The Apple Cider Vinegar Cold Remedy You Need to Know

This apple cider vinegar remedy should be a staple in every home.

Image: iStock/Liliboas
Image: iStock/Liliboas

Apple cider vinegar is pretty incredible stuff. But did you know it can be helpful in preventing the onset of colds and the flu? The apple cider vinegar cold remedy needs to be a staple in every home.

Even in California, winter can mean a pretty nasty cold and flu season. We spent Thanksgiving in the throes of stuffy woes…and with a newborn baby it was no fun. Had I been less distracted (as in, not having a newborn!), I would have realized the time of year and all the germs that come with it. But before we knew it, there was mucus. Lots and lots of mucus.

With my normal wits about me, I would have done my best to prevent coming down with the flu by using apple cider vinegar, especially after we had guests flying in from all over the country to see the baby—and coming straight from the germy airport to our house! But of course, I missed the window and we all got sick, baby too.

While it’s highly acidic, apple cider vinegar actually helps the body to keep pH levels balanced, which can help prevent colds and flu germs from getting cozy in your nose and chest. A properly alkalized body is unappealing to germs.

Most of us tend to run a bit more acidic, thanks to the standard American diet, so it’s no wonder we spend the winter months battling germs.

How An Apple Cider Vinegar Cold Remedy Works

According to, drinking a tablespoon or two of ACV at the first onset of a cold or the flu—or when someone close to you has it — will help prevent the full on bout of ick.

The main reason this works is that apple cider vinegar, as acidic as it tastes, actually helps to alkalize your body (most of us are more acidic). A body that’s more alkaline may be more effective at fighting off viruses that cause colds and the flu. So adding in a wee bit of the tart, tangy vinegar can help.

If drinking apple cider vinegar straight up is too much for you (especially if your stomach is upset from the cold or flu) dilute it with a bit of warm water, or hot tea, and some maple syrup. You can also add it to salad dressings.

Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing Recipe

Mix 3 parts olive oil to one part vinegar. Add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a sweet taste if you like. Mix well and drizzle atop your salad.

Using Apple Cider Vinegar Once You’re Already Super Sick

If you waited too long and are in the throes of a cold or the flu, keep drinking the vinegar anyway. It’ll help your body fight off the germs, give you some energy, and help improve your digestion.

You can also use it to get rid of a sinus or chest infection. For a sinus infection or stuffy head, add 1/8 of a cup of ACV to the water in a vaporizer and leave on over night.

For chest congestion, cut a piece of a paper bag the size of your chest and soak in ACV. Sprinkle one side with black pepper and lay across your chest for half an hour.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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This article was updated on Oct 9, 2015.

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