Apple Cider Vinegar: Uses & Benefits + How to Drink it

I’ll just tell you upfront right now: I think apple cider vinegar (ACV) is absolutely amazing. Seriously, AH-MAZING.

However, it’s not a miracle worker. Nothing can replace a balanced diet and exercise. ACV will promote health and help you maintain it, but drinking it daily won’t have a major impact unless it’s followed by healthy lifestyle habits, such a good diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. No remedy is a “silver bullet,” so to speak.

Apple cider vinegar is made from crushed and aged apples that have been fermented. The healthiest versions are the ones that contain a colony of beneficial bacteria, known as “the Mother.” This collection of bacteria provide numerous health benefits to the body.

Good quality apple cider vinegar is organic, unpasteurised, and contains “the Mother.” This one is of my homemade batch <3

ACV is naturally rich in magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and many more. The use of ACV dates back to the time of Hippocrates, who used it to treat many ailments.

When looking to buy ACV, the best one to opt for is organic, unpasteurised ACV that contains “the Mother,” which you can find at most grocery stores. Bragg’s is the one I get. Alternatively, you can make your own!

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits & Uses

While science has yet to confirm many of the health claims going around about ACV, it’s generally seen as harmless to use, and can even be very beneficial. If you suffer with any of the health conditions mentioned below, apple cider vinegar can be a great and inexpensive natural remedy to relieve some of the symptoms. Now, as with any medical condition, consult with your doctor or medical professional before trying or using any new products, or making any lifestyle changes.

Note: Apple cider vinegar should not be consumed or applied to the skin undiluted, especially with children or those with sensitive skin. Avoid getting ACV in the eyes. After consuming ACV, swish water around the mouth for around a minute or so to help wash away some of the vinegar residue that may be left, which can damage the enamel on teeth. Plain white vinegar or other types of vinegar should not be used for these purposes. They are specific to apple cider vinegar.

1. Helps with Candida (Yeast) Overgrowth in the Body

Now, if you’re suffering with a Candida overgrowth in the body, ACV may be able to help with that. Some studies have shown that the enzymes and acid found in ACV can help kill off and remove the overgrowth of yeast in the gut. We ALL naturally have Candida growing in our guts, and it’s completely fine when kept under control by the body. BUT, it becomes an issue when this yeast overgrows and gets out of control. For those with a severe yeast overgrowth problem, the initial stage of taking apple cider vinegar may make symptoms worse for a time, but this usually only lasts for a short period of time. The reason for this is linked to the die-off effect of the Candida, when the body can’t remove the toxins from the yeast fast enough. While uncomfortable, it’s actually a good sign. If Candida is a problem for you, think about taking 1 tsp-1 tbsp of ACV in 1 cup of filtered water twice a day or before each meal, ideally on an empty stomach. Doing this, along with following the Candida Diet, can really help naturally combat this yeast overgrowth.

2. Fights Fungus

As with Candida, ACV can also be quite effective against yeast and fungus on the skin and nails. So, conditions like athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, jock itch or yeast infections can be eased with the use of ACV. For foot or toe fungus; soak your feet in 1 cup of ACV in water, or directly apply it to the affected area(s). For skin fungus or yeast; apply a 25:75 ratio mixture of ACV and water, which can help to clear up even the worst cases of fungus. It may burn a little, so it’s a good idea to dilute the ACV in water first before applying it to the skin, especially for children or those with sensitive skin.

3. Reduces Heartburn & Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is often a result of low levels of stomach acid. ACV can help increase levels of stomach acid to prevent backflow into the oesophagus and reduce symptoms of heartburn. ACV mimics the stomach’s acidic environment and helps food to break down. It works best to drink apple cider vinegar right before meals (5-30 mins before). Dilute 1-2 tbsp of ACV in 1 cup of water and drink up to help relieve symptoms of reflux or heartburn.

4. Decreases Dandruff

ACV can be an alternative treatment to chemical-laden soaps and shampoos often used to relieve dandruff. Mix ACV with equal parts water and apply onto scalp with a spray bottle. Massaging it into the scalp may help discourage the growth of Malassezia, a specific strain of fungus that contributes to dandruff and dry, itchy scalp. Leave it on for 1-2 hours with a shower cap, then rinse it out. This can be done 1-2 times a week for best results.

5. Relieve Insect Bites & Sunburns

If you receive an insect bite, or accidentally stay out in the sun too long and end up with a sunburn, ACV is a great natural remedy for soothing. For insect bites; apply a mixture of 50/50 ACV and water to the bite. Alternatively, you can soak the bite in the vinegarwater. For sunburns; apply a mixture of 25/75 ACV and water with a wash cloth or cotton cloth onto the skin to help alleviate pain and soothe skin. Another alternative is to add a cup of ACV plus 1/4 cup coconut oil and some lavender essential oil to a lukewarm bath and soak for 20-40 minutes or more to help provide sunburn relief.

6. Improves Skin Health (Can be Used as a Natural Skin Toner)

ACV makes an excellent firming toner for the skin. For those of you who are not familiar with what a skin toner is, it’s simply a lotion or wash that’s designed to cleanse the skin and help shrink the appearance of pores on the face. Using ACV also works as a treatment for acne and can reduce scarring (without drying the skin). To use it as a toner; simply mix together equal parts ACV and water, keep the mixture in the fridge, and apply with a cotton ball after showering. The vinegar smell will vanish once it dries. Some people do better with a 24% vinegar/75% water mixture. You can even make your own DIY face toner with ACV and other ingredients for enhanced benefits.

Apple cider vinegar toner for skin.

7. Lowers Blood Pressure

Acetic acid, found in ACV, has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels and help improve heart health. ACV may increase the production of nitric oxide, a compound produced naturally by the body which tells your blood vessels to relax and expand, lowering blood pressure. It may also help to inhibit enzymes that cause the blood vessels in the body to narrow and constrict. For best results, dilute 1 tbsp of ACV in 1 cup of water and consume three times daily to help lower blood pressure.

8. Aids in Detoxification

ACV can help encourage lymphatic drainage and enhance circulation, making it a wonderful tool to help with detoxification. Take 1-2 tbsp of ACV mixed with water a few times per day, or make this detox drink for a concentrated dose of health-boosting ingredients that can assist detoxification.

9. Remove Chemical Residues

ACV can be used to wash fruits and veggies instead of water, as it contains bacteria-killing properties and may help prevent foodborne illness. Some also use it to help remove chemical residues, wax and pesticides, though more research is needed to establish whether it’s more effective than just using water alone.

10. Kills Weeds Naturally

ACV can be used as a natural, pet-friendly weed killer when used alone or mixed with soap, salt, lemon juice or even essential oils and sprayed directly on weeds. Be sure to spray carefully and avoid getting the solution on healthy plants as it can potentially kill them, too.

11. As a Household Cleaner

Mix together equal parts ACV and water to make an all-natural household cleaner. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, it’s effective at killing germs and keeping the house spotless.

12. Dish Cleaner

Adding some ACV to your detergent when washing dishes can be an effective way to kill bacteria and keep dishes clean. If using a dishwasher, add it directly to the water a few minutes after starting up the cycle to boost its antibacterial effects.

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction to it.

Have you ever used apple cider vinegar before? Have you used it as a natural remedy? Share in the comments.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

Sources:

Wells, Katie. (January 11, 2018). 7 Apple Cider Vinegar Uses & Benefits. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/2042/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/

Tarr, Noelle. DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Facial Toner. Coconuts and Kettlebells. Retrieved from https://coconutsandkettlebells.com/diy-apple-cider-vinegar-facial-toner/

Baier, Lacey. 19 Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar + How To Drink It. A Sweet Pea Chef. Retrieved from https://www.asweetpeachef.com/benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/

Gunnars, Kris, BSc. (Updated: April 8, 2021). 6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar. (Reviewed: October 03, 2019). WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar-and-your-health#1

Link, Rachael, MS, RD. (May 28, 2019). Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits and Uses (30!). Dr. Axe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/nutrition/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/

Dr. Axe, Josh, DC, DNM, CN. (December 8, 2020). Secret Detox Drink Recipe (A Natural Detox Drink Recipe). Dr. Axe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/recipes/secret-detox-drink/