Word to your “mother”
You properly have a bottle of apple cider vinegar in your pantry right now and are unaware of all the health benefits attributed to vinegar. To get the best results from apple cider vinegar, ideally you want to use raw, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar with mother enzymes found in most health and food stores.
While science has yet to prove many of the claims made about apple cider vinegar, it remains a wildly popular product, serving duty in a variety of roles, from cooking, beauty, homemaking to health. The following uses include some supported by science and some backed by folklore.
1. Promotes a Healthy Digestive System
Apple cider vinegar balances the body’s pH, which balances your natural intestinal bacteria. As a result bloating dissipates and digesting becomes more comfortable. Those who prescribe to folk remedies tell us that if one suffers from diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection, apple cider vinegar may help due to its antibiotic properties. As well, some experts suggest that pectin in apple cider vinegar can help calm intestinal spasms. If you’re suffering: Mix one or two tablespoons into apple juice and drink, or add a tablespoon or two to your morning tea or a glass of water daily.
2. Relieve Nighttime Leg Cramps
Nighttime leg cramps is often a sigh that you’re low in potassium and apple cider vinegar is high in it. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon honey in a glass of warm water and drink it twice daily to relieve nighttime leg cramps. The ingredients in apple cider vinegar dissolve acid crystals in the bloodstream while giving your muscles the potassium, calcium and other essential nutrients they need.
3. Treat Acid Reflux
A wonderful home remedy for acid reflux, the treatments include taking one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar daily. Most people mistakenly believe that acid reflux is caused by an overproduction of acid, but it’s actually the opposite for many people — not enough acid.
4. Prevent Indigestion
If you’re planning on indulging in a meal that you expect might not get along very well with your stomach, try drinking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with one teaspoon of honey mixed in a small glass of warm water 30 minutes before you dine.
5. Freshen Your Mouth
Apple cider vinegar makes an effective and low cost mouthwash. Gargle with apple cider vinegar in the morning. Some swear by using a rinse of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with water and swished about the mouth to reduce bad breath.
6. Whiten Your Teeth
Forget about those expensive whiting treatments, use a rinse of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with water every time you brush your teeth. The vinegar helps remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums. Brush as usual after you gargle.
7. Gets Rid of Dandruff
Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends apple cider vinegar as a dandruff treatment for your hair. The acidity of apple cider vinegar changes the pH of your scalp, making it harder for yeast to grow. Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week for best results.
8. Soothe a Sore Throat
As soon as you feel the first prickle of a sore throat, try one of two apple cider remedies. Mix 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with warm water and gargle every hour; or mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with hot water and a shot of honey and sip. Most germs cannot survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates.
9. Healthier Skin
Many who suffer from psoriasis, eczema, dry skin, acne and blemishes, praise apple cider vinegar for reducing inflammation and generally minimizing problems. Its antibacterial properties can help keep acne under control and the malic and lactic acids soften and exfoliate skin while balancing the pH of your skin. Try dabbing it on affected areas with a cotton ball.
10. Relieves Sunburn
Apple cider vinegar can be used to quickly cool the sting of a sunburn. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray directly on the sunburn or wet a small towel with cold water and splash a little apple cider vinegar onto the towel and apply it to the skin. For large sunburned areas, an apple cider vinegar bath works wonders. Use a brand from the health food store that has been wood-aged, rather than chemically-aged. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the skin’s pH factor, its acid/alkaline balance.
11. Helps Control Blood Sugar
Several studies have shown apple cider vinegar’s positive effect on blood glucose levels; a 2007 study of participants with type-2 diabetes found that two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed resulted in lowered glucose in the morning by 4 to 6 percent. A study conducted by Arizona State University found that insulin resistant people who drank a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water before eating a high carbohydrate meal had lower blood sugar afterward. Scientists think the antiglycemic effect of the acid is the key.
12. Lower Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure
More research is needed and this has only be proven in rats, but several studies have shown vinegar’s beneficial contribution to lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure. A Japanese study found that half an ounce of apple cider vinegar a day lowered cholesterol in people who participated in the study. Research in these areas continues and hopefully definitive results will be forthcoming.
13. Aids in Weight Loss
No superfood would be worth a darn if it didn’t claim to aid in weight loss. So here it goes, apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight. Here’s why: The acetic acid suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolism, and reduces water retention. Scientists also theorize that apple cider vinegar interferes with the body’s digestion of starch, which means fewer calories enter the bloodstream. Whether factual or a pipe dream is for you to decide.
According to the Mayo Clinic, taking small amounts of apple cider vinegar should not offer many risks, but taking in larger amounts, such as 8 ounces per day long term could prove problematic. It is highly acidic and may cause problems ranging from harm to the teeth to lower potassium levels, lower bone density, and interaction with some medications. As with all supplements, talk to your health care provider before starting a new regimen.