Some health fads come and go, but apple cider vinegar is holding on to its status as a kitchen remedy cure-all. Natural old fashioned goodness is often the most trusty! From the Egyptians 3000 years ago, to Hippocrates in Ancient Greece to the Samurai warriors in Japan, vinegar has traversed history to land on your kitchen table today.
An important distinction to make when it comes to singing the health praises of ACV is that is needs to be the right version. That is, it should have cloudy, wispy cobweb-like strands you can see floating around in it. These are a natural sediment with pectin, trace minerals, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, that develop in fermenting alcohol. This has the lofty name of the Mother and means your vinegar is truly alive and kicking with all the healing properties you want.
The clear pasteurised and distilled vinegars you generally find on the shelf may be useful for rinsing your hair, shining up your windows and adding some tang to your food, but are essentially dead. You can even get vinegar these day that is produced from coal tar.
What qualifies this fermented golden tonic as a home remedy deluxe is how versatile it is – you can eat it, clean with it, disinfect things, preserve things, use it as a external skin treatment, and treat all sorts of nasty internal ailments too.
Reasons ACV Takes The Gold
Taking a tablespoon of ACV in some water everyday can have so many benefits:
Balances the pH in your body preventing illnesses caused by an over-acidic system.
Cleanses the lymphatic system and breaks up mucous in the body, which can benefit sinus, allergies and sore throats.
Balances your gut flora: it’s a prebiotic, which means it feeds your healthy probiotic gut flora.
Candida: contains enzymes that help eliminate candida.
Weight loss: acetic acid in ACV is great for reducing overall body weight, as well as that pesky abdominal and waist fat. And it’s great for cellulite too! You can mix it into your moisturiser or body oil and massage it into your cellulite-prone areas every day for an external remedy, or sip two tablespoons in 500 ml of water throughout the day for an inside job.
Heartburn & indigestion: corrects the acid balance in your stomach, helping you digest foods such as proteins and fats better. For relief from heartburn, take a teaspoon followed by a glass of water.
Food poisoning: when your tummy is feeling a little grumbly post-meal, ACV is an antibacterial that can help relieve food poisoning. Have a tablespoon in water before you eat out when you are travelling, it could help prevent those cases of deli belly.
Sugar cravings: ACV can help stop those insatiable sugar cravings that can lead to diabetes, candida and that unwelcome extra weight.
Sunburn & stings: add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath and have a good 15 minute soak to recover from sunburn. It’s also great for dabbing on stings and itchy bites.
Oh my glory…
Hair tonic: ACV makes your hair super soft and shiny. Use it as a rinse by adding 1/2 a tablespoon of ACV to a cup of water, then pouring over freshly washed hair every few washes. You can make this mix in an old shampoo bottle to make it easier to use. This will not only add shine, it can help balance the pH of you scalp and improve dandruff!
Some people who go shampooless even use it in combination with Sodium bicarb to make a completely natural hair cleanser (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8953/diy-this-baking-soda-shampoo-saved-my-hair.html).
Skin tonic: ACV as a toner can have wonderful effects on your skin. Dilute it two parts to one with water and use instead of a toner on your face. Apply with a cotton ball after washing morning and evening, for a clear, radiant complexion.
You can also use it to fade scars, clear up acne, or even warts, by dabbing a little neat ACV onto small problem areas at night. Just be careful to avoid your eye area as ACV is very potent and can sting. For warts, soak a small cotton ball in ACV and secure it with a plaster. Do this for a few days. Take care, your skin may get a little red from this remedy.
Deodorant: dab some under your arms to get rid of smelly bacteria.
Mouthwash and tooth whitener: add two parts water to one ACV to swish around as a mouthwash after brushing. This can also help to whiten your pearlies.
Aftershave: mix one part water to ACV for a soothing aftershave.
Use ACV to replace toxic detergents:
• Wash dishes, windows, kitchen surfaces, glass and mirrors: mix a half-half solution and put into an old detergent or spray bottle.
• Pour some neat into your toilet and leave overnight for a super clean disinfected loo.
• It’s a trick to eliminating funky and smoky smells in your home: place a shallow bowl in the offending area and leave it there ‘til the smell improves.
ACV adds a tasty zip to salad dressings, sauces and marinades. It also livens up veggie soups and lentil stews. A dash in your pancake batter can also give added lift, for some gorgeously light fluffy treats. Using ACV instead of distilled vinegar when you cook means you’ll be receiving its super health benefits, especially when it comes to your digestion.
Choosing The Right Apple Cider Vinegar
For the full benefit of this delightful remedy from the humble apple, be sure to check that your ACV is:
• Unfiltered so that all the sediment that feeds the mother is still present
• Unpasteurised so that the Mother hasn’t been destroyed and is still alive
• Organic means your apples haven’t been exposed to toxic pesticides. Apples are one of the most sprayed crops you get.
Apple cider Vinegar is one of those classic pantry treasures that’s always worth having at hand. Here’s to the power of the apple!