Honey and vinegar have been used for centuries, and traditional medicine often combined the two as a health tonic.
The honey and vinegar combo (which is typically diluted with water), is thought to give a range of benefits, including weight loss and a reduction in blood sugar levels.
Read on to find out the potential benefits of mixing apple cider vinegar and honey, as well as possible drawbacks.
Why Mix Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey?
Apple cider vinegar starts out using apple juice as the base, and it is fermented twice using yeast. The resulting brew consists mostly of acetic acid, which gives it a sour, strong flavor.
Honey, however, is created by bees, and is a mix of two sugars and trace amounts of pollen, micronutrients, and antioxidants.
Lots of people consider the taste combination of the two as good – sweet honey helps to reduce the sharp taste of the apple cider vinegar.
The acetic acid could help with weight loss
The acid in apple cider vinegar has been studied to see if it is useful in weight loss.
A 12-week study of 144 obese adults showed that those who took 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in a 500ml drink every day experienced more weight loss compared with two control groups.
Apple cider vinegar also slows down how quickly nutrients from your food are absorbed into your bloodstream, which may help you to feel fuller for longer.
Could help reduce seasonal allergies and cold symptoms
Honey and apple cider vinegar are both natural antimicrobials.
Honey is thought to help relieve seasonal allergies, as it contains trace amounts of pollen and other plant compounds. Some studies show evidence that honey may reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis, or hay fever.
It’s not yet known how adding apple cider vinegar to honey may affect this.
Apple cider vinegar may also help aid digestion and boost immunity, due to the fermentation process that produces probiotics.
May improve heart health
Apple cider vinegar contains chlorogenic acid, which is thought to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels, which can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease.
Rodent studies show that honey can help lower high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease.
Honey also contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that could improve blood flow, as well as preventing blood clots and oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
May act negatively on blood sugar and cholesterol
A study examining a similar combination of grape vinegar and honey showed that there may be some negative health effects.
Those who drank a grape vinegar, honey, water, and mint leaves daily on the study experienced slightly increased resistance to insulin, which has an effect on blood sugar levels and is linked with type 2 diabetes.
Levels of good HDL cholesterol were also reduced at the end of the study, and that is a risk factor for heart disease.
The acid can cause teeth and stomach problems
Because apple cider vinegar is so acidic, it may worsen cases of gastric reflux, although some have claimed that it relieved their symptoms.
Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to erode tooth enamel, which could lead to tooth decay. This is why it is recommended that vinegar is diluted with filtered water, and that you should rinse your mouth with plain water after consuming it.
Can be high in sugar
It depends on how much sugar you add to the honey, and it’s important to limit added sugars in the diet.
Too much extra sugar is linked to an increase in the risk of conditions such as heart disease and obesity.
Honey can be beneficial, but should be consumed in moderation.
Does it Affect Your Body Alkalinity?
Our body keeps our blood pH level between 7.35 and 7.45, which is essential for proper functioning. If your blood pH goes outside these ranges, it can be fatal.
Some people claim that eating certain foods like apple cider vinegar and honey can make your body more alkaline, and reduce the risk of diseases like cancer and osteoporosis.
Foods and supplements really don’t affect blood alkalinity, only the pH level of your urine, so claims like this should be taken with caution.
Uses in Traditional Medicine
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons of honey are diluted in 240 ml of hot water and taken before bedtime or when waking up.
You can add lemon, ginger, fresh mint, cayenne pepper or ground cinnamon for extra flavor. If you have heartburn or gastric reflux, it’s best to drink it an hour before you lie down to reduce symptoms.
Apple cider vinegar and honey are often paired as a base for salad dressings, marinades, and brines for pickling vegetables.
It’s not yet known if it is safe to give children a mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey, so speak to your child’s doctor first.