on November 7, 2015
I read on Pinterest that undiluted Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with the "mother" - like Bragg's ACV that you can find in the supermarket - helps prevent colds by balancing your body's pH level, thus helping your body fight off the virus better. With my experience with taking ACV, this proves to be true.
> Edit Oct 2017: It seems there are conflicting reports online now about if it is even true you can (or should) affect your body's pH level. I'm no scientist or researcher; I'm just a person that has used this product and enjoys how it keeps the colds away for me personally for 4 years now. So here is my disclaimer that the pursuit of scientific truths is thankfully an ongoing one and that you should always take reviews online with a grain of salt. Please feel free to do your own research on how ACV affects the body! And feel free to comment on my review to share anything you've learned as I think we'd all like to know. Now back to my original review:
I'll make this short, but a quick google will tell you the same: Your blood's pH ranges from acidic to alkaline. Healthy bodies tend to be a bit more alkaline, while health problems tend to mean your blood is more acidic instead. Research shows that the body needs to be more alkaline to be able to heal itself better. That's where ACV comes in; despite tasting acidic, it actually helps alkalize your body, thus helping you heal better.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH ACV
I'll let you know that I was pretty skeptical when I first started trying ACV. I was feeling that classic dry sore throat that comes before a cold, bought some Bragg's, and would force down a disgusting diluted formula of ACV in the morning and at night before bed. And it worked! My sore throat did get worse (wow, I hate sore throats), but after it was gone, I wasn't left with a miserable cold!
Each dose had 2 Tb of ACV. I read that diluting it was important because it's harsh on your teeth, so I also used a straw to drink the mix to help it get to my throat faster. I used the recommended 2 Tb of ACV, added a little hot water, a little lemon juice, and a lot of honey. It didn't help disguise the taste much; I found I still needed a chaser right after. I also tried it in a larger cup of lemon tea, hoping more water would help the taste. It tasted more like apple cider, but was still too sour and I felt like I was dragging out the punishment since I now had a larger cup to drink. Eventually, my go-to poison was to just make it shot-sized to get it over with and use a chaser after. Unfortunately, the experience no matter how I took it always left me with a minor sour stomach - not enough to feel nauseous but my stomach just felt a bit acidic inside - and vinegar burps. YUCK.
Later in the year, when I felt another cold coming on, my boyfriend eventually did too. So, he started taking ACV with me and is now a believer as well. He preferred the more diluted "drink" with a straw though, and only experienced vinegar burps every now and then but never had a sour stomach.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THIS PRODUCT
Now, I can say those dark days are over! (THANK GOODNESS!) Thanks to these pills, we are able to keep the colds away with little suffering. As others mentioned, you can smell the vinegar upon opening the bottle, but not when the bottle is closed, and the pills have a slight vinegar taste to them. The taste doesn't bother me at all since I'm drinking it with water as I would with any pill, but my boyfriend scrunches his nose every time he has to. He also thinks they're pretty large capsules, but I don't have a problem with the size. I provided a photo comparing a couple to a Tylenol capsule for reference.
The bottle recommends taking one to two capsules as a supplement with every meal, but I take two in the morning and two before bed and find them to be just as effective as drinking the liquid-acid, I mean, ACV. And I can happily say that since starting to take ACV at the hint of a sore throat, I have been cold-free for about two years now! Amazing, right???
I cannot comment on it's efficacy with stomach issues or digestion, although many use it as such. If I have a stomach ache or stomach flu, I'll take it as a precaution along with some Rolaids since I hear it helps, but don't really notice a difference from when I take Rolaids alone. I also can't attest to the other conditions people review about, although they make it sound like ACV is a miracle supplement: weight loss, acne, allergies, rosacea, back pain, yeast infections, congestion, cramps, arthritis, and more.
Everyone is different though so you just have to see what works for you. It's a supplement, so I personally don't worry about popping a few in whenever I need to, although it means I go through a bottle faster than I would like, especially when there are others that take it too.
Make sure you take it as soon as you even THINK you're getting a pre-cold sore throat. This will reduce your chances of the virus spreading and you getting to the "I have a cold and am totally miserable" stage.
Take it if someone in your household has a cold coming on. If my boyfriend has a cold, I start taking the pills at the same time to help my body fight against getting it from him. So far, it has worked.
Take it even if you're in the middle of the cold! It'll help your body fight it off faster, give you some energy, and (supposedly) help with digestion.
DO NOT use hot or warm liquids to wash it down. The capsule will melt and you'll be eating powdered acidic evil. My boyfriend learned that the hard way (LOL-- I mean... Aww).