10 Incredible Health And Beauty Uses Of Apple Cider Vinegar
It can do so much more than just creating a tasty meal.
You might think of apple cider vinegar as an ingredient for delicious salad dressings. But take a good look at that bottle sitting in your kitchen cupboard – its contents can do so much more than just creating a tasty meal.
Apple cider vinegar has been used in many capacities around the home for hundreds of years. It has incredible health and beauty benefits and also has many uses around the kitchen that are not related to cooking.
This type of vinegar is made from cider, or “apple must” (Apfelmost), which first undergoes fermentation. This process results in bacteria and yeast converting sugar to alcohol and then acetic acid.
Apple cider vinegar is a cloudy pale golden colour and should contain a cobweb-like substance known as “mother vinegar” which you should see settled at the bottom of the bottle. When you buy apple cider vinegar (organic and unrefined for best results), check that this “mother” is there, as it reportedly contains beneficial enzymes and bacteria, including probiotics.
Rich in minerals such as potassium, chloride, calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus, trace minerals like fluorine and copper, and vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2, we think apple cider vinegar should belong in the medicine cabinet and not in the kitchen!
Do keep in mind that if you are currently on any medications and would like to try apple cider vinegar for its health benefits, talk to your doctor first to make sure it won’t interact with any of your drugs.
1. Controls type 2 diabetes
Research suggests that the active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, acetic acid, can reduce starch digestion and balance blood sugar levels. As a result, it is good for type 2 diabetes management.
How to use: Add apple cider vinegar to salad dressings or mix one tablespoon of it in a glass of water and consume before meals.
2. Eliminates dandruff
The annoying itchiness of dandruff and of course the embarrassing white flakes that prevent us from wearing our favourite little black dress make dandruff a much-hated condition!
But you don’t have to rely on harsh anti-dandruff shampoos anymore to get rid of those annoying flakes. Once again, apple cider vinegar comes to the rescue! Experts explain that it works by changing and balancing the pH levels of your scalp, stopping yeast growth which is one of the main causes of dandruff
How to use: Mix up to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and rinse your hair with it. For more intense dandruff treatment, mix a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar with a quarter cup of water, apply the mixture to your scalp and leave on for at least an hour before washing off.
3. Soothes sore throats
Want to get rid of sore throat without harsh medicines? Apple cider vinegar, combined with honey and some cayenne pepper, makes an effective and all-natural sore throat remedy. The former two have antibacterial properties and the latter contains capsaicin which helps relieve pain.
How to use: Mix one teaspoon apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon cayenne pepper and three teaspoons of honey in a glass of warm water and drink up. If the sore throat is caused by allergies, apple cider vinegar is even more effective because it can help break up mucous and sinus congestion.
4. Leaves your hair silky and shiny
After some time, our hair can be left looking dull and lifeless due to product build-up. You don’t have to go and buy yourself an expensive new shampoo when this happens. All it means is that your hair and scalp just need a good deep-clean – and apple cider vinegar can help.
Experts say, “Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which, when applied to your scalp, removes excess buildup left from styling products and shampoos.”
How to use: Twice a month after shampooing, pour a cup of apple cider vinegar on your scalp and hair, massage it in and rinse off after a few minutes. Your hair will be left silky smooth and gorgeous.
5. Leaves your house spick and span
Apple cider vinegar is the perfect household cleaner due to its antibacterial properties. Because it’s all-natural, you don’t have to worry about nasty chemical residue or odours being left behind. Here are a few ways you can use apple cider vinegar to get your house sparkly clean:
- Mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water, pour into a spray bottle and use it to clean kitchen benchtops and appliances. You could even use it to wipe down the screens of handheld devices, clean your computer keyboard and your baby’s high chair! Also, use a highly diluted mix to clean your baby’s toys.
- Clean your toilet, bathtub and sink with full-strength apple cider vinegar. If you have hard water stains in your sink, fill it with hot water and add two cups of vinegar. Let it soak for up to two hours.
- Deodorise smelly rooms by pouring apple cider vinegar into a bowl and placing it where the smell is strongest. It’s supposed to work really well in getting rid of smoky smells in particular.
6. Eases digestion problems
Acid reflux and heartburn are not pleasant experiences. These are caused by an imbalance of pH levels in the stomach, along with reduced levels or a lack of enzymes and probiotics. Experts say that because apple cider vinegar naturally contains enzymes and probiotics, it can help ease these unpleasant digestive issues.
How to use: Just add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink five minutes before your meal.
7. Eliminates foot and underarm odour
There’s nothing as embarrassing as bad body odour. Apple cider vinegar presents an effective, cheap and natural solution to both smelly feet and underarm odour. The acids in apple cider vinegar change the pH level of your skin that helps stop the growth of bacteria.
How to use: For a really good foot deodoriser, soak baby wipes in one cup of apple cider. Soak the wipes overnight in the fridge, store in an airtight bag and use when needed by cleaning your feet with them. You could also use the same wipes as an underarm deo – just swipe across clean, dry skin. And don’t worry about the “vinegar” smell, it will go away as the vinegar dries off.
8. Gets rid of fleas on your pet
All you pet owners, this one is for you. You can ditch the nasty chemical concoctions that double up as flea treatments and replace them with one simple, effective and natural solution – apple cider vinegar!
How to use: Mix a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water and soak your pet in this solution, in a tub. Do this once a day for several weeks and you can bid farewell to fleas forever!
9. Cleans make-up brushes
It’s really important to keep your make-up brushes clean in order to prevent the build-up of dirt and gunk, which may then affect your skin. Apple cider vinegar is a really good make-up brush cleaner due to the malic acid in it, which gives it its antibacterial properties.
How to use: Beauty experts suggest combining one cup of warm water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. You can add a thick slice or two of lemon into this mixture if you like. Then, it’s as simple as soaking your brushes in this mixture for an hour or so, rinsing them with water and drying them well before use again.
10. Tones your skin
If you are bothered by large pores and dull, oily skin, then apple cider vinegar can help you. How? Dermatology experts explain that skin is naturally acidic, but when you use apple cider vinegar as a toner, it can help balance your skin’s oil levels.
How to use: Dilute a few drops of apple cider vinegar in water and apply it over your skin with a cotton ball three to four times a week. If you have sensitive skin, reduce the frequency of application and add more water to the mixture.
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