Can Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Ease Arthritis?

Samantha has been a legal secretary for over 40 years. Those years of typing took a toll, and she was recently diagnosed with arthritis in her fingers. Not wanting to endure the pain, Samantha (name changed to protect her privacy) found relief from an unexpected source ??? apple cider vinegar and honey.

When did you first begin noticing your arthritis symptoms?

About three years ago. My thumb hurt very badly. It was extremely sore, and I couldn't bend it easily. The knuckle had gotten big and out of shape.

I also felt a grating sensation in my thumb when I tried to move it. It would "pop" from time to time, too.

[According to the Mayo Clinic, these are common symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is a form of arthritis. Mayo also calls it "wear-and-tear arthritis."]

It turned out that I had a bone spur, or extra bits of bone that form around the joint.

What caused your arthritis?

I believe it was caused by the repetitive motion of typing all these years. The Mayo Clinic explains that osteoarthritis is caused by the cartilage in your joints deteriorating over time. Repetitive motions can deteriorate the cartilage more quickly.

Did you visit your health care provider?

I did go to the doctor, who told me I had osteoarthritis. My doctor told me that there was nothing you can do to stop it from getting worse and that there is also no treatment for osteoarthritis. All you can do is manage the pain.

The Mayo Clinic supported what my doctor told me, explaining that treatments are geared toward pain management and maintaining joint movement and flexibility.

Were you upset by the diagnosis?

I was concerned because typing is my livelihood. I was worried that the pain would stop me from working and that I'd end up in financial trouble. I also was having trouble playing the piano ??? one of the greatest pleasures in my life.

I had developed arthritis in my knees, so it felt like I was hurting everywhere!

Did the doctor prescribe any medication?

Yes, he prescribed a gel to help with the pain, but I couldn't bring myself to use it. I know that most medications have risks and side effects, but this particular one seemed too scary for me.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common side effects of the gel include skin rashes, flu-like symptoms and itchiness. But there was also the risk of headaches and high blood pressure. So, I decided not to take it.

I thought I would just have to live with the pain. I just hoped the stiffness and deformity wouldn't become worse.

What happened next?

A friend of mine emailed me. She told me that apple cider vinegar and honey helped her arthritis, so I tried it. I diluted a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey in a glass of water. I drank that once a day for a couple weeks. At the end of two weeks, the pain in my hand was gone.

Have you continued to use apple cider vinegar and honey since then?

I have used it daily since then and the pain has never come back. I still have the deformity in the joints, but it is not painful. Even in all the coldness this winter, I never experienced any pain in my hand. I am able to type again without pain or stiffness. I can also play the piano again. Neither of these activities has brought on pain like they once did. It's been great.

How often do you take it?

I drink it daily. If you don't like the taste of the apple cider vinegar, you can dilute it using more water. However, in my opinion, the sweetness of honey masks the bitterness of the vinegar.

What do you look for when purchasing the ingredients?

The apple cider vinegar should be organic and contain the "mother" (the fermenting agent you'll see swimming around in the bottom of the container). Apple cider vinegar that has been processed isn't going to do it. The honey should also be organic and raw. However, I've used regular honey from the supermarket and it doesn't seem to make a big difference. I also use regular ground cinnamon found in the spice aisle at any grocery store.

Do you have any negative side effects?

There are no side effects. Cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and honey are just regular foods that you would eat anyway.

Are there any other considerations you would like to note?

My friend had severe arthritis to the point that she could barely walk, but drinking apple cider vinegar and honey really worked for her. It's an inexpensive treatment to try, so if it doesn't work for you, you haven't lost much. I'm lucky that it just happened to work for me.

[Editor's Note: While drinking apple cider vinegar and honey worked for Samantha, it may not work for you. Arthritis Today reports there is no scientific evidence to support the treatment. Please talk to your doctor before taking any treatment for arthritis.]

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