Apple cider vinegar is an effective natural remedy for hundreds of health problems. If you were to reduce the benefits of apple cider vinegar into one word, a good fit would be “balance.” Many health problems are caused by an imbalance of some sort. The gentle way that apple cider vinegar brings balance to the body could be the single most important property of this health food.
The range of health conditions that often benefit from the use of apple cider vinegar is staggering. Apple cider vinegar binds with enzymes to metabolize fats and carbohydrates. This may be the reason it helps with weight loss1 and diabetes.
Apple cider vinegar also has antifungal2 and antibacterial effects. Studies have even found that apple cider vinegar has immunostimulant properties.3 It promotes good digestion and skin health.
Apple Cider Vinegar Uses
1. Alleviates Acid Reflux
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the most effective and popular home remedies for acid reflux. ACV’s pH balancing abilities, as well as its vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients make it a fast and effective natural treatment for GERD and acid reflux.
Dosage: take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces water before and during your meals.
2. Aids Weight Loss and Calorie Reduction
Apple cider vinegar is often touted as an effective remedy for weight loss and reducing tummy fat. Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar helps the body feel satiated, leading to a reduction in calories.
The recommended dosage for weight loss is 1 tablespoon of apple cider in 8 ounces of water twice a day.
3. Clears Sinus Infections and Congestion
Apple cider vinegar can be used for sinus infections and congestion. It can be added to distilled water and used in a Neti pot (1/2 teaspoon vinegar and 6 ounces of water.) Or you can boil a cup or two of water on the stove. Remove the water from heat and add 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Drape a towel over your head to make a tent and lean over the steaming water. Slowly breathe in the steam, being careful not to burn yourself!
4. Treats Pink Eye
For eye problems like pink eye (conjunctivitis) or pterygium, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar should be added to 1 cup of distilled water. The resulting solution can then be used as eye drops 2-3 times a day until the condition resolves.
5. Alleviates Ear Ache Pain
Apple cider vinegar can be used to treat ear aches (though it should not be used in the ear if the ear drum has ruptured!) Dilute the apple cider vinegar to 50% with distilled water. This solution can be used in the ear 2-3 times a day. If the ear issue is fungal in nature (like swimmers ear) use 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part rubbing alcohol. This combination dries out the ear and kills the fungus.
6. Improves Skin Health
Apple cider vinegar detoxes the liver and alkalizes pH, which is very important components in treating any skin condition. A tonic made with 1 -2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar in a liter of water and sipped throughout the day has been found to be a very effective remedy for many skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, psoriasis, scalp infections and more.
7. Balances Hair Sebum and pH
Apple cider vinegar has a pH level close to that of human hair. That makes it especially effective remedy as a final rinse for oily hair because the ACV helps the scalp maintain an ideal pH. Apple cider vinegar will also remove buildup of hair products and minerals, leaving your hair easier to manage, soft and shiny.
After shampooing and rinsing your hair, pour a solution of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup warm water over your hair. If you have dandruff, be sure the solution spends a little time on your scalp. This hair rinse complements any lice treatment and can even prevent lice outbreaks. You can leave this in your hair or rinse it out. The vinegar smell will dissipate as your hair dries.
8. Stops Food Poisoning
Relief from vomiting, diarrhea and cramping is usually experienced quickly, sometimes even in a few minutes with apple cider vinegar. Other times, it may take 30 minutes to begin feeling better. If after 30-60 minutes, relief has not been experienced, you can repeat the dose.
For food poisoning, a dose of apple cider vinegar ranging from 2 teaspoons up to 2 tablespoons is effective. Drinking the vinegar straight is most effective, however, it can also can be added to water or juice to make it more palatable.
9. Reduces High Blood Pressure
Apple cider vinegar often has an immediate effect lowering high blood pressure. Apple cider vinegar cleans out deposits on the interior walls of the vascular system thereby allowing the blood to flow more easily and with less pressure.
Additional Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
As you can see from the below list of 65 conditions that apple cider vinegar can help, you will want to make sure you have this remedy in your kitchen cabinet!
- Food Poisoning
- Varicose veins
- Bladder Infection
- Nail Fungus
- High Blood Pressure
- Sinus Infection
- Joint Pain
- High Cholesterol
- Hot Flashes
- Gall Bladder Attack
- Insect Bite 30
- Leg Cramps
- Sore Throat
- Low Energy
- Brain Fog
- Common Cold
- Muscle Cramps
- Genital Warts
- Bacterial Vaginosis
- Heavy Menstruation
- Athlete’s Foot
- Canker Sores
- Cold Sores
- Fungal Conditions
- Heavy Metal Toxicity
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Body Acne
- Poor Circulation
What is Raw Apple Cider Vinegar?
Raw apple cider vinegar is made from apples and nothing else. Apples are crushed and made into fresh apple cider and allowed to ferment. Typical grocery store vinegars are then filtered and pasteurized. These two processes remove the “mother” and also will kill off some of the beneficial properties. Even without filtering and pasteurization, apple cider vinegar will keep for years, even without refrigeration. It should be stored out of direct sunlight though.
Why is Most Apple Cider Vinegar Pasteurized?
If raw apple cider vinegar keeps well and has health benefits, it does seem odd that vinegar is pasteurized and filtered. However, if you are not used to seeing the stringy “mother” in your apple cider vinegar, and if your vinegar looks cloudy, as raw vinegar does, it is not as visually appealing to the consumer. Consumer appeal is an aspect of marketing. Selling something as pasteurized and filtered “sounds” safe, even if it isn’t the best way to use it.
Is Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Better than Regular Vinegar?
Two decades ago, raw and organic apple cider vinegar was typically only found in health food stores. Now it is easy to find raw and organic apple cider vinegar at stores and markets everywhere, and as much health as is packed into that bottle, it is generally worth the extra expense for this product.
Pectin in raw acv is a prebiotic and helps with digestion. Nutrients and enzymes are in raw apple cider vinegar, whereas they have largely been filtered out and possibly destroyed by heat in the processing of regular vinegar.
All vinegars contain acetic acid. Acetic acid is a weak electrolyte.
In the end, raw and processed apple cider vinegars both have health benefits and uses. But because of the additional benefits of raw apple cider vinegar, it is ideal for regular use. Typically, in a pinch, the regular (not raw) vinegar works for many health problems quite nicely, fortunately. In an emergency, even white distilled vinegar works in some cases.
Make your Own Apple Cider Vinegar
If you happen to be a true purist, you can make your own apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar and pH
A confusing aspect of raw apple cider vinegar is that it helps to alkalize the body. This is counter intuitive because everyone knows that vinegar is acidic even if they aren’t aware that its pH is about 3. However, raw apple cider vinegar improves mineral balance and digestion in the body, while helps to alkalize the body. This is one of the most important balancing acts that apple cider vinegar performs. An acidic body is much more at risk for sickness and takes longer to heal. Over acidity of the body has been linked to many health problems including cancer.
Apple Cider Vinegar Dosages
As varied as people are, so the optimum dose of apple cider vinegar varies. But don’t let that discourage you from trying it for yourself. For most people it is best to start with a smaller dose and increase the amount if you are not seeing the results you would like to see. This will allow you to see how your body responds to apple cider vinegar.
Typically, 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar are added to a glass of water. This water is then consumed once or twice a day. This tonic would be for overall health and well being. For certain acute conditions, more might be taken at a time. For example, if you have food poisoning, 1-2 tablespoons might be taken in only a little bit of water to allow the antibacterial effects of apple cider vinegar to begin their work immediately.
Best Way to Take Apple Cider Vinegar?
While the typical tonic is simply apple cider vinegar added to water, some people find this intolerable. If you do not like the taste of the remedy, you are less likely to be willing to continue with it. There are plenty of other solutions for getting your daily dose of apple cider vinegar.
Add your dose of apple cider vinegar to juice. It goes almost unnoticed in apple, orange, grape or cranberry juice.
Add a healthy sweetener to your tonic. You can add honey, maple syrup or stevia to your tonic.
Use your apple cider vinegar in cooking. You can keep a bottle on the table and add some to vegetables. Apple cider vinegar with olive oil, salt and pepper makes a delicious salad dressing.
Apple cider vinegar can be made into a hot drink as well. Add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of honey and a sqeeze of lemon juice to a mug. Add hot water and stir. This hot tonic is especially helpful for the flu.
Best Time to Take Apple Cider Vinegar?
The best time to take apple cider vinegar varies according to what you are trying to accomplish.
For overall health, you can simply make the tonic of 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and sip it throughout the day.
If you are using apple cider vinegar for weight loss, take 2-3 teaspoons in water 30 minutes before meals.
If you are taking apple cider vinegar to help with gall bladder attacks, heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion, it can be taken when you are experiencing symptoms. It can also be taken before or with meals as a preventative. Many cultures serve fermented foods as a condiment with meals. Using apple cider vinegar is compatible with this principle, as it is a fermented drink.
Are Apple Cider Vinegar Pills Effective?
If you can contain the benefits of an apple into a spoonful of vinegar, can you then put the benefits of a spoonful of vinegar into capsule? Maybe. There are certainly pros and cons of using apple cider vinegar in over the counter capsules or tablets, not the least of which is ease of use. For many people they are an excellent option. If it seems the best option for you in your situation, it may be worth a try!
Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar Topically?
Apple cider vinegar has many wonderful benefits when used topically as well. Sometimes it can be used undiluted and other times it should be diluted, depending on why you need to use it. If you have sensitive skin, you should always dilute it first!
Undiluted apple cider vinegar is typically used for sprains, toenail fungus, and bug bite relief. For children or those with sensitive skin, use only 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water for these issues.
For skin problems like molluscum contagiosum, eczema, acne, and perioral dermatitis, apple cider vinegar should be diluted at least to 50%. For sensitive skin, even a solution of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water will benefit, though it may take a little longer.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Pets?
Any Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is not the perfect remedy for everyone. While it works amazingly well for many people, it can cause side effects for some people. For this reason, it is best to start with a small amount and increase the amount slowly if desired. See this important page for all the side effects of apple cider vinegar including heart palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks and more.
Where to Buy Organic and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar?
Organic and raw apple cider vinegar can now be found in almost all grocery stores in the USA. If you cannot locate it, check online at amazon. If you live in another country, please visit our Where to Buy ACV page here.