The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
by Amy Goodrich April 27, 2014 (www.body-in-balance.org)
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many all-natural uses, going from a salad dressing to personal care and household cleaning. Lately there has been a lot of fuss around the healing powers of apple cider vinegar and enthusiasts suggest to take a tablespoon or two a day to cure everything including gout, diabetes, allergies, and cancer.
Although a lot of those claims are overstated or unfounded, there are many uses that are proven and have been used for ages.
Their advice is to take a few tablespoons ACV daily to improve nutrient absorption, digestion, etc… but ACV should not be used long term. And I tell you why later in this article. So keep reading as it is super important.
But first let’s start with the good news…
Top 13 Health Benefits And Uses Of ACV
Apple cider vinegar has a long history as a folk remedy. Hippocrates, Cleopatra, and Babylonians used it as a preservative, condiment, and as a cure-for-all.
ACV came to our attention in the fifties with D.C. Jarvis’ best-selling book “Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health.” Ever since, ACV has been a popular product, playing an important role in many of our Western households as a beauty, household, or health promoting natural product.
Some of the uses and benefits below are supported by science and others are back up by our folk wisdom. Although there are many uses of ACV, I’ll list the most important ones for you below.
1. Improve Nutrient Absorption
ACV is high in acetic acid which can increase your body’s ability to absorb minerals from the food you eat. So drinking a mild tonic with apple cider vinegar before a meal can help you to get more out of the foods you eat.
2. Improve Digestion
Some people swear by taking a few tablespoons a day to improve digestion, but long-term excessive use could cause low potassium levels and lower bone density. I don’t use apple cider vinegar on a daily basis, but it definitely helps me to cure bloating, acid reflux/heartburn, diarrhea, or stomach cramps.
ACV improves bowel movement and prevents indigestion when taken before a heavy meal. So instead of using it every day, use this mixture whenever you need it. Squeeze a whole lemon in 6 ounces of water and add 1 tablespoon of ACV (for children use half). Drink this remedy 3 times a day until symptoms disappear.
The fantastic cleansing properties of ACV help body detoxifying process, as it helps the body remove toxic waste more efficiently before it has time to do damage and it also helps to detoxify the liver. If you are interested in detoxifying your body, you can find more useful information in the e-book The Detox Guide. This guide will teach you how to use detox to cleanse and energize your body naturally and safely.
3. Ease Muscles Cramps
The same remedy as described above can be used to ease muscle cramps. If leg cramps during the night are holding you back to have a peaceful night’s rest, take one tablespoon ACV with honey to taste just before turning in. You could use the lemon water as well, but it is better to not drink a glass of water before going to bed or your sleep maybe be interrupted to go to the bathroom.
4. Soothe A Sore Throat
Add 1 tablespoon ACV, honey, and the juice of half a lemon to one cup of warm water. Drink at first signs of a sore throat. Repeat 3 times a day until symptoms disappear.
5. ACV Rinse For Healthy And Shiny Hair
ACV can be used as a rinse after shampooing. It will give your hair more body and a healthy, shiny look. It works well to balance the pH of your hair and scalp, it removes product build-up, and can help to fight dandruff, hair loss, and an itchy scalp.
ACV has more or less the same acidity as human hair and therefore has been used for ages as a natural conditioner and cleaning agent. It will boost your hair’s volume and shine. Just fill an old, clean shampoo bottle with one cup cold water and ½ tablespoon ACV. Use the mixture as a rinse after shampooing. Repeat a few times a week for the best result. Click Here and discover how you can make your own all-natural, chemical-free shampoo.
6. Remove Stains From Your Teeth
ACV can help you to remove stains from your teeth and give them their white look back. Rub ACV on the stain and thoroughly rinse afterwards. Note that when used over a longer period it can harm your tooth enamel because acid desolves tooth enamel. So go easy on this.
7. Soothe Sunburns
Adding 1 cup of ACV to your bath can help you to soothe the burning pain from a sunburn.
8. All-natural Flea Repellent For Your Pets
Mix one part vinegar with one part water and add to a spray bottle. Saturate the coat of your pet with this mixture once a day, for a few days to a week and all fleas should be gone.
9. Green Cleaning
Vinegar can be used as a natural all-around green cleaning product. You could use undiluted ACV for tough stains or mix equal parts ACV with water to clean everything from your countertops to windows (without streaks :-), a simple trick my mom showed me). I often add a few drops of lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus or orange essential oil for a fresh and clean scent.
10. Aid Weight Loss
Although ACV is no weight loss miracle on its own, studies have linked a higher intake of acetic acid (the main ingredient of ACV) to reduced body weight and cholesterol levels. Add 2 tablespoons of ACV to 16 ounces of water and sip during the day. But again, ACV should not be used long term…
11. Kill Fungus
Whether you are struggling with a candida overgrowth or foot or skin fungus, ACV may save your day. Add 1 tablespoon ACV to a glass of water and drink before each meal. At first your candida may seem to worsen, caused by the die off of the yeast.
To get rid of skin or toe fungus soak feet in ACV or apply on the affected area. It will give a burning sensation, so if you have a sensitive skin it is best to dilute the ACV with water.
12. Clear A Slow Drain or Remove Bad Odor
Pour ¼ cup baking soda into the drain and add ½ to 1 cup apple cider vinegar. When the fizzing stops, rinse with hot water.
13. Unclog Your Shower Head
Soak your shower head overnight (or approx. 12 hours) in undiluted ACV. If it is not possible to remove your shower head, fill a bag with acv and rubber band it around your shower head.
And here are a few more uses and benefits:
Risks Of Long Term Use Of ACV
The risks of using ACV internally seems low as long as you only use it over a short period of time. When you consider taking ACV internally on a daily basis there are of few things you should know.
Highly acidic: the main ingredient is acetic acid, which is a harsh compound. When used internally you should always dilute it with water as it can damage tooth enamel and the tissue in your mouth and throat. Liquids with high acid content are known to dissolve the calcium solids in tooth enamel. This can lead to cavities and tooth loss.
Depletes potassium levels when used over longer periods. Potassium is vitally important. It helps your heart to beat, allows your muscles to move, helps your kidneys to filter blood, and maintains nerve health.
Long-term use of ACV could cause lower bone density. Potassium, along with sodium, serves to maintain critical fluid balance within the body, and plays an important role in bone health as well. The role of potassium in bone health relates to the ability of selected potassium salts to neutralize bone-depleting metabolic acids.
ACV can interact with: diuretics, laxatives, and medicines for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Skin burns: When applied onto the skin, undiluted, it may cause burns and scarring.
Excessive use may cause damage to: the stomach, duodenum, and liver.
So if you have low potassium levels, osteoporosis or weak bones, a heart condition, or diabetes, ALWAYS check with your healthcare provider before using apple cider vinegar internally.
FYI: Does ACV Still Contains The Nutrients From The Apples?
Although you may have heard that ACV’s healing powers, even after fermentation of the apples, comes from the apple’s nutrients, the opposite is true. Apples are rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, pectin, and other beneficial nutrients, whereas ACV is poor in all of those nutrients.
When buying ACV, make sure to buy organic, unprocessed, murky, brown ACV. Those still contain the mother with traces of the apple’s nutrients.
Take home message:
Although ACV has many wonderful and all-natural benefits and uses, moderation is key! I often use it as a green cleaning agent, which is absolutely safe and eco-friendly. Internally we only use it for a short period of time, like when I have a sore throat or when I have digestive issues like cramps or bloating.
Legal CMA Disclaimer:
Although this article may contain factual information, the information contained in this article has probably not been evaluated by the FDA nor is it in any way intended to be medical advice.
Unfortunately I must recommend that for any change in medical or health behavior or for any change in the way you use prescribed drugs by your healthcare providers or before acting upon any of the advice given in this or any other article, that you consult with your licensed healthcare provider or physician.
Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.