Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from crushed and aged apples that have been fermented. The healthiest versions of this fermented product are the ones that contain a colony of beneficial bacteria known as “the Mother.” This collection of bacteria bring with them many health benefits.
ACV is naturally rich in many nutrients, some of which include magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. This health tonic is allegedly thought to help with digestive problems and weight loss.
The use of ACV dates back to the time of Hippocrates, who used it to treat many ailments.
The best type of ACV to look for is one that is organic, unpasturised, and contains “the Mother,” which you can find at most grocery stores. Bragg’s is the one I get.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits and Uses
ACV has been used as a natural remedy for many years and on many ailments. While science has yet to confirm many of the health claims going around about ACV, it is generally seen as harmless to try, and may 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 try. Now, as with any medical condition, consult with your doctor or medical professional before making any lifestyle changes.
1. Helps with Candida (Yeast) in the Body
Now, if you’re one of the many people suffering with Candida (a yeast overgrowth) in the body, ACV may be able to assist. Some studies have shown that the enzymes and acid found in ACV helps kill off and remove excess yeast in the gut. For those with a severe yeast overgrowth problem, the initial stage of taking apple cider vinegar may cause symptoms to get worse, but this is usually only for a short period of time. This is caused by the die-off effect of the yeast. It is also known as the Herxheimer reaction, and happens as a result of the body not being able to remove toxins caused by the yeast fast enough. But don’t be discouraged, it’s a good sign, even if it is uncomfortable to deal with. If you feel you may have a candida problem, 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.
2. Kills Skin or Foot Fungus
Similar with its ability in helping to kill Candida in the body, ACV can also be quite useful in removing yeast and fungi on the skin and nails. If you suffer with foot or toe fungus, soaking your feet in 1 cup of ACV in water, or directly applying it to the affected area may help. If you have skin fungus or yeast, applying a mixture with a ratio of 25:75 of ACV and water may help to clear up even the worst cases of fungus. Just a fair warning, it may burn a little, so it is 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. Helps with Heartburn and Acid Reflux
ACV mimics the stomach’s acidic environment and helps food to break down. Many people who have taken ACV reported a reduction in their symptoms of heartburn or reflux. This makes sense, as often these conditions are caused by not enough stomach acid, rather than too much. Adding a tsp of apple cider vinegar to water can help relieve symptoms of reflux or heartburn.
4. Helps with Dandruff
Apple cider vinegar can be very effective at helping to treat dandruff. Mix ACV with equal parts water and apply onto scalp with a spray bottle. Leave it on for 1-2 hours with a shower cap (a very sexy look) then rinse it out. This may not necessarily need to be done every day, 1-2 times a week may be enough to achieve good results.
5. Helps Relieve Insect Bites & Sunburns
If you receive an insect bite, or accidentally stay out in the sun too long and get burnt, apple cider vinegar may help relieve some of the pain. For insect bites, apply a mixture of 50/50 ACV and water to the bite. Alternatively, you can soak the bite in the vinegar water. 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 cool the skin.
6. Natural Toner for the Skin
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to be an excellent natural firming toner for the skin. For those of you who are not familiar with what a skin toner is (like I was until learning that ACV was a great skin toner, and now I use it myself), 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 as a toner has also been shown to help acne without drying the skin (bonus!). To use it as a toner, simply mix together equal parts ACV and water, then keep it in the fridge, and apply it using a cotton ball after your shower (you can even add essential oils to it for a natural fragrance to help with that vinegary scent). The vinegar smell will vanish once it’s completely dry, however some people prefer a mixture of 25% ACV and 75% water. It’s very individual, so try it out and see which one works best for you.
7. Helps Lower Blood Pressure
The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar may help improve blood pressure, according to some studies. ACV may increase the production of nitric oxide, a compound produced naturally by the body, which tells your blood vessels to expand, lowering blood pressure. ACV may also help to hinder enzymes that cause the blood vessels in the body to narrow and constrict. Anywhere between 2-6 tbsp in water a day may help, however listen to your body and see what amount works for you.
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 behind that 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.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
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Have you ever used apple cider vinegar before? Have you used it as a natural remedy? Share in the comments!
I hope you have a great day!
Wells, Katie. (January 11, 2018). 7 Apple Cider Vinegar Uses & Benefits. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/2042/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/