2 tsp. to my cup of honey-lemon tea twice a day, once just before bed.
  • May help balance blood sugar levels.
  • High blood pressure – has been shown to lower blood pressure.
  • May lower cholesterol which in turn reduces risk of heart disease.
  • There is some evidence that apple cider vinegar may slow the growth of cancer cells. More studies are needed.
  • Weight Loss. Believed to suppress appetite if taken before a meal.
  • Sore Throat. Gargle with a diluted solution. Try a warm drink made with 1 cup warm water, 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, add honey to taste.
  • Upset Stomach. Make a mint tea and add 1/2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar to settle the stomach. Honey may be added.
  • Can get rid of that bloated feeling.
  • A honey-lemon-apple cider vinegar tea works well to clear congestion and get rid of phlegm.
  • Helps rid the body of toxins.

Apple Cider Vinegar Precautions:

All natural products used to promote good health should be taken with the same care as prescription medicines. Apple cider vinegar is no different. This is not a product where ‘if a little works, more will work better’. It won’t and excessive intake can create serious health problems.  

  • For anyone taking diabetic medicine or insulin, apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels too much, leading to hypoglycemia or even insulin shock.
  • Patients taking diuretics may be monitored for low potassium. Apple cider vinegar can lower potassium even more.
  • DON’T USE it straight as a tooth-whitener or a mouthwash. This practice can do serious damage to tooth enamel and mouth tissue.
  • Apple cider vinegar can help balance your body’s pH level which should be around 7.45. Overuse can disrupt this balance and actually create health problems. It’s easy to check pH levels with an inexpensive litmus test, available at Pharmacies.

What kind of Apple Cider Vinegar should you use?

When using apple cider vinegar to promote good health and prevent disease it just makes sense to buy the healthiest product – organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized and containing the ‘mother’.

I use Filsingers’ Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which is Unfiltered, Unpasteurized and containing the ‘mother’. Bonus for me – Filsingers Organic Orchards are only about 20 miles away which supports my commitment to the 100 mile rule – that is, whenever possible buy products produced within 100 miles of where you live.  

How to get Apple Cider Vinegar into your diet:

The safest and easiest way to use apple cider vinegar is in everyday cooking. Adding ½ to 1 teaspoon to several dishes throughout the day will more than likely provide all you need to maintain a healthy pH balance and strong immune system.

  • As mentioned, add it to a tea
  • Add it to apple sauce
  • Makes a great salad dressing – I keep some in a spray bottle and just spritz some on our salads
  • Give soup or stews a little tang – especially those with tomato or beans
  • Add to baking – pie crust, pie fillings, muffins, etc.
  • Makes a more flavourful marinade for meat than white vinegar
  • Rub it on poultry for roasting
  • Use it with fish in place of lemon
  • Make a habit of replacing lemon juice or white vinegar with apple cider vinegar in recipes
  • Come up with your own ideas as to how to use it in cooking and baking.

Organic apple cider vinegar is substantially more expensive than white vinegar and should only be used to maintain the body’s pH balance in order to prevent illness. Using it for tasks where the much cheaper white vinegar works as well, such as for household cleaning and deodorizing, is simply a waste of money. 

Talk to you again next week,


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  1. Hi Lenie: My husband is a big supporter of apple cider vinegar. You can add “lessening the unpleasant t effect of jock itch” to the list of things it works on, as it certainly works for him! Thx for another great post.

  2. Brits put vinegar vis-à-vis ketchup on their chips/French fries – is that what Canadians do? Maybe we could put apple cider vinegar on fries to make them healthier (well, less unhealthy). 😉

    • Hi Andy – the Yanks go for ketchup, the Brits go for vinegar, the Dutch go for a mayonnaise type sauce and we Canucks go for it all – sometimes two at ones such as the case of vinegar and ketchup. As far as the healthy part goes, sometimes you just gotta have it. Have a great week.

  3. Great post, I have been using apple cider vinegar for years. It helped with some stomach issues I had, and cured my acid reflex. Thanks for sharing this with everyone.

    • Hi William, I know that apple cider vinegar has helped a lot of people with stomach and digestive problems. I find it really beneficial in relieving congestion. Thanks for the comment.

  4. The only use of Apple Cider Vinegar I was aware of was a salad dressing, never knew about the Health benefits it had to offer. Thank you for sharing will try it out for a sore throat.

    • Hi Sushmita, nice to see you here. There are so many ways to use apple cider vinegar and you don’t need much. It is good to use it for a sore throat, just remember to always dilute it so you don’t burn your mouth and throat.

  5. Hello Lenie! Apple cider vinegar is amazing! I have had troubles with GERD in the past and after having prescription after prescription of drugs from the doctor for this I had read about an ACV “cure” for it. I used it in a drink (about a tablespoon in a glass of water) about half an hour before my largest meal of the day and withing a few days, no more heartburn!! I kept on using it for about 2 weeks and my heartburn rarely ever comes back. Most of the time any heartburn I now get is usually due to my weakness for spicy foods. If I do get it, I use the ACV drink for a couple of days and it is gone again. After almost a year of heartburn so bad I sometimes wondered if I was having a heart attack, it was incredible relief! Not saying this would work for everyone, but it did for me. I will try the honey/lemon/ACV drink for sure! Happy to see you back on line. I had gotten a new computer and thought maybe in the switch-over I somehow lost your connection!

    • Hi Nance, good to hear from you – yup, I’m back but won’t be posting as often as before – just when I can. I’m not surprised that ACV helped your heartburn – even though it’s acidic, it helps to balance the body’s acid/alkaline levels. Another thing I noticed – and this may just be coincidence – I think it helps me sleep better. Twice in the last week I was so tired that I went to bed without my tea and both times I couldn’t fall asleep. Got up, made some honey-lemon/ACV tea and when I returned to bed I not only fell asleep but had a good sleep, no waking up. I’m going to play around with that idea a bit more to see if it really does work.

  6. I was aware of many of the benefits of apple cider vinegar and have started to use it more. I use it most often in salad dressings – an oil and cider vinegar dressing pairs nicely with a spinach salad. I must remember to drink it in water or tea on a daily basis.

    • Hi Donna – Somehow I’m not surprised that you know about the health benefits, you do seem to be up on that kind of info. I tried to drink it in water but found I couldn’t therefore the experiment with honey-lemon tea which I now like – although I must admit heavy on the honey but since that also has health benefits I don’t mind.

  7. Hi Lenie, I mostly use apple cider vinegar to cook with or for salad dressing. Nice to know it has health benefits too. I’d be worried it would be very noticeable flavor in tea. Does it stand out?

    • Hi Susan. You are right – you notice the apple cider vinegar in the honey-lemon tea but not in a bad way. The one thing I did have to play around with was how much honey to use to make the drink taste good.

  8. Hi Lenie,
    I am new here! Found you through Marquita’s blog. So I am reaching out to meet new bloggers. Great post and I really like how you presented it. I have not used Apple Cider Vinegar at all, so now I’m curious. I do use Coconut Oil as a skin moisturizer though. I try to use as little chemicals as possible in skin care, and diet as well. Thank you for the info …

    • Hi Lesly – funny that I meet you here – I’ve just started following you on Twitter. I love the ‘blossoming into the golden years’ statement as part of your Twitter bio. Never heard it put that way before. As to the Apple cider vinegar, I am a true advocate for using as few chemicals as possible even though it’s not always the easiest thing to do – they do seem to sneak in everywhere. But we do the best we can with the knowledge we have – a great reason to keep on learning, even in those golden years.

  9. Lenie, with so many apples in the house, I plan to make apple sauce in the next day or two. I would never have thought of adding ACV. What a great idea. Thanks!

    • Ramona, you must live in the apple growing region of BC. We live in Ontario’s apple growing region but don’t really need that as we have a huge old-fashioned apple tree in our backyard. Apple sauce and apple cider vinegar just seem to be made for each other – both are superior health foods so combining the two increases the impact. Good luck with making the apple sauce – that’s a lot of work.

  10. Lenie, I love how you mention that apple cider vinegar is used best as prevention, not as a cure. It makes me crazy when people start talking about how certain foods can cure diseases like cancer. I’ve used it to help my digestive system and I use it in salad dressing It is more expensive, but since I use the bottle slowly, I don’t mind the extra cost. Thanks for such a comprehensive list of how to use it.

    • Erica, if only life were so simple that a food product could cure cancer – I’m afraid we’re a long ways from that. I just know that there are many food products that used properly can go a long way towards making our bodies strong enough to fend off disease (or lessen the impact). As you know yourself in your business, that’s really what natural foods are all about.

  11. I’ve used apple cider for a few of the things you mention here. I also used it to help treat my poison oak rash this summer. It’s astringent qualities helped keep the festering blisters at bay.

    • Jeri, you may have been one of the readers that turned me on to Apple cider vinegar in the first place. I can well believe that it would help the poison oak rash. I’m finding out that it is good for so many things.

  12. I always appreciate the way you balance your advice Lennie. I’ve seen many articles touting the health benefits of AVC but the only way I’ve used it is in salad dressing. I’ll have to see how I might be able to incorporate a couple of your other tips. Thanks!

    • Marquita, according to some articles Apple cider vinegar will cure everything. I don’t believe that and overuse can definitely create serious kidney and other health problems. At the same time I do believe that ACV benefits has many ‘preventive’ health benefits, especially if we make it part of our daily diet in a measured way. Hope you can find different ways to use it. (BTW – Sounds like you found your little spot of heaven in Oregon – lovely).

  13. Good to hear from you Lenie!

    I do not use apple cider vinegar when cooking or for anything else. I imagine it to be sweet. I use vinegar for cleaning – it is great for removing marks on and around taps.

    • Phoenicia, apple cider vinegar isn’t the least bit sweet – it has a lovely tang and makes a great salad dressing or meat marinade. It is a completely different product than white vinegar, something I also use for cleaning.

  14. Lenie — glad to see you’re back. I didn’t know about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Recently I’ve had a couple of episodes of leg cramps at night. I’m glad you found that apple cider vinegar helps to alleviate that problem. Thanks for the tip.

    • Jeannette, it’s good to be back. Leg cramps seem to be more common the older we get unfortunately so anything we can do to relieve that is good – if the ACV doesn’t do the job. try a daily gin and tonic. Tonic has quinine in it which also stops the cramps – a little word of wisdom from an old-time Scottish doctor.

  15. I will need to use Apple cider vinegar especially for sore throat. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Bola, the nicest way to relieve a sore throat is to add the apple cider vinegar (just 1/2 a tsp.) to a mug of honey-lemon tea. I find this actually quite tasty.

  16. Wow! I had no idea. My main use of apple cider vinegar was indeed all about salad dressings.

    • Ken, I know you’re into cooking – try it by adding it to your meat marinade the next time – much better than white vinegar.

      • I usually go for red wine vinegar, but I’ll give it a try. Thanks.

  17. Great information. I missed your holistic knowledge. I just discovered the wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar. Did you know you can use it on skin tags? Saturate a cotton ball and tape it over your skin tag for 3-4 nights (remove each morning and place a new one the next night.) It dries out the tags and they turn black and fall off. I got rid of 2 tags already. =)

    • Sabrina, thanks for the tip – I did not know that and I’m sure that others will be glad to hear of it too. It’s quite amazing all the things this product does.

  18. Personally started with cider vinegar a long time ago because it gets rid of toxins. When you have a small thyroid problem, like me and Hillary Clinton(!), it’s easy to get candida. 4 spoons of cider vinegar a day in water helps eliminate the toxins candida produces and prevent candida. Maybe you can let Hillary know?:-)

    Don’t know if cider vinegar is a miracle cure. Probably not, but it works very well with my metabolism.

    • Catarina, I hate to disappoint you but Hillary stopped taking my calls LOL – too bad she could have learned something new. I know that ACV is really good to eliminate toxins, which of course helps prevent disease.

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