Does Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Colds?

I’ve been really sick with a nasty cold this week, though trying hard to hold it together. It started on Sunday night as a slight tickle in my threat… enough to make me say, “uh oh.” I had a big bowl of chicken pho for dinner, hoping that would help. Unfortunately, I woke up on Monday morning and it was much worse. My throat hurt like crazy to swallow or talk… and yet, I was supposed to kick off a week of functional workshops with a whole team of people who had flown in from France for the occasion! This was not possible to reschedule, so I sucked it up, took some cold medicine, and did my best.

I skipped two out of the three work dinners I had planned this week (the Monday night one I attended but left early), and focused on just getting as much as sleep as possible every night. Sleep and fluids will cure anything, right? Except that every morning, after nine or more hours of sleep, I’d wake up still feeling the same… or even worse :( The first few nights, I slept like a rock. But last night, I woke up at 3am, completely congested and feeling horrible, and ended up taking a second dose of medicine just to get through the night.

With my late night waking, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that I woke up today feeling worse than ever. Just one more day of workshops, I told myself! I wanted more medicine, but since I had taken two doses during the night, I decided to wait until 10am for my next daytime dose. Well, as luck would have it, we took a break at 9am, and I went up to my desk area to get a fresh teabag… but I got a lot more.


Enter… Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.

A few weeks ago, a coworker left the project; in her departure, she left behind a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. My coworker used to drink a bit of apple cider vinegar every day, and when she left, she donated her bottle to our communal snack table. A week or so ago, a few of us challenged each other to try a shot of it, and I found it wasn’t too bad. But when I saw it up there today, I remembered that apple cider vinegar is supposed to help combat illness, so I poured an ounce or two into a cup and drank it. This time, it tasted much more gross than I remembered it, and I immediately regretted my decision.

But thirty minutes later, I noticed that I had a lot more energy. As the day went on, I felt so good that I ended up not taking my cold medicine at all! My congestion wasn’t completely cleared up, but I felt like I had a normal winter stuffy nose that had me fully functioning, rather than a debilitating cold that made me feel crappy. Even my colleagues in the workshop noted that my energy level was way up for the rest of the day, and that I finally had some color in my cheeks. Apple cider vinegar to the rescue!

Unfortunately, when I try to research how apple cider vinegar helps a cold, results are mixed. Reader’s Digest says that it thins mucus and prevents bacterial growth – so it can help in sinus drainage. Reader’s Digest also goes on to note that apple cider vinegar contains enzymes that help relieve exhaustion. However, when I look for actual scientific evidence, I can’t find any studies to back up these claims. There are plenty of site touting the benefits of apple cider vinegar (like MindBodyGreen’s 15 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Every Day), but no hard proof.

So I’m skeptical. I won’t be bowing down to the miracles of apple cider vinegar yet, or having some every day. But it sure worked well for me today, and I’m grateful for that! And maybe I’ll keep having just one shot a day until I’ve fully kicked this cold – hopefully in time for a wonderful Halloween.


  1. You can’t even believe the terrible stuff I would do if I thought that it would help my cold symptoms. Bring on the vinegar…or whatever else!
    Boring Adam recently posted…Briefly Boring: Retore? Strained?My Profile

  2. Get your flu shot! I’ve never had one before this week but Cait convinced me. BCH is tracking for a bad flu year already.

    Feel better for The weekend!! See you Saturday!!! Xoxo

  3. OMG – I am running my FIRST marathon this weekend in NY and started with bad cold symptoms last night. I will run and buy apple cider right NOW. Thank you!

    • Make sure you get a high quality kind (like the Bragg’s Organic my coworker left us). A lot of what I read online says that it’s a lot better for you than the Walmart generic kind I usually buy :) I am going to find some Bragg’s myself this weekend.

      GOOD LUCK on Sunday!!! Let me know how it goes.

  4. I love apple cider so much! I do not like beer and usually when we are hanging out with friends I order apple cider.

    • I know apple cider vinegar is different than apple cider, but it DOES make me wonder if apple cider (regular) might also have some benefits…

  5. I got the exact same brand on my way to the Expo and drank it 3x / day Friday and Saturday.

    Sunday morning still woke up congested and coughing – then on my way to the Ferry everything went away.

    I was able to run the whole thing extremely happy, never hit the wall, never had to blow my nose or even remembered about the cold. Finished the marathon with zero symptoms and wondered if it was all in my mind.

    Monday morning – no symptoms and very little pain in my body.

    Monday afternoon – pain and soreness started to show up. Monday night cold symptoms were back and oh my legs and quads.

    I am sure the apple cider vinegar helped. It provided instant boosts of energy. But I am also in awe of the power of adrenaline. It blocked off everything for over 24 hours (I guess by Monday AM I still had it running through my body).

    Anyway, now I am a Marathoner and don’t care anymore about the stupid cold.

    Thanks for this blog. Reading your race reports helped me a lot during the training process.

    • SO glad to hear that you were able to run the whole thing happy!!! Congratulations on your successful finish and I’m so glad that I was able to help a tiny bit :)

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