Maybe you already have a bottle of apple cider vinegar stashed away in your cupboard for the occasional salad dressing or marinade, but have you ever thought to use it daily to aid in your appearance and overall health? If not, apple cider vinegar has long been touted for its amazing health and beauty benefits.
First off, we want to stress the importance of buying raw organic apple cider vinegar to really experience the benefits (we love Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar). Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains what is known as “the mother” of vinegar - strand-like protein enzymes that are stripped out of clear vinegar as it is processed. It’s these additional living nutrients that pack the punch in raw ACV. Here are ten ways that you can reap the health and beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar:
Shiny Hair Rinse
The primary component of ACV is acetic acid, which can help to strip product build-up from your hair while balancing your hair’s pH level and stimulating your scalp. The result is shinier, healthier hair. All you need to do is mix up some ACV and water and apply to your hair in the shower after shampooing. Let it soak in for a couple of minutes before rinsing clean. Use ¼ cup to 1 cup of ACV mixed with 2 cups of water. If your hair tends to be oily, use closer to 1 cup of ACV. If you have naturally drier hair, use less vinegar.
Sunburnt Skin Soother
Next time your shoulders see too much sun, try applying a water-diluted ACV soaked washcloth to instantly soothe and promote healing. You can also add a cup to your bath and soak in it with the added benefit of softer, more moisturized skin all over.
Apple cider vinegar applied to your skin can help fade age spots, fight acne, and restore pH balance to your skin to prevent it from being too dry or too oily. Make your own skin toner to apply with a cotton ball to clean, dry skin by mixing 1 part ACV to 2 parts water. You can experiment with different ratios to find the combination that’s just right for you (you may prefer less ACV if you suffer from sensitive skin).
Weight Loss Aid
Apple cider vinegar is thought to be a great aid in weight loss when taken before a meal because it helps to suppress your appetite and control blood sugar levels. Obviously, diet and exercise are just as important, but if you want to give ACV a try, too, just add a couple teaspoons to a glass of water and drink before meals or sip throughout the day.
Fight yeast infections
The good bacteria in ACV can restrict yeast growth and promote the growth of good bacteria in our bodies. So, next time you’re suffering from an annoying yeast infection try soaking in a warm bath with a cup or two of ACV and restore your health from the inside out by drinking a cup of water with 2 teaspoons of ACV mixed in.
The acetic acid in ACV can help to remove stains from your teeth and kill bacteria in your mouth (bye- bye bad breath). Rub a cotton ball with ACV over your teeth and then rinse your mouth with clean water or try a quick gargle with a cap full of ACV before brushing your teeth. You just want to make sure that you don’t leave the potent ACV in your mouth for too long as it can actually eat away at your enamel! Looking for whiter teeth? Check out a teeth whitening light as well as other methods.
Natural energy booster
While ACV may not contain caffeine, it is packed full of nutrients and enzymes that can help give you a nice added energy boost. Create your own healthy energy drink by combining 2 teaspoons of ACV with a cup of water, some honey, a couple dashes of cinnamon, and maybe even a dash of cayenne for an added kick. Combine in a shaker or blender and reap the benefits of added energy, increased metabolism, and overall health.
Help Clear a Stuffy Nose
Apple cider vinegar can help sinus drainage because it contains potassium, which thins mucus. Again, just try adding a couple teaspoons to a glass of water if you are feeling stuffed up.
While it may seem counterintuitive to drink something acidic to relieve acid reflux, many consider ACV a wonderful treatment for heartburn. It works to help food break down and mimics the acidic environment of your stomach, which is thought to aid your stomach in producing less acid.
Again, it may seem counterintuitive to use something stinky to help you smell good, but ACV works well as a deodorant because it kills the smelly bacteria in sweat and helps neutralize odors. Once it is dry on your armpits, the ACV smell will dissipate. Just use a cotton ball to apply directly under your arms.
What if you can't stand the smell or taste of Apple Cider Vinegar?
A common concern by those interested in adding ACV to their daily diet is the strong smell and taste. Obviously, you can just add some to water and chug it as fast as you can, or try adding it to apple juice instead. Honey, stevia, agave, and maple syrup can also help to cut through the strong acidic taste when added to your glass of water containing ACV.
Photo Credit: Dreams To Do