The Apple Cider Vinegar Remedy for Coughs

| Modified on Feb 06, 2024
Apple Cider Vinegar for Coughs

Apple cider vinegar is Earth Clinic's most popular home remedy for coughs. This simple and effective remedy has helped dozens of our readers. It is an inexpensive natural remedy and easy to try!

Apple Cider Vinegar for Cough Recipe

The best way to take apple cider vinegar for a cough is as a hot drink with honey.

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of honey, preferably raw and local
  • 6 ounces of hot water
  • Drink this "vinegar tea" freely.
  • Adding a pinch of cinnamon and/or cayenne pepper will add to the healing power of the drink.

Apple cider vinegar can also be taken in a glass of water or juice. Adding ACV to apple juice makes it very palatable for children.

This remedy can be taken as often as desired. Be prepared for quick relief!

Here are some other tips from Earth Clinic readers:

Posted by Susan (USA):

For a cough that will not stop, make a remedy my brother and I always called Witches Brew. This was from my Great Grandmother.

1 Tbs Room Temperature Butter
1 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

Melt it all together, and take it while still warm.

Continue reading to see how our readers have used apple cider vinegar to help or cure their cough. Have you tried this simple natural remedy? Please share your story with us!

79 User Reviews

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Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 04/28/2023

I have used raw apple cider vinegar for many years with great success. I have been skeptical of apple cider vinegar in pill form, but did get some for some purpose (of which I have forgotten! ) so had them on hand.

I recently came down with a virus that included a cough. I have found that once a cough takes hold it, inflammation can creep in and make it all the harder to get rid of. (And bronchitis and pneumonia seem to result more easily.)

I was taking Nyquil to sleep at night. During the day I started taking coconut oil. I just added it to my food. (Stirred into oatmeal, spread onto toast, etc. It is an acquired taste, but worth acquiring! )

Just 'cause, I started taking apple cider vinegar pills because they were handy. Vinegar tea has always been a go-to for cough, but its spring and I didn't want a hot drink.

At first I thought it was my imagination, but I realized that they were helping my cough. I would take 2 pills several times a day.

~Mama to Many~

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by wei (NJ) on 11/30/2022

I had this cold for more than one week now, it started after the thanksgiving holiday party at our church, I had a light fever, low energy, sourness and tiredness, tickling throat, bad cough that started while fever is gone, that is the worst symptom of this cold. (even if it's not covid after two covid tests, but a really bad virus.) I just coughed so much, am afraid of broken of my throat or lungs

I have tried to use diluted ACV to rinse my throat, it feels abit better, so I decide to drink diluted ACV (2tsp in a cups of water), I sipped 2 cups in the evening, it did getting better, but I'm not sure, still want to cough, however, I got some confidence,

I coughed a little during the sleep. the next morning, I felt energetic. I thought I should drink more ACV to completely crush the cough, but now it's getting better and better again, I'm confident tonight I'll be 90% healed, and this is only two days of ACV drinks for the really bad cough. I wish I had done that earlier...

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Clew (Stephenville Tx ) on 11/29/2022

I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar drink yesterday and last night. Sadly it did not help me at all. I have an uncontrolled cough- my ribs and stomach and back muscles and my head and eyes and in such pain from the coughing .

Replied by mmsg
(somewhere, europe)

Clew, you can try this: half a glass of boiling water (use a mug with a handle) with a spritz of h2o2, then breathe the vapors for a while. We do this various times a day, tapering down as the cough gets less.

Replied by PEG

give it more time than that - take a tbsp. 2 -3 times a day or more.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Celia (Corona, California) on 12/21/2017

I tried apple cider vinegar with pineapple juice for my cough. It is perfect. It does not taste bad at all, you can smell the Apple Cider Vinegar but can't taste it. So, it's a winner for me.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Namooni (Portland, Or) on 05/25/2017

Acv works great for coughing and phlegm. Have used the 1-2 tblsp tea recipe for years. When my children were young we just added it to some heated apple cider with a little cinnamon. They had no problem drinking their yummy medicine. If you cannot have honey or just hate the taste of the tea, try it in some warmed apple cider instead.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Latz (Israel) on 10/09/2016

First I got the cold last week. First time it was a full blown cold - headache, non-stop runny nose, cough every 3-4 minutes, even my eyes were heavy, I thought I'm having some cataracts. Today, actually yesterday was a big relief, and today is the end of the nightmare. It lasted only about 4 days, but felt like I'm a half human.

What I wanted to say is this: what helped me the most was Apple Cider Vinegar. 3-4 times a day I was drinking ACV, full glass of mineral water with maybe 3-4 tablespoons of raw eucalyptus honey. I didn't measure ACV, just poured in.

But I'm drinking it for years, first thing in the morning, then in the middle of the day, and before bed. So it helped.

Then my wife contracted the virus from me and started coughing. Went to EC, and found the recipe with equal parts of raw honey and ACV + cinnamon. Told her this morning when she got up. She made the drink and felt a big relief. Then she had it another couple times and she stopped coughing. AMAZING!!! Thank you!

Replied by Diane

Hi Latz,

So, did you use the recipe that says 1-2 Tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey plus a pinch of cinnamon and 6 ounces of hot water?

Replied by Latz

Hi Dianne,

No, I don't measure. I pour approximately 1/2" ACV, and then mineral/spring water, and a tbsp of raw Eucalyptus honey, which is considered almost on par with Manuka honey, as having medicinal properties.

Yes, I used warm water, not hot. I also did this 4-5 times during the day. Plus I also take Turmeric supplement.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kazzakazzarooney (London) on 09/21/2016

As usual when I get a cold, my soar throat, then runny nose turns to a very dry larynx and trachea. The phlegm is so stuck that no amount of coughing will get it up and it is very distressing as it feels harder to breathe. I know I should try not to cough and clear my throat as it will make it more inflamed but it's an instinct. I have got better at that. I don't get much sleep as it feels like someone is strangling me and so with not much sleep, all the fear and the coughing, I feel complexity drained. This post viral cough, with inflammation, tightness etc usually last for weeks so I dread the autumn and winter.

I am really into self help and have tried many home remedies and foods - apples, cucumbers and grapefruits being a help but only to a certain degree. I've done all the other things that are well known and seen so many health practitioners about this. Nothing has worked that well.

If you have a chesty cough with catarrh a very effective way to loosen it is mullein leaf tincture. Far and beyond better than any thing I have tried. For this cold it isn't chesty so I haven't tried ACV yet!

Then yesterday I came across this great website and read with amazement all the positive reviews. So I mixed up a drink of 1tbsp ACV (organic with the mother) and 1tbsp of homey in 1/2 glass of warm water. It taste a bit like warm cider. The feeling got fractionally better. Then again later I tired and I coughed up a little for the first time but it still felt pretty bad. Then just before bed I took again and lay straight down - suddenly a lot of productive coughing and then after a long while I actually got some sleep!!! I should have taken it an hour before bed because then the coughing would have been over with!

This morning I woke up and actually coughed so much up which never usually happens. I will carry on taking it.

The biggest frustration is why on earth do doctors not know about this almost miracle cure- think how much suffering they could prevent. Not only does it work but finally I can have peace of mind and heart that there is actually something that will help in the future. For pain you can take a tablet, for asthma an inhaler but until finding this.... - they can send men to the moon but a common and distressing affliction like this - no main stream health professional seems to know the answers!! Please spread the word!

Replied by Karen

Greed, there is no profit in well people. Thank God for this site.

Replied by Yai

I am a medical doctor in the USA and I came to this site to learn about ways to help my patients many years ago. My patients were mostly kids though. I thank God for this website because it is so practical and effective in helping people. I feel a bit sorry that we could not really learn how to help people in such effective ways in my schooling and in my training. However, the landscape is changing quite quickly! I am very hopeful for the future of health care.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jill (Illinois) on 06/19/2014

I've had a head/chest cold for a week now. I've gone thru about four boxes of kleenex. Last nite I tried 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of honey. I stirred it up to dissolve the honey. I choked it down and it was brutal but it seemed to have worked. Probably within in an hour it suppressed the cough. I slept thru the nite. This am I'm coughing so I will try it again. Still gonna take my Mucinex.

Replied by Jill
(Illinois, US)

This am I went out and bought some cayenne pepper, ground ginger, and buckwheat honey. I mixed it up with ACV to make a cough syrup. It's helping the cough a little bit but my nose stopped running this afternoon. I just took a teaspoon of the honey and then I'll do the syrup before bed.

Replied by Lily
(Nashville, TN)

I couldn't eat much when I woke because stomach was sensitive but a little ACV and honey in water made me more nauseous and stopped the cough just a little, but it came back within a 1/2 an hour.

Replied by Jill
(Chicago, IL)

When I use that concoction it makes me slightly nauseous. I stand for a min debating if I have to make a beeline for the bathroom but I never have. You can take it as often as you want to.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Yolanda (Texas) on 10/05/2013

Wow, just took the apple cider vinegar with a little lemon and a squeeze of honey and my cough stopped almost immediately. This stuff is really great.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kl (Coughville, Ct) on 04/02/2013

My slight head cold turned into a nasty watery cough. Plus I lost my voice off and on throughout the day. Although I felt completely fine, people at work treated me like I was dying and I knew my coughing was distracting them.

Over the counter medicine did nothing for my congestion - seemingly turning everything into what felt like glue in my sinuses.

After checking out the site, I tried Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). It really did the trick. However, I wish it didn't taste horrible to me.

I started with 1 Tablespoon ACV, 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons water. Drinking it like a "shot" wasn't so bad, but it didn't seem to keep the cough away very long.

Next, in the evening I tried 2 Tablespoons ACV, 1 Tablespoon honey, in a small glass of warm water. No coughing at all during the night. Woohoo!

At 7am this morning, I took the same 2 Tablespoons ACV with honey in a glass of water. It worked until it seemingly wore off at 11am. Then it felt like I was drowning in phelegm. Thankfully it was (sorry to be gross) now the consistency of saliva I was coughing up. When I was first sicker and not using the ACV, it was a yellow mucus. So I know I'm getting better even when I have to cough a little. I'm just not 100% yet.

Once I got home from work and drank another 2 Tablespoons ACV 1 Tablespoon honey mixture in water, the coughing and "drowning in water" feeling is completely gone.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Liz (Ojai, Ca) on 01/28/2013

Hello. I have a terrible cough and the flu. The fever broke finally but I am coughing like crazy. I am insulin resisant and should not use honey. Has anyone had success without the use of honey? Is this just used for taste or is there a medicinal purpose for the honey [in the apple cider vinegar cough remedy]?

Replied by Leesha
(<3, Ca)

Stumbled across this post while doing research. I'm sure you're healthy by now (I hope!! ) but just wanted to mention for future, check out glycemic difference between raw honey and processed ("regular") honey. It's pretty astonishing. Don't know if that's helpful for you, but just in case, wanted to pass it along.

PS. I believe the honey in this recipe is mostly for taste, though in its raw form it does have healing properties.

Replied by Jessica
(Nsw, Australia)

You don't need honey, no. If you want something for the taste, try adding some xylitol or stevia.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kim (Smalltown, Fl) on 11/26/2012

I was willing to try anything at this time of night (half past midnight). Tried the Apple Cider Vinegarwith honey and warm water. About 20 minutes after drinking it, I coughed up phelm and have not coughed in almost one hour.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Marbrill (Brooklyn, Ny/usa) on 10/12/2012

Just tried Apple Cider Vinegar, a pinch of cayenne, honey, lemon and hot water. I cannot believe it. It didn't work immediately but now, 10 minutes later, my cough is much calmer and my throat doesn't hurt as much. I am going to make a base of this, and add hot water and sip throughout the day. I'll also take zinc and garlic and I'll report back!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Akgirl (Kenny Lake, Alaska) on 04/24/2012

I live in a remote area of Alaska so I do not have immediate access to many organic remedies. After suffering from a persistent, wet cough for days, I read everyone's posts here. I decided to try the remedies with simple, store bought ingrediants that I had on hand. 2 teaspoonsApple Cider Vinegar, 2 teaspoonsLemon Juice, 1 tsp Honey in a cup of Green Tea ~ It WORKED! I haven't coughed in several hours now! Thank you so much for the tips!

Replied by Alan

You can always make your own Apple Cider Vinegar, is sooooo easy just get into youtube. You will have endless acv. Always use it with chamomile tea and raw bee honey..once I was so bad form cough that I added 1tsp curcumin plus 1/2 tsp pepper plus two garlics, blended it and voila¡¡ the cough was gone,. I took it very hot....

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sf-doc (San Francisco, Ca) on 03/28/2012

Yea apple cider vinegar worked, I am a physician who has been coughing for a few weeks, I think it is a post viral residual inflammation, and I did not want to medicate with inhalers, in any case I tried this and so far so good (1.5 hr cough free)