Apple cider vinegar is used in a whole gamut of home remedies that offer something for everyone. Along with curing acne and easing arthritis pain, this stinky, tangy, sour-tasting liquid can also treat several health issues that are unique to women.
To reap its many powerful benefits, always look for a raw, unfiltered (preferably organic) apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother”. Because of its unpasteurized state, good bacteria and enzymes are still present and boost its healthy properties.
This type of vinegar is made in a two-step process. First, crushed apples are exposed to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol. In the next step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which helps ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid.
Acetic acid is one of the main active compounds in apple cider vinegar.
It also has gallic acid, catechin, ephicatechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and ferulic acid. Health benefits come from its antioxidative, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antitumor, anti-obesity, antihypertensive and cholesterol-lowering properties.
All these properties and nutrients make apple cider vinegar highly beneficial for women.
Here are the top 10 apple cider vinegar benefits for women.
1. Cures Acne
Acne is a common problem in women.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 50 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 29, and more than 25 percent of women between the ages of 40 and 49, suffer from acne (1).
Apple cider vinegar can help you say goodbye to acne. Alpha hydroxy acids in apple cider vinegar help remove dead skin cells clogging the pores. Keeping the skin pores free from bacteria, oil and other particles is the secret behind acne-free skin.
In addition, it helps restore and balance your skin’s pH, which is essential to prevent breakouts.
- For topical use: Mix equal parts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water. Add a little honey. Apply it on the affected skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Do this once daily.
- For consumption: Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Drink it once or twice daily to improve your skin as well as overall health.
2. Eases Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is a joint disorder in which one or more joints become inflamed. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis) than men, especially after age 50 (2).
To deal with arthritis-related symptoms like pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling and redness on the affected joints, apple cider vinegar is very effective.
It has anti-inflammatory and alkaline-forming properties that help provide comfort by reducing pain and stiffness in the joints.
- For consumption: Mix 1 tablespoon each of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and raw honey into a glass of lukewarm water. Add a pinch of cinnamon. Drink it once or twice a day as needed.
- For topical use: Dilute raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of warm water. Dip a clean cloth in it and apply it on the painful joint. Secure it with an ACE bandage and leave it on for a few hours. Do it 2 or 3 times a day as needed.
3. Assists Weight Loss
Obesity is a big problem among women.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 50 percent of women in urban Latin America and Caribbean are overweight (BMI ≥ 25) or obese (BMI ≥ 30), while in Africa and Asia-Pacific the likelihood of being overweight or obesity rises with wealth levels in urban areas (3).
It’s well-known that being overweight can take a toll on your health.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that being overweight or obese increases the relative risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease in women. Women who are obese also have a higher risk of low back pain and knee osteoarthritis (4).
To help keep your weight under control, you can use apple cider vinegar. The acetic acid in it prevents the accumulation of body fat. Also, it may activate certain genes involved in breaking down fats, especially belly fat.
A 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass and serum triglyceride levels in obese people. In conclusion, daily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity (5).
A 2014 study published in Nature Communications suggests that acetic acid helps suppress centers in the brain that control appetite, which can lead to reduced food intake (6).
- Mix 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of water.
- Drink it twice daily, once in the morning and again in the evening.
4. Treats Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most commonly occurring hormonal disorder in young girls and women of reproductive age, especially those between the ages of 18 and 44.
According to the CDC, PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting 6 to 12 percent (as many as 5 million) of U.S. women of reproductive age (7).
To deal with PCOS, apple cider vinegar is very effective. It helps control blood sugar and keeps your body from producing too much insulin. Less insulin means less testosterone, which is important for managing PCOS symptoms.
Plus, it will help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
A 2013 study published in the Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine suggests the possibility of vinegar to restore ovulatory function through improving insulin sensitivity in PCOS patients, thus avoiding pharmacological treatment. Intake of vinegar might reduce medical costs and treatment time for insulin resistance, anovulation and infertility in patients with PCOS (8).
- Mix 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of water.
- Drink it daily in the morning and before meals.
- Continue for several weeks or until you see improvement.
You can gradually increase the dosage of apple cider vinegar up to 2 tablespoons per glass, 2 or 3 times a day.
5. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
Anyone can have high cholesterol, however women after menopause are at a higher risk. It is due to their increasing age as well as the hormonal changes associated with menopause. Menopause also increases the risk for heart disease among women.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology states that the LDL (low-density lipoproteins or ‘bad’ cholesterol) level increases rapidly after menopause (9).
Keeping a check on your cholesterol level is important, as the CDC reports that high levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and a stroke (10).
To control your LDL level, you can use apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar helps lower your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels due to its acetic acid content. A 2006 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that dietary acetic acid reduced serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet (11).
- Mix 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of water.
- Drink this 2 or 3 times a day at least for 1 month.
You can gradually increase the amount of apple cider vinegar to 2 tablespoons per glass.
6. Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Women who have a history of gestational diabetes are at an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes.
A 2017 study published in PLOS ONE reports that women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy had a 10-fold higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future (12).
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels, either because of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin. Apple cider vinegar can help keep your blood sugar level under control. Its antiglycemic effects help improve insulin sensitivity.
A 2004 study published in Diabetes Care indicates that vinegar can significantly improve postprandial insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects. Acetic acid has been shown to suppress disaccharidase activity and raise glucose-6-phosphate concentrations in skeletal muscle (13).
Another study published in Diabetes Care in 2007 reports that 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning by 4 percent (14).
Again, a 2017 study published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice suggests that vinegar can be effective in reducing postprandial glucose and insulin levels, indicating it could be considered as an adjunctive tool for improving glycemic control (15).
People who have diabetes should have a dose of apple cider vinegar with each meal. Mix 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of filtered water.
7. Eases Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is an important change in a woman’s life, transitioning from a reproductive to a non-reproductive stage.
For many women, menopause can be a difficult phase. It leads to symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, urinary tract infections, frequent headaches and painful or stiff joints. You can deal with many of these symptoms with apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar helps regulate toxins that the body is trying to eliminate through perspiration. This in turn reduces the incidence and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats.
It also alkalinizes the body, which may help with headaches and other symptoms of menopause. Also, the potassium in it helps ease painful or stiff joints.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of lukewarm water.
- Add a little honey and mix well.
- Drink it twice daily to help manage symptoms.
8. Soothes Vaginal Itching
Women of all ages suffer from vaginal itching from time to time. The causes range from infection, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), menopause to chemical irritants.
Itching, burning or irritation in the vaginal area can be very uncomfortable, but you can deal with this kind of problem with apple cider vinegar.
Due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, it helps fight the infection that causes the itching. Also, it helps restore the natural pH balance of your vagina.
Additionally, it is known to boost immunity and promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut and vagina, which helps in preventing as well as treating vaginal itching.
For external use:
- Add 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water. Use this solution to wash your vagina twice daily for a few days.
- Another option is to fill your bathtub with warm water. Add 2 cups of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to it. Sit in the bath with your knees folded toward your body and allow your vagina to soak in this bath for 15 minutes. Enjoy this soothing bath once a day only.
- Add 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of raw honey to a glass of warm water. Drink it twice daily.
9. Reduces PMS Symptoms
Almost 75 percent of women experience at least one symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) every month.
PMS is associated with a wide variety of symptoms, such as bloating, water retention, headaches, cramps, mood swings, irritability, food cravings, upset stomach, constipation, acne, breast tenderness and fatigue.
Apple cider vinegar is helpful in treating a variety of PMS symptoms like bloating, water retention, cramping, headaches, irritability and fatigue.
- Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of water.
- Add a little raw, organic honey.
- Drink this solution once or twice daily.
10. Keeps Hair Shiny and Healthy
For women, long and shiny hair is a sign of beauty as well as confidence. For healthy hair, apple cider vinegar is very beneficial.
It has clarifying properties that help remove buildup left on your hair and scalp from styling products and shampoos.
It also helps restore the natural pH level of the scalp, which is important for preventing hair friction, breakage and dryness.
Its antimicrobial power keeps scalp problems related to fungi or bacteria at bay, thereby preventing an itchy scalp and dandruff.
- Prepare a hair rinse by mixing ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water.
- After shampooing, pour this solution onto your hair.
- Massage it into your scalp and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it out.
- Use this home treatment only once a week.
- Hormonal factors key to understanding acne in women. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/hormonal-factors-key-to-understanding-acne-in-women.
- Arthritis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm. Published April 03, 2018.
- Obesity among women. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/gho/urban_health/physiological-risk-factors/women_obesity/en. Published December 15, 2016.
- Obesity and Women’s Health: An Evidence-Based Review. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. http://www.jabfm.org/content/24/1/75.full.
- Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687. Published August 2009.
- The short-chain fatty acid acetate reduces appetite via a central homeostatic mechanism. Nature Communications. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24781306. Published April 29, 2014.
- PCOS and Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/pcos.html. Published March 14, 2018.
- Intake of vinegar beverage is associated with restoration of ovulatory function in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23666047. Published May 2013.
- Are Changes in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Midlife Women due to Chronological Aging or to the Menopausal Transition? Journal of the American College of Cardiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2856606. Published December 15, 2009.
- Cholesterol. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm. Published October 31, 2017.
- Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet. British Journal of Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16611381. Published May 2006.
- Gestational diabetes mellitus and risk of type 2 diabetes 10 years after the index pregnancy in Sri Lankan women-A community based retrospective cohort study. PLOS ONE. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28644881. Published June 23, 2017.
- Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/1/281.long. Published January 01, 2004.
- Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814.full. Published November 01, 2007.
- Vinegar consumption can attenuate postprandial glucose and insulin responses; a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28292654. Published May 2017.