The many benefits and uses of apple cider vinegar, and how you can use this ‘elixir of life’ to improve your overall health and wellness.
I think apple cider vinegar is absolutely amazing. Seriously, ah-mazing.
However, it’s not a miracle worker. Nothing can replace a balanced diet and exercise.
Drinking ACV 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.
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.
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 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.
As with any medical condition, consult with your doctor or medical professional before trying or using any new products, or making any lifestyle changes.
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, as this will cause irritation. After consuming ACV, swish water around the mouth for around one minute or so to help wash away some of the vinegar residue that may be left on the enamel. Plain white vinegar or other types of vinegar should not be used in place of ACV for the purposes mentioned below. They are specific to apple cider vinegar.
1. Helps with Candida (Yeast) Overgrowth in the Body
If you’re suffering with a Candida overgrowth, apple cider vinegar may be able to help with that.
Some studies have shown that the enzymes and acid found in apple cider vinegar can help kill off and remove the overgrowth of yeast in the gut.
We all naturally have Candida in the gut, and it’s completely fine when kept under control by the body. But, it becomes an issue when this yeast grows out of control.
For those with a severe yeast overgrowth, the initial stage of taking apple cider vinegar may make symptoms worse for a time, but this usually only lasts for a short period. This is linked to the die-off effect of Candida, which happens 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 one teaspoon to one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in one 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 help to naturally combat this Candida overgrowth.
2. Fights Fungus
As with Candida, apple cider vinegar can also be effective against yeast and fungus on the skin and nails.
Conditions like athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, jock itch, and yeast infections can be eased with the use of ACV.
For foot or toe fungus, soak feet in one cup of ACV diluted in water, or directly apply it to the affected area(s).
For skin fungus or yeast, apply a 25:75 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 apple cider vinegar in water first before applying it to the skin, especially for children or those with sensitive skin.
3. Reduces Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is usually a result of low levels of stomach acid. Apple cider vinegar can help increase stomach acid production 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’s best to drink apple cider vinegar right before meals (5-30 minutes before). Dilute one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one cup of water and drink to help relieve symptoms of reflux or heartburn.
4. Reduce Dandruff
ACV can be an alternative treatment to chemical-laden soaps and shampoos often used to relieve dandruff. Mix apple cider vinegar with equal parts water and apply onto the scalp with a spray bottle. Massage it into the scalp to help discourage the growth of Malassezia, a specific strain of fungus that contributes to dandruff and dry, itchy scalp. Leave it on for one to two hours with a shower cap on, then rinse it out. This can be done one to two times a week for best results.
5. Relieve Insect Bites and Sunburns
If you get an insect bite, or accidentally stay out in the sun too long and end up with sunburnt skin, ACV works as a great natural remedy.
For insect bites, apply a mixture of 50:50 apple cider vinegar and water to the bite. Alternatively, you can soak the bite in the vinegar-water.
For sunburns, apply a mixture of 25:75 apple cider vinegar and water with a wash cloth or cotton cloth onto the skin to help alleviate pain. Another alternative is to add one cup of ACV plus a quarter of a cup of coconut oil and some lavender essential oil to a lukewarm bath and soak for 20-40 minutes 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 a facial toner, it’s a lotion or wash that’s designed to cleanse the skin and help shrink the appearance of pores. Using apple cider vinegar as a treatment for acne and scarring works, too (and it doesn’t dry out skin).
To use it as a toner, mix equal parts ACV and water, then store in the fridge and use when needed. Apply the toner with a cotton ball after showering. The vinegar smell will vanish once it dries. Some people do better with a 24 percent vinegar: 75 percent water mixture. You can even make your own DIY facial toner with ACV and other ingredients for enhanced benefits.
7. Lowers Blood Pressure
Acetic acid, found in apple cider vinegar, 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 blood vessels in the body to narrow and constrict. For best results, dilute one tablespoon of ACV in one cup of water and consume three times a day 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 one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water a few times per day, or make this detox drink for a concentrated dose of health-boosting ingredients that can assist with detoxification.
9. Remove Chemical Residues
Apple cider vinegar can be used to wash fruits and veggies instead of water, as it contains antibacterial 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 onto weeds. Be sure to spray carefully and avoid getting the solution on healthy plants as it can potentially kill them.
11. As a Household Cleaner
Mix together equal parts ACV and water to make an all-natural household cleaner. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar is very effective at killing germs and keeping the house spotless.
12. Dish Cleaner
Adding some apple cider vinegar 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. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.
Have you used apple cider vinegar before? Have you used it as a natural remedy? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,
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