What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine that are vital for a healthy body.
Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is made by crushing fresh, organically grown apples and allowing them to mature in wooden barrels. This boosts the natural fermentation qualities of the crushed apples, which differs from the refined and distilled vinegars found in supermarkets. When the vinegar is mature, it contains a dark, cloudy, web-like bacterial foam called mother, which becomes visible when the rich brownish liquid is held to the light. The mother can be used to add to other vinegar to hasten maturity for making more Apple Cider Vinegar. Natural vinegars that contain the mother have enzymes and minerals that other vinegars in grocery stores may not have due to over-processing, over-heating, and filtration. For this reason, it is recommended that you purchase only Natural Apple Cider Vinegar, with an ideal acidity (pH) level of 5 to 7.
What are the Benefits?
Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonderful natural treatment for a number of ailments which usually require antibiotics and other medications that have a number of side effects. In particular, it has been known to:
- Reduce sinus infections and sore throats
- Balance high cholesterol
- Treat skin conditions such as acne
- Protect against food poisoning
- Fight allergies in both humans and animals
- Prevent muscle fatigue after exercise
- Strengthen the immune system
- Increase stamina
- Increase metabolism which promotes weight loss
- Improve digestion and cure constipation
- Alleviate symptoms of arthritis and gout
- Prevents bladder stones and urinary tract infections
Common Remedies Using ACV
Acid Reflux and Heartburn
One of the best known natural remedies using Apple Cider Vinegar is for acid reflux and heartburn. Just add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 glass of water and sip this while eating a meal.
The acidic environment created by apple cider vinegar makes it an effective remedy for sore throats. Simply mix 1/2 tsp of ACV with 1/4 cup of warm water, and gargle this mixture for 30 seconds once per hour. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps to fight against bacteria and other foreign bodies that may be causing the sore throat.
While it is not known why, many people claim that this vinegar promotes weight loss. Some theories suggest that it helps to speed up the metabolism, while others suggest that it burns calories. A number of nutritionists also believe that combining Vitamin B6 and Lecithin with ACV is highly effective for weight loss. A suggested remedy is to mix 1 teaspoons of the vinegar into a glass of water and drink this before every meal or sip it slowly throughout the day
Due to its acidic properties, Apple Cider Vinegar makes a wonderful remedy for bad breath or halitosis. Simply add 1/2 teaspoon of ACV into a cup of water and gargle the mixture in your mouth for 10 seconds at a time until the cup is empty.
Apple Cider Vinegar is an effective body odor remedy, since it can help adjust the skin's pH level which helps to eliminate odor-causing bacteria. For armpit odor, simply wipe them once each evening with undiluted vinegar (using a cotton ball). For foot odor, fill a pan with warm water and add 1/3 cup of ACV, then let your feet soak in this mixture for 15 minutes once per week.
A common folk remedy for hiccups is to mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. Drink this mixture slowly and your hiccups should stop within a few seconds. While there is no scientific proof that vinegar is an effective treatment, the theory is that the sour taste of the vinegar helps distract the brain with some other stimulation so that the involuntary spasms causing the hiccups will cease. Next time you have the hiccups, trying this vinegar hiccup remedy is certainly worth a try.
Skin Problems and Infections
Apple Cider Vinegar is known as an excellent natural treatment for acne since it can absorb excess oil from our skin as well as kill bacteria that often result in acne. You can create an effective acne solution by combining one part of the vinegar to 4 parts of water or the solution can be diluted at 1:5 ratio for sensitive skin. Using a clean cotton pad or cotton ball, apply the solution directly onto the affected areas of your skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. You can then rinse your face with water. Repeat this 3 times per day.
ACV contains sulfur that fights the effects of aging, which makes it suitable for treating age spots and sun spots. An effective remedy is to combine the vinegar with onion juice as follows:
- Blend an onion in a blender, and use a strainer to extract the juice into a small glass or bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix one part of onion juice and one part of apple cider vinegar together.
- Apply this solution directly onto the affected areas of skin using a cotton pad or cotton ball.
- Leave the solution on the skin for 30 minutes.
- Repeat this once per day for 6 weeks.
Many women have found that ACV can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. You can create a potent massage oil with the vinegar as follows:
- In a small bowl, add 3 parts of apple cider vinegar to one part of any regular massage oil and mix.
- Gently massage this solution onto the areas affected by cellulite.
- Repeat this twice daily, ideally once in the morning and once before bed.
Also drinking a mix of 1 tsp of organic ACV and 1 glass of water in the morning on an empty stomach can help with the appearance of cellulite.
ACV has been found to be an effective treatment for yeast infections. A simple remedy is to mix 1 1/2 cups of the vinegar into a bathtub filled with luke warm water, and soak in this mixture for 20 minutes. Repeat this once per day for 3 days. This remedy is most effective when used within the first few days of the onset of a yeast infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar is frequently used as a natural treatment for constipation. To treat this common digestive problem, mix 1 teaspoon of ACV into a glass of water, and drink this mixture three times a day. If you find the taste to be strong, you can alternatively mix the vinegar with a glass of apple juice or grape juice.
There are various causes for diarrhea, and although it should not be left untreated, it is often a natural way for the body to rid itself of harmful compounds and ingested materials. Apple Cider Vinegar is a fantastic natural remedy for diarrhea since the high pectin concentration acts as a protective coating which soothes the irritated lining of the colon. A suggestion is to add 1-2 teaspoons of the vinegar to a large glass of water, and drink this 3 times daily while the symptoms persist.
Recent studies suggest that Apple Cider Vinegar may help to control high blood sugar levels. Therefore it is not surprising that ACV is often used as a natural treatment for Diabetes. A suggested remedy is to mix 2 teaspoons of the vinegar and a pinch of salt into a glass of water, and drink this before each meal. This drink may help reduce the body's glucose response to the carbohydrate load in the meal that is to follow.
What are the Side Effects?
There are no major known side effects of ACV when used in moderation. However, drinking vinegars, acids or even lemon juices on a regular basis can lead to a deterioration of dental enamel. This can give your teeth a yellowish look and make them more sensitive to heat and cold. To prevent this, the vinegar should always be diluted with water or a pinch of baking soda should be added in order to reduce the acidity level. Also using a straw while drinking the ACV solution may help minimize its direct contact with dental enamel.
Where and How to Buy Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar can be found in almost any natural health or nutrition store, or from a variety of online retailers such as Amazon.com (see links below). Look for ACV with a pH level of 5 to 7. It can also be found in capsule form which helps eliminate the strong sour taste associated with the liquid form and is a more palatable option for people who don't like the unique taste of Apple Cider Vinegar.