Apple cider vinegar is prepared from cider or apple must. It is a well-known traditional remedy for a number of ailments, including arthritis. Let’s find out more about this vinegar and how it can help you manage arthritis pain, through this HolisticZine article.
Organic and unrefined vinegar contains many beneficial enzymes, cellulose, and the acetobacter, which are known as the ‘mother of vinegar‘. The ‘mother of vinegar’ has several health benefits, but it is usually removed during the refining process.
Apple cider vinegar is also known as cider vinegar, and is prepared from apple must. To make this vinegar, apples are first crushed to squeeze out the liquid, after which yeast is added to it in order to induce the process of alcoholic fermentation. In alcoholic fermentation, sugar is turned into alcohol, which is then converted into vinegar by adding acetobacter or acetic acid-forming bacteria.
The Egyptians used cider vinegar as far back as 3,000 BC for treating a wide range of health problems. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine was also believed to use apple cider vinegar for its healing properties. So, this vinegar has been a part of traditional medicine since ancient times.
But surprisingly, there has been little research on the therapeutic benefits of cider vinegar. So, most of the health benefits of this vinegar, as claimed by naturopathic doctors and other natural health enthusiasts, are not backed by any concrete scientific evidence. Nevertheless, it is often used for conditions like diabetes and arthritis. Before going into the details of how this vinegar can help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, let’s find out more about arthritis and what causes it.
More about Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition characterized by the pain and inflammation of the joints, and it includes more than 100 conditions or forms. The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis eventually damages the joints of the body.
Osteoarthritis is a condition, where the cartilage of the joints undergoes chronic breakdown. This causes joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system attacks and damages the synovial membrane present in the joints, causing joint inflammation and deformities.
Many experts are of the opinion that the accumulation of acid crystals in the joints is an important contributory factor for arthritis. Such a buildup has been found to be responsible for causing joint stiffness and pain.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Arthritis
The organic and raw, i.e., the unprocessed or unfiltered cider vinegar is usually used for treating arthritis, as this vinegar is claimed to be quite effective in reducing joint pain and inflammation. Let’s find out how this vinegar can reduce arthritis pain and inflammation.
Vinegar is a strong cleanser, and this is the reason why it can clean your kitchen sink so efficiently. When taken internally, it can help eliminate the acid crystals that build up in the joints. The accumulation of acid crystals in the joints is considered to be an important contributory factor for arthritis. Apple cider vinegar can dissolve these acid crystals, and reduce the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis.
Vinegar can also improve digestion. Vinegar is basically acetic acid, and acetic acid can increase the absorption of minerals from food. So, diluted cider vinegar can ensure proper digestion of food and better absorption of minerals, if it is taken before a meal. This in turn, can be beneficial for conditions like arthritis, which can be associated with the deficiency of certain minerals like calcium. Minerals like calcium and magnesium are crucial for bone and joint health.
Our body maintains a natural pH balance, which if gets disrupted can manifest in several health problems. It is believed that when the pH of our body becomes low, it draws alkalizing minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium from bones and other organs to neutralize the acidity. People suffering from arthritis are often found to have calcium deposits in or around their joints. Raw and organic cider vinegar may help dissolve such deposition, and prevent this condition in the future by restoring the normal pH of the body. Though cider vinegar is acidic, it leaves behind an alkaline residue once it is processed by the body.
Apple cider vinegar has been found to exhibit antioxidant properties. So, it can protect the cells and tissues of the body from the damaging effects of the free radicals. The damage caused by free radicals has been found to be associated with degenerative conditions like arthritis.
Arthritis is presumed to be associated with the accumulation of toxins and metabolic wastes in the joints, which can limit their movements. Organic and raw apple cider vinegar can absorb these toxins, and flush them out of the body. The pectins found in this vinegar can help absorb toxins and metabolic wastes.
Using Cider Vinegar for Arthritis
- It can be applied topically on the inflamed joint to ease the pain and discomfort, or it can be taken internally along with honey to get better results. For external application, it can be mixed with coconut or olive oil to massage the inflamed joints.
- Raw cider vinegar is highly acidic, and so, it has to be diluted before ingesting. You can add 1 or 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar to about 8 ounce of water, and drink the mixture before meal. You can also add 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw honey (preferably manuka honey) to the mixture. Honey can make it more effective and palatable. Cider vinegar is usually taken twice or thrice a day before meal.
It is true that enough scientific evidence is not there to support the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar in treating arthritis. Nevertheless, many users claim that they have benefited immensely from this vinegar. However, before using any alternative medicine, it is always advisable to consult a health care provider, especially if you are suffering from a medical condition. Vinegar can also interact with certain medications. So, if you are taking any kind of medications or supplements, then talk to your health care provider before using this vinegar for medicinal purposes.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.