Vinegar – the acidic liquid produced by the fermentation process of all manner of fruits, vegetables and grains – is one of the oldest and most useful remedies in the world. Of the many forms of vinegar available today, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is widely recognized as the most potent and beneficial of them all. Unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar is packed with raw enzymes and good bacteria which promote healthy digestion and improve a number of bodily functions. While the acidic property of vinegar can make it somewhat detrimental in too large of quantity, there are many benefits to drinking a modest amount of ACV throughout your day.
For highest quality and maximum nutritional value, try this Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is naturally antibacterial. Use ACV diluted to about 50% in water as a mouthwash to kill germs that cause bad breath. Gargle with diluted ACV to help eliminate overgrowth of bacteria in the throat that may cause illness such as tonsilitis or strep throat. Drink 1 – 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into a small glass of warm water up to three times each day to diminish harmful bacteria in the intestines that may cause diarrhea or other problems.
Because apple cider vinegar is also an anti-inflammatory, a diluted ACV gargle may also be used to ease the swelling and pain associated with a sore throat. As soon as symptoms appear, rinse mouth and throat with 1 – 2 tablespoons of ACV mixed in a small glass of warm water. Repeat up to once per hour as needed. Alternately, you can mix a tablespoon each of ACV and honey in a small glass of warm water and sip slowly to ease the pain.
Apple cider vinegar can be dabbed on inflamed skin such as that caused by eczema, psoriasis, acne, or similar ailments for temporary relief from pain and itching.
While it will probably hurt more initially, you can also apply ACV to insect bites and stings to neutralize pain and itching.
Image Credit: Mike Mozart @ Flickr
3. Regulate Digestion
While it may seem counter-intuitive to ingest an acidic liquid to reduce acid reflux, apple cider vinegar can actually help to ease this uncomfortable condition. That said, the next time you experience acid reflux, try ingesting 1 – 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar either alone or mixed in water.
To prevent indigestion, drink a mixture of one teaspoon each ACV and honey in a small glass of warm water about half an hour before your meal. This is especially useful when you know you will be eating something very heavy or outside of your normal dietary routine.
Pectin – the insoluable fiber present in apple cider vinegar – forms a protective coating along the lining of the colon which can help prevent irregular bowel movements.
4. Increase Oxygenation
The acid in apple cider vinegar also helps to release iron from the food you eat. More iron in the blood stream means better oxygen supply throughout the body, improving skin health and cell regeneration, among other things.
5. Promote Healthy Hair
Use a rinse of apple cider vinegar (here’s how to make one and why ACV is so amazing for hair)in water to balance oil production of the scalp. As a natural cleanser, ACV not only removes dead skin and environmental contaminants. Apple cider vinegar can help to prevent or eliminate dandruff and other skin ailments due to its natural anti-microbial properties. When used regularly, apple cider vinegar also adds shine to lack-luster hair.
Further Reading: 7 Best Natural Oils For Beautiful Hair
6. Cure for Hiccups
As we all know, a hiccup remedy that works for one person may do absolutely nothing for the next guy. Assuming that you haven’t already tried it (and added it to the list of things that didn’t work) try swallow one or two tablespoons of undiluted apple cider vinegar the next time you come down with those annoying diaphragm spasms.
Further Reading: 40 Natural Ways To Cure Hiccups
7. Normalize Blood-glucose Levels
While this effect is still being studied, drinking two tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar before bed can help to normalize blood-glucose levels – up to a 6% decrease the next morning.
8. Balance Hormones
Drinking apple cider vinegar before a meal can help your body to more efficiently convert proteins in your food into amino acids. These building blocks are used for many processes including the synthesis of hormones which regulate functions such as mood and weight loss. Drinking diluted ACV about half an hour before meals can help to elevate mood, improve focus and relaxation, as well as promote healthy weight loss.
Further Reading: 10 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally
9. Control Hunger and Cravings
Pectin, the soluable fiber naturally found in apple cider vinegar can help you to feel satisfied after a meal and reduce the urge to snack. Try eating a small piece of bread sprinkled with one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or add ACV to a salad in order to control hunger. Drink a glass of water with 1 – 2 tablespoons of ACV thirty minutes before a meal to improve digestion and help you feel fuller faster.
10. Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure
While there have been no documented scientific studies with humans, apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure when administered to rodents. Because ACV in moderate doses has no negative side-effects, try consuming one or two tablespoons at intervals throughout the day to help maintain healthy cholesterol and circulation.
11. Relieve Sinus Pressure
Two or three table spoons of raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar added to a cup of hot water or tea taken three times daily will help thin out excessive mucus, relieving congestion and sinus pressure. Alternately, you can mix ACV with lemon and sweeten with honey or Stevia. Apple cider vinegar may also be added to boiling water then steam-inhaled to clear the sinuses. Always be sure to rinse your face and rehydrate afterward with cool filtered water.
12. Insect Repellent
Use apple cider vinegar to make your own all-natural insect repellent. Add two tablespoons each of dried sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, and mint to 32 oz of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. Seal tightly and leave the mixture in a visible location. Shake well once per day for three weeks. At the end of the third week, strain the plant matter from your herb-infused ACV. Fill glass storage containers or spray bottles with half ACV mixture and half water. Shake before each use, spray on skin, and let dry.
This mixture works to repel many disease-carrying parasites such as ticks and mosquitoes. Also, while the vinegar may smell bad upon application to skin, the odor dissipates once the mixture dries.
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