Vinegar is one of the oldest liquids known to humanity. It has been dated as far back as 5000 BC when it was used primarily as a food preservative. It was even mentioned by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, who used it to accelerate the healing of wounds and prevent infections. In the 18th century, vinegar became a remedy for stomachache and poison ivy stings, while many people used it against diabetes as well.
Vinegar, which comes from the French word for “sour wine”, is a liquid made from fermented grapes, apples, dates, potatoes, beets or coconuts. Traditionally, it’s made through a long-lasting fermentation process which makes it rich in bioactive compounds such as malic, gallic and acetic acid as well as catechins and epicatechins. The liquid has antibacterial, antibiotic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
However, this goes only for raw, unpasteurized ACV, not the commercial product you can find in the market. Raw ACV has a floating substance at the bottom of the bottle which is called the “mother” and contains all the beneficial compounds which make the liquid so beneficial. Besides being great for cooking, ACV can also be used for cleaning, garden care, personal hygiene and more. It’s one of the cheapest and best natural remedies you can have in your home.
Health benefits of ACV
Although there are no recommended guidelines for ACV consumption, you can consume it raw, add it to water or to teas or meals. There aren’t any risks related to ACV overdose, so you can safely consume it. Here’s what it can help you treat:
Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar has anti-glycemic properties and can easily regulate your blood sugar levels. It does this by preventing the digestion of complex carbs and by improving the uptake of glucose in the tissues.
By slowing down the digestion of carbs, ACV prevents the blood sugar levels from spiking after meals and assists in the prevention of diabetes. The participants in one study experienced a 19% drop in their glucose levels, while another study showed that taking a few tablespoons of the liquid in the morning before breakfast can reduce the amount of glucose by 6%.
Improves heart health
Thanks to the presence of chlorogenic acid and other polyphenols, ACV can prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and protect your heart from damage. Studies have shown that ACV can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, which will result in better heart health.
Promotes weight loss
ACV is one of the best natural remedies against weight gain. In one study, the participants who consumed a bit of ACV along a bagel ate less food during the day, which eventually resulted in weight loss over time. Additionally, other studies have shown that drinking ACV with bread can lower the glucose response in the body and improve satiety, which is linked to the high levels of acetic acid.
Treats sinus congestion
If you’re suffering from sinus congestion, all you need to do is drink some ACV. It can thin out the mucus in your lungs and clean your sinuses.
Treats sore throat
ACV has antibacterial properties which work great against infections such as sore throat. Gargle a bit of the liquid diluted with some water and the problem should be gone soon.
Treats acid reflux and indigestion
In cases of acid reflux or indigestion, drink a teaspoon of ACV added to a glass of water. This will neutralize the acids in your stomach and prevent the burning sensation.
Treats skin disorders
One of the best qualities of ACV is its efficiency against skin disorders. ACV can treat almost all skin ailments – you just need to apply it topically on the affected area or soak in a bath with some ACV.
Rub a bit of ACV on your warts every night before sleeping and they will soon fall off.
Boosts your energy levels
ACV contains certain enzymes as well as potassium which can boost your energy levels and help you get through the day.
ACV home uses
Besides the health benefits, apple cider vinegar can be used in a variety of other ways. Here’s how it can make your life at home easier:
A natural cleaner
ACV is a powerful cleaning agent for all surfaces thanks to its antimicrobial properties. The organic acids in the liquid can kill bacteria on any kind of surface, even the most dangerous ones such as E. Coli. Clean your kitchen and furniture with a bit of ACV occasionally to disinfect them and keep them clean.
Apple cider vinegar is great for controlling the growth of weed in your garden. Just mix some with a bit of orange oil, molasses and liquid soap, then spray the mixture on the weeds and around your garden.
Pour some ACV in a bowl and leave it in the room with odor to neutralize it and refresh the air.
If you want to clean your fruit and vegetables perfectly and remove any pesticide residue from them, ACV is your best bet. Pour hot water in a bowl and add a cup of ACV, then soak the produce in it for 15 minutes before rinsing with water.
Hygiene and beauty uses
A great hair rinse
Rinsing your hair with ACV will remove all product residue from it and regulate your scalp’s pH levels, preventing a variety of problems.
Dilute some water and ACV, then soak a cotton ball in the mixture and clean your face with it to prevent breakouts.
A natural deodorant
ACV can kill bacteria on contact, so dabbing it under your arms is a great way of preventing odor caused by bacterial buildup.
Improves your oral health
Gargle a bit of ACV and water to whiten your teeth and neutralize bad breath. However, don’t use the method often as ACV is acidic and can damage the enamel on your teeth.
Neutralizes foot odor
If your feet are smelly, soaking them in a tub of hot water and ACV can destroy the bacteria between your toes and neutralize the odor.
How to use ACV in cooking
There are many ways you can use ACV in the kitchen – you can add it to salads, marinate meat in it, or add it to soups, stews and smoothie. The possibilities are endless, you just need to experiment. On the other hand, be very careful when picking your ACV – in order to benefit from all its properties, you need to use raw, unfiltered ACV which has the “mother”. When starting with its consumption, it’s best to consult a doctor as the liquid may interfere with some medications. If you’re healthy, you can safely start consuming it today.