Apple Cider Vinegar & All Its Wonders

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of nature’s most perfect creations (plus a little involvement from people!). I have been amazed at how many times it has helped me to heal from sicknesses, helped my digestion, even improved my eczema and skin.
The Wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar to Heal The Body and Boost the Immune System
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well it certainly does, especially in the form of vinegar! I knew when the nice UPS man delivered a heavy box to my front door two years ago containing Bragg’s Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (where to buy) that it was something special, but I didn’t know quite how it much it was going to help my family. It is quite a bit more expensive to get the raw, undistilled, organic kind, containing brown cob-web like substances, or the “mother” as it’s called, but it’s worth it. I’ve been using it for everything from a conditioner on my hair, to help with eczema and to kick colds before they even start.

I have now been using ACV for two years and am excited to share with you all of its wonders!

So, what exactly is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?

According to WebMD, vinegar is the “product of fermentation…in which sugars in a food are broken down into bacteria and yeast” and ACV comes from pulverized apples.

The Health Benefits of ACV (proven in medical research)

You can find claims all over the internet of people saying ACV can kill head lice, remove warts, cure cancer, lower cholesterol, increase energy and lots lots more. According to WebMD, it does have several benefits that are proven by scientific evidence and they are:

  • Diabetes – ACV helps to lower glucose levels (2 tbs. a day)
  • High Cholesterol – in a study done with rats, it did lower cholesterol. This has not been proven in people yet.
  • Blood Pressure – in another study done with rats, it lowered blood pressure. Other studies found that people who ate consumed salad dressing containing ACV five times a week or more had lower risk of heart disease.
  • Cancer – some lab studies have shown that ACV can slow the growth of cancer cells.
  • Weight Loss – apparently, ACV has been used as a weight loss agent for thousands of years! Recent studies help prove this theory, but aren’t conclusive.

All About Apple Cider Vinegar

The Health Benefits (not proven in medical research, but claimed by many)

I used to put little stock in natural remedies, thinking medical science was way more advanced than the old-fashioned stuff. Good old-fashioned remedies that have been used for thousands of years should also be respected and considered. So, here are some claims of others – click here to see a complete list. (These are just a few of the claims – the list on the site is really long!)

  • Can reduce acne and dry out blemishes
  • Helps to lessen arthritis
  • Relief from mild asthma
  • Cure athlete’s foot
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Helps fight osteoporosis
  • Heal sunburns & other skin burns more quickly
  • Help prevent cancer with powerful antioxidants
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Shorten cold duration by making the balancing the body’s acid levels
  • Reduce constipation
  • Heal diaper rash
  • Cure dandruff
  • Control blood glucose levels and help with diabetes
  • Heal ear infections
  • Help heal eczema
  • Flush out gallstones
  • Get rid of a headache
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Relieve itching & swelling due to poison ivy and poison oak
  • Relieve occasional heartburn

Apple Cider Vinegar - Closeup of the Label

How to Use ACV

ACV is highly acidic (containing acetic acid), so it must be used with caution, even though it is highly beneficial for us. My mom recently told me that she read ACV is a natural way to treat constipation, so she tried it straight up, just drinking it out of a teaspoon. She told me she was immediately coughing and had trouble breathing from the acidic gases! It really irritated her mouth and throat as well, so she learned that it MUST be diluted with water before ingesting.

To use it, dilute 2-3 teaspoons to a tablespoon of ACV in 8 ounces of water and drink, and rinse your mouth out afterwards to protect your teeth from enamel erosion from the vinegar. For a long time, I had to add honey to mine to make it palatable, but for the past 6 months or so, I’ve been able to drink it without sweetener because I’m so used to the taste. The Bragg’s ACV bottle suggests adding sugar, honey or molasses to make it tasty and to drink it up to three times a day to increase energy, alertness and treat ailments.

More info on ACV: http://bragg.com/books/acv_excerpt.html – The Bragg website is FULL of information on health and how ACV can help.

Here’s How I Use It

Hair Conditioner

In my no-poo post, I explain how I use diluted apple cider vinegar as a very effective conditioner for my hair. I’ve been doing this for well over a year with great results! I also use baking soda as my shampoo (the no poo method), which is explained in detail in the same post.

Skin Itch Relief

I also use it on the whole family when we get bug bites and poison ivy, and wrote about it here. I’ve found it’s really effective on mosquito bites, but it can sting a little.

Daily Health Tonic

Since I switched our family over to real food, I have been doing things daily to detox, as it has helped my eczema immensely. ACV is one of those things – every night I drink 1 tablespoon of it diluted in water.

Drink at the First Sign of Any Sickness – Colds, Viruses, Even Bladder Infections

As soon as I feel a cold coming on (which isn’t often now that I’m loaded up on probiotics, cod liver fish oil, vitamin D and eat real food!), I drink the tonic I mentioned above 2 or 3 times that day and the next, and it knocks it out EVERY time. I’m not exaggerating, EVERY TIME! It’s amazing, ya’ll!

A few months ago I could tell I was getting a bladder infection. I was feeling achy, tired, having cramps, and my urine was dark red (sorry for the TMI!). I drank 2 tonic drinks before bedtime and when I woke up the next morning, my urine was normal! Then, later that morning, it started changing color again, so I did the same tonic again. It cleared up and stayed clear after that. Wowee. I felt another one coming on a few weeks later and did the the same regimen and knock it out again. Bam. Like Super Woman.

To Help With Eczema

My nightly tonic helps with my eczema (read here about all the other things I do to cope with eczema). I will get an outbreak on my hands (it used to break out all over my body before I switch to the GAPS/Paleo diet) when I’ve eaten grains, dairy or sugar (either because I’ve cheated or accidentally gotten it). So, then I bump it up and take several drinks that day and it really helps to calm it down, along with oil pulling.

I Also Give It to My Kids!

Yes, my kids will drink it! I dilute it in apple juice and they don’t even notice! I give it to them when they have colds or any kind of sickness coming on. It doesn’t knock their sickness out quite as fast as it does mine – I’m guessing because their immune systems aren’t as strong, but I really don’t know. However, they still get better more quickly than doing nothing (which is all the pediatrician will advise you to do!).

To Soak My Grains

This is a foreign concept to most of us, but I soak my grains to break down the hard to digest enzymes and phytic acid. It makes them much easier to digest – it’s how our ancestors prepared grains before the mass industrialization of food in the 1950’s and I think they were very wise to do so. Read all about that here.

 

See all of my natural home remedies and recipes here!

Top image courtesy of Naito8 of Free Digital Downloads.

Another way I keep my family healthy is with an all real food diet, and essential oils. We haven’t had to go to the doctor since incorporating all of these methods!

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.

Beautycounter - My Favorite Natural Cosmetics Company

Comments

  1. I made an order for 2 bottles of Birds Nest soup (http://hongkong-bird-nest.50webs.com/index_e.htm) as well as 4 packets of Chinese tea that’s supposed to be good for regulating cholestrol. My mom’s cholestrol has been pretty high lately, or so she tells me.

    • Oh, good to know, Rachel! I didn’t know that Chinese tea can regulate cholesterol. I will have to read more about that. Thanks for the tip (and sorry for the very delayed response – never knew you commented because I didn’t get an email).

    • Hi Rachel, I usually don’t write comments, but when reading about u buying birds nest I wanted to make sure u understood where this product comes from and how it is sourced . It comes from the saliva of a couple of species of Asian swift. As the nest can fetch up to US dollars 1,500 per kilogram (it might be more nowadays) it is a very profitable business. Once the bird has finished building its nest, it gets harvest by men, the bird start building another which also gets taken away, by the time the bird is ready to laying the eggs, often he does not have time to build another nest and this is endangering these species. I believe this to be animal cruelty and just wanted to share this with everybody. Love and light.

      • I am so sorry to hear about these poor birds! Someone needs to make sure these birds have a safe place to lay their eggs!

  2. Sara, I can’t seem to put this link on my facebook page. =( I’ve contacted fb about it and, hopefully, sometime w/in the next year they will fix it. (fingers crossed, ’cause I want folks to know about your awesome blog!!!!!! <3
    Big Red

    • Thanks Big Red! I apologize – I just now saw your comments! I was never notified of this one via email. So, a month later I write back! Thank you so much for your support! Were you ever able to put the link on facebook?

  3. This was a really good informative post! Thanks for sharing! I love ACV! It also can help with allergies because it can help block histamine! I make an allergy, flu, and cold medicine that works really well! Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Great post! I’ve been wanting to add ACV to my “supplement routine” but I wasn’t really sure how to other than what it said on the side of the bottle. So it was helpful to read how someone else uses it. Although I doubt it matters, is there any certain time of the day that you routinely do this? Just wondering. Thanks for sharing! ( :
    Ashley

  5. Anonymous says:

    I dabbed some on a couple of bug bites the other day and they went away quickly. I’m also soaking a fungus toe in it (half ACV, half water) and it seems to be getting better.

  6. Hi, Sara,

    I love what I read here. Would you consider contributing regularly on DeepRootsAtHome.com Wednesdays “Encourage One Another’ link-up? There are many women who are seeking to find just such helpful tips and come to the link-up to read. They may not always comment, but they go away with a new idea or a seed planted. Thank you for this great post! We love ACV.

    Thank you, new friend :]
    Jacqueline

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great post! We use ACV for a lot of things, especially yeast infections and upset stomachs. Add it to home made honey lemonade and no one thinks it is “medicine”. In fact, my 2 year old, tells me she has a stomach ache so she can get it!

  8. Thanks for the info! Would you mind sharing how you apply it to your hair? I have tried in the past and I ended up wasting a lot! I would love to try it again though!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s good stuff with many benefits but i have read it can cause osteoporosis not cure it with long term use. So if you are high risk or have it already check that out. It can also damage teeth due to its acidity so be sure to dilute it and rinse your mouth after taking so it doesn’t erode tooth enamel.

    • Yes, you are right. I mention the teeth enamel in the article. It is important to rinse out your mouth after using. And if you drink a lot of it, I have also read it affects the bones. But, the 8 oz of water + 1 tbsp ACV a day isn’t supposed to do that.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Ok, love your affiliate “Shabby Apple”! I need more time to go through all of your wonderful tips and ideas!

  12. Hi Sara! Great post! I just have one question. Most people here seem to be brunettes. Will this regime make blonde hair darker? What would the difference be if you used lemon juice? I like the idea of ACV but don’t really want my hair darker. 🙂

    • Hi Leigh-Anne! On my other post where I write about using the ACV and baking soda shampoo, there are several people who are blondes who write in the comments. ACV is so gentle that I can’t imagine it will change the color of your hair. But I cannot say that conclusively. I know for sure using baking soda as shampoo will not alter color and I’ve never heard of ACV changing color.

  13. Hi, My name is cynthia and I have been using ACV for about a month now.
    I drink a cup with honey, sometimes with lemon juice with 2 teaspoons of ACV. It balances PH factors in the body. I also make a solution with water and put a small amount of ACV with a little rosemary essential oil. After my shower I put it in my hair not a lot to to cover the head, leave for a few minutes rinse it out. It brings shine and darkens the grays. I LOVE IT!

    • Hi Cynthia! Thanks for sharing your experiences with it. So you have found it does darken your grey hair? Because another reader was concerned it might darken her blonde hair and she didn’t want that. Do you dilute it first? Thanks!

  14. I have used ACV for many years now. My own personal experience has been the following…
    1)does work on athlete’s foot AND nail fungus (you have to get it under the nail and use it as often as possible, the more often used [within reason] the faster is works).
    2) it is an antibacterial, so, though it does burn, it will help to clear out infected wounds.
    3)again, it is antibacterial, so it also helps with sore throats and ear infections (the latter, dilute in water, ruffly 50/50 and place a few drops in the ear 3 to 4 times a day until cleared up)
    4) if your heartburn is do to ‘lack’ of stomach acid (which is not uncommon as we age), ACV will help. I usually take 1/2 to 3/4 of tsp. – you will get an initial burn in your stomach and then all clear

    It is good to use anywhere you would use alcohol (and far safer) or peroxide. It is good for cleaning your kitchen and bathroom (use vinegar water with 2 – 3 drop of dish soap (and actually, the cheaper brands are better for this as they suds less) and let sit on surfaces for at least 30 seconds. Clean as usual, it is a GREAT disinfectant! You can also add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to fragrance it.

  15. when i was taking 1 tbsp of AVC (with mother) in the morning i started to notice less mosquito bites compared to before, also did not over heat as much in the day…i was working out in the sun on a farm.

  16. Great blog! I’m excited to try your deodorant recipe (that’s the only non-natural product in my home). I love coconut oil (mix it into a body cream & use straight coconut oil on my face every night… love it!). I’m also going to try your ACV conditioner tomorrow morning!

    I just have to add another testimonial for Apple Cider Vinegar… I’m a very active 50 years old, and have been drinking ACV (Bragg’s) twice daily (1 T in a glass of water) for a few years now. I went to live with my parents last summer to help care for my mother before she passed. A week or two after I moved in, I started getting hot flashes – serious hot flashes! Before that, I had only experienced maybe a few. After some intense searching in trying to figure out what was going on, I suddenly realized that the only thing I had changed when I moved in, was that I had not brought along my Apple Cider Vinegar. I started my twice daily routine again at that point, and within 3 days the hot flashes were gone. Gone!! 🙂

    And, as Cynthia mentioned, ACV helps to balance our body’s pH (lemon water is also very alkalizing). Many studies have shown that it also helps our bodies better absorb the calcium from the foods we eat and lowers blood sugar levels. Our highly acidic, typical American diet wreaks havoc on our bodies. Diluted ACV is one little step in the right direction!

  17. Have you tried the Bragg’s ACV drinks yet? I like the limeade, and ginger, but I love the cinnamon. http://bragg.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16

  18. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing the wisdom. I want to try it on my hair but I hear it may strip the color out of it—so I will try it just before my next henna coloring session 🙂

  19. Kathleen says:

    All its wonders ( no apostrophe)

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  21. Nicki Pietroski says:

    My mom has found that pouring ACV directly on her foot when it cramps (charlie horse extreme),
    takes away the cramp quickly. She keeps a bottle next to her bed.
    I had cold symptoms until I drank just two glass of water with a bit of ACV added.

  22. My friend uses apple cider vinegar (I think she does a 1 to 8 ratio with water) on her face! She keeps it in a spray bottle and just spritz some on a cotton ball or rag and rubs it on her face. I’ve seen results since she began :] I’m going to begin to also probably pretty soon. Just wanted to share! :]Thanks for all your advice about ACV! It is extremely helpful!

  23. Hi! How does it help your skin? You said something about your friend use it on her face. Thanks. Love your blog

    • Hi Jane! Yes, if you click on that link, there is a discussion on my Facebook page where tons of people chimed in about how ACV helped their skin and helped to lose weight. You can use it in place of a toner – just rub on your face with a cotton ball. If it’s too strong or stings, I’d dilute it in some water and try again.

  24. MaryBeth says:

    Will I get many of the same benefits if I use the ACV that I can buy in the grocery store? In other words, MUST I pay the $$ for the pure, unadulterated version?

    • I cannot say for sure, to be honest, Mary Beth. I do know that the raw version is much better for the inside of your body since it retains much of the vitamins and nutrients from the apples. But, I say, try the cheaper one, especially if you’re using it topically as a toner or bug bite reliever. If you’re wanting to lose weight or help boost your immune system, I recommend buying the raw version. I get it on Amazon by the gallon and it lasts FOREVER!

  25. Maria Camacho says:

    I’ve been taking the 1/2 lemon in warm water after reading of all the benefits – will have to start adding a tablespoon of ACV to that!

    • Hey Maria ~ I love lemons sooo very much! When I read what u wrote I all of a sudden got a craving for lemons in warm water! Anyway, I wanted to ask u what r the benefits of the lemon in warm water. Once I can learn that from you I will probably drink the same concoction, if nothing more but for a delicious and tasty little treat before bed! I will be looking forward to your response. Thank u.

  26. If you mix 2 tsp ACV with one cup organic grapefruit juice twice a day it seems to work and taste better than with plain water. Can add organic honey to it also but with the grapefruit juice being cold, the honey takes a long while to mix well so I forgo the honey and just down the grapefruit juice with ACV twice a day. I can tell when I haven’t had my normal daily doses because I feel bloated and my skin and allergies get much worse, as I have bad breakouts ever since I had kids. I also gain a large burst of natural energy when I drink this. It tastes awful as vinegar is vinegar, but the benefits far outweigh drinking a mere 4 tsps total a day.

    • Great suggestion, Virginia! I also add honey to mine and it really tastes like juice. But you make a great point that the juice will be cold and much more refreshing. That is awesome that you feel so much different when you drink it. Thanks for taking the time to share!

  27. Laura Perry says:

    Never posted before but wanted to add, my father has used ACV for years, every morning with his breakfast and every evening with his dinner. He mixes it with water and I remember him doing this when I was very young. I am now 55. He will be 85 next month and has survived most of his younger brothers and sisters. Not claiming anything here, just saying ……

  28. Drink your ACV mixture with a straw. Much less exposure to the tooth enamel. I would continue to rinse as well.

  29. i have been a alternative medicine researcher for 39 years and the best combo that i have seen to cure diseases is

    acv plus the grape cure – which has been known since 1556 century !!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. I can vouch that it helps with arthritis, and it works good to take the sting and itch out of bites from fire ants, at least it worked for me and my cousin.

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  32. OK, I think I’m the only guy on here, but I have to thank you for all the info on ACV. I’ve been wanting to try it because I had an older friend(who has passed away) that used to swear by it. I never really understood “why all the fuss”, but the more I read about the lack of nutritional value in our foods and engineered foods, the more I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can for my health. I’m so pleased to find your site and to read all the helpful articles and comments. You’ve educated me and inspired me to try ACV. Thanks for sharing! Jeff

  33. I’ve read all the comments and am amazed at all the benefits of ACV. However, no one has mentioned if it aides in getting rid of skin tags. I read somewhere that it does. Has anyone had any success?

  34. whwere do we get this ACV product?

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  36. Do I drink the ACV solution first thing in the morning?

  37. So many last minute gifts but number one will be a pillow cover for the Christmas exchange we7#;21&8re having Monday night at Bunco! And just to make things super easy for you, if I win just go ahead and put one of those Natalie Lymer fat quarter packs in the mail for me that fabric is too darn cute – and I have been waiting and waiting for it to be released! All the very best of the season to you and yours

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