Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is made from apple juice that is then fermented to hard apple cider. After a second fermentation it becomes ACV. It has many uses for your health and more, and people who like to keep things as natural and chemical-free as possible especially appreciate its benefits.
When purchasing ACV, it is important to get the organic, unfiltered kind (like Bragg’s) – the type that is cloudy. This cloudiness is called the “mother,” and it is is made up of strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules with living nutrients and bacteria. Always shake the bottle to evenly distribute the mother before you use ACV.
History of Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV has been used to treat ailments for at least 10,000 years. It was used for healing by Hippocrates, and it was discovered in Egyptian urns that were over 5,000 years old. ACV was used by the Babylonians as a condiment and a preservative, and for flavoring and healing by the Greeks and the Romans. In the Middle Ages, Parisians used it as a deodorant, healing tonic, and a youth preservative. To ward off scurvy, Columbus had barrels of ACV on board his ships and gave it out to his crew. Japanese Samurai warriors thought ACV enhanced their strength and power, and it was used to disinfect and heal wounds during the America Civil War.
ACV For Diabetics
Probably the most important use for ACV is for patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have elevated blood sugars – they are either resistant to insulin resistance or unable to produce insulin. Elevated blood sugar can be a problem even for people who don’t have diabetes, and it is believed to be a major cause of aging and various chronic diseases.
While the traditional method of keeping blood sugar levels stable is avoiding refined carbs and sugar – ACV may also have a significant effect. It has been proven to benefit insulin function and blood sugar levels which may delay or prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Try putting ACV on salads or consume 1 tbs in water before meals.
If you have Type 2 Diabetes or if you’re currently taking medication to lower your blood sugar, consult with your healthcare professional before supplementing with ACV.
ACV and Heart Health
Studies done with rats indicate biological factors linked to the risk of cardiovascular disease have been improved though the use of ACV. It contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized and lower triglycerides – crucial steps in the heart disease process. There are also some studies showing that ACV reduces blood pressure in rats.
If you have, or suspect you have, cardiovascular disease, consult with your healthcare professional before supplementing with ACV.
Detox Your Home with ACV
ACV is a non-toxic, odor-absorbing antibacterial alternative to harsh chemicals. Using ACV instead of other commercial products instantly decreases the the presence of chemicals in your home. The anti-bacterial properties and the balanced pH of ACV make it a perfect household cleaning product. ACV can be used in dishwashers and as a dish detergent. Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of water and ACV and use it to clean microwaves, kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses and mirrors.
ACV is an all-natural room freshener. To eliminate unpleasant odors, pour some ACV into a shallow bowl and place it where the odor is strongest. Leave it out for as long as it takes for the smell to vanish.
ACV will clean your toilets and leave your bathroom smelling like apples! Just pour it into the toilet, and allow it to sit overnight.
Shinier Locks with ACV
Try using ACV as natural conditioner for your hair after shampooing. It will give life to your hair’s body and shine. Find an old shampoo bottle and fill it with 1/2 to 1 tbs ACV and a cup of water. Shampoo your hair as you usually would, then pour the solution through your hair. Do this several times a week for optimal results.
Ditch That Dandruff
Applying ACV to your hair also can get rid of dandruff by changing the pH of your scalp. This stops the growth of yeast, one of the main causes of dandruff, and it gets rid of the grease, itch, and irritation.
Mix equal parts of ACV and water in a spray bottle. Spray it onto your hair after shampoo, let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. Your locks should soon be flake-free if you do this 2x a week.
Improve Your Complexion
Natural ACV can help your skin by regulating its pH and and beta-carotene helps to fight off further skin damage. Replace your current toner – mix ACV with 2 parts water, and spread this solution over your face with a cotton ball. To lighten age spots or acne scars, leave a dab of ACV on the skin overnight .
The pH of ACV also makes it an excellent remedy for skin issues like eczema and acne. Rub ACV on an area or use it to wash an area then put coconut oil and essential oils on area to support further healing. It could be taken orally as well, not to mention adding it to an Epsom salt bath to help draw toxins and impurities out of your skin.
Bug bites, poison ivy, jellyfish stings and more – ACV can help relieve painful and uncomfortable itching. Just apply undiluted ACV directly to your itchy area, and feel the relief. The minerals in ACV help reduce swelling and inflammation and it can detox the poison out of your skin helping poison ivy heal more quickly.
Don’t Worry About Warts
When warts appear, give ACV a try. Douse a cotton ball in the vinegar and secure it to the affected area overnight and remove in the morning. Results could happen week or it might take longer, but the wart will eventually fall off. To make sure the wart doesn’t return, the treatment should be continued for a few more days once the wart falls off.
ACV has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds that make it a great natural cure for skin and foot fungus. Simply rub undiluted ACV on the affected area 2x a day. Including a mixture of coconut oil and oil of oregano is great adjunct therapy.
Make Bruises Disappear
Lose those black-and-blues by applying some undiluted ACV. Its anti-inflammatory properties help minimize the discoloration.
Bye-Bye Varicose Veins
Did you know ACV is great for varicose veins? Because it improves circulation in the vein walls and is an anti-inflammatory, it reduces bulging veins. Try mixing some ACV and witch hazel and rub it on your varicose veins using circular motion. You should see improvement within 2 weeks.
Soothe That Sunburn
There are few things that make us feel more miserable than a really bad sunburn. To neutralize the burn, add a couple cupfuls to your bath and soak for 10 minutes or more. Your skin’s pH levels will be restored and your skin will feel cool and soothed. For extra relief, include 1/4 cup of coconut oil and some lavender essential oil.
A Natural Aftershave
Treat your shaved skin to some ACV. Fill a bottle with equal parts ACV and water, shake, and splash it on. This solution can help soothe your skin. The smell of this natural aftershave will dissipate with a little time!
All-Natural Massage Treatment
Do you have tired hands and feet? It might be that the acetic acid in ACV can soothe sore muscles when applied topically. For massage benefits and relief, try rubbing them with some ACV.
Lose Weight with ACV
One reason why ACV promotes fat loss is that it reduces sugar cravings and improves detoxification. One study shows some limited, yet significant, weight loss benefits from sustained daily intake of acetic acid (which is a main component of ACV). Participants in a study consumed acetic acid for 12 weeks experienced significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides (triglycerides contribute to the bad cholesterol that we want to avoid).
For those wishing to manage their weight, try mixing 1 to 3 tablespoons of ACV to 16 ounces of water. It can be sweetened with some stevia, xylitol or honey. You can then sip this drink throughout the day.
Balance Your Inner Body
The acetic acid in ACV helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Research shows higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy and higher incidences of infection. Balancing your body’s pH can reduce your risk of chronic illnesses like cancer and can dramatically increase your energy. Mix 1 to 3 tbs of ACV to 16 ounces of water, sweetening with stevia, xylitol or honey as desired. Sip this throughout the day.
ACV creates an overall detoxification of the body. It can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver. It helps bowel motility and may improve lymph circulation, which can help build immunity and fight disease. ACV helps to break up mucous throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes. So go ahead and add a splash – or two – of ACV to your meals!
Research also suggests that ACV can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucous and sinus congestion. It can also help stave off sinus infections and their related symptoms, such as sore throats and headaches. For allergies put 2 tbs ACV in a large glass of water and drink 3x daily.
If you have a sore throat why not give ACV a try? Combine 1 tsp ACV, 1 tsp cayenne pepper and 3 tsp honey in a glass of warm water and drink up. All three ingredients will work together to help you heal.
Clear Your Sinuses
Have a stuffed-up nose? Try taking some ACV mixed with water. In the same way it fights sore-throat germs, it might also alleviate the bacteria that’s growing in your sinuses. In addition, the potassium in ACV could help drain the mucus in your nose.
Rid Your Body of Candida
ACV has natural enzymes that can help your body get rid of candida. Candida is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections, bad breath, UTIs and digestive issues. ACV contains probiotics – and promotes the growth of other probiotics – that help kill off candida. For a candida cleanse, remove sugar from your diet and take 1 tbs of ACV 3x daily with water.
Soothe Your Upset Stomach
Research suggests that ACV reduces heartburn by correcting imbalanced stomach pH and lack of enzymes and probiotics. ACV is full of all of these nutrients. Take a teaspoon of ACV followed by a glass of water and relief should arrive very shortly.
See Fleas Flee from Your Pet
Combine ACV and water in equal amounts and use a spray bottle to spay it on your pet, being sure to cover it completely. Rub this mixture into its fur vigorously daily. It might tale a week or more to rid of the fleas completely.
The major causes of body odor are bad bacteria and yeast – and ACV is a natural enemy to these two. Wiping your underarm area with some ACV will neutralize odors and keep you smelling fresh all day.
ACV can also keep smelly feet under control. Just wipe your feet with some ACV splashed onto a paper towel or baby wipes.
Kill the bacteria that cause the offense – just gargle with it or sip a teaspoon to reap the fresh-breath benefits. For a mouthwash, mix together ACV and water 2:1 and swish it around for a minute.
Rub undiluted ACV on your teeth with finger for 1 minute and rinse with water. The pH of ACV can remove stains from your teeth, naturally whitening them. Don’t do this too often becasue it can break down tooth enamel.
Need More Energy?
In a slump? Try some ACV! It contains potassium and enzymes which may get you back in high gear. Try a mix of 2 tsp ACV and 2 cups of water – add some honey if you need a little sweetness.
Side Effects and Safety Concerns
While ACV has been shown to possibly be a benefit for very many situations, there are some things that should be remembered when using it:
- Undiluted ACV, or ACV pill form, could possibly damage the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract.
- People with allergies to apples should avoid ACV.
- ACV applied to the skin could possibly cause burns and scarring.
- Excessive doses of ACV have been found to cause damage to the stomach, duodenum, and liver in animals.
I have been taking 3 tbs of ACV daily for the last few weeks, but it’s too soon for me to vouch for any of ACV’s benefits based on my own experience – but I’d be really happy to hear any and all feedback! If you have any personal experience with ACV please take a minute to make a comment and share your information with everyone.