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Allergic Reaction to Apple Cider Vinegar

written by: Jennifer Gonzalez • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 2/5/2011

The cost of prescription medication is on the rise, because of this many people are turning to home treatments such as using apple cider vinegar. For some, allergic reactions to apple cider vinegar can occur so it's important for a person to educate themselves before beginning a new home treatment.

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    Brief History

    Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for centuries as a natural means of healing and preventing illness. The use of vinegar can be traced back to the Bible as being used for medicinal purposes and a drink given for energy. In 400 BC, a man known as the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, used ACV mixed with honey to treat many illnesses including coughs and colds.

    Apple cider vinegar has had its uses in the military as well, before our more modern medicines came into play. Diluted vinegar was given to soldiers for strength and energy, and vinegar added to drinking water was given to fight any infections that may have been present in the soldier’s body. During the American Civil War and even World War One, vinegar was used as an antiseptic to clean and disinfect soldier’s wounds. It was also believed to speed up the healing process of a wound.

    During today's modern times apple cider vinegar is still being used for good health; but like many things it comes with side effects, and for some, an allergic reaction to apple cider vinegar is possible.

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    Side Effects and Allergic Reactions

    Even though many people use this vinegar for health purposes, it has never been studied. This means that its actual long term effect is unknown. If overused it may have an unwanted effect on the body. Since vinegar is a highly acidic substance, over ingestion or use over a prolonged period of time may cause serious internal damage to the esophagus and digestive tract, and it may also cause low potassium in the blood. Apple cider vinegar can also damage teeth by removing the protective enamel, and can leave your teeth with a yellow stain.

    As mentioned, apple cider vinegar may cause allergic reactions in some people. If you normally have an allergic reaction to apples, you should not use ACV. Some symptoms of an allergic reaction to this liquid are: severe throat pain, difficulty swallowing, rash, hives, itching, swelling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms you should stop the use of apple cider vinegar and speak to your doctor or seek medical attention right away.

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    Treatment for an Allergic Reaction

    Treatment for an allergic reaction to apple cider vinegar will vary depending on the type of reaction a person has experienced. For a minor reaction, such as a rash, hives, and itching, a dose of Benadryl or the use of an antihistamine cream may be used to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms until they diminish. For a more serious reaction such as swelling of the mouth, face, or throat; or trouble breathing, a person should seek immediate medical help by contacting 9-1-1 or taking a trip to the hospital as soon as possible. This type of reaction requires medical treatment as it can prove to be fatal.

    It's important to remember that home remedies are not guaranteed to work and may not be safe for everyone. You should always talk to your doctor before beginning any type of treatment to help avoid a serious allergic reaction or other complications.