Can Christians Consume Vinegar?

Numbers 6:3 “He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.”

Note: The sobriety and temperance which the Nazarites were obliged to observe were very conducive to health. Accordingly, they were celebrated for their fair and “ruddy” complexion; being said to be both whiter than milk and more ruddy than rubies (Lamentations 4:7 “Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:”); these were sure signs of a sound and healthy constitution. It may here be observed, that when God intended to raise up Samson, by his strength of body, to be a scourge to the enemies of Israel, he ordered, that from his infancy he should drink no wine, but live by the rule of the Nazarites, because that would greatly contribute to make him strong and healthy; intending, after nature had done her utmost to form this extraordinary instrument of His power and might, to use Samson in such a way that all would know of the extraordinary and supernatural capabilities of God.”

Psalm 69:21 “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

Note: Bochart, from a comparison of this passage with John 19:29 (see below), thinks that rosh is the same herb as the evangelist calls υσσωπος, hyssop; a species of which, growing in Judea, he proves from Isaac ben Orman, an Arabian writer, to be so bitter as not to be eatable. Theophylact expressly tells us, that the hyssop was added ως δηλητεριωδος, as poisonous, and Nonnus, in his paraphrase, says, Ωρεγεν υσσωπωκεκερασμενον οξος ολεθρου “One gave the deadly acid mixed with hyssop.”

Proverbs 10:26 “As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.”

Note: As the acidity of vinegar causes the unpleasantness and pain to the teeth, and by softening and dissolving the alkali of the bone, impairs their texture, and renders them incapable of mastication; and as smoke, by irritating the tender vessels, causes the eyes to smart, and prevents distinct vision; so, a sluggish messenger is a continual vexation and loss to those by whom he is employed.

Proverbs 25:20 “As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.”

Note: H5427 (“nitre”)




From H5425; mineral potash (so called from effervescing with acid): – nitre.





A primitive root; to jump, that is, be violently agitated; causatively, to terrify, shake off, untie: – drive asunder, leap, (let) loose, X make, move, undo.

Matthew 27:34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.”

Note: We must keep it well in mind that the Roman soldiers did nothing but mock the Lord Jesus Christ. The things which they knew to be in violation of righteous belief were the very things they used to insult our Savior. The Romans knew that vinegar was something Jesus would never have consumed. Thus, the reason they forced vinegar into His mouth. We know of the other ways they mocked Him, by the crown of thorns, wrapping him in purple, etc., but we tend to forget about the vinegar part of His mocking. See below.

Matthew 27:48 “And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.”

Note: It is interesting to note that, immediately before Jesus died, the defiling act performed against Him was to force vinegar into His mouth.

Mark 15:23 “And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.”

Note: We see Christ had refused the “wine” mingled with myrrh. Kept in perfect context, we know that what was given to Him was vinegar. As vinegar is made from alcohol, and Christ never drank alcohol, it truly wouldn’t matter if it was an alcoholic beverage or vinegar given to Him here, the result would have been the same in that He would have refused the offer.

Mark 15:36 “And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.”

Note: Here we see the more mocking tone of the Roman soldiers in that they tested the Lord to see what would happen by giving Him something which defiles and does nothing for the dehydration our Lord was suffering.

Luke 23:36 “And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,”

Note: And now we see, in no uncertain terms, the vinegar was offered mockingly.

John 19:29-30 “Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Note: As stated previously, it is interesting and enlightening to note that our Savior died immediately after receiving vinegar.

Concluding, the word “vinegar” appears in the Bible a total of 11 times. With the exception of one of those times, vinegar is spoken about in the negative sense which, on its own, conveys the understanding that vinegar is not something for us to consume. But, what about the one that was not used in the negative? Here is that verse.

Ruth 2:14 “And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.”

Does this verse somehow make it okay to consume vinegar? Does this verse somehow negate the message of the other ten verses? No, it doesn’t. Firstly, utilizing the Biblical jurisprudence given to us by way of the prophet Isaiah, who, regarding how to understand doctrine said …

Isaiah 28:10 “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

… we understand that every single verse about any particular subject must be gathered and then held in its original context. Secondly, seeing as we have a cloud of many witnesses in that we have ten verses clearly placing vinegar in the negative and only one seemingly speaking about vinegar in the positive, how are we to understand Ruth 2:14?

Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

Simply put, Boaz was attempting to “woo” Ruth. He was trying to gain her approval and attention. Reading further into that chapter, we see that he gave to Ruth everything she could want. He truly went above and beyond to gain her affection.

Ruth 2:15-16 “And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.”

It is beneficial to remember that Boaz was a man just like any other man and was susceptible to sin, especially as it concerned the woman to whom he was in love. Just because he gave Ruth vinegar does not make this decision holy.

By the same understanding, lying cannot be seen as a holy thing just because Rahab lied. Though in the end she was considered a holy woman of God, she was still a young believer when she lied to hide the location of the spies. Her actions were still sinful no matter how we look at it, just as the decision to give Ruth vinegar was an unholy act.

Facts About Vinegar

Look up vinegar on the internet and you will see an abundance of praises for its benefits. But is there any truth behind the accolades? What about the long-term health effects of vinegar?

What Is Vinegar?

Vinegar is an alcoholic liquid that has been allowed to ferment and sour.

That Doesn’t Sound Healthy

The basic component of vinegar (including apple cider vinegar) is diluted acetic acid, which is a toxic waste product in the human body. This acid is an irritant to the stomach and causes a loss of the protective mucus in the intestinal tract, setting the stage for ulcers, gastritis, vitamin deficiencies (especially vitamin B12), and/or infection with Helicobacter pylori. In fact, vinegar is one of the 3 most common dietary causes of gastritis in the U.S. today, along with aspirin and alcohol.

Vinegar interferes with digestion, and consequently the body receives less nourishment and impurities enter the bloodstream.

Vinegar also promotes changes in the stomach lining cells, which can increase the risk of stomach cancer.  The consumption of vinegar is also now recognized as a factor in the development of cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Acetic acid stimulates the thyroid gland to pull phosphorous from the adrenal glands to negate the effects of acetic acid in the system. Depleted phosphorous results in impaired function of the adrenal glands.

The use of vinegar has been shown to be harmful to the liver and to the kidneys.

Vinegar is also an irritant to the central nervous system.

Regular consumption of vinegar can cause low potassium levels and lower bone density.

Studies have shown that vinegar contributes to Candida overgrowth.

Fermented foods, such as vinegar, contain high amounts of tyramine. Tyramine can contribute to high blood pressure, joint pain, urticaria, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches.

Vinegar is a fermented product

The process of producing vinegar involves fermentation. The fermentation process produces acetaldehyde, which has a negative effect on the body and the brain.

Acetaldehyde causes a deficiency in vitamin B1 – an important nutrient for brain and nerve function.

Acetaldehyde also causes the membranes of red blood cells to become stiff, making it difficult for these oxygen-carrying cells to pass through narrow capillaries. When this happens, many of the body cells do not receive the oxygen they need.

Acetaldehyde indirectly promote the atrophy of nerve cell dendrites through its effect on tubulin. Tubulin is a protein in the body that chemically changes into long filaments that form microtubules, which transport nutrients and provide structural support for nerve cells. Acetaldehyde reduces the ability of tubulin to change into these supportive structures, causing the degeneration and death of nerve cell dendrites. There is a connection between dendrite degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.

What about apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is still vinegar and has all the negative health characteristics that regular vinegar has.

Does apple cider vinegar help with weight loss?

There are literally hundreds of “get-thin-quick plans” on the market promising dramatic weight loss in a short amount of time. The average person wanting to try a new diet won’t be faced with a shortage of options.

In a culture attracted to “the quick fix”, it can be enticing to substitute healthful eating with “miracle diets” or “special weight loss foods” that promise effortless results. Sometimes we may be tempted to think that there is an easier method of weight loss than a healthy lifestyle. However, most fad diets have been shown to be not only unhealthful, but sometimes dangerous as well. And while some diet schemes may help you lose a few pounds at the beginning, statistics show that most actually encourage weight gain in the long term.

The apple cider vinegar diet is an example of a fad diet. Despite the hype, there is simply no evidence to support any of these claims. On the contrary, there is an abundance of evidence demonstrating vinegar’s negative contribution to health.

Following a healthy, whole-food, plant-based diet is not only a safe method of weight loss, but a healthy and long-lasting one as well.

How to avoid vinegar

Almost all products made with vinegar can just as easily be made with lemon juice, a healthful food.

Healthful and slimming salad dressings can be made with lemon juice instead of vinegar.

Even pickles can be made with lemon instead of vinegar.

And salads, like bean salads, quinoa salads, pasta salads, and this Crunchy Asian Broccoli Slaw are delicious made with lemon juice instead of vinegar.


Apple cider vinegar is made by combining apples with yeast.

The yeast then converts the sugar in the apples into alcohol. Bacteria are then added to the mixture, which ferment the alcohol into acetic acid.

Acetic acid makes up about 5–6% of apple cider vinegar. It is classified as a “weak acid,” but still has fairly strong acidic properties when it is concentrated.

Apple cider vinegar helps prevent blood sugar spikes by reducing the rate at which food leaves the stomach and enters the lower digestive tract. This slows down its absorption into the bloodstream.

However, this effect may worsen symptoms of gastroparesis, a common condition in people with type 1 diabetes.

In gastroparesis, the nerves in the stomach don’t work properly, so food stays in the stomach too long and is not emptied at a normal rate.

Symptoms of gastroparesis include heartburn, bloating and nausea. For type 1 diabetics who have gastroparesis, timing insulin with meals is very challenging because it’s hard to predict how long it will take food to be digested and absorbed.

One controlled study looked at 10 patients with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis.

Drinking water with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of apple cider vinegar significantly increased the amount of time that food stayed in the stomach, compared to drinking plain water.


Apple cider vinegar has been shown to delay the rate at which food leaves the stomach. This may worsen symptoms of gastroparesis and make blood sugar control more difficult for people with type 1 diabetes.

2. Digestive Side Effects

Apple cider vinegar may cause unpleasant digestive symptoms in some people.

Human and animal studies have found that apple cider vinegar and acetic acid may decrease appetite and promote feelings of fullness, leading to a natural reduction in calorie intake.

However, one controlled study suggests that in some cases, appetite and food intake may decrease due to indigestion.

The people who consumed a drink containing 25 grams (0.88 oz) of apple cider vinegar reported less appetite but also significantly greater feelings of nausea, especially when the vinegar was part of an unpleasant-tasting drink.


Apple cider vinegar may help reduce appetite, but may also cause feelings of nausea, particularly when consumed as part of a drink with bad flavor.

3. Low Potassium Levels and Bone Loss

There are no controlled studies on apple cider vinegar’s effects on blood potassium levels and bone health at this time.

However, there is one case report of low blood potassium and bone loss that was attributed to large doses of apple cider vinegar taken over a long period of time.

A 28-year-old woman consumed 8 oz (250 ml) of apple cider vinegar diluted in water on a daily basis for six years.

She was admitted to the hospital with low potassium levels and other abnormalities in blood chemistry.

What’s more, the woman was diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition of brittle bones that is rarely seen in young people.

Doctors who treated the woman believe the large daily doses of apple cider vinegar led to minerals being leached from her bones to buffer the acidity of her blood.

They also noted that high acid levels can reduce the formation of new bone.

Of course, the amount of apple cider vinegar in this case was much more than most people would consume in a single day — plus, she did this every day for many years.


There is one case report of low potassium levels and osteoporosis likely caused by drinking too much apple cider vinegar.

4. Erosion of Tooth Enamel

Acidic foods and beverages have been shown to damage tooth enamel.

Soft drinks and fruit juices have been more widely studied, but some research shows the acetic acid in vinegar may also damage tooth enamel.

In one lab study, enamel from wisdom teeth was immersed in different vinegars with pH levels ranging from 2.7–3.95. The vinegars led to a 1–20% loss of minerals from the teeth after four hours.

Importantly, this study was done in a lab and not in the mouth, where saliva helps buffer acidity. Nevertheless, there’s some evidence that large amounts of vinegar may cause dental erosion.

A case study also concluded that a 15-year-old girl’s severe dental decay was caused by consuming one cup (237 ml) of undiluted apple cider vinegar per day as a weight loss aid.


The acetic acid in vinegar may weaken dental enamel and lead to loss of minerals and tooth decay.

5. Throat Burns

Apple cider vinegar has the potential to cause esophageal (throat) burns.

A review of harmful liquids accidentally swallowed by children found acetic acid from vinegar was the most common acid that caused throat burns.

Researchers recommended vinegar be considered a “potent caustic substance” and kept in childproof containers.

There are no published cases of throat burns from apple cider vinegar itself.

However, one case report found that an apple cider vinegar tablet caused burns after becoming lodged in a woman’s throat. The woman said she experienced pain and difficulty swallowing for six months after the incident.


The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has caused throat burns in children. One woman experienced throat burns after an apple cider vinegar tablet became lodged in her esophagus.

6. Skin Burns

Due to its strongly acidic nature, apple cider vinegar may also cause burns when applied to the skin.

In one case, a 14-year-old girl developed erosions on her nose after applying several drops of apple cider vinegar to remove two moles, based on a protocol she’d seen on the internet.

In another, a 6-year-old boy with multiple health problems developed leg burns after his mother treated his leg infection with apple cider vinegar.

There are also several anecdotal reports online of burns caused by applying apple cider vinegar to the skin.


There have been reports of skin burns occurring in response to treating moles and infections with apple cider vinegar.

7. Drug Interactions

A few medications may interact with apple cider vinegar:

Diabetes medication: People who take insulin or insulin-stimulating medications and vinegar may experience dangerously low blood sugar or potassium levels.

Digoxin (Lanoxin): This medication lowers your blood potassium levels. Taking it in combination with apple cider vinegar could lower potassium too much.

Certain diuretic drugs: Some diuretic medications cause the body to excrete potassium. To prevent potassium levels from dropping too low, these drugs shouldn’t be consumed with large amounts of vinegar.


Some medications may interact with apple cider vinegar, including insulin, digoxin and certain diuretics.

Note: All above information is from:

Final note: considering the acidifying effects of vinegar on the body, it is simply not a wise decision to consume this substance. The more acidic our bodies become, the more fertile we become for a myriad of diseases, including cancer.

Your body’s alkaline and acid balance, also known as pH, can affect your overall well being. What affects body pH? All foods have the ability to change your body’s normal pH. The fluids and tissues do not stay in these fluctuating states of “too acidic” or “too alkaline” because the body is always striving toward balance. However, according to, imbalance and disease can set in when the body is daily dealing with too many acid-forming foods and too much stress.

Acid or Alkaline?

Dr. Robert Young says health depends on an internal alkaline environment. In his book, “The pH Miracle,” Young discusses the importance of regulating your body’s acid/alkaline chemistry and how it can result in weight loss, increased stamina and strength, and a stronger immune system.

In addition, Dr. T. Baroody Jr., in his book “Alkalize or Die,” says a properly alkalized body plays a significant role in restoring and maintaining health. He writes, “Our glands and organs function properly in exact proportion to the amount of alkaline and acid levels in our system.” Finding the balance between too acidic and too alkaline can be a challenge in today’s stressful, fast-food society.


It seems to be the case that God has kept His people away from the consumption of vinegar for very good reason. Though we are only now understanding the relationship between our bodies and an acidic or alkaline environment, He knew the devastation and havoc the consumption of vinegar can bring. And this is just speaking on the basis of our pH balance.

Once again, our Lord is vindicated in His wisdom. When He taught us to stay away from vinegar, He did so in complete understanding of our anatomy and physiology. As He is the one who created us, He also know what is good, profitable, and beneficial for our bodies and, indeed, our very lives.

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