The health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar are endless and in this post, we will explore the most popular uses and how to also use it in your DIY natural skincare and hair products.
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.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
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 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 because it contains more healing and therapeutic nutrients. 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 many years and am excited to share with you all of its wonders!
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is made from pulverized apples and is fermented. During the fermentation process, sugars in a food are broken down into bacteria and yeast.
In 400 B.C., the father of medicine, Hippocrates, used ACV for it's amazing healing, cleansing, and energizing properties.
Health Benefits (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.
Health Benefits (Anecdotal Evidence)
I used to put little stock in natural remedies, thinking medical science was way more advanced than the old-fashioned stuff. But I changed my mind once I became a mom in 2009 and started using natural remedies. I feel like good old-fashioned remedies that have been used for thousands of years have their place and 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
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
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.
Apple Cider Vinegar as a Health Tonic Drink
ACV is safe to drink daily as a health tonic to keep your body working well and your immune system strong. If you're trying to improve an autoimmune disease, drinking this daily may improve your health. If the drink is too strong for you, reduce the amount of ACV and work your way up to a tablespoon over time.
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. 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. Wow! I felt another one coming on a few weeks later and did the the same regimen and knocked it out again. Bam. Like Super Woman.
It helps with energy, mental alertness, and boosting your immune system.
Also, make sure to rinse your mouth out afterwards to protect your teeth from enamel erosion from the vinegar. You might consider using a straw to drink it instead.
More info on ACV: https://bragg.com/books/acv_excerpt.html – The Bragg website is FULL of information on health and how ACV can help.
How to Use it for the Skin and Hair
Clarifying Hair Rinse
Use it as a way to gently clarify your hair to remove dirt, grime and product buildup. See the blog post here.
Use it on the scalp to heal flaky and irritated skin. Dilute 1 tbsp. in 8 oz. of water and pour directly onto the scalp and hair. Or, use it in my natural scalp scrub recipe.
Relief for Itchy Skin
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 so dilute it well (1 tbsp. in 8 oz. of water is a good place to start).
Relief for Eczema
My nightly tonic helps with my eczema (read here about all the other things I do to cope with eczema).
Face Toner and Cleanser
See how I use it here as a face toner and cleanser – also helps with blemishes.
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!).
Soak Grains for Better Digestion
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.
Another way I keep my family healthy is with an all real food diet, elderberry syrup, and essential oils. We rarely go to the doctor (but I don't hesitate to do so when needed) since incorporating all of these methods!