I thought they were all exaggerating: The Apple Cider Vinegar devotees who sang like canaries in praise of the concoction. “I never get sick anymore,” a co-worker once said to me. “It got rid of my weird skin rash,” said another. There was also the brazen hair stylist friend who, in between bites of his salad, whispered in mercy, “Girl, put it on your hair as a rinse. It will get rid of that fried look you’ve got going on.”
It was not until exhaustive research and experimentation silenced the chatter of my cynicism that a believer I became. The songbirds were resounding true: Apple Cider Vinegar is a fountain of beauty and wellness in a bottle.
Ahead, I will not be offering an encompassment of Apple Cider Vinegar benefits. Rather, I will be serving up an enlightening summary. My goal is to help you become aware of the science behind the hype.
What Makes Apple Cider Vinegar so Magical, Anyway?
Hippocrates famously prescribed a remedy of “honeycomb and vinegar” to his patients – for a multitude of afflictions. But, its popularity did not originate with him. Humans have relied on the medicinal power of the fermented drink centuries before the ancient Greek physician left his unique thumbprint on the world of medicine.
Contrary to popular belief, Apple Cider Vinegar is not nutrient-dense. It contains trace amounts of B-vitamins, vitamin C and potassium, but nothing substantial. This should not discount its powerhouse of wellness benefits, however.
The magic of this liquid gold can mostly be attributed to its acetic acid content. Acetic acid destroys unwanted bacteria intruders, while promoting the growth of healthy bacteria needed for proper immune function – among a choir of other beauty and wellness wonders I will explore within this article.
Why the Raw ‘Mother’ Variety?
You may have come across posts preaching the importance of buying only “The Mother” Variety. Such instruction is correct. If you do not see those slimy golden strands dancing in the bottom of your glass, you’re drinking a lesser-than alternative. Those dancers contain a potency of proteins, enzymes and healthy bacteria your body will appreciate.
Continue reading for why you absolutely must keep it handy in your pantry.
Apple Cider Vinegar Is a Fountain of Wellness
The Blood Sugar Regulator
According to a slew of health experts, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is astounding at improving insulin sensitivity, thereby preventing your blood sugar from moody tendencies toward dipping and spiking. If this is a concern for you, fill a large glass with water and a tablespoon of ACV. Sip on the concoction slowly, leading up to your meals.
The Candida and Fungal Killer
Systemic candida is prevalent in the Western world, mostly because we consume far too much sugar and processed foods, yet too few nutrient-dense and fermented foods – all while frequently popping antibiotics, synthetic birth control hormones and steroids. The biochemistry of our bodies are negatively affected by these factors, while candida is given prime conditions in which to multiply and thrive.
If your candida issues are severe, ACV alone will not remedy it (I will be diving deeper into that issue in future), however about a tablespoon per day can absolutely play a starring role in the reduction and management of it. This can be attributed to acetic acid’s ability to accelerate the growth of healthy flora – the flora you must repopulate in order to knock candida to its deadly knees.
The Circulation Supporter
ACV flushes calcium deposits from the walls of your blood vessels. This provides a substantial boost to your circulatory system. If leg vein issues cause discomfort, this may help offer some relief.
The Lymphatic Cleanser
Acetic acid breaks up mucus in the entire body and cleanses the lymph nodes. Lymphatic support means a symphony of heavenly manifestations – including better endocrine and metabolic function, silenced allergies and glowing skin.
The Energy Booster
Because its support of the digestive, immune and lymphatic systems has a ripple effect to other bodily systems, Apple Cider Vinegar acts as a mighty engine of wellness vigor. I feel its rejuvenating effect within a matter of sips, without fail.
The Fat Burner
The combination of lymphatic detoxification and blood sugar support creates a harmonic mingling of fat-burning benefits. I credit ACV to helping me maintain my weight during periods of indulgence.
Apple Cider Vinegar Is a Fountain of Beauty
The Magical Hair Rinse
If a hair fairy landed from the otherworld and promised you softer, shinier hair with fewer tangles, would you refuse? This lovely concoction below was born from a combination of tips from hair professionals. It is said to restore the proper ph of the hair, while also gently clarifying it as well.
Simply mix three parts water with two parts ACV, along with a four or five drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender is most recommended) and spray on damp hair, saturating from roots to ends. Allow to “rest” on the hair for two full minutes. Rinse well with the coldest water you can tolerate. Follow with a hair conditioner of your choice.
The Clear Skin Tonic
Apple Cider Vinegar’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal action makes for a fantastic anti-acne skin toner.
The Leg Vein Eraser
Yes, it is true. Daily consumption of Apple Cider Vinegar will not only reduce the pain, but also the existence (and, therefore, appearance) of many unsightly cases of spider and varicose veins. The reason is simple: Acetic acid’s support of circulation, while reducing bodily inflammation, eradicates their cause.
For more severe leg vein problems, many have found success with an integrative approach: Daily ingestion coupled with soaking the areas of concern.
Apple Cider Vinegar: the Handy Home Remedy
The home remedies incorporating the magic of Apple Cider Vinegar are a lengthy list, so I will focus exclusively on the ones I can personally attest to.
Allergy Attacks – Because of Apple Cider Vinegar’s mucous-busting and lymphatic-cleansing action, this concoction is an incredible allergy controller. One tablespoon in a glass of water, consumed every few hours, stops allergies in their unmerciful tracks.
Bruising – I swear by a cotton pad soaked in Apple Cider Vinegar to vanish bruises overnight. During my experiment using the a fascia massage tool a year ago, the bruising was so unsightly that my exposed arms and legs were raising questions. To my delight, I quickly learned that a few topical applications of ACV, along with oral dosing, faded them entirely.
Dandruff – Follow the instructions for the hair rinse above, and restore your scalp to smooth and flake-free while softening and detangling your unruly mane.
Eye Infections (Minor to Moderate) – This marks the time Apple Cider Vinegar nearly caused my mind to explode. Last fall, I spent a dreamy wedding weekend in New Orleans. I was sipping on cocktails and swaying on the Jazz-filled streets of The French Quarter when I should have been sleeping. When I finally decided to retire my party dress for the evening, I fell into bed with my lashes layered in mascara and my lids lined with vampy black kohl.
The following morning, I awoke feeling as though my left eyeball had fallen prey to someone’s fist. Even the bathroom light peeking through the crack under the door was an excruciating sight. It felt as though hornets were hanging out in my retina – perhaps vengefully jealous of all the fun I had the night before.
Luckily, my bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar had traveled safely in my toiletry bag – making its way from Nashville to New Orleans. A few sessions of flushing my eyes with a diluted blend of ACV and purified water reduced my angry symptoms by 75 percent – within a matter of hours. Because of its holy anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal power, I was able to enjoy my final afternoon in The Big Easy.
Household Disinfectant – I create non-toxic household cleansing blends, using essential oils, water and the mighty disinfecting power of ACV. I have found it useful for disinfecting everything from toilets to toothbrushes. Make sure you mix in a glass bottle (check out my favorite spray bottles for cleaning here).
Common Questions About Apple Cider Vinegar
Q: Won’t this make me more acidic?
A: Nope! Although potent with acetic acid, Apple Cider Vinegar has an alkalizing response in the body.
Q: What is the correct daily dosage of Apple Cider Vinegar?
A: The correct dosage varies from individual to individual – particularly depending upon a person’s bodily ph and health concern. I have found that most people have the best result with about a tablespoon per day. Tip: If you have a sensitive stomach, I recommend drinking it prior to eating; never on a full stomach.
Q: But, What if I hate the taste?
A: Dilute it, silly! Life is too short to choke anything down in misery. I prefer to blend one tablespoon of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with 20 or more ounces of water, sipping slowly throughout the day. This concoction is so diluted and gentle that even those with the strongest aversion to its sour taste are able to drink it without gagging and wincing.