Most of us have heard of apple cider vinegar, and used it in some way. There was a time when people were told to drink a tablespoon with water every morning to aid weight loss. This, I’m afraid, is one of the things it does not do.
Or rather there has been no conclusive evidence that proves this. And yes I tried it too, with no such result.
Other claims are that it can help reduce cellulite, lower blood pressure, manage blood sugar levels, strengthen bones, relieve pains from jellyfish stings, remove warts, detox the kidneys and a lot more.
So what exactly is this miracle potion?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from apple juice. Bacteria and yeast are added to the juice to start the alcoholic fermentation process where the sugars are turned into alcohol. It is then fermented a second time to become apple cider vinegar.
If you are going to use ACV as a health remedy or on your skin, it is best to go organic. It should also be unheated, unfiltered and unpasteurised to keep the "mother" intact. The "mother" in apple cider vinegar is visible as cloudy strings at the bottom of the bottle. It is full of beneficial enzymes, pectin, and trace minerals. Just give the bottle a shake before using each time.
So although there is a long list (I found over 50 uses), here are my five tried and tested uses for ACV:
Use 1/2 tablespoon of ACV in one cup of water. After you shampoo, apply the mixture to your hair and leave it for a few minutes. Give it a quick rinse. Don’t worry about your hair smelling like vinegar, it will go away once your hair is dry.
You will probably have to play around with the measurements to find what suits your hair. Dry hair likes less ACV, and oily hair likes more. Also how often you want to use it will be a personal preference.
Once you find the right combination for your hair, make a bigger quantity and store it in a bottle in your bathroom. Here’s a tip, take a bottle and mark the line for the vinegar and one for the water. This makes it easier for you to refill each time.
Create a toner using one part ACV and four parts water. This is a good ratio to start with. You can make it slightly stronger by using 1:2 ratio once you see how your skin reacts to the toner. After you have washed your face, take a cotton pad and apply the toner. You can moisturise your face after if you wish; I occasionally use coconut oil.
Mix two teaspoons of ACV with ¼ cup warm water. Gargle the mixture and swish it around your mouth for 10-15 seconds.
I use it when I have an itchy or inflamed throat, and it provides some relief. It has been noted to help with bad breath, thrush, gum infections and teeth stains. An important thing to note is to brush your teeth after using this mouthwash, as ACV is an acid and needs to be rinsed off after use.
At the start I mentioned that ACV does not aid weight loss, but it does help with the body’s elimination channels helping the body to eliminate waste and toxins. Take one to two tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water twice a day. Take the first one when you wake up and the second one after dinner.
This is one of my favourite uses for ACV. With young children in the house and trying to help mother nature, using non-chemical products is the way to go.
Mix one part ACV to nine parts water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and use it to clean any surface. You don’t have to worry if any residue gets left behind because it is completely non-toxic. For areas that need a little more of a clean, such as toilets, bathtubs and drains, use full strength ACV; leave overnight and rinse the next day.
You can also choose to use normal vinegar as a cleaning agent, which is also non-toxic.