Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV for short) has been used anecdotally for thousands of years - Hippocrates, the father of medicine raved about it. It is one of nature's best detoxifiers and gently removes toxins from your body, purifies your blood and builds your immune system. There are many different brands out there, but you must buy raw ACV with "the mother" intact because processed vinegars (Heinz, White House, any generic brand) have been distilled and stripped of all benefits. "The mother" is a stringy, web-like sediment that floats at the bottom of the bottle and passes on gut-friendly bacteria and probiotics - don't worry you can't taste mother…I only buy Bragg's and have found it at Harris Teeter and all health food stores.
This inexpensive remedy has a multitude of uses. It took a little while to get used to drinking it, but I now crave the stuff. This is how I drink it first thing in the morning before breakfast:
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed juice (I prefer orange)
- 5 drops of liquid Stevia
- 1T Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
- a squeeze of lemon (another natural detoxifier)
- Lower glucose levels: Help fight diabetes by taking 1-2 tsp of ACV before meals to dramatically reduce insulin and glucose spikes in the blood.
- Constipation: Minimize this problem by adding 1T of Psyllium Husk Powder (natural form of Metamucil) to your ACV drink daily and let it soak for 2 minutes before drinking. I took Psyllium Husk during my pregnancy and never had a problem!
- Indigestion: Before mealtime sip 1/3 tsp ACV (not much at all!) and hold in your mouth for one minute before swallowing.
- Eliminate toxic waste: Toxins stored in your body will eventually cause problems. With a process called "acetolysis" certain toxic wastes are rendered harmless and flushed from the body thanks to the enzymes provided by "the mother."
- Increase metabolism: Thanks to the powerful combination of vitamins, minerals and trace minerals ACV will help you burn calories faster
- Weight loss: ACV helps break down fats so your body can use them instead of store them. It also helps suppress your appetite and make you feel fuller so you eat less. Drink 1T with water before each meal.
- Acid reflux: Take a dose as soon as you feel symptoms coming on for instant relief
- Reduce bloating: ACV is a powerful diuretic and will help ensure you aren't carrying around extra water weight. Just ask actress Meghan Fox who swears by her ACV cleanse.
Millions suffer from stomach issues which are aggravated by poor digestion and weak saliva juices. By drinking ACV before meals (sipping 1/3 tsp and holding in mouth for 1 minute before swallowing), you are providing enzymes and prepping your saliva which will improve the entire digestive process that begins in the mouth. Digestive fluids will flow faster which will result in improved break down and elimination of food leading to better overall health. This suggestion sounds cumbersome but certainly worth a try if it helps eliminate or reduce suffering from stomach problems!
Skin and Hair
- Acne: I use diluted ACV as a toner (just like Scarlett Johansson) and it helps dry out and heal acne. I love how smooth it makes my skin - it tightens and plumps and can minimize the appearance of wrinkles. (a little warning - you might have initial break outs when you begin any detox because as your body releases toxins from your body some make their exit throughout the skin…)
- Sunburn: Obviously we should always strive to avoid skin damage, but if you do accidentally turn red ACV will neutralize the burn. Dilute it in water and pat on with a wash cloth - this will sting at first but will make it feel better quickly. Even better, put the wash cloth in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes beforehand for extra relief.
- Rosacea: Mix 1T ACV and 1T water and apply to affected areas with a cotton ball before bed. In the morning rinse off with luke warm water.
- Burn: Apply immediately after a burn and it will neutralize, instantly stop the pain, prevent scarring and help heal. I tried this after hot oil burnt my arm and it worked. ACV is hailed as the best burn treatment by many - seriously keep a bottle in your kitchen!
- Natural wart remover: Use waterproof tape to secure a ACV dampened cotton ball (the cotton from a q-tip works great) over the wart overnight. In the morning do the same thing with castor oil instead for a daytime treatment. At night you can alternate ACV with Vitamin E (prick open the capsule).
- Corns and callouses: Soak affected areas in warm water with 1/3 cup ACV for 20 minutes. After soak rub areas with a coarse town then gently use a pumice stone. Apply a undiluted ACV soaked gauze bandage overnight. Voila!
- Molluscum: Is a type of viral infection that causes "water warts." My friend's children had them and the dermatologist had no solution - ACV worked!
- Cold sores: Apply directly to affected areas and the itching and burring will rapidly disappear and help the sores heal quicker.
- Hemorrhoids: Good Lord, I hope I never need this one again but just in case… soak cotton ball in ACV and gently press area for 20 minutes for relief. Will sting initially (which means its working) then ahhhhhhh….. If undiluted is too much for you, add some water.
- Yeast, viral and fungus infections: Because of it's richness of malic acid athlete's foot, psoriasis, eczema can all be treated with a 50/50 solution of ACV and water. For athlete's foot soak feet in 50/50 mixture twice daily - also be sure to spray your shoes so the acidic ACV will kill the fungus and you don't become recontaminated!
- Insect bites: Will help stop pain and itching by neutralizing the venom, apply directly.
- Shingles and chicken pox: Apply undiluted ACV directly to the affected area without pressing or rubbing twice a day and healing should start in a few days. For relief add one cup of ACV to a warm bath.
- Varicose veins: Wrap ACV dampened cloth around troubled areas morning and night with legs elevated for 15 minutes. Remove and while your legs are still up gently massage the blood upwards starting at your ankles to get blood back into circulation. Continue for 6 weeks.
- Age/Sun Spots: I have spent insane $$ on fraxel laser treatments to remove my sun/age spots and they came right back, UGH. I'm going to try this remedy even though it sounds a little torturous (just like the laser treatments…). Peel and cut a slice of onion and soak it in ACV for a few minutes. Rub it gently on your troubled spot and continue the treatment for four to six weeks or you get the results you want - I'm going to do this and will report back :)
- Skin tags: These unsightlies can be removed by applying ACV to a q-tip and pressing it to the skin tag twice a day until it falls off.
- Hair: When used as a rinse will make your hair feel smooth, shiny and provide clarification by removing oil and dirt. It balances your hair's pH, which helps seal the cuticle making it smoother. Can also help with dandruff and soothe any scalp irritation. Mix a tablespoon in a glass of water and rinse your hair after washing - rinse it out afterwards or it will feel crunch (don't worry, the smell will dissipate once your hair dries!). For a special hair mask mix with coconut oil and vegetable glycerin and cover with a shower cap and turban wrap.
- Deodorant: My sister swears by this! Apply to skin and ACV absorbs and neutralizes any stink (the vinegar smell will dissipate).
- First wash your skin with warm water and no soap.
- Apply a wrung-out, hot water soaked wash cloth to your face for 3 minutes, then remove.
- Now soak a thin cotton wash cloth in hot ACV water (1T ACV per cup of water) and again apply to face. Cover the wash cloth with the first cotton towel wrung out of hot water.
- Lie down for 15 minutes or longer with your feel elevated to bring more blood circulation to revitalize your face for cell rejuvenation.
- Now remove both cloths and gently rub skin upwards with a coarser towel to exfoliate the skin loosened by the ACV facial.
Muscles and Joints
- Arthritis: Heat up 8 oz of water with 3T of ACV and 2T of baking soda. Soak a bandage and wrap it around the joint for 20 minutes - make sure the bandage is warm not hot.
- Leg cramps: If you suffer from nighttime leg cramps drink 1T of honey with 1T of ACV in a cup of water before going to bed.
- Aching muscles: Soak in a warm bath with 1 cup ACV added
- Headaches: For relief put 2 Tbs ACV and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil and put towel over your head and inhale 5 deep, slow breaths of steam vapors.
- Sore throat: Mix 1 tsp with 1/2 glass of water and gargle 3 mouthfuls of mixture each hour, then spit it out. As the throat feels better, gargle every 3 hours. Bette Midler, the Beach Boys and Katy Perry use this trick to keep their throats healthy and germ-free (I figure you're bound to be a fan of one of these stars…).
- Yeast infection: The enzymes in ACV help restore the natural balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and keep yeast in check. Take 2 tsp diluted with water orally and douche with 3T of ACV mixed with 2 quarts of water twice daily until you get complete relief.
- Bedwetting: Mix 1/2 tsp of buckwheat honey with 1/2 tsp of ACV and drink right before bed - will greatly reduce or eliminate the problem.
- Allergies: To reduce sinus congestion and mucus take 1 tsp of ACV with a cup of water to relieve symptoms
- Cancer prevention: Pectin, a soluble fiber in vinegar helps dilute cancer causing dietary fats through the colon before they can be absorbed. Studies show that a high fiber diet can kill colon cancer cells.
- Blood pressure: ACV helps promote a healthy circulatory system by thinning the blood and helping break the plaque built up in the arteries. Helps keep your heart strong by proving potassium and other fuel.
- Cataracts: Drink AVC and use eye wash of 1/3 tsp ACV in 4 oz distilled water applied with a dropper 3 times daily. Keep eyes closed for 2 minutes after application - sometimes will sting. This is certainly worth a try before cataract surgery!
For your pets
- Natural flea repellent: Bathe your pet with the usual shampoo, pat dry and them spray a mix of 3:1 ACV to warm water all over coat and massage into the sin. Not only will they be flea-less, but also sport a shiny coat!
- Maintain pH: Add a tiny bit of ACV in their water to maintain their pH balance and prevent kidney issues and UTI. I just started adding to our cat's water bowl.
- Fat buster: Add 1 tsp ACV to their drinking water twice a day to help dissolve fats and safely keep your pet trim.
- Immune system boost: Help fight cancer, heart disease and slow the aging process by adding 1 tsp of ACV to your pet's water bowl. It could be what helps turn around your sick or lethargic best friend!
- Rash and itch: Spray or pat ACV on irrupted areas twice daily
- Air Freshener: Adios Febreze! ACV is the original room deodorizer - spritz it around the house to freshen things up.
- Disinfectant: Straight vinegar kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of common mold and 80% of germs and viruses - take that 409 and bleach! For a natural, non-toxic cleanser mix 1/2 cup of ACV with 1 cup of water and clean away!
- Weed killer: Mix 1 part ACV to 8 parts water and spray on weeks. Will kill the weeds and leave the rest of your garden happy.
- Produce wash: Mix 4 TBS of ACV with a gallon of cold water and soak your fruits and veggies to remove dirt, pesticides and bugs. You won't believe all the gross stuff that settles at the bottom of the bowl!
- "Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar Miracle Health System" by Paul and Patricia Bragg
- The Gerson Institute Blog
- Takepart.com Blog
- Eating Bird Food Blog