Can Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help with Neuropathy?

Published on April 25, 2022

Apple cider vinegar often comes up on the list of alternative treatments and home remedies for neuropathy.

While no scientific evidence backs up the benefits of ACV for neuropathy, many patients’ testimonials claim that it does help reduce nerve pain and reduce peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

So, how can apple cider vinegar help with neuropathy? What does science say exactly? Is it safe to use? How much ACV should you take for neuropathy and how often? Should you drink it or soak your feet in it?

All of your questions about apple cider vinegar for neuropathy are answered below!

Apple cider vinegar for neuropathy

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Nerve Pain?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from apple juice to which yeast and bacteria are added. The yeast turns the sugar from the apples into alcohol. This is the fermentation process. The bacteria then turn the alcohol into acetic acid which gives the vinegar.

You may drink apple cider vinegar itself or dilute it in water, use it as a condiment, or find ACV capsules or gummies.

Apple cider vinegar is believed to have numerous health benefits and may help with neuropathy by reducing nerve pain.

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Health benefits of apple cider vinegar

ACV is a popular home remedy used in traditional cooking and medicine for centuries. In ancient times, it was widely used to treat coughs, infections, sore throat, and wounds.

In recent years, people have claimed numerous health benefits of apple cider vinegar for a wide range of conditions. It’s believed to help lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, boost weight loss, calm acid reflux, improve heart health, treat dandruff, and reduce nerve pain among other things.

ACV indeed has healthful properties. The “mother”, the cloudy and murky part of unfiltered vinegar, is packed with natural probiotics that help boost the immune system and improve gut health. It also has natural antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

However, science has not backed up the benefits of apple cider vinegar for any specific condition. Little research exists and more studies must be conducted before ACV can be medically recommended.

That being said, ACV has very few side effects. It’s cheap and mostly considered safe if taken in a reasonable amount. Some people suffering from peripheral neuropathy claim it considerably helps relieve nerve pain. So, it’s probably worth the try if you’re looking for alternative treatments for neuropathy.

Does ACV help with neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a painful condition where the nerves of the body extremities are permanently damaged. It’s most often caused by diabetes, chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients, alcoholism, and other factors. Symptoms are commonly found in the feet, sometimes the hands, and include numbness, tingling, pricking, burning, sensitivity to touch, loss of sensation, cramps, sharp pains, and more.

Nerve pain caused by peripheral neuropathy can be extreme and debilitating. Unfortunately, medications and pharmaceutical treatments frequently fail to provide relief. Many neuropathy sufferers then turn to alternative ways to manage nerve pain.

Apple cider vinegar has recently come up as a new alternative treatment for neuropathy pain. While no scientific evidence backs up the benefits of ACV for neuropathy, many patient stories and testimonials claim that it works and actually helps reduce the pain.

The reason may be found in the great amount of minerals like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium in apple cider vinegar. As a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient, ACV may also help reduce the inflammation caused by damaged nerves. When added to a foot soak, it may also help reduce foot swelling often associated with diabetes.

According to the Earth Clinic, apple cider vinegar helps reduce nerve pain by alkalizing the body, removing toxins, and delivering a variety of vitamins and minerals to the body to restore nutrient deficiency that can increase nerve pain. 

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Apple cider vinegar is no cure for neuropathy

Science has not found any cure for diabetic peripheral neuropathy yet. The nerves damaged by high blood sugar levels are permanently damaged. The only effective and scientifically backed-up way to prevent neuropathy from getting worth is to control blood glucose levels. 

Not being able to repair damaged nerves does not mean you can’t ease the pain. Treatments to reduce nerve pain are numerous and go from strong pharmaceutical painkillers to alternative solutions such as foot massages, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, topical pain creams, acupuncture, essential oils, and others. 

Apple cider vinegar is one of them. The results are based on the individual. It might work for some and do nothing for others. But because it’s a mostly safety use, you can test it out for yourself. 

Warning: neuropathy is a serious condition that can lead to severe complications. Always ask for your doctor’s advice before starting any treatment at home.

Risks and side effects

Apple cider vinegar is mostly safe to use and probably won’t hurt you if taken in a moderate amount. However, before trying ACV for neuropathy, you should be aware of a few potential side effects. With a pH of 2 or 3, apple cider vinegar is very acidic and may cause some damage if used in large amounts.

When taken orally, ACV may damage the tooth enamel and lead to cavities. It may also lower your potassium levels, cause irritations, burns to the digestive tract, or allergic reactions. When applied to the skin, it may cause chemical burns, skin irritations, or allergic reactions. 

ACV potentially interacts with some medications such as laxatives, diuretics, blood thinners, or heart disease and diabetes medications. Always ask for your doctor’s advice before taking ACV on a regular basis. 

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How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Neuropathy?

The most common way to take apple cider vinegar for neuropathy is to incorporate it into a healthy diet and use it in cooking. As a home remedy for neuropathy pain, you can either drink apple cider vinegar diluted in water, use it as a condiment, have capsules or gummies, or add it to your footbaths. 

How much ACV to take for nerve pain? 

Like with any home remedies, it’s always best to start with small doses and gradually increase depending on the effects and potency you’re looking for. 

Common dosage range from 1 to 4 teaspoons (5 to 20 mL) of AVC per day diluted in a large glass of water. ACV can have a strong sour or bitter taste. If you don’t like the taste of it, dilute it in juice or other water-based beverages. You can also use it as a condiment and add it to your salad dressings, sauces, or foods. 

To benefit the most from ACV’s health properties, prefer using organic, unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegars with the “mother”. The “mother” of vinegar is the cloudy gelatinous film at the bottom of the bottle. It’s composed of cellulose and acidic acid bacteria. It’s the part of ACV that has the most benefits for health. 

Bragg is the most popular brand in the USA. It’s a raw, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar of high quality.

Bragg apple cider vinegar with the mother

How often do you take apple cider vinegar for neuropathy?

Because apple cider vinegar is not a regulated treatment for neuropathy but rather a home remedy which effects are not backed up by science yet, there are no specific recommendations about how much and how often you should consume it.

ACV is considered mostly safe and people who use it for neuropathy take it daily. The best way to add ACV to your lifestyle is to follow a stepwise dosing procedure. Start with a low dosage every two other days and gradually increase until you find the right dosage for you.

People respond differently to apple cider vinegar. It might not have any effects on you and may not reduce your nerve pain. If you don’t feel any effects after taking normal doses of ACV for a few weeks, do not increase the dosage. Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and taking too much of it could harm you. 

If you start noticing any side effects or discomforts, immediately stop taking ACV and ask for your doctor’s advice. 

Apple cider vinegar gummies and capsules

If you don’t like the taste of ACV or don’t feel comfortable with the dosage, a simpler way to take it for neuropathy is getting apple cider vinegar gummies or capsules. The advantage is that the suggested use is straight forward and you know exactly how much you’re taking. 

Make sure you’re getting apple cider vinegar capsules or gummies that are made with pure ACV from the “mother”. Here are the best and most popular ones:

Nutrivein apple cider vinegar capsules
Nutrivein ACV Capsules
All natural apple cider vinegar gummies for neuropathy
Essential Elements ACV Gummies

Apple cider vinegar and CBD

Apple cider vinegar infused with Cannabidiol (CBD) is a new popular wellness supplement. The synergy between the two can be interesting for neuropathy pain management, as CBD is the newest natural ingredient found to effectively relieve nerve pain ( backed up by science!).

ACV’s health benefits combined with CBD’s pain-relieving and relaxing properties make a great combo for those looking for natural ways to manage neuropathy symptoms.

Zatural and CBDFX, two of the best CBD companies in the USA, now offer great products that blend apple cider vinegar and cannabidiol.

Zatural CBD and Apple Cider Vinegar Tincture for blood sugars
Zatural ACV + CBD Tincture

Does Soaking Your Feet in Apple Cider Vinegar Help Neuropathy?

Foot soaks can help reduce diabetic foot pain caused by peripheral neuropathy. Warm foot baths are proven to relieve pain, reduce stress, relax muscles, and boost blood circulation. 

Soaking your feet is also a great opportunity to add pain-relieving and sooting ingredients known to be beneficial for neuropathy. Many neuropathy sufferers liven up their foot soaks with Epsom salts, essential oils, medicinal herbs, or cannabidiol products for example. 

But what about apple cider vinegar? Can soaking your feet in ACV help with neuropathy pain? 

Vinegar foot soaks are known to have beneficial effects and improve overall feet health. Vinegar has anti-fungus properties and helps eliminate foot odor by killing the bacteria. It can also help soothe dry and cracked feet. 

Regarding neuropathy, there is no evidence that soaking your feet in apple cider vinegar helps with the pain. However, it’s popular among patients and many claim it helps reduce the pain. You’ll have to try it for yourself and see if it works!

Caution though: vinegar is very acidic and can damage or burn your skin. Never soak your feet in pure apple cider vinegar. Always dilute it in water. One part of ACV for 2 or 3 parts of water is a safe ratio. 

Soaking your feet is a popular homes remedies for neuropathy, but it has to be done with caution. Learn more in this article:

Warning: diabetes and neuropathy are dangerous for the feet. Never start a treatment without your doctor’s advice. Any foot issues can lead to serious complications and must be addressed by your healthcare team.