honey and vinegar, arthritis remedy

Some home remedies continue to be popular for decades or even centuries. One that we are aware of is honey and vinegar for sore joints, indigestion or other common difficulties. We’ve been writing about this combination for years, but we are far from the only ones. Many of our readers also have wonderful stories about this remedy.

Honey and Vinegar for Arthritis:

Q. As a pharmacist in New England, I had a customer who was an elderly physician. He overheard me talking with a client about her arthritis. He interjected politely that none of his patients are bothered with arthritis because they take a kitchen remedy of apple cider vinegar and honey.

I told my mother about this because she suffered with arthritic pain. She mixed up a potion of honey and vinegar, using apple cider vinegar, and started taking it. Within three days the pain went away. This works, but it does have a peculiar odor.

A. Apple cider vinegar and honey has long been a favorite New England home remedy. Dr. D. C. Jarvis wrote about it in his best selling book, Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health. He recommended a daily drink of eight ounces of water with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey mixed into it. Dr. Jarvis didn’t take credit for the remedy, though. He said he had learned it from his patients.

Honey and Vinegar for Joint Pain:

There is little if any scientific research on the combination of honey and vinegar, although it is part of Chinese medical tradition as well as western folk medicine (Zou, American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 2016). Because vinegar has a reputation for controlling blood sugar, Iranian scientists tested the effects of honey and vinegar together (Derakhshandeh-Rishehri et al, International Journal of Preventive Medicine, Dec. 2014). They found that this combination raised fasting insulin and lowered both total and HDL cholesterol levels. It did not significantly lower triglycerides, LDL cholesterol or fasting blood sugar.

You can learn more about honey, vinegar and other non-drug treatments for pain and inflammation from our book, The Graedons’ Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

To order a copy by mail, please send $15.95 (includes shipping and handling) to Graedon Enterprises; Dept. AFA; PO Box 52027; Durham, NC 27717-2027.

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  1. Diane
    Reynoldsburg ohio

    My husband and I took honey and apple cider vinegar for a long time and it took. Care of our arthritis, especially in my shoulders and knees and hands then my husband was disanosed with mytrle Molokai lueikemaand I spent all my time taking care of him till he passed and got lazy bout the honey and vinegar. Then my health went downhill and now I’m on warfarin 3mg two days a week and 3mg the rest of the week, I also take carvedilol 3.125 mg 2 x a day. And my arthritis in my shoulders, hands,back and knees has really done a number on me. I’ve just recently been told I have rehumtriod arthritis as well as the reg kind. So can I get back on honey and apple cider vinegar safely as I know that works for me

  2. Lee
    Marfa, TX

    Does adding organic cider vinegar to water alone without adding the honey work as well? Is it the combo that is responsible for its medicinal properties? A small amount of vinegar with a lot of water tastes fine, a bit like lemonade. No mixing required, no calories.

  3. Barbara

    I often read that extremely low sugar diets are much healthier. And I also hear that recipes containing grape juice, raisins, or honey are good for arthritis! How to decide?

  4. Linda

    It is a healthy suggestion to take your homeopathic remedies with a honey from the area in which you live. Just saying you could develop an allergy as I did, but I am okay with a local honey.

  5. Mare

    Need care selecting your honey. If you choose to buy local, pls ask the bee guardians: Do you medicate? If so, that medication will end up stored in the honey. Do you feed sugar water daily or supplement in times of dearth? If so, your ‘honey’ will be sugar water. Buy ‘organic’ to get nutrients and benefits from honey.

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