Long before prescription medications, people relied on herbs and remedies to cure their ailments. Quite a few of today’s medicines were derived from folk remedies. For example, aspirin is salicylic acid and comes from the bark of willow trees. Ancient civilizations used it as a pain remedy. Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is another popular folk remedy that is said to cure many ailments. Forgotten for many years, its popularity rose again after its many uses were mentioned in Dr. Jarvis’ book about folk remedies.
The beneficial type of ACV is made from crushing apples and fermenting them in wood barrels. The resulting product is acetic acid. However, ACV is very different compared to the refined and distilled vinegar found on the grocery store shelves. Compared to refined kind, this fermented vinegar contains a cobweb-type material called the “mother.” This material is purported to provide the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
What is apple cider vinegar good for?
Apple cider vinegar benefits are mostly anecdotal. They range from curing sinus infections to getting rid of warts. While some ACV health benefits have yet to be proven, there are some studies that show promise.
In one small study, it was shown that it could lower blood glucose levels. Subjects took the ACV before bed, and their blood glucose levels were lower in the morning. In addition, other studies have also shown that taking ACV with a meal can lower the blood glucose response, and can also make the person feel fuller.
In that study, ACV was taken with bread and the participants said they felt more full than eating the bread alone. For someone wanting to lose weight, taking ACV before a meal can help with digestion and to be less hungry during the day. Since there are few side effects with ACV use, experimenting with it for weight loss should not be a problem.
Another study showed that ACV lowered blood pressure in rats. This may be a result of the potassium that is found in ACV. Recent studies suggest that people do not get enough potassium in their diet. Since sodium and potassium regulate the electrolytes in the body’s fluids, the lack of potassium may lead to higher blood pressure. Studies are ongoing regarding how much potassium is necessary for proper balance. Some people who take potassium supplements along with blood pressure medicines can end up with blood pressure that is too low so they should check with their doctor before adding too much potassium.
The antibacterial properties of ACV had led it to be used to help with skin issues such as acne, dandruff and age spots. For age spots and acne, a cotton ball is saturated with the ACV and placed on the affected areas. This can be done several times a day. For dandruff, the ACV can be to rinse the hair, or allowed to dry on the scalp before shampooing and conditioning. However, be warned that ACV does have a distinct odor and these remedies should probably be performed at night allowing the odor to dissipate.
The recommended dose of apple cider vinegar is two teaspoons three times a day to reap the full benefits. Many people make a lemonade from water, honey and the ACV. It can also be used to replace distilled vinegar in salad dressings, marinades and cole slaw recipes. Some will drink it straight, but it can erode tooth enamel, so rinsing or brushing afterwards is necessary.
It is easy when researching natural remedies and supplements to become confused by scientific language and medical terminology. However, apple cider vinegar benefits are easy to understand and are worth considering when dealing with many every day ailments and illnesses. While many of these are considered home remedies, and are not scientifically backed here are a few examples of benefits many claim to get with using apple cider vinegar:
Clears up acne: This is possibly one of the greatest apple cider vinegar benefits. But very few people know about it! Simply add the vinegar to some water and apply directly to the face. The apple cider vinegar will kill any bacteria that are on the skin and will absorb the excess facial oils which cause break-outs.
Cures Bad Breath: Due to the fact that apple cider vinegar is so acidic it is the perfect remedy for bad breath or halitosis. All you need to do is dilute the vinegar in some water and use it as you would your daily mouthwash.
Eliminates Age Spots: The magic ingredient here is the sulfur contained in the apple cider vinegar! Many women have used apple cider vinegar for decades as a way to reduce the signs of aging!
Conquers Cellulite: When mixed with your favorite massage oil and applied daily, apple cider vinegar can help to eliminate unsightly cellulite! These benefits of apple cider vinegar are very popular with pregnant women, or those who have just had their first child!
Help with Weight Loss: Though there are no studies to prove it, many fitness professionals recommend an apple cider vinegar diet as a natural weight loss supplement. It is believed that the vinegar helps to burn calories and curbs hunger.
Reduces Sinus Infections and Sore Throats: This is one of the oldest known apple cider health benefits. ACV has been used as a cure for throat infections and tender sinuses for centuries and is a lot cheaper than constant prescriptions!
Strengthens the Immune System: Similar to other natural supplements, ACV still contains many essential enzymes and minerals and is a great way to boost the immune system to fight off colds, flus and other seasonal illnesses.
Cures constipation: The high levels of pectin which are contained in apple cider vinegar can work as natural laxatives. Simply mix two teaspoons of vinegar into your regular fruit juice and drink three times daily.
Controls diabetes: One of the most important apple cider vinegar benefits to mention is its ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Many homeopathic healers have used this vinegar as a natural option to more traditional diabetes treatments.
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are long and you can see the many reasons you could add apple cider to your diet, or use it topically as a natural health remedy.
Editor’s Note: The below portion of this article comes from one of our readers and she talks a little about AVC and weight loss.
Losing weight is a great challenge for a lot of people and while there are many ways of getting slimmer, not everyone is successful in gaining actual results. If you decide to go the natural way in weight loss, you might want to consider the apple cider vinegar diet.
How does apple cider vinegar aid in weight loss?
A lot of people swear by the effects of apple cider vinegar on their system particularly on their metabolism. As you know, fat is only either burned off or stored which means that when your metabolic rate is slow, fat molecules are likely to be deposited in various parts of the body.
Taking 2-3 teaspoons of pure apple cider vinegar will aid in increasing your metabolic rate which will translate to more calories burned. In order to lose a significant amount of weight, there has to be a deficit in your calorie intake. That is, the body burns more calories than it consumes. Just make sure that you follow a diet as well as using the vinegar. It is helpful, but not a miracle aid.
How to go about the diet program
There are basically two ways to practice this diet. You have the option of either taking the vinegar in pill form or ingest it in pure liquid form. While there is no doubt that taking vinegar in pill form is more welcoming to the taste buds, there is also some doubt as to how effective it can be as far as yielding results. So you should stick to drinking your apple cider vinegar, ideally in its raw form.
Since this diet is classified under cleansing as well as for losing weight, there are certain restrictions as far as food consumption goes. The effectiveness of this diet program is largely dependent on how well you regulate your food intake as well as what types of food products you consume.
In addition to the weight loss the diet provides, other apple cider vinegar benefits can be expected from it such as significant improvements to the skin and improved digestive activity.