Apple cider vinegar is a very popular household ingredient that has attracted many beauty and health enthusiasts over the years. This is due to its distinct beauty benefits and ability to treat certain health issues. Apple Cider Vinegar is traced back 400BC where it was used by Hippocrates – the father of medicine – to treat patients. Nowadays, particularly in the natural hair community, many use it as a rinse while in terms of health, people have acclaimed it as a remedy for weight loss. However, this magic in a bottle carries other uses that you may not know about. Hence, let’s look at some of the proven benefits of ACV, as backed by science.
- Kills germs and viruses
Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic, malic and citric acid. It has been found to reduce the number of bacteria by 90% and viruses by 95%. In addition, apple cider vinegar contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes, which help kill germs and viruses. This is why Bragg’s which contains “the mother” is recommended because it is unfiltered and made through fermentation rather than pasteurization. Since it is organic and contains the mother, it has live enzymes, strands of protein and friendly bacteria. It is what gives the vinegar that cloudy appearance and musky smell.
Therefore, to obtain the best from Apple Cider Vinegar consider investing in one with the mother.
- Manage Type-2 Diabetes
Even though the research of how this works is still under testing, ACV has been shown to lower glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It increases glucose/carbohydrate uptake improving insulin action in skeletal muscles, which are responsible for blood sugar regulation. This improvement in insulin sensitivity helps the muscles draw in glucose from the blood lowering blood sugar levels. It is always advisable to seek medical guidance, especially for people with type 1 diabetes since sugar reduction might lead to hypoglycemia.
Read more on how to live with diabetes
- Aiding weight loss
The main component of fermented apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, which has various benefits for weight loss. Studies have found that acetic acid promotes weight loss by suppressing appetite, increasing fat metabolism, decreasing insulin and lowering blood sugar levels. All the above components favour fat burning a reason why people use apple cider vinegar with mother to aid weight loss. Does Apple Cider Vinegar Actually Make You Lose Weight?
Related; 10 great fat burning foods.
To achieve this benefit mix 1-2 tablespoons of ACV with water before ingesting (it is advisable to use a straw to drink this as the acid in it could ruin your teeth). It is also best to spread the doses throughout the day and administer before meals. Start with little amounts (5ml/1 teaspoon) to discern how it reacts on you.
Note that moderation and expert advice is required, when using apple cider vinegar for its health benefits. As excessive/usage without proper guidelines could be detrimental to one’s health.
- As a mouthwash
Apple cider vinegar is a recommended alternative to commercial mouthwashes due to its antibacterial properties. However, this remedy should be done with caution as the acidity in apple cider can corrode the enamel/teeth. If you ever try this, ensure that you dilute your ACV well. That is 1 tablespoon of ACV for a cup of water. Use the same concoction for sore throats then gargle.
- Improve heart health
Vinegar consumption can help fight against risk factors that increase heart problems. A test done on animals suggests that ACV can lower cholesterol and triglyceride. Even though this study is still obscure the fact that ACV lowers blood sugar levels plays a role in reducing risks associated with heart diseases. Health: What Should You Do to Keep Your Heart Healthy?
- As a disinfectant
Since it is anti-bacterial aside from using the traditional boiled water to disinfect your toothbrush you can use ACV as an alternative. To make your own toothbrush cleaner; mix half a cup (120 ml) of water with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of ACV and 2 teaspoons of baking soda and mix well. Leave the head of your toothbrush in the mixture for 30 minutes.
- Treat acne
Apple cider vinegar kills germs and clean pores. It balances the skin pH levels helping prevent further breakouts. Therefore, if you consider using apple cider vinegar for this hack, it is advisable to dilute the ACV with water. Mix it in the ratio of 1:2, that is one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Otherwise, the acidic content in the vinegar might be too strong hence irritating your skin.
- Get rid of odour,
Due to its anti-microbial properties, apple cider vinegar can be used to treat and get rid of body odour. This includes sweat and foot odour which is usually catalyzed by germs and bacteria. To obtain this benefit mix ACV with water to make a water a deodorising spray or add Epsom salt to make a foot soak. This concoction can relieve athletes foot, nail fungus and remove splinters.
- Face toner
The essence of a toner is to clean pores and balance the pH levels of your skin so as to prevent acne. Apple Cider Vinegar can act as a good replica for a face toner due to its ability to cleanse pores and balance the pH levels of your skin. It is worthy to note that even though there isn’t a high amount of vitamins or minerals in it, quality apple cider vinegar is rich in amino acids and antioxidants which are beneficial to the skin. Don’t forget to do a patch test with undiluted ACV before applying it on your face. Mix it in the ratio 1:2 as mentioned above. That is 1 tablespoon of apple cider to 2 tablespoons of water.
- As a bath
If it can be used as a face toner, why not as a bath? For the same reason, it is used as a toner ACV can also be used to open skin pores, treat yeast infection as well as moisturize the skin. It is also used to soothe the skin against sunburns and other inflammations such as bites/stings from insects. All you need is to figure out in what amounts is the ACV going to be effective. Add 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar to your bath and soak for about 15 minutes and you’re good to go.
- Hair Rinse
This is the most common use of apple cider vinegar among naturalistas. It is good for laying cuticles flat, which curbs hair breakage since the hair becomes more elastic. The hair becomes easy to detangle and since the cuticles are lying along the hair shaft this reduces protein loss which causes dryness. Check out how to use apple cider vinegar as a rinse.
You can also use it to make a hairspray and here’s how you do it.
- Salad dressing
As a home science student, I can attest that ACV is la piece de resistance of vinaigrette sauce, avocado vinaigrette and other vinaigrette salads. You can also add ACV to tomato-based sauces/puree for a richer taste.
Vinaigrette sauce (to serve 6)
- 250g finely chopped onions
- 60g of parsley washed and chopped
- 2 cups of vinegar
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of pepper
Method; mix oil and vinegar, then add onions and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Trap fruit flies
Fruit flies are rampant when it is hot since this is when fruits and vegetables ripen fast and are more prone to fermenting. To trap fruit flies simply add apple cider vinegar in a container then add dish soap to the mix, which will sink any trapped flies.
- Cooking poached eggs
Cooking poached eggs can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know all the simple tricks there is. ACV helps firm up the egg white, which is why it’s one of the tricks used when making poached eggs.
- Kill food bacteria
As mentioned above apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial properties and can kill dangerous bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. In addition to using water to wash fruits and vegetables, ACV can also be used as a rinse to remove bacteria on utensils. It is also thought to get rid of pesticides and other chemicals found on fruits.
ACV is a magical liquid and even though its benefits might be proven by science, the results on individuals may vary depending on usage and other health conditions. For instance, people with type 1 diabetes, ulcers and kidney problems should steer clear of ACV or seek professional guidance before usage. Studies also indicate there are several harmful effects from using too much apple cider vinegar. Therefore, it is advisable to always seek medical assistance, especially if you’re planning to self-medicate by ingesting or through the topical application on infected areas.
Featured image via net doctor