Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on October 29, 2022
Home remedies, passed on for generations in the family, are often quite effective when it comes to treating common ailments. Be it a cup of lemon tea or a warm glass of turmeric milk, we have all been on the receiving end of our grandma’s perfect healing methods.
The use of apple cider vinegar for sore throat, colds, and seasonal allergies is one such practice that has stood the test of time. Proponents have raved about its efficacy, and we wonder whether the claims are of any significance. Let us find out.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented form of vinegar produced from the conversation of sugar to alcohol. This is further transformed into acetic acid by bacteria, giving ACV its distinct acidic composition.
Lately, ACV has gained widespread popularity as a medicinal cure for a range of health problems. Starting as Hippocrates’ choice supplement for treating wounds, it is only now that the scientific community has begun unraveling its many marvels.
What Makes ACV So Special?
Over the years, several studies and research trials have focused on examining apple cider vinegar’s composition and role in different body processes. The many positive conclusions derived grant ACV a unique versatility in terms of its usage.
Its detox and cleanse abilities have allowed it to become an effective weight loss medium and a trusted medicinal cure. This includes health problems like kidney stones, UTIs, blood pressure, acid reflux, and gout. It may also be utilized as a general skincare product for acne treatment and dermatological strengthening.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Allergies
Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as seasonal allergies or hay fever, is nasal irritation that usually occurs at certain times of the year. Allergic reactions may bring on symptoms such as sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and a runny nose. The culprits can be external or internal environmental components like pollen, mold, airborne allergens, plants, etc. (1)
According to anecdotal evidence, ACV works to break down mucus and boost the immune system of the body. Proponents believe it could work to alleviate the symptoms of a seasonal allergy that range from a mild cold to a fever.
Apple cider vinegar does not possess any antihistamine properties. So it’s not necessarily recommended as a cure for allergies. But, there are studies to suggest that ACV can help reduce bodily inflammation, which can make allergy attacks more manageable. (2)
Interestingly, there is also credible evidence to back up the effectiveness of honey to treat allergic rhinitis. Since apple cider vinegar and honey are commonly consumed together, this is likely where a large portion of the anecdotal evidence comes from. (3)
Apple Cider Vinegar for Sore Throat
A sore throat is a feeling of dryness, irritation, or pain in the throat. It is a common throat infection triggered by viruses that cause influenza or the common cold. In other cases, bacterial infections or environmental factors such as pollen or dust may also contribute.
Regardless, pathogenic microbes are a leading cause of sore throat. Thus, a study on that subject can justify the pharmacological advantages of ACV to treat the problem.
- More Reading: Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda Benefits
In 2021, the International Journal of Microbiology studied the antimicrobial capability of apple vinegar against pathogenic microbes. It concluded that apple vinegar provides sufficient resistance against such microbes. (4)
It’s also well established that most bacteria thrive in neutral pH environments. Since apple cider vinegar is acidic, consuming it regularly is likely to keep sore throat causing microbes at bay.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Sinus Infection
Sinuses are hollow, paired cavities within the bones around the different parts of the head. They produce mucus, responsible for keeping your nose moist. A sinus infection (sinusitis) occurs upon inflammation of the tissues lining the sinuses. This blocks the air passage, making them full of fluid. Viruses and bacteria are leading causes of sinus infection. (5)
No direct evidence or research trial verifies the use of apple cider vinegar for sinus infections. However, its nutrient-dense composition supplies it with many characteristics that may indirectly help, outside of simply reducing inflammation.
Raw and organic apple cider vinegar contains “The Mother.” It is a mixture of yeast and gut-friendly bacteria that works as a natural probiotic for the body. A 2018 study concerning probiotic supplementation may act as prospective evidence to substantiate the claim.
The study examined the influence of probiotic consumption on individuals who had caught a cold at least four times in the past year. The randomized trial observed that flu-like symptoms diminished after consumption. Probiotics proved helpful in fighting influenza-like respiratory infections, including the sinus. (6)
Apple Cider Vinegar for Colds and Coughing
A viral infection in the upper respiratory tract is often called the common cold. It occurs due to membrane inflammation around the nose and throat caused by several viruses. Due to the irritation caused in the throat, coughing comes as a by-product.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols that grant it many unique health benefits. Research trials and studies have linked this composition to its immune-boosting capabilities.
One such example is a 2010 trial from the British Journal of Nutrition. Under the study, participants with severe cold symptoms were exposed to polyphenol-rich beverages and examined. As a result, they experienced improved bodily strength, and the beverages exhibited an effective role in reducing the symptoms of a cold. (7)
Acetic acid, the workhorse of all the bioactive compounds present in apple cider vinegar, is resistant to disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Research backs up its immense antimicrobial potency, especially to inhibit pathogens that may lead up to cough. (8)
Of course, this does not mean that ACV magically abolishes the disease-causing factors. However, the evidence presents possibilities for its role in accelerating the gradual recovery of the throat.
Other Ways to Take ACV
While an ACV drink is the most common option for consumption, it is not the only one. To treat colds or other throat infections, you may use one of the following alternative ways to take ACV:
- If a viral infection leads to blockage in the nasal or a feeling of congestion, you can use ACV as a throat rub. Take a small quantity of diluted raw ACV and scrub it around your sinuses and throat. The strong odor will help loosen the congestion and allow for proper breathing.
- Mix about a cup of water and ¼ cup of ACV. In small patches, apply the mixture to the inside of your throat and gargle for 2-3 minutes. Afterward, thoroughly rinse the acid off your teeth with water.
- Apple cider vinegar gummies or capsules are available online or for over-the-counter purchases. Confirm with your health specialist and make them part of your supplement routine.
- Make ACV part of your everyday meals by cooking it in meats or vegetables. You may also make a vinaigrette salad with other verified natural remedies for throat infections, such as honey or turmeric.
Other Natural Remedies for Cold & Allergy Relief
Apple cider vinegar for allergies and cold symptoms is not the only option available. There are plenty of other natural remedies that can provide cold, sore throat, and allergy relief such as:
- Turmeric: Due to the anti-inflammatory and healing tendencies of curcumin, you’ll also notice turmeric benefits throat infections, as well.
- Honey: Honey and citric acid, such as lemon, can help suppress cough and soothe throat pain due to sinus irritation.
- Garlic: The allicin from garlic can prove to be an effective antimicrobial agent to suppress cold and cough symptoms.
- Saltwater: Saltwater gargles work best to heal upper respiratory infections and open blocked sinuses.
- Steam: Consider using a humidifier to keep an ample amount of moisture in the air to control allergy flare-ups.
Final Thoughts on ACV and Allergy Relief
One can conclude that the use of apple cider vinegar for colds and coughs, and allergy relief showcases the potential for being a trustworthy option. More in-depth research is required to determine the extent to which ACV can help.
- Read More: Can Apple Cider Vinegar Go Bad?
Overall, ACV is a relatively safe and side effect free home remedy when you know how much to drink. Keep in mind, you should not take ACV in place of any prescribed medications. If you’re unsure, consult with a certified medical professional to see if apple cider vinegar can improve your situation.
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