apple cider vinegar for uti

Apple cider vinegar for uti: Benefits vs. risks experts review

Apple cider vinegar for uti

Using apple cider vinegar for uti pain, bladder irritation, frequent urination as other uti discomforts is suggested by many proponents of apple cider vinegar as a natural way for uti relief as well as to cure a uti at home fast.

This experts guide summarizes our review on using apple cider vinegar for UTIs. As always, we looked into traditional remedies, published medical studies as well as anecdotal evidence and reported uses of apple cider vinegar.

To read our review on acv use for yeast infections, see: apple cider vinegar for yeast infection.

Is apple cider vinegar good for uti and bladder infections?

Using apple cider vinegar for uti and bladder infections is based on the idea that certain properties of apple cider vinegar may be useful to fight an existing infection or prevent urinary tract infections:

  • Antimicrobial: vinegar has a long history of use as a medicine to fight infections. These antimicrobial properties of acv are also backed up by science with studies who demonstrated the antimicrobial properties of vinegar, although mainly in the context of food preparation (1).
  • Urine pH level: when consumed orally, apple cider vinegar is believed to have an alkalizing effect which can alter the acidity in the urine making the urine environment more resilient to bacterial infection. For this reason, proponents of apple cider vinegar suggest apple cider vinegar may be useful for uti prevention.
    Consuming apple cider vinegar may be problematic however, if you already have a urinary tract infection. Apple cider vinegar can change the acidity of the urine which can make the urinary tract inflamed tissue worse in some cases.
  • General Detox: perhaps apple cider vinegar most famous use as a home remedy, is using apple cider vinegar as a natural way to detox the body. The popular overnight toxins flush is a great example of an ideal use of raw apple cider vinegar for detox.

So what’s the bottom line?

Can apple cider vinegar cure a bladder infection?

To summarize what we know:

  • Using apple cider vinegar may change your urine natural pH level which can make an existing urinary tract inflammation worse in some cases.
  • There is limited research data of the effectiveness and safety of apple cider vinegar for uti.
  • Based on our home remedies for uti analysis, using apple cider vinegar for uti is not considered a common uti home treatment.

With that said, apple cider vinegar on its raw unfiltered unpasteurized form, is still considered a very healthy addition to your diet, especially if you are a vinegar fan.

If you want to give apple cider vinegar a try, here are a few home remedies for uti to consider using apple cider vinegar, including safety tips:

Apple cider vinegar drink

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar into 16 ounces of distilled or spring water.
  2. Using herbal remedies for uti such as uva ursi, goldenrod, marshmallow root and others have helped many as a natural uti relief as well as to promote a healthy urinary tract function. When using herbs for uti, a liquid tincture is usually preferred for improved absorption and solubility in the body. The liquid extract also means you can easily mix it with water, teas or other detox or cleansing drinks.
    Renaltrex is a good example of an organic herbal remedy designed of a to help flush and cleanse the entire kidneys and urinary system. When using Renaltrex, add 1 dropper to your apple cider vinegar drink.
  3. Drink 2-3 times a day, always on an empty stomach for 5-7 days.
  4. Make sure to drink enough water, always using good source of water. Increased water consumption is suggested by the medical literature to have a dilution effect of bacteria nutrition in the urine, which may be beneficial for urinary tract infection prevention and treatment (5).

Apple cider vinegar bath uti

Can you put apple cider vinegar in your bath water?

Making apple cider vinegar bath for uti is suggested sometimes as a home remedy for urinary tract infection as well as for vaginal yeast infections and other skin infections. The theory behind the acv bath for uti is that the naturally occurring acids in apple cider vinegar can alter the ph of the water, making the bath water become more acidic. As a result, you may get a better more deeper wash. in addition, apple cider vinegar antimicrobial properties may be useful as well against the external skin infections.

Apple cider vinegar bath benefits for uti however, are not supported by any human studies. Using apple cider vinegar topically on your skin is risky due to its high acidity, especially if your skin is already irritated. In addition, when you dilute apple cider with so much water such in the apple cider vinegar bath method, one has to wonder how much antimicrobial properties these acv bath water hold.

If you decide to give the acv bath a try, see the suggested procedure below:

Apple cider vinegar bath for uti:

  1. Fill your tub with warm water.
  2. Add 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar.
  3. Stay in the bath and soak for 5-20 minutes.
  4. If you have never done the apple cider vinegar bath before, start with ½ cup for 5 minutes and see how it makes your skin feel. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and and can irritate or even burn your skin. If you feel any irritation, do not wait. Get out of the bath immediately and rinse your skin in the shower. Safety comes first!
  5. Rinse your skin in the shower.
  6. Dry your skin.

Can you take a bath if you have a UTI?

The uti bath connection is not well studied with very little evidence or studies available. Some guidelines in the medical community state that it is better for women to avoid the use of bubble bath or bath oils, as these could alter the vaginal flora and ultimately result in UTIs (6).

On the other hand, taking a bath was reported to provide uti relief in some cases. Bath for uti relief may be a matter of a personal preference. If you have prior experience with UTI and find that taking a bath helped provide some relief in the past, you may want to keep the uti bath as a natural home remedy for UTI you can use if needed. If you have never tried taking a bath as a natural relief for uti and want to try, proceed with caution.

In any case, it is always better to avoid using any bath products that contain synthetic or unknown ingredients, especially if you already have an infection.

Apple cider vinegar side effects

When consumed internally, apple cider vinegar can irritate your mouth, gums and the other delicate tissues inside your mouth. According to the medical community, ongoing drinking of apple cider vinegar can lead to erosive tooth wear (4). To avoid these common apple cider vinegar side effects:

  • Always dilute apple cider vinegar with water before you consume it. If you have never consumed apple cider vinegar internally before, start with a 1 teaspoon (5 grams) diluted with at least 16oz of spring water on an empty stomach and test your body’s response.
  • Drink your apple cider vinegar detox drinks through a straw to minimize its contact with your teeth or gums.
  • Consume apple cider vinegar detox drinks short term only.
  • Do not use excessive amounts of apple cider vinegar. Most reported usages of apple cider vinegar for uti require no more than 30 ml per day. Using more does not mean it is better. It is about finding the ideal quantity that works best for you.

Can Apple cider vinegar cause urinary tract infections?

Apple cider vinegar is not known to cause urinary tract infections, although drinking apple cider vinegar when you already have a bladder or urinary tract infection may change the acidity of your urine, which can make the urinary tract inflamed tissue worse in some cases.

UTI Facts

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections in humans, affecting 150 million people each year worldwide.
  • UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. UTIs can affect different parts of the urinary tract, but the most common type of UTI is a bladder infection, also known as cystitis.
  • UTIs are caused by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, uropathogenic Escherichia coli being the most common ones. UTIs may be caused by certain fungi as well.
  • Urinary tract infection can sometimes spread to the kidneys.

References

  1. Johnston CS, Gaas CA. Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect. Medscape General Medicine. 2006;8(2):61 (1).
  2. Flores-Mireles AL, Walker JN, Caparon M, Hultgren SJ. Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options. Nature reviews Microbiology. 2015;13(5):269-284 (2).
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Urinary Tract Infection (3).
  4. Unhealthy weight loss. Erosion by apple cider vinegar (4).
  5. Water consumption and urinary tract infections: an in vitro study (5).
  6. Al-Badr A, Al-Shaikh G. Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Management in Women: A review. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 2013;13(3):359-367 (6).