Could a dose of apple cider vinegar a day keep excess pounds away? That’s not exactly how the old saying goes, but it’s just one of the health claims being made about this pantry staple. Raw apple cider vinegar (aka ACV) has been used as both food and medicine by people all over the world for centuries. Recently though it’s been brought back into popularity, and many that have jumped on the ACV bandwagon are enjoying its natural health benefits and uses around the house.
Put very simply, it’s made by crushing apples, adding sugar and yeast, allowing the mixture to ferment two times. This makes gives it anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. There are a lot of claims about the healing properties of apple cider vinegar. The science to back up these claims however is scarce, but when it comes to science validating all natural remedies, there isn’t always evidence from research on the books even though the cures are real. Something just to keep in mind!
USES FOR RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Check out these benefits people have found for drinking the stuff…then, bottoms up! (RECIPES below)
Fermented foods, like vinegar, have been shown to aid digestion by encouraging the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Stabilizes blood sugar level
Multiple studies give weight to the claim that ACV can help with diabetes and blood sugar regulation by improving insulin sensitivity to high-carbohydrate meals, slowing the rise in blood sugar levels.
Aids in weight loss
This is one of the ways apple cider vinegar has been used for many hundreds of years medicinally. There is scientific evidence suggesting that ACV consumed before a meal promotes the feelings of being full, resulting in eating less, and reduced weight gain.
Soothing sore throat
The antibacterial properties in ACV may be useful for helping to sooth your sore throat. Gargle with a mixture of about 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water. These same properties may also help break down plaque and kill bacteria that cause halitosis (bad breath).
Its antiseptic properties make it effective against bacterial and fungal infections. It is useful, for example, in treating ear infections, bladder infections, candidiasis. For an ear infection, rinse the ear with diluted ACV. For a bladder infection or candidiasis, drink a glass of warm water and on teaspoons of ACV every night until symptoms improve.
This is my favorite use! Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes to help banish fatigue. Plus, its amino acids may help prevent the buildup of lactic acid in your body, further preventing fatigue. Every time I drink it I get a huge boost of energy 🙂
Make your hair shine
ACV can be used as a rinse for your hair after shampooing, and will boost your hair’s body and shine. Mix 1/2 a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water, then pour the solution through your hair after shampooing several times a week for the best results. You can also mix water and ACV in a spray bottle and spray your hair after towel drying too.
Research has shown that apple cider vinegar can help improve your blood’s lipid profile by decreasing the levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) or bad cholesterol, while increasing the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) or good cholesterol. This is especially important to manage or prevent complications resulting from diabetes.
Helps regulate blood pressure
Some proponents of ACV swear by this treatment to reduce high blood pressure. Research published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that when rats consumed apple cider vinegar they had reductions in blood pressure levels. It was determined that the reduction in blood pressure was due to the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar.
Combats leg cramps
Many people suffer from painful night time leg cramps. ACV’s rich mineral content helps reduce the frequency, intensity and pain of cramps. When cramping occurs, simply sip some apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of warm water. Within a few minutes, the cramping will diminish. You can also add two tablespoons apple cider vinegar and a little honey to a glass of water and drink it slowly.
Vinegar is one of the best natural agents for removing certain pesticides and bacteria from your fresh produce. Try a solution of 10% ACV to 90% water to briefly soak produce. Just place your veggies or fruit in the solution, swish them around, and rinse thoroughly (don’t use this process on fragile fruits like berries since they could be damaged in the process or soak up too much vinegar through their porous skins).
Balances your body’s pH levels
Proponents claim apple cider vinegar helps restore alkalinity in the body, which can boost metabolism, strengthen immunity and slow the aging-process to give you clearer, wrinkle-free skin. It also aids in the overall detoxification of the body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver.
Fade age spots and acne scars
The perfect natural way to get glowing skin is to make your own toner with ACV. Dilute ACV with two parts water or witch hazel and apply to your face every morning and night with a cotton square. A dab of apple cider vinegar can also be left on the skin overnight to fade age spots or acne scars.
Apple cider vinegar helps kill odor-causing bacteria, so dab a bit under your arms for a natural deodorant if you dare!
Great for lymphatic system
Helps to break up mucous throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes. Because of this, research also suggests that apple cider vinegar can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucous and sinus congestion. When reducing the effects of allergies, it can also help stave off sinus infections and their related symptoms, such as headaches.
Use it when you cook
There are many creative ways to use apple cider when you cook. My favorite way is for salad dressing. Mix olive oil, garlic, and Dijon mustard with a little ACV. It’s also great to use when making a tenderizing marinade for meat, giving it a good bit of zing. And it’s tasty drizzled over cooked greens too! I use it when I make my homemade bone broth. The vinegar helps leech all those valuable minerals from the bones into the water, which is ultimately what you’ll be eating. The goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water.
Relieve your pet’s itchy skin
Its mildly acidic makeup and the nutrients it contains are great for their skin (naturally antibacterial and mildly antibiotic) and can improve a dog’s overall health when added to its food or water. Their skin allergies and problems can be improved because the skin itself prefers a slightly acid pH and most pathogens do poorly under similar conditions. Check with your vet on the dosage that is best for your dog’s size.
It can also help with fleas. Mix one part vinegar and one part water and spray on your pets fur, rubbing in generously to the skin. Saturate the entire coat, and continue every day for a few days to a week. Any flea infestation will be gone.
DRINK RECIPES WITH RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Bragg’s brand organic raw apple cider vinegar is my favorite good choice, as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized. It’s sold at any store, and is cheap!
One thing to note before you pour yourself a glass: it’s not safe to drink straight up on its own. Always dilute. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can burn the tissues in your mouth and throat. Here are my favorite ways to drink it:
1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon ACV
10 ounces water
Fresh lemon juice from 1/2 or 1 lemon
Honey to taste
Serve warm or room temp (not cold or boiling hot).
4 ounces pineapple juice
1 tablespoon ACV
1 teaspoon organic raw honey
Fresh lime juice of 1/2 lime
Serve warm, room temp, or cold.
Afternoon Energy Booster
12 ounces water
2 tablespoons organic apple or grape juice
1-2 tablespoons ACV
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon stevia (powdered) if using liquid you only need a few drops.
Serve warm, room temp, or cold.
Lemon Lime Fizz
16 ounces carbonated water (sodium-free)
1 tablespoon ACV
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3-5 drops of liquid stevia
Pour over some ice.
*Recent scientific data supports, sources: