By Tamryn |
Vinegar has certainly stepped into the limelight in recent years with the growing interest in green living. Plain ol’ vinegar can be used for cleaning and disinfecting, among other household uses, instead of chemical-laden — and expensive — store-bought products. It has some healthful uses, as well, but the real personal care powerhouse is apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar For Health
We probably have all had a bottle of apple cider vinegar in our pantries at one point or another. After all, it is handy for making marinades or for use in a simple salad dressing. If you have heard any of the buzz about apple cider vinegar, or ACV, you may be looking at that brown liquid a little differently. But don’t be fooled — the vinegar in your kitchen is most likely the distilled, refined, clear kind, which is not the type that is chock full of health benefits. You want to get the unfiltered, unpasteurized kind, for starters, and if it’s organic, even better. This ACV is murky, with strands of stuff floating around in it and more stuff settled down at the bottom. This stuff is called the “mother” — and it is the mother-lode of apple cider vinegar’s goodness. ACV is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes and amino acids; in all apple cider vinegar contains 90 different substances. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, recognized apple cider vinegar’s benefits way back in 400 B.C., prescribing it to his patients.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
Like the ancient herb neem, ACV’s benefits are long and varied, from sore throats, sprains and sunburn to acid reflux, cholesterol and diabetes, and much, much more. ACV has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, as well as balancing the body’s pH inside and out. (Before life gets in the way, why not get some ACV now while you’re thinking about it. Click on the bottle just above.) Most apple cider vinegar remedies involve ingesting a teaspoon to a tablespoon or so of the liquid daily or several times a day. For a general health tonic, you can drink a tablespoon of ACV added to a glass of water every day. Add a little natural sweetener if you find it is still too sharp tasting.
Apple Cider Vinegar Remedies
Sprains – Make a paste of ACV and sea salt and apply to a sprain. Acid reflux – In the morning and two hours before bedtime, drink two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in water. Weight loss – Before a meal, drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of ACV. Skin – Tone your skin with an apple cider vinegar and water mix, such as one tablespoon of vinegar to two of water. Apply with a cotton ball and follow with moisturizer as you would normally. Use a stronger mix of equal parts water and vinegar for acne. Dab straight ACV on age spots to lighten them. Sunburn – Soak in a tepid bath to which you have added a cup of ACV. This apple cider vinegar remedy is also good for relieving itchy skin, candida and sore muscles. Sore throat – Gargle warm water mixed with a tablespoon of ACV. (And just swallow — there’s no need to spit it out!) Teeth stains – Apply apple cider vinegar straight to teeth with a finger or toothbrush and scrub. Hair – ACV for hair removes any build-up of products and leaves locks shining. Also good for dandruff control. Detoxification – Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a liter of water and drink throughout the day. Fungus – Soak affected area in a mix of ACV and water. Diabetes – Apple cider vinegar helps lower glucose levels; drink a tablespoon with water before meals. ACV is all natural and it can’t hurt to try it as apple cider vinegar benefits so many conditions. But never replace your medications with this or any other alternative treatment without the OK from your doctor.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Acid Reflux and Me
UPDATE: Another way apple cider vinegar benefit I’ve experienced is for acid reflux. I recently went to an ear, nose, throat doctor after a spate of really bad sinus headaches. These were often accompanied by what I can best describe as a raw-feeling throat, which I attributed to post-nasal drip. The doctor didn’t think so. He threaded a scope through my nose to peer into my sinuses and down my throat. My sinuses were normal, he said. No infection, no polyps. He did say my throat was fiery red and inflamed. Do you have GERD? he asked. Um, no. Heartburn? Anything like that? No again. He told me to start taking a common acid reflux drug available over the counter, saying many people have gastroesophageal reflux disease without knowing it. I didn’t tell him, but I had no intentions of taking this drug. But the fact remained my throat was causing me a lot of discomfort. So I talked to someone I knew had been diagnosed with GERD — my mom (who, by the way, is growing back hair on her eyebrows that’s been missing 30 years with an inexpensive natural product). I described my throat symptoms and she said that’s exactly how her throat felt. Ugh. Not what I wanted to hear. Of course, I know all the uses and benefits of ACV. I’ve used apple cider vinegar for weight loss, for minor burns and skin irritations, for hair and so on. But I have to be honest. The smell to me is like sour, stinky feet and it tastes nearly as bad. So after I while I would find myself “forgetting” to take it. But tell you what, I started taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water before bed and another in the morning, and within a day my throat was better. One day. After a week or so, I cut it back to one tablespoon of ACV a day, split between morning and night. I also noticed I had more energy, a smaller appetite and generally felt really good. Like everything, this doesn’t work for everyone. My mom didn’t feel the complete relief I did (but her problem had been going on for years and was more severe; also, she admitted she wasn’t consistent taking it because she didn’t like the taste). And it must be the unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, the murky kind with all that icky-looking stringy stuff floating around in it. I also I admit I’m terribly consistent either. I’ll drink it a few days straight, then maybe skip a day or two (or five), or only in the morning (or only at night). But even averaging a few times a week, I continue to reap the benefits of ACV. I did have a relapse when I didn’t have any ACV for a couple of weeks. My throat felt so raw. Once I started drinking it again, the relief was immediate.