Arthritis is a chronic condition that involves inflammation in the joints. Arthritis forms because the cartilage between joints wears down, leaving bones to rub against other bones, causing inflammation and pain. Apple cider vinegar is a traditional folk remedy for arthritis; however, there is no scientific research in support of this. Always consult your physician before trying any alternative remedy.
Arthritis is the most common disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affecting nearly 21 million Americans. There are over 100 different types of arthritis that vary in severity, but osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is the most common type. No cure has been found for arthritis but treatment for the painful condition helps relieve symptoms. Pain medication, physical therapy and surgery are some options for people with arthritis.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
Apple cider vinegar has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. Hippocrates is believed to have used vinegar to treat his patients in 400 B.C. Apple cider vinegar, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, may have antimicrobial properties making it a natural germ killer and potentially useful for treating food poisoning. Apple cider vinegar is also purported to promote weight loss, lower cholesterol and improve skin; however, no research has backed these claims, according to eMedTV.com.
Vinegar and Arthritis
Alternative health practitioners recommend drinking apple cider vinegar to help treat the symptoms of arthritis. Vinegar is believed to relieve pain associated with arthritis and slow the progression of the disease. The University of Florida recommends mixing 2 tsp.of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. Drink the mixture before each meal to relieve arthritis pain. Although there may be stories of people claiming to feel real benefits of apple cider vinegar in relation to arthritis, no research has validated these claims.
Before trying any alternative treatment, it is critical that you discuss this with your medical provider. Apple cider vinegar can interact with certain medications. Its side effects include severe throat pain and low potassium in the blood. The high acidity in vinegar can exacerbate stomach pain, heartburn and nausea. Some people have experienced allergic reactions to vinegar including a rash, hives, itching and swelling. Because apple cider vinegar has not been studied, other side effects are not known.
Natural apple cider vinegar can be considered one of natures superb foods. The powerful enzymes and minerals it possess are beneficial in the relief of various skin, joint, and digestive problems. Many arthritis sufferers drink apple cider vinegar on a daily basis to get relief from joint pain and stiffness. The best and most effective apple cider vinegar (ACV) should be organic, undistilled, unpasteurized and contain the floating brownish substance called the “mother.”
Essential nutrients of ACV include:
- natural sodium
- magnesium and other powerful trace minerals, enzymes and amino acids
Natural acids contained in ACV are:
- malic acid
- acetic acid
- lactic acid
Natural acids assist in balancing the acid levels in your digestive system, which deters disease-producing bacteria growth, improving digestion. Malic acid is the major acid found in ACV and is naturally produced in the body during the metabolic cycle. Fruit and vegetables also contain malic acid and some of the fruits that are suggested for their malic acid content are:
- apples ( contain a large amount of malic acid)
Distilled vinegar may be more appealing to the eye but valuable nutrients are removed through pasteurization and what you have left is dead vinegar.
Natural apple cider vinegar should be made from organic apples. Apples are rich in potassium. Potassium helps to create youthful ageless tissues, keeping the body flexible and resilient.
*Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is a great brand and the brand I use and love. I have noticed a tremendous difference in the disappearance of aches and pain especially on the bottom of my feet. Bragg ACV is an overall excellent health tonic. You can purchase Bragg AVC at your local grocery store, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers (Vitamin Cottage) or online.
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Relieve Joint Pain and Stiffness?
Potassium deficiency eventually causes joint stiffness and muscle cramps. The rich source of potassium in ACV is an agent in removing toxins and acid crystals from the body, maintaining joint pliability. A build up of acid crystals lodge themselves in joint spaces causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Apple cider vinegar helps to put acid crystals into solution so they can be excreted from your body relieving stiffness and pain.
What Are Acid Crystals/Uric Acid Crystals?
You may be wondering what acid crystals are and how your body produces them. In a simplified term, acid crystals are substances that are formed after your body naturally breaks down waste products also known as purines. If there is an over production of uric acid and your kidneys are not filtering or eliminating adequate amounts of the acid crystals it may lead to problems such as hyperuricemia (high level of uric acid in the blood), resulting in gout and other arthritic conditions. Increased levels of uric acid can also cause a collection of crystal deposits in your kidneys producing kidney stones which are very painful.
The cause of high levels of acid crystals can be associated with dietary intake of foods high in purines (uric acid). Purines are considered foods which elevate the acid levels in your blood.
The best way to ingest apple cider vinegar:
Mix 1 tablespoon of ACV and 1 tablespoon of raw unfiltered honey in an 8oz glass of luke warm (not hot) water. Drink 1-3 times per day.
*Raw honey is also a rich source of potassium.
We may need to battle against acid crystals all of our lives and one of the best weapons to achieve this is natural apple cider vinegar.
Wishing you an enjoyable and pain free life!
- PubMed Health; Arthritis; February 2011
- eMedTV; Apple Cider Vinegar; Kristi Monson; July 2008
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Arthritis
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Arthritis Basics
- University of Pittsburgh; Vinegar: An Ancient Medicine and Popular Home Remedy; Bonnie K. McMillen
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Food Poisoning; Steven D. Ehrlich; August 2010
- University of Florida: Hurricane Recovery
- eMedTV; Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects; Kristi Monson; July 2008