As far back as 400 B.C., Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, would prescribe apple cider vinegar (ACV) to treat a range of illnesses. From weight loss to improved insulin levels, the benefits of apple cider vinegar are real. It’s a small addition to your daily diet that can make a big difference.
This age-old home remedy, is derived from squeezing out the liquid from crushed apples, fermenting them, and then adding bacteria and yeast until the sugars turn to alcohol. Its sour taste comes from acetic and malic acid. Apple cider vinegar uses are most commonly found in the kitchen where it’s a food ingredient in salad dressings, sauces, marinades, chutneys, and preservatives, but its medicinal properties may be even more worthy of your attention.
The Medicinal Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Research published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found that some of the most far-reaching apple cider vinegar benefits come from its antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral characteristics. Ailments that can be traced from bacteria, viruses, or fungi can likely be treated with the help of apple cider vinegar. Here are just a few of the other conditions that ACV has been used to treat:
- Joint pain
- Sore throat
- Sinus infections
- Ear infections
- Stomach ulcers
- High cholesterol
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Dry hair
From a healing perspective, researchers at the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University found that ACV could also be beneficial in treating those who suffer from type 2 diabetes. According to their findings, vinegar improves the insulin sensitivity of people with type 2 diabetes when they consume a high carbohydrate meal.
A 2004 study published in Biofactors and another 2004 study published in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer both show that apple cider vinegar also has anti-cancer benefits and can actually kill cancer cells (in clinical studies)
Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Benefits
Apple cider vinegar’s most beloved and well known benefit may be that of weight loss. Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that healthy adult women consumed fewer total calories on days that vinegar was ingested at their morning meal. Researchers think that vinegar may impact hunger by reducing the mealtime glycemic load. This means that your blood glucose doesn’t surge and then plummet back down again. It’s these surges in blood sugar that make you more susceptible to overeating.
Amp up your ACV consumption with this apple cider vinegar detox cocktail. The addition of lemon juice, which contains the antioxidant vitamin C, along with cinnamon, another potent antioxidant, make this an ideal detox concoction. What’s more, cayenne has been shown to increase metabolism, making this apple cider vinegar weight loss cocktail even stronger.
Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink Recipe
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12 oz. filtered water
2 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 dash cayenne pepper
Stevia to taste
- Combine ingredients in a blender with a few ice cubes. Consume this drink three times daily between meals for two weeks.
Recipe: Dr. Axe
Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair
Apple cider vinegar deserves a place in your beauty cabinet as well as your pantry. It’s been known to remove residue and built up gunk leftover from your various beauty products. It’s also a natural detangler that revitalizes your mane, leaving your hair soft and silky. Enthusiasts love it even more because they contend that it adds shine and reflects light.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair
1.Fill a spray bottle up halfway with water. Fill in the other portion with apple cider vinegar.
2. After shampooing your hair, give it a good spritz with the spray bottle mixture and massage into the scalp. Leave the mixture in your hair and towel dry. Repeat once per week.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne and Vibrant Skin
While most of the evidence of ACV’s acne impact is anecdotal, its ascetic nature can be helpful in restoring your skin’s pH balance, reducing oil while maintaining moisture. Not to mention that using apple cider vinegar for acne helps reduce blemishes and red marks all the while softening your skin.
When using it on your skin, remember to dilute it with double as much water as you would for your hair because its ascetic nature can be irritating to the skin if it’s too strong. Diluted ACV can be used as a toner daily, leaving your skin soft and bright while locking in moisture.
DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
1. Combine 2 parts water with 1 part apple cider vinegar in a small bottle or spray bottle.
2. Spray or lightly dab on your skin with a cotton ball after cleansing. Let dry.
Apple Cider Vinegar Uses for Cold and Flu
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Its antibacterial nature cited above means it’s one of those cold and flu remedies that actually works. Adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water helps to alkalze the body. When you create a more alkaline environment, it kills bacteria and viruses. Start drinking ACV at the first sign of illness and repeat several times a day until the symptoms subside. If you’re already sick, it’s worth drinking ACV anyway because it can help your body fend off germs and provide some energy. (Always consult with your primary care physician when dealing with an illness, especially if symptoms worsen or do not subside after several days.)
Choosing the Best Apple Cider Vinegar
Before you run out for a bottle of apple cider vinegar, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in the first place. The key is to purchase the most unadulterated vinegar you can find. Raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, organic apple cider vinegar will have the strongest live enzymatic action and the most potent healthy bacteria.
Unpasteurized ACV products contain the “mother of vinegar”, a natural cobweb-like sediment floating at the bottom of the bottle. One reliable brand is Bragg’s, which is inexpensive and long-lasting, costing you just under $4 for a 16-ounce bottle.
You can also try Thrive Market's ACV for free.
What’s your favorite use for this age-old natural remedy? We want to hear about it! Drop us a line via Twitter @OrganicAuthorit
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