Sinus infections may be treatable by drinking diluted apple cider vinegar, according to Reader's Digest
, which recommends a teaspoon of the fermented liquid, mixed with a glass of water, to help drain sinuses and clear runny or stuffy noses.
Apple cider vinegar (often called ACV) "breaks up mucus and relieves chronic sinusitis and allergy symptoms," said the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego
But those claims require more testing, according to WebMD
, which lists "sinus problems" among the maladies for which there is "insufficient evidence" of apple cider vinegar's value as a treatment.
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One advocate for ACV, medical doctor and holistic health expert Tina Discepola, told Redbook magazine
that a naturally occurring probiotic found in apple cider vinegar is what helps to alleviate chronic sinus or bronchial problems.
"It should also be noted that the ACV remedy must be started at the onset of symptoms, as starting it too late could prove ineffective," fitness trainer Melissa Villamizar wrote at her health and wellness blog, Live Whole Be Free
Villamizar also recommends a larger dose than does Reader's Digest, calling for two tablespoons mixed with 8 ounces of water, while cautioning that "this stuff takes some getting used to" because of its acidity.
Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is best for use as a sinus remedy because it is abundant in a cloudy, nutrient-rich substance called "mother," physician and bestselling author Joseph Mercola wrote
"Most manufacturers pasteurize and filter their vinegar to prevent the mother from forming, but the 'murky' kind is best, especially if you’re planning to consume it," Mercola wrote.
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