That, and the fact my feet desperately needed some proper attention, set me off on a voyage of research.
When purchasing your apple cider vinegar, opt for the organic, raw, unpasteurised kind. The vinegar will look cloudy, this is because it contains the “mother”, a potent blend of enzymes and good bacteria. Made from apples that have been fermented twice, from cider to vinegar, ACV helps promote healthy bacteria in the gut. It’s an age-old remedy too – Hippocrates was extolling its virtues thousands of years ago.
So, here are some of the ways in which you can incorporate this wonder food into your family’s life:
1. Healthy PH levels. Apple cider vinegar can help maintain the body’s PH level. Though we’re used to thinking of vinegar as an acidic product, ACV is actually alkalising for the body, so is effective in treating heartburn and stomach acid. Taking an active role in promoting a healthy PH balance may help to prevent diseases like cancer. On the Gerson website, Charlotte Gerson writes, “cancer cannot live in an alkaline body”.
2. Promote healthy hair and scalp. My friend testifies that ACV has helped him get rid of his itchy scalp. Vinegar has long been used to create shiny hair, and because of its PH balancing qualities, ACV also helps to heal dry or oily skin on the scalp. Make a rinse with a tbsp. of ACV to a glass of water and run through the hair after washing. Rinse. Or make a hair mask by combining ACV with coconut oil for really healthy, glossy hair.
3. Skin care. Used in much the same way as a scalp/hair rinse, ACV can help to balance oily or dry skin. Follow the directions above and splash on skin after washing as a natural, healing toner. For blemishes, apply a dab of ACV with a cotton bud and leave to dry. For sunburn, try adding a couple of tbsp. to a cooling bath.
4. Weight loss. Research conducted on obese Japanese patients showed that ACV had a weight loss effect. This may be because of its detoxifying properties and the way in which it supports the liver to cleanse, but also because it apparently helps you feel fuller. Add it to salads, or mix a tbsp. with water or herbal tea (always dilute it as it can be acidic on the throat).
5. Beat the fleas. A 50/50 blend of apple cider vinegar and water can be sprayed liberally onto your pet’s fur and massaged into their skin. Spritz the concoction onto their bedding too. Try it as a healthy alternative to the chemical flea products on the market.
6. Natural deodorant. Rather than block your pores unnaturally like ordinary anti-perspirants, ACV works in harmony with the body to minimise odour and leave you feeling cool and fresh. Simply splash a little on your armpits; the vinegar smell doesn’t linger.
7. Cleaning product. Vinegar has a long history of uses around the home. Less harsh smelling, ACV is nicer to use in a spray bottle to clean surfaces, including glass and mirrors. Try adding to the toilet and leaving overnight for sparkly clean results.
8. Kidney and urine health. Some people swear by ACV as a flush for the kidneys and a quick and simple alkalising way to get rid of urine infections. Add a tbsp. to a large glass of water and sip throughout the day, topping up as necessary.
9. Anti-fungal agent. If you suffer from thrush, add a tbsp. ACV to a sitz bath or use diluted to wipe over the affected area. Bubble baths can aggravate thrush so try adding a tbsp. of ACV to your bath to minimise the irritation. People with athlete’s foot will also get relief from ACV; add a tbsp. to a foot bath and soak, and spray it in shoes to clean them.
10. Liver health. Try adding a tbsp. of ACV and tsp. of honey to a glass of warm water every morning for an energising and liver-boosting start. Because of its natural mucous-reducing properties, it can help cleanse the liver and lymph nodes. This in turn leads to a healthier, stronger body functioning optimally. It may also help with allergic conditions cause by excess mucous such as hay fever and sinus problems.
There are so many ways in which ACV can benefit your life and health, it’s impossible to list them all here, but this is definitely a product you want to have on hand rather than in the back of a cupboard. Here’s to good health!