Vinegar is an ancient product that has been around for more than 5 millennia. It was first discovered in 5000 BC by accident after some grape juice fermented into wine and then into vinegar. At the beginning people used it as a food preservative until they discovered all of its health properties.
Vinegar has been used for treating wounds, poison ivy rashes and stomach aches, some have even used it against diabetes. Vinegar can be made from almost any fruit or vegetable that can be fermented, including potatoes, grapes, beets, coconut, dates and our favorite, apples.
Vinegar is traditionally made via a slow fermentation process which allows for all the beneficial bioactive ingredients to stay after fermentation, including catechin, acetic acid, epicatechin, gallic acid, caffeic acid and many more. All of these ingredients give vinegar its famous antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
We all use vinegar and have it readily at hand at any time. However, besides its us in cooking, vinegar can be used to promote our overall health, for a number of health disorders, for cleaning, hygiene, gardening and many other things. The most beneficial of all types of vinegar is apple cider vinegar and below you will see why you need to have a bottle of ACV at your disposal at all times.
14 Health and Beauty Uses for ACV
When it comes to taking ACV orally, there are no official dosage recommendations. Most people take about 1-2 tsp. of it daily, dissolved in a cup of water, either in the morning or before a meal. This is highly beneficial for your overall health and the risks of taking this small amount are almost none. There have been no reported unwanted side-effects from taking ACV orally, but a plethora of health benefits.
ACV has a positive effect on the sugar levels in the blood, lowering them thanks to the presence of acetic acid. Acetic acid is believed to prevent complete digestion of complex carbs though increasing glucose uptake by body tissues or increasing gastric emptying.
According to some studies, ACV can actually deactivate some digestive enzymes that participate in the breaking down of carbs into sugars which slows down the conversion of complex carbs we ingest through meals into sugars in the bloodstream. This means that our body will have more time to pull out the sugar from the blood and prevent sugar spikes. Many other studies support the use of ACV as a treatment for diabetes.
- Heart Health
ACV is beneficial for our heart health in a number of ways. The Food Science Journal explains it like this:
“ACV contains high levels of chlorogenic acid, which is a polyphenol, and can inhibit LDL oxidation, thus improving our cardiovascular health and preventing heart-related problems.”
According to one study, ACV can lower bad cholesterol levels in lab mice, while a different study, also done on mice, showed that the acetic acid in vinegar can lower high blood pressure as well.
ACV has been shown to have a positive effect on triglyceride and LDL cholesterol, lowering its levels and protecting our heart health.
- Sore Throat
ACV has antibacterial properties which are beneficial in the treatment of sore throat. If you suffer from this common condition, just gargle with a solution of 1/3 cup of ACV and some warm water a few times a day until you feel better.
- Weight Loss
Some research suggests that ACV can stimulate weight loss as it makes you feel satiated and reduces food cravings.
For example, subjects in one study consumed a small amount of ACV alongside their breakfast (high-carb bagel and orange juice) and discovered that it reduced the amount of food they consumed throughout the day afterwards. They actually consumed an average of 200-275 calories less per day, which would result in a weight loss of about 2 pounds per month.
- Sinus Congestion
ACV can also help with sinus congestion as it reduces mucous and breaks it up for easier expelling. This helps clear your sinuses, while the antibacterial effects help against infections.
- Acid Reflux and Digestion
Acid reflux is usually a result of decreased acid amounts in the stomach. If this is the case with you, start consuming a tablespoon of ACV per day to increase your stomach acid, just make sure it’s unfiltered and raw. You can dilute it in a glass of water for easier consumption.
- Skin problems
ACV can help with skin problems as well. It has an amazing effect on sunburns, bug bites and poison ivy rashes. You can add a cup of vinegar to your bath and soak in it for relief, or apply it on the affected area directly.
- Energy booster
ACV is a rich source of potassium, amino acids and a myriad of enzymes. All of these substances are beneficial against fatigue and can increase your energy levels completely naturally.
If you have warts on inconvenient places you can use ACV to eliminate them safely and painlessly. ACV contains high concentrations of acetic acid which can make the wart fall off on its own after a few applications.
- Natural Cleaning
If you don’t like to expose yourself and your family to the harmful chemicals store-bought cleaning products usually contain, you can use ACV to clean your house instead. ACV has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which means it will eliminate all the harmful bacteria in your toilet and kitchen as well. Just mix it with some water in a spray bottle and use it on any surface you need to clean.
- Neutralize Odors
ACV is the best odor neutralizer you’ll ever use. If your fridge smells bad just wipe it down with a cloth soaked in ACV and leave it for a few hours, the odors will be gone. You can pour some ACV in a bowl and leave it in your house to absorb the bad smells as well.
- Fruit and Veggie Rinse
If you suspect your fruits and vegetables may be sprayed with pesticides, the best way to eliminate them is to rinse them with some ACV. It will get rid of the pesticides and the bacteria quite easily. Just mix it with some water (1 part vinegar to 9 parts water) and soak your produce in the solution for a few minutes.
- Hair Rinse
If you have a problem with oily hair or dandruff you can use ACV to resolve the issue.
For oily hair combine 1/3 cup of ACV with 4 cups of water and rinse your hair with the solution once a week.
If you have dandruff mix equal parts of ACV and water and spray your hair with the solution. Wrap a towel and leave it in for about an hour before rinsing it off. Repeat the process twice a week for best results.
- Oral Health
If you want to whiten your teeth and eliminate bad breath you should start gargling with diluted ACV. It’s important to mention that ACV is highly acidic and can damage your tooth enamel unless you dilute it with water, so never use pure, undiluted ACV for mouth rinsing.