Apple Cider Vinegar: Benefits and Uses
Is raw apple cider vinegar a miracle cure? Just a brief perusal of the internet and you may be convinced that apple cider vinegar is a solution for all your problems! You'll find everything from claims of using it to cure cancer, increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk, as an anti-inflammatory, to aid in absorption of calcium, to sooth tummy ache, bug bite, and sunburn, as a digestive aid, heartburn and acid reflux relief and even cleaning toilets. So what's the deal with raw apple cider vinegar anyway? Can it really do what people say it can? There really is good science to back some of what people claim, but much of it is anecdotal; that doesn't mean it's not true, it just means it's not backed by good solid science and studies and should be understood as such.
So, let's look at what we do know. Raw apple cider vinegar with the mother, contains beneficial bacteria, so we could say it's a probiotic food. It also contains pectin which we call a pre-biotic, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in our digestive system. ACV contains healthy acids that promote a pH in your body that encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in your system. It contains polyphenols, and enzymes. In a nutshell, it's a living food. Many diseases and health issues come from eating a steady diet of primarily dead food. While raw apple cider vinegar won't solve all of our problems, we can definitely benefit from it in many ways. Raw apple cider vinegar can be a very effective tool in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
A word of caution: Raw apple cider vinegar is strong. Please make sure to dilute it when consuming it, or applying to skin and hair. When you hear how good ACV is for you, you may want to start consuming as much as possible, but that's not necessary or recommended. A reasonable amount for an adult to consume daily in drinks and recipes is 1-2 Tbsp. a day.
FACE WASH Start with 1 part ACV to 4 parts water and increase, if needed, up to 1 part ACV to 1 part water, for oily skin.
WARTS Dilute 1 part ACV to 1 part water. Before going to bed, soak a cotton ball in ACV solution and squeeze out excess. Place over wart and secure with a bandage. Remove in the morning and repeat each night as needed.
BATH SOAK 1-2 Cups in bath water.
FRUIT FLY TRAP Pour about 1/2 inch of ACV in the bottom of a pint jar. Cover the top tightly with plastic wrap and secure with canning ring. Pierce the plastic with a knife several times. The fruit flies will enter in through the plastic, but are not able to get out.
HAIR RINSE 2 Tbsp. to 2 cups water. You may add a drop or two of essential oil, if desired. Pour on hair once a week and rinse out. I find it easiest to use in a squeeze bottle. This will introduce nutrients and good bacteria, restore pH, discourage product build-up, keep your scalp healthy, hair shiny, and the cuticles smooth.
URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS Keep your urinary tract healthy by daily drinking an ACV health tonic, or switchel and taking an occasional bath with ACV added to water.
ORAL HEALTH Swish with a solution of 1 Tbsp. per cup of water.
FOOT SOAK Soak feet in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water for 15 minutes, twice a day as needed.
SORE THROAT Gargle with a solution of 1 Tbsp. ACV, 1 tsp. salt, 8 oz. warm water and spit out.
DIGESTIVE AID Combine 1-3 tsp. ACV in a glass of water and drink before meals. See recipe for health tonic, or switchel. This will help stimulate digestive juices which can reduce constipation and reduce gas, as well as helping to digest food properly, improve nutrient absorption,
HEARTBURN AND ACID REFLUX Drink an ACV health tonic to relieve symptoms. The amount of ACV may be increased to 1 Tbsp. if needed.
BUG BITE Apply a solution of 1 part ACV to 1 part water, or soak in a bath with 1-2 cups of ACV.
SUNBURN Soak in a bath with 1-2 cups of vinegar, or place a cloth soaked in 1 part ACV to 2 parts water on sunburned area for 15 minutes. Repeat as needed.
TOILET CLEANER Pour 2 cups in toilet bowl before bed and allow to soak. Scrub in the morning.
UPSET STOMACH Drink an ACV health tonic to relieve symptoms. The amount of ACV may be increased to 1 Tbsp. if needed.
COUGH Herbalist Penny C. Royal, author of Herbally Yours, recommends mixing 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp. honey, 2 tbsp. water and 1 tbsp. apple-cider vinegar. Take 1 tsp. at a time, every few hours, to suppress cough.
SWITCHEL This is one of my favorite ways to use ACV. I make at least a gallon of it a week. https://www.realfoodinafastworld.com/single-post/2016/05/30/Switchel-1
HEALTH TONIC https://www.realfoodinafastworld.com/single-post/2017/04/24/Vinegar-Health-Tonic
SALAD DRESSING Apple cider vinegar is perfect for salad dressings. Any time a recipe calls for a vinegar, substitute apple cider vinegar.
HONEY APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE This is a simple and yummy dressing. Good on a green salad with apples and cranberries, or berries and nuts etc. http://tastefulventure.com/honey-apple-cider-vinaigrette
FISH TACO SLAW 2 cups cabbage, 1 green onion, 2 Tbsp. loose cilantro, minced, 1 1/2 Tbsp. ACV, 1/4 rounded tsp. salt, 1 tsp. maple syrup, or honey
ROASTED OR STEAMED VEGGIES ACV can add great flavor to roasted or steamed veggies. Here's a recipe that looks delicious. http://www.thewholesomedish.com/salt-vinegar-roasted-potatoes/
CUCUMBER SALAD 2 cucumbers, a few thin slices of red onion, 2/3 cup ACV, 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper to taste. Place in fridge and marinate for several hours, giving cucumbers a stir occasionally to redistribute marinade. For an Asian version, add a little organic, toasted sesame oil, to taste. If it is too acidic for your taste, you can dilute the vinegar with up to one part water.
QUICK PICKLED ONION https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/quick-pickled-onions-395938
FLAVOR! Add a splash of ACV to soup or vegetables when they are lacking in flavor.
BONE BROTH Add 2 1/2 tsp. per quart of water used in bone broth.
SOAKING GRAINS Soak whole grains in a solution of 1 cup grains, 2 cups water and 1 Tbsp. ACV to make them easier to digest and more nutritious. Read here for more information.
What are some ways you use raw apple cider vinegar?
Let us know in the comments below.
Additional Recipes Using Apple Cider Vinegar
Roasted Beet Salad
Quick Quinoa Salad
Steffani's Black Bean Salsa
5 Minute Stir Fry
Corn and Bean Salad
Cinnamon Citrus Salad Dressing
Healthy Ramen Bowls
Here are Some Links with More Vinegar Information, Both Anecdotal and Scientific