Apple cider vinegar (ACV) and honey are two amazing natural substances that have many health benefits. In their unprocessed, raw form, both honey and ACV can treat a wide range of health issues. By combining them together, you boost the health benefits of these two natural remedies. What’s more, the addition of sweet honey to the apple cider vinegar makes drinking it more palatable.
Consuming apple cider vinegar and honey can help you fight joint pain, help reduce inflammatory conditions, heal digestive problems, and cure a large number of other health conditions. The health-boosting effect of ACV and honey is due to their natural antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties.
In this article, you will learn about the various ways to use ACV and honey to give your health a great boost and help ward off infection. First of all, let’s look at the medicinal properties of both apple cider vinegar and honey to see why they are so effective.
The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made from crushed apples, then distilled and fermented. The result is a liquid that is high in acetic acid.
The journal PlosOne reported that acetic acid is a natural antibacterial agent that can kill off many strains of harmful bacteria. This can help to prevent skin infections, rid the skin of free radicals, and speed up wound healing.1
According to research published in the journal Advanced Wound Care, acetic acid is also antiseptic and can help treat chronic infections.2
The Health Benefits of Raw Honey
Raw, unprocessed honey is one of the most natural foods available. Honey is a well-known home remedy and has been used for centuries to cure various ailments.
For example, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that honey contains phenolic compounds which are powerful antioxidants.3 These are known to promote good health and prevent several diseases.4
Raw honey also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat and prevent various inflammatory conditions. The University of Waikato published a research on the therapeutic actions of honey. The researchers found that various compounds in honey (especially Manuka honey) help to reduce inflammation and it can be as effective as many anti-inflammatory drugs.5
The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
When used together, raw honey and ACV have amazing abilities to ward off infections and treat different health conditions. Therefore, using apple cider vinegar and honey on a regular basis can help to improve your quality of life.
Let’s look at how you can use these two wonderful natural ingredients together to experience all of their great benefits. All of the ACV and honey health benefits in this article are backed up by scientific research.
Improves joint health and alleviates joint pain
Regular consumption of apple cider vinegar and honey can help to manage and naturally reduce inflammation that causes joint pain. This makes apple cider vinegar and honey a helpful home remedy for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions that affect joints.
A study published in 2004 found that consuming ACV had a “considerable effect on controlling chronic pain and inflammation.”6
A more recent study from 2011 found that the anti-inflammatory properties of honey can help to treat arthritis pain and other acute and chronic inflammatory conditions.
Heartburn / acid reflux relief
Drinking ACV along with honey can give you natural relief from the symptoms of heartburn like a burning sensation in your stomach after eating. Both apple cider vinegar and honey help to balance stomach acid and honey has an anti-inflammatory and soothing effect on the esophagus.
A study found that ACV showed comparable results to antacids and alleviated heartburn symptoms. The researchers said that it may be useful for people who don’t respond well to antacid heartburn treatment.8
The Indian Journal of Medical Research reported that the medicinal properties of honey can assist in reducing acid reflux symptoms. The soothing properties of honey on the throat and esophagus also help to reduce irritation.9
Improves digestive health
Apple cider vinegar and honey don’t just prevent heartburn symptoms, but the ACV and honey remedy also boosts digestive health. The acidic nature of ACV helps to stimulate enzymes needed for healthy digestion and honey soothes many gastrointestinal problems.
The ScienceQ Publishing Group from Harvard reported that ACV helps to break down proteins and stimulates the digestion of fats in the digestive tract.10
The journal BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine found that honey boosts digestion in many ways. For example, the researchers found that honey has over 180 beneficial substances. These work together to help balance the delicate microflora in the gut and have antimicrobial properties.11
One of the health benefits of regularly drinking a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar is that it can assist in losing weight. In my article on using apple cider vinegar for weight loss, you can find out how ACV helps to suppress appetite, control blood sugar levels, and prevent fat accumulation.
Will ACV and honey really help you lose weight? An interesting study from Japan found that a dose of 30ml vinegar in 500ml water daily helped reduce body fat mass and reduce waistlines in obese people.12 Another study found that adding vinegar to meals can help increase the feeling of fullness causing you to eat fewer calories.13
By adding some honey to the ACV drink, you can make the weight-loss remedy taste better and help rid your body of toxins at the same time. The University of Illinois reported that ingesting honey turns on detoxification genes in the body.14
Drink apple cider vinegar and honey to help naturally reduce levels of cholesterol and keep your blood healthy.
The British Journal of Nutrition reported that acetic acid helps to reduce cholesterol by assisting the liver process fatty acids and increase bile production.15
A study into the cholesterol-lowering effect of honey found that regular honey consumption decreases levels of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and increases levels of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol).16
Improves heart health
Apart from reducing cholesterol, consuming ACV and honey drinks is a great way to improve the general health of your heart and prevent cardiac-related problems.
Research into the medicinal properties of honey has found that it contains powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants in honey can help prevent various cardiovascular diseases. For example, honey prevents blood clots, and lowers “bad” cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.17
Apple cider vinegar contributes to heart health by lowering cholesterol as well as lowering high blood pressure.
Lowers blood pressure
Another benefit to your heart that a mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey provides is to lower blood pressure naturally. In fact, both honey and ACV have properties that have anti-hypertension activities.
A study from Japan found that acetic acid in vinegar has a beneficial role in reducing high blood pressure.18 The journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity reported that regularly consuming honey reduces oxidative stress and can considerably reduce high blood pressure.19
Regularly drink apple cider vinegar and honey to manage hypertension and reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.
Reduces blood sugar levels
Apple cider vinegar and honey can help people with diabetes manage they blood sugar levels better. Both honey and ACV have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity and have many health benefits.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) published a report showing that vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity and has a similar effect to metformin or acarbose – drugs used to manage type 2 diabetes.20 The ADA also reported that consuming vinegar at nighttime can favorably impact waking glucose levels.21
Studies have also shown that honey has a positive effect on blood plasma levels and on the blood’s fatty acid content if you have diabetes.22
Drinking apple cider vinegar and honey in the morning or before exercising can give you a needed energy boost.
The journal Scientific American reported on a study by the University of Memphis showing that honey was just as good as glucose in boosting energy levels. They found that honey was one of the most effective forms of carbohydrates to consume before exercising.23
Although there are no studies showing a direct link between ACV and boosting energy levels, you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons with a teaspoon of honey to a glass of water to get all the other health benefits of ACV and help cleanse your liver naturally.
Relieves sore throat and cough
The antiseptic properties of apple cider vinegar and honey can help kill off infections that cause sore throats and coughs. Also, the antimicrobial and soothing properties of honey help to naturally reduce your cough reflex and eliminate germs from your throat.
Honey is an ancient, traditional natural remedy for coughs and sore throats. Medical research has also backed up its effectiveness as a healing agent. The Journal of Family Practice reported that a spoonful of honey is as effective as pharmaceutical cough syrups. However, there are no side effects with the normal consumption of honey.24
Apple cider vinegar also has a traditional use in alleviating sore throats and coughs. A honey and vinegar mixture was prescribed by Hippocrates for persistent coughs.25
Improves skin conditions
The antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar and honey combine to make a great tonic for healthy skin. Both honey and ACV are used to treat eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Apple cider vinegar prevents germs from infecting damaged skin and helps to balance the pH levels on the skin.2 In my article on reasons to wash your face with apple cider vinegar, you can also read how ACV is a natural exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores as well as improving skin tone.
Honey is also a natural healer for your skin and will also hydrate and soften your skin. The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that honey contains many proteins, vitamins, and amino acids that help to keep your skin healthy.26
Together, honey and ACV are an effective treatment to get rid of acne. Many studies mentioned in this article have shown that ACV is an effective antimicrobial agent. You can use apple cider vinegar to help unclog excess dirt and oil from pores. Honey also helps repair damaged skin and kills off germs that can infect and inflame pores.
The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine reports that honey helps wounds to heal faster and forms a protective barrier to prevent infections.27 Doctors are even suggesting Manuka honey as an alternative acne treatment.28
A mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey helps in maintaining a healthy alkaline pH level to prevent inflammatory processes in the body. Experts such as Nobel prize winner, Dr. Otto Warburg, claim that inflammatory processes are associated with high acidic level in the body and we become ill when our bodies turn overly acidic (pH below 7).
Vinegar is naturally acidic, but when consumed, it turns alkaline. Honey, too, has a low pH, but raises the alkalinity of the body once eaten.
The two substances are a perfect way to get rid of excessive acidity (resulting from stressful lifestyle and unhealthy foods and drinks) and building an internal environment with a protective pH. Our bodies function at their best and healthiest when the body’s pH is approximately 7.4, so slightly alkaline.
Eliminates bad breath
The germ-fighting properties of apple cider vinegar and honey together can help get rid of bad breath. Bad breath can be caused by a buildup of bacteria on your teeth or by a stomach ulcer.
Drinking ACV and honey in the morning on an empty stomach can help to remove bacteria from your mouth. Their antibacterial activities can also help treat stomach ulcers. The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine reported that Manuka honey kills off the Helicobacter pylori strain of bacteria.29 This strain of bacteria is the main cause of gastric ulcers.
Apple cider vinegar and honey for healthy hair
Another health benefit of apple cider vinegar and honey is to naturally keep your hair looking healthy and shiny.
The acidic properties of ACV help to balance the pH levels of your scalp which are often raised if you have an itchy scalp and dandruff. The antiseptic properties of ACV also kill off fungal and bacterial infections which often cause a flaky scalp.
The European Journal of Medical Research also published studies showing that honey can help to fight scalp fungal infections. The application of honey reduced itching, scaling, and hair loss.30
May help prevent certain cancers
Some initial studies have shown that vinegar can inhibit the growth of some cancer cells. One study from China showed that a diet of beans, vegetables, and vinegar helped to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer.31
Manuka honey has shown to have an anticancer effect in clinical trials. One research trial showed that honey helped to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and boost the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatment.32
Of course, apple cider vinegar and honey together is not a wonder cure for cancer, however, current research into their health benefits show promising results.
How to Make ACV and Honey Healing Drink
To get the health benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar and honey, it’s important to get honey and vinegar that haven’t been processed and still in their “raw” form.
Apple cider vinegar should be raw and unprocessed and still contain the “mother.” The “mother” is the cloudy bits that should be floating around the liquid, and retains many of the health benefits of ACV.
Honey has the best health benefits when it is from organic sources and hasn’t been processed.
To make an ACV and honey drink, please do the following:
- Mix together 1 teaspoon raw honey with 1 teaspoon of ACV (you can use up to 1 tablespoon of ACV).
- Add the mixture to 8 oz. glass of water.
- Drink the honey cider vinegar remedy 1-3 times a day to boost your health.
In time, you will get used to the vinegar taste, so just bear with it for the first few times. Or, you can add more honey to mask the strong taste of vinegar.
When to Drink a Mixture of ACV and Honey?
For best results, drink the honey and ACV concoction first thing in the morning on an empty stomach about 20-30 minutes before you eat. This helps your stomach to absorb the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals from the ACV and honey health tonic.
Some suggest drinking up the ACV-honey mixture up to 3 times a day. However, you should work out what works best for you and how much you can tolerate.
Side Effects of Drinking too Much ACV and Honey
Apple cider vinegar and honey are generally safe to consume. However, as with all natural remedies and traditional treatments, there are some precautions you should take.
Some of the effects of ACV are:
- Too much apple cider vinegar can cause low potassium levels and may lead to osteoporosis. However, this was reported in a woman who was drinking around 8 oz. apple cider vinegar a day for many years. The amounts that are recommended in this article (1-3 tablespoons a day diluted in water) are safe for general consumption.
- Acidic foods can weaken tooth enamel. To prevent this happening, rinse your mouth with a glass of water after drinking a glass of diluted ACV or drink it with a straw.
- ACV can interact with other medications like diuretics, laxatives, heart, and diabetes medication. If you regularly take medication, consult with your doctor before drinking ACV and honey on a regular basis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some people have side effects of consuming honey:
- People with bee-related allergies (e.g. stings) can suffer from hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the skin, and wheezing.
- Too much honey can cause abnormal heart rhythms, diarrhea, or tingling on the skin.
- Some types of honey (from the nectar of Rhododendrons) can lower blood pressure. If you are taking hypertension medication, you should regularly check your blood pressure.
- Honey should never be given to infants under 1 year old.