Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice and contains mostly acetic acid. Acetic acid is highly acidic so if using apple cider vinegar it is advised to always dilute it before use.
It is as old as the hills and our great-grandmothers probably used it in their day. There are many claims as to what old world creation can treat and cure. Most of this information however is anecdotal and has not been scrutinized. But surprisingly some of these claims have been researched and the results are promising.
Numerous studies have conclusively shown that apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be useful in lower blood glucose levels. In a study following diabetic, pre-diabetic and healthy people who were taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water daily, all participants had better blood sugar readings by the end of the study. Another trial in noticed a drop in blood sugar levels by as much as 4% compared to those not taking the apple cider vinegar. The exact mechanism is not known but apple cider vinegar does contain chromium, a mineral that helps stabilize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
Weight loss is a hot topic around the world. And there are multiple claims that sipping ACV and water throughout the day for a number of days, can improve strength and stamina, boost your metabolism and have an energizing effect. People also reported that ACV makes you “feel fuller” and reduces your appetite. This combination is ideal for weight loss by helping people to eat less and move more.
Apple cider vinegar was also found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in rats. But it has not been tested to verify if it has a similar effect in humans. However a study did show that people who had a vinegar based dressing over their salad for a period of 5-6 weeks had lower rates of heart disease.
Although ACV is acidic, like lemon juice, it somehow has an alkalinizing effect as is thought to help the body release toxins faster. For this reason many people use it in water to reduce symptoms of arthritis, gout and joint stiffness.
Apple cider vinegar can also be used for many skin complaints. But use with caution as some people have reported that apple cider vinegar can burn the skin. Claims abound! It is said to cure warts by killing the virus and to treat acne by killing bacteria, absorbing excess oil and correcting the skin’s pH. It reportedly helps improve the appearance of cellulite with daily massage, can cure athlete’s foot, fade age spots, clean wounds and reduce the painful sting of sunburn.
The digestive system is apparently also an area where apple cider can help. Some people use it to clean their teeth but other sources say that the acidity can damage tooth enamel – to be safe – stick to what you know.
ACV is also said to improve digestion and regulate bowel function. Because it contains pectin, a type of fibre, it may be helpful in cases of both constipation and diarrhea. Possibly due to the effect of normalizing digestion, apple cider might also improve bad breath and heartburn by correcting the pH in the stomach.
Other claims include that applying rubbing apple cider on after a long day at the office, works wonders for tired hands and feet. It is well known that a vinegar hair rinse can make your hair sleek and shiny but some sources report that ACV diluted with water and sprayed onto the scalp and left for a few hours can help prevent dandruff.
ACV is also claimed to be effective in treating bladder and sinus infections as well as a remedy for coughs, colds and allergies. If you wish to reduce body odor, dab some ACV and water under your armpits or soak your feet in the mixture to reduce sweating and the bacteria in those areas.
Although there are many claims surrounding apple cider vinegar, one thing is consistent – it is ideal to take it regularly. Whether you prefer it with lemon juice and honey first thing in the morning, sipping on it throughout the day or over your salads – 2 tablespoons a day seems to be the recipe for success.
It can also be added to sauces or marinades, used to make pickles, or in water to wash pesticides off fruits and vegetables. It is also an alternative base instead of alcohol with which to make herbal extractions like tinctures. It is best to use a raw, organic and unfiltered as well as an unpasteurized form.
It is also famous as a pleasant smelling and chemical free household cleaning agent – use it to clean everything from windows to floors. Added to water in a spray bottle you could make your own apple scented room freshener or spray on pets to chase away fleas and ticks. Additionally apple cider vinegar can also be used to clean and remove stains from the toilet bowl.