Legend has is that Cleopatra once dissolved a pearl in a measure of vinegar before drinking the concoction, thus winning a wager against Marc Antony that she could spend a fortune on a single meal.
Truth or apocrypha, we may never know, but the Queen of the Nile most likely knew the special qualities
of vinegar. Since 5,000 BC, the Babylonians had been using it as a preservative and condiment; and long before Cleopatra’s costly cocktail, Hippocrates had extolled vinegar’s medicinal qualities. In fact, the Vinegar Institute touts the tart liquid as one of our earliest remedies.
Throughout the ages vinegar has been made through the fermentation of a crazy list of materials, including molasses, dates, sorghum, fruits, berries, melons, coconut, honey, beer, maple syrup, potatoes, beets, malt, grains and whey. But of all the vinegars on the block, that made from apple cider is the darling of contemporary remedies.
Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a folk remedy, but came to superstar prominence in the 1950s when D.C. Jarvis sang its praises in the best-selling book, “Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health.” Now it is revered as a health tonic with seemingly magical powers, rumored to have the properties needed to cure everything from warts to diabetes.
While science has yet to prove many of the claims made about apple cider vinegar, it remains a wildly popular product, and does duty in a variety of roles, from beauty and homemaking to heath. The following uses include some supported by science as well as many backed up by folk wisdom.
1. Freshen your mouth
Some swear by using a rinse of apple cider vinegar mixed with water and swished about the mouth for reducing bad breath.
2. Treat acid reflux
In 13 surprising home remedies for acid reflux
, the treatments include taking one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar daily. As it’s explained, most people mistakenly believe that acid reflux is caused by an overproduction of acid, but it’s actually the opposite for many people, as in too little acid.
3. Alleviate GI distress
Folks who prescribe to folk remedies tell us
that if one suffers from diarrhea
caused by a bacterial infection, apple cider vinegar may help due to its antibiotic properties. As well, some experts suggest that pectin in apple cider vinegar can help calm intestinal spasms. If suffering: Mix one or two tablespoons into water or apple juice and drink.
4. Prevent indigestion
If you’re planning on indulging in a meal that you expect might not get along very well with your stomach, try drinking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with one teaspoon of honey mixed in a small glass of warm water 30 minutes before you dine.
5. Halt hiccups
If there was a clear-cut cure for the hiccups, we would all know about it and never suffer the spazzy things
again. Alas, it’s eat peanut butter, hold your breath, drink water upside-down, be scared, and any number of other folksy remedies. But eventually, it seems like one of these sticks and does indeed seem to stop them in their tracks. So next time you have a round of uncontrollable hics, you might want to try the apple cider vinegar remedy (if you dare): A teaspoon straight down the hatch.
6. Spoil your hair
It seems that just about whichever camp you fall into, hair-wise, vinegar can help. Consider the following:
7. Soothe a sore throat
There are a host of great natural remedies for sore throats
out there, and employing apple cider vinegar is one of them. As soon as you feel the first signs of a sore throat, try one of two methods. Mix 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with warm water and gargle every hour; or mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with hot water and a shot of honey and sip.
8. Fight the itch
9. Brighten skin
Many who suffer the angst caused by skin problems
— from psoriasis and eczema to dry skin and blemishes — praise apple cider vinegar for reducing inflammation and generally minimizing problems. Try dabbing it to affected areas with a cotton ball.
10. Decrease glucose levels
Of all the ways in which people use apple cider vinegar, that which perhaps has the most potential is in helping with diabetes
. Several studies have shown its positive effect on blood glucose levels; a 2007 study of participants with type-2 diabetes found that two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose in the morning by four to six percent.
11. Lower cholesterol and high blood pressure
If you’re a rat, that is. Several studies with rats have shown vinegar’s beneficial contribution to lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure. There’s no evidence that it can work on people too, but research in these areas continues.
12. Lose weight
If there’s one promise that most supplements and superfoods love to claim, it’s their ability to aid in weight loss. For millennia vinegar has been used to help lose weight; whether to factual effect or not has yet to be proven by science, but many people cling to the practice with devotion. One small study in 2005 did find that people who ate a piece of bread with small amounts of vinegar felt fuller than those who didn’t have the vinegar. Yet when it comes to vinegar and weight loss, the Mayo Clinic reminds us that there is no magic bullet … aside from eating fewer calories and exercising more.
Another thing the Mayo Clinic thinks we should know is the following: Taking small amounts of apple cider vinegar should not offer many risks, but taking in larger amounts on a regular basis could prove problematic. It is highly acidic and may cause problems ranging from harm to the teeth to lower potassium levels, lower bone density, and interaction with some medications. As with all supplements, talk to your health care provider before starting a new regimen.
13. Extinguish exhaustion.
Exercise and sometimes extreme stress cause lactic acid to build up in the body, causing fatigue. Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes that may relieve that tired feeling. Next time you’re feeling beat, add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to a glass of chilled vegetable drink or to a glass of water.
14. Fight yeast infections.
One of the best home remedies to treat a yeast infection is Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 1 and a half cups of ACV into a bathtub filled with warm water, and then soak in it for about 20 minutes. This should be done once a day for the first 3 days of the infection.
15. Control blood sugars.
The anti-glycemic effects of apple cider vinegar help to improve insulin sensitivity, which is essential to maintain the sugar levels of blood. Mix one teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of filtered water and take 3 times a day to steady your stomach’s rate of digestion which in turn will keep blood sugar levels more consistent. If you are diabetic, consult your physician.
16. Alleviate age spots.
Apple Cider Vinegar contains sulfur that fights the effects of aging, including age spots. Dab age spots, or liver spots, with ACV every night before you go to sleep. Do not wash off the vinegar. If you feel a stinging sensation, dilute the vinegar with water. Wash off in the morning.
17. Natural deodorant.
Most commercial deodorants are antiperspirants, which block your ability to sweat. Since sweat is one of your body’s natural means of detoxification, blocking your ability to sweat can block your ability to detoxify. ACV absorbs and neutralizes odors. Simply rub a bit of ACV in your underarms. The vinegary smell dissipates once it dries.
18. Acne remedy.
ACV kills bacteria and balances skin’s pH level. It also absorbs excessive oil from our skin, which is a leading cause of acne. Mix one part vinegar to 3-4 parts water. Apply solution directly to your skin with clean cotton pad, and leave it there for about ten minutes. After ten minutes, rinse off the vinegar. Repeat this three times a day. For severe cases of acne, the solution can be used overnight without rinsing.
For daily maintenance, weight loss and pH balancing:
2 teaspoons in 8 oz of water 3x a day (taken before your meals)
For treating an acute condition like acid reflux, cough, bronchitis, or sore throat:
2 Tablespoons in 8 oz of water 3x a day (taken before your meals) .