There is hardly anything more common than the common cold. We often fall prey to bouts of sniffles, with a runny drippy nose, a sore throat that makes it difficult to even talk, and painful sinus blockages. And the fatigue that comes with it leaves us drained so that even simple chores feel like a challenge.
What Is Common Cold?
When we say common cold, it’s actually the symptoms we are referring to. The symptoms are an indication that your body’s immune system is at work against viruses that have found their way in. The coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and runny nose are all signs that the inflammatory chemicals in your body, such as histamine and kinin, are widening your blood vessels and helping produce more mucus.1
It can be caused by many viruses, with rhinovirus being the most common one, and has no cure. The myriad of pills and medicines we take simply help us alleviate its symptoms till the disease runs its course and leaves us naturally.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Common Cold
As an alternative to the drugs in the market today, most of which are sedating and mind-numbing, a natural remedy being touted as effective in treating the common cold is apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV. Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple cider, which is then re-fermented to form acetic acid or vinegar. It has a host of nutritional and medicinal properties and is used to treat a wide variety of ailments–from diabetes to urinary infections. Let’s look at how ACV can help tackle the cold infection.
The Vinegar In ACV Kills Bacteria
Apple juice has compounds that can inactivate viruses. A study showed that a number of products like apple juice, cider, and wine showed various degrees of antiviral activity against poliovirus.2 It might not be able to stop them completely but it could help alleviate symptoms and reduce the severity of the infection.
Although the initial infection that causes a cold is due to a virus, the symptoms that can be attributed to virus infection only last one or two days. Cold can last a week or two, and this is because the damaged cells in the airways become vulnerable to a secondary infection by bacteria already present there. Normally, these resident bacteria don’t cause any harm, but when the cells are killed and the tissue is inflamed, they seize the opportunity to become pathogenic.3
Apple cider vinegar has similar organic acid contents as vinegar. The organic acids in vinegar, mainly acetic acid, pass into the cell membranes of microorganisms leading to bacterial cell death.4 These anti-microbial properties of apple cider vinegar can help fight common cold and bring relief from its symptoms faster.
Its Vitamin C Makes Symptoms Less Severe
Apple cider vinegar contains more than 30 important nutrients, with a dozen minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron, and sodium; over half a dozen vitamins, including vitamin B1, B2, B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E; essential amino acids; and several enzymes.5 ACV is particularly rich in vitamin C.
In one study on 818 people, the researchers assigned a vitamin C tablet and a placebo to two study groups, without telling them what they were taking. The average number of colds and days of sickness per person was lower in the vitamin group than in the placebo group, but not very significantly. Interestingly, though, many more people in the vitamin group compared with those in the placebo group remained free of illness throughout the study period. They even had 30 percent fewer days of disability because they had comparatively fewer incidences of symptoms like chills or severe discomfort, which usually make daily activities and work difficult.6
Though it has not been conclusively proven that vitamin C can prevent colds, it has been shown to reduce the duration of symptoms. A study showed that vitamin C did not reduce the incidence of colds in the general population but it had consistent and statistically significant small benefits on duration and severity for those using vitamin C regularly.7
These studies suggest that with its vitamin content, ACV can significantly prevent common cold and may also reduce its severity.
Potassium In ACV Removes Mucus
ACV also contains potassium, which is known to absorb excess fluids such as mucus from the body and remove them.8 This helps relieve chronic sinusitis, a condition caused by excess mucus build-up in the cavities of nasal passages. Sinusitis is a common symptom of common cold. This also clears mucus congestion in the throat.
How To Take ACV For Cold?
It’s a very simple method. Just mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water several times a day. Or mix it with tea. You could even dress your salad with ACV.
Taking apple cider vinegar will give you the much-needed relief in the most natural way, without having to rely on mind-numbing and sleep-inducing medication.
|↑1||Common Cold. Understanding Colds. Accessed August 09, 2016.|
|↑2||Konowalchuk, J., and J. I. Speirs. “Antiviral effect of apple beverages.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 36, no. 6 (1978): 798-801.|
|↑3||Senior, Kathryn. Do Bacteria Cause the Common Cold? Types of Bacteria. September 07, 2012. Accessed August 09, 2016|
|↑4||Budak, Nilgün H., Elif Aykin, Atif C. Seydim, Annel K. Greene, and Zeynep B. Guzel‐Seydim. “Functional properties of vinegar.” Journal of food science 79, no. 5 (2014): R757-R764|
|↑5||Thacker, Emily. The Vinegar Book. Canton, OH: Tresco Publishers, 1994|
|↑6||Anderson, Terrence W., D. B. W. Reid, and G. H. Beaton. “Vitamin C and the common cold: a double-blind trial.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 107, no. 6 (1972): 503.|
|↑7||Douglas, Robert M., and Harri Hemilä. “Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold.” PLoS Med 2, no. 6 (2005): e168.|
|↑8||Become Alkaline w/Apple Cider Vinegar. CureZone. June 11, 2005. Accessed July 26, 2016.|