Other Name(s):

Abilde, Almindelig Aeble, Apfel, Apfelbaum, Äppel, Äppelträd, Apple Tree, Eble, Echter Apfelbaum, Iabloko, Iablonia, Jablon Domáca, Kultur-Apfel, Maça, Maçanzeira, Maceira, Macieira, Malus domestica, Malus malus, Malus pumila, Malus sylvestris, Manzana, Manzano, Mela, Melo, Paratiisiomena, Ping Guo, Pomme, Pommier, Pomo, Pommier Commun, Pyrus malus, Ringo, Seiyou Ringo, Tarhaomenapuu, Tuffahh, Žlahtna jablana.


Apple is the fruit from an apple tree. People eat apples as a normal part of the diet, but apples are also used as medicine.

Apples are used to control diarrhea or constipation; and for the softening, passage, and collection of gallstones. They are also used to prevent cancer, especially lung cancer. Other uses include treating cancer, diabetes, dysentery, fever, heart problems, warts, and a vitamin C-deficiency condition called scurvy. Some people also use apples for cleaning their teeth.

How does it work?

Apples contain pectin, which helps bulk up the stool to treat diarrhea and constipation. Apples also contain some chemicals that seem to be able to kill bacteria. Apple peel contains a chemical called ursolic acid that is suspected to have a role in building muscle and metabolism.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Ulcers in the small intestines. Some research suggests that taking apple pectin twice daily for 6 months does not reduce ulcer recurrence in people with previous ulcers in the small intestines.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Early research suggests that taking a specific drink (Applephenon, Asahi Food and Healthcare Ltd) containing certain chemicals from apples, called polyphenols, daily for 4 weeks reduces symptoms of hay fever, such as sneezing and swelling inside the nose.
  • Hair loss in men. Early research suggests that applying a product containing procyanidin B-2, a chemical in apple, to the scalp might increase hair growth in men with hair loss.
  • Cancer. Early research suggests that eating one or more apple daily might be linked with a lower risk of developing foodpipe (esophageal), colorectal, or voice box (larynx) cancer.
  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that replacing white wheat flour in bread with powdered, dehydrated apple does not improve blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Diarrhea. Some early research suggests that taking a specific combination product containing apple pectin and German chamomile by mouth for 1-3 days might reduce the number of stools and improve symptoms in children with diarrhea. Other research suggests that drinking apple juice might actually worsen episodes of diarrhea in infants.
  • Swelling of the small intestine (enteritis). Early research suggests that drinking apple powder dissolved in boiling water for 10-12 days might reduce flatulence, sweating, and fatty stools in people with enteritis.
  • Softening and passing gallstones. Some early research suggests that drinking apple juice for 7 days and then adding olive oil on the seventh day before going to bed might soften gallstones and help them leave the body in a bowel movement.
  • Lung cancer. There is some early evidence that eating more apples might lower the risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Mercury toxicity. Early research suggests that taking apple pectin for 60 days might help remove mercury from the body and improve symptoms in children with mercury poisoning.
  • Weight loss. Some early research suggests that eating apples three times per day might modestly increase weight loss over a period of 12 weeks.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Fever.
  • Heart problems.
  • Scurvy.
  • Warts.
  • Cleaning teeth.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate apple for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Apples are LIKELY SAFE for most people, as long as the seeds aren't eaten. No side effects are generally known or expected to occur with apple fruit or apple juice.

The apple seeds, however, contain cyanide and are poisonous. Eating enough seeds (in one case, one cup of apple seeds) can cause death. The cyanide is released in the stomach as the seeds are digested, so it may take several hours for the symptoms of poisoning to appear.

Apple polyphenols are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin, short-term.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Apple is safe in amounts found in food, but there's not enough information to know if it's safe in the larger amounts that are used as medicine.

Children: Apple pectin is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, short-term.

Allergy to apricot and related plants: Apple may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Rosaceae family. Members of this family include apricot, almond, plum, peach, pear, and strawberry. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking apple.

Diabetes: Apple, especially apple juice, can increase blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you use apple products and have diabetes.


Atenolol (Tenormin)Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Apple juice can decrease how much atenolol (Tenormin) your body absorbs. Drinking apple juice along with atenolol (Tenormin) might decrease the effectiveness of atenolol (Tenormin). To avoid this interaction, separate taking this medication from consuming apple juice by at least 4 hours.

Fexofenadine (Allegra)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Apple juice can decrease how much fexofenadine (Allegra) your body absorbs. Drinking apple juice along with fexofenadine (Allegra) might decrease the effectiveness of fexofenadine (Allegra). To avoid this interaction, separate taking this medication from consuming apple juice by at least 4 hours.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Consuming apples and drinking apple juice might increase blood sugar levels. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. Consuming apple or apple juice along with diabetes medications might interfere with blood sugar control. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications moved by pumps in cells (Organic Anion-Transporting Polypeptide Substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. Apple juice might change how these pumps work and decrease how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. This could make these medications less effective. To avoid this interaction, separate taking these medications from consuming apple juice by at least 4 hours.

Some of these medications that are moved by pumps in cells include bosentan (Tracleer), celiprolol (Celicard, others), etoposide (VePesid), fexofenadine (Allegra), fluoroquinolone antibiotics, glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta), irinotecan (Camptosar), methotrexate, paclitaxel (Taxol), saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase), rifampin, statins, talinolol, torsemide (Demadex), troglitazone, and valsartan (Diovan).

Medications used for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Consuming apple and cherry juice might increase blood pressure in some people. Drinking apple juice while taking medications for lowering blood high blood pressure might interfere with blood pressure control. Monitor your blood pressure closely. The dose of your blood pressure medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.


The appropriate dose of apple depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for apple. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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