You may not think of apple cider vinegar as something that is a boon to your overall health, but it can be, and here are 10 ways you can use it to help pave the way to a better you.
1. Balance your inner ecosystem
The body constantly strives to achieve a state of homeostasis, or a state of equilibrium. One way is by keeping the body’s pH balance (or acid-base balance) within the normal range of 7.35 – 7.45. Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Research shows that higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy, excessive production of mucous and higher incidences of infection, among other things.
2. Detoxes the body
As part of balancing the body’s pH, apple cider vinegar is useful in overall detoxification of the body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver. It also helps break up mucous throughout the body and helps cleanse the lymph nodes.
3. Weight loss
Tired of the “fad” diets that do more damage to your wallet than your excess fat cells? Try boosting your intake of apple cider vinegar. Data shows some limited, albeit significant, weight loss benefits from sustained daily intake of acetic acid (which is prevalent in apple cider vinegar). In one study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry in 2009, it was found that subjects who consumed acetic acid for 12 weeks experienced significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides.
4. Cures: Allergies
Believe it or not, research suggests that apple cider vinegar can help reduce the effect of allergies on your body, mostly by reducing mucous and sinus congestion. A sign of a distressed immune system is an increase and thickening of mucous; apple cider vinegar can help reduce the build-up and congestion, thereby reducing your susceptibility to allergies.
5. Cures: Sinus infections, sore throats, headaches, flu
Reducing the effects of allergies can also reduce the frequency of sinus infections and the symptoms associated with them, such as sore throats and headaches. Boosting the immune system can also curb bouts of the flu.
6. Clears: Acne, dermatitis, warts and other skin problems
Some practitioners recommend mixing one part apple cider vinegar and three parts water. They recommend dabbing the solution on each pimple. For warts, some recommend soaking a cotton ball in an apple cider vinegar solution then place over the wart with a band-aid overnight. The skin will swell some as it reacts with the solution and may throb; it may even turn black after a few days. Once it falls off, though, continue the treatment for a few more days, to make sure the wart doesn’t return, according to recommendations.
7. Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
One of the most important “healing” qualities of apple cider vinegar is its ability to lower blood pressure and triglycerides, the bad cholesterol. According to a 2001 animal study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, there was some evidence that daily consumption of apple cider vinegar could help reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol. Try 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar in about eight ounces of water; if you want, add a teaspoon of honey to make it more palatable.
8. Kills candida and fungus
This vinegar is rich in natural enzymes that can help rid your body of candida – a genus of yeasts which can cause thrush in humans and is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.
9. Eases arthritis, stiff joints and gout
Regular use of apple cider vinegar can be tied to a decrease in joint pain and gout by reducing inflammation; data suggests the malic acid in the vinegar is able to dissolve the uric acid crystals within the joint and assist in flushing them from the body.
10. Strengthens stomach acid
Though it might seem a little odd to treat stomach acid with an acid-containing vinegar, there is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar works by treating low acid and thereby reducing heartburn. Natural remedy experts say you should begin to feel relief – unless your problem is ulcers – very shortly after taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar followed by a glass of water.