You might hear a friend say, “I’m not feeling well; I think I’ll take a swig of apple cider vinegar.” That might make you cringe and even gag should you hear someone say this. I can’t remember the television show I was watching but the reality stars all did shots of the vinegar because they were getting sick and someone threw up, another star spit it out and the others made terrible faces – all while plugging their noses.
I have to admit, it was humorous to watch and I’ve probably done all of what I laughed at! However, I still use apple cider vinegar because it really has some amazing health benefits or at least that’s what the wise say/claim. From so called cures of indigestion to warts, apple cider vinegar is supposedly the miracle liquid. And there is research to back up some of the claims and benefits of apple cider vinegar so it’s not all just hearsay and wise tale cures!
What Exactly Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
This is a vinegar made from apple cider. It has a pale amber color, a strong vinegar taste with just a hint of apple. In grocery stores today you can get filtered, pasteurized apple cider vinegar, as well as raw, organic vinegar that contains mother of vinegar and helpful probiotics. Mother of vinegar is a living culture of bacteria and cellulose.
You will notice it as a spider web like substance floating in raw apple cider vinegar. While it may not look very appetizing, it’s this floating “stuff” that makes ACV so beneficial for your health, along with the added minerals and of course the acid in the vinegar.
Common Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV can be used like any other vinegar. You can mix up a quick salad dressing by combining the vinegar with oil, a little mustard, salt, pepper, and your favorite fresh or dried herbs. Use it in any recipe that calls for vinegar. Incorporating raw vinegar, particularly in salads, other dishes, and things like green smoothies that aren’t cooked is a great way to add more of this beneficial vinegar into your diet.
You can also drink it as a health elixir daily. If you want to keep it simple, pour a little shot of it, drink it and wash it down with a bit of water. Some people find it easier to take a shot of ACV daily by diluting it half and half with water. Last but not least, you can make switchel, an old-fashioned drink similar to lemonade.
vTo make switchel get out a large glass. Fill it with ice, add a shot of the vinegar and fill with water. You can sweeten your switchel with honey, simple syrup, stevia, or sweetener of your choice. As with lemonade and iced tea, it can be hard to get sugar to dissolve in this cold drink.
Apple cider vinegar is a fermented product so it is said to promote the healthy bacteria inside your intestines making you better able to digest your food.
2. Joint Pain
It is said that apple cider vinegar can reduce pain, stiffness and inflammation in joints which is a great help to those who suffer from arthritis. My grandma used to swear by this and we’ll she was pretty much right about everything!
3. Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Many people think that since apple cider vinegar is so acidic it will only make their acid reflux worse. On the contrary it is said to help strengthen the weak acid in your system that causes heartburn and acid reflux, thereby lowering or eliminating the occurrences of pain. I guess if you suffer terribly a more natural cure might be worth trying.
4. Cold Symptoms
The antibacterial effects of using apple cider vinegar has been said to reduce symptoms such as stuffy nose, sore throat and even sinus infections. I’ve had many friends swear by this! I say go for it if it helps because if I can get rid of my sinus headache I’ll try anything.
5. Weight Loss
Proponents of apple cider vinegar swear by its weight loss effects. It reduces sugar cravings, increases metabolism, breaks down fat and acts as a natural diuretic to reduce water retention. I have to say, I’m all about anything natural that will help me in this department!
6. Stops Acne
Since apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties it has proven to be an effective acne treatment for some. You may use it as a facial toner followed by a moisturizer in the morning and evening to see improvements in your complexion. I’ve tried this and I must say that you need to keep it far away from your eyes!! So use with caution!
7. Soothes sunburns
Dampen a cotton ball or soft towel and apply to sunburned areas to relieve pain and you might think it stings but really it doesn’t or at least it didn’t sting for me!
8. Whitens teeth
Using apple cider vinegar as a gargle before brushing your teeth will remove stains and kill bacteria resulting in whiter teeth or just dab some on your toothbrush and brush softly and then rinse with water, that’s what I do!
9. Shiny Hair
Using apple cider as a final rinse will make your hair shiny and manageable. It can also reduce dandruff. I swear by this and my hair feels so smooth and silky. My grandmother would always rinse our hair with vinegar. Again, watch the eyes!!
Apple Cider Warning
Should you decide to use apple cider vinegar remember that it is highly acidic and should be taken with great care. There are warnings and risks that it could reduce bone density and lower potassium levels if used long-term. This, again, is why I say it is good to speak with your doctor before you use any natural remedy or supplement to treat an illness or injury. Just as the benefits are completely unknown so can the risks. Do your research, use with caution and talk with your doctor.
Give apple cider vinegar a try in your favorite foods, use it as a condiment, turn it into a refreshing summer drink, or drink it straight. No matter how you use it, you will start to benefit from this special vinegar full of probiotics, live cultures, and important minerals.