Apple Cider Vinegar

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m white. My father is from Sweden, and I’m about as pale as they come. I’m ridiculously-OMG-WHITE. Seriously.

So this past weekend when my husband and I walked 5 miles around the island of Manhattan, it’s not really surprising that I got a sunburn even though I was wearing SPF 70. I got home, and defaulted to my regular home remedy: Apple Cider Vinegar.

You simply take a rag (it works with cotton balls, but those aren’t as eco-friendly), dip it in some cool Apple Cider Vinegar, and gently press it into your sunburn. I did it for two days, and my sunburn cleared right up without any pealing.

My great-grandmother taught me this trick, and it has always worked for me. She also swore the reason she had hardly any age spots was because she drank a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar every day.

My great-grandmother wasn’t alone. Turns out Apple Cider Vinegar has long been used as a remedy for all sorts of ailments, but it wasn’t until the 1950s (and then again in the early 2000s) that Apple Cider Vinegar really became popular among more than just the all-natural-living folks.

So, aside from age spots and sunburns, what else can you use Apple Cider Vinegar for?

Turns out, lots of stuff!

  1. Cleaning. Vinegar is a great disinfectant, and while it certainly doesn’t work as well as bleach, it’s much more eco-friendly, and it is non-toxic.
  2. Teeth whitening. As vinegar is so acidic, it’s not surprising it does quite well on removing plaque buildup from your teeth. Simply rub a little on your teeth. Let it sit a moment, and then rinse. This is to be used with caution, and without much frequency, as vinegar can also eat away at your teeth enamel.
  3. Hair conditioner. After shampooing, rinse your hair with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted by 1.5 cups of water. People say it gives their hair body and shine. (I haven’t tried this myself. Does it work? Let me know in the comments.)
  4. Skin care. ACV helps regulate your skin’s pH. I use 1/3 ACV to 2/3 water as a skin toner at night. I remove my makeup using coconut oil when I first get home. After an hour or so I “wash” my face using my diluted ACV and a washcloth. Before bed, I moisturize with coconut oil. As a result of my skincare routine, I have very soft skin, zero wrinkles, no sunspots, and hardly any blemishes.
  5. Warts. Some people claim ACV can be used to cure warts. This has been studied, and researchers have found no conclusive evidence to back up that claim. That being said, you could try it anyway. You’ve got nothing to lose, except the wart.
  6. Weight loss. Rumor has it ACV is great for weight loss. I’m not entirely positive this is the case. A 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, claims “subjects that consumed acetic acid for 12 weeks experienced significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides.”

    It is unclear, however, if this was a double-blind study, how many participants there were, if there was a control group, or if the subjects who experienced the weight loss also were on an exercise regimen.

    Another study was done in rats in 2006 that did find the rats had lower cholesterol levels after consuming ACV, but a subsequent study about the affect ACV has on human cholesterol levels has not yet been done.

    One observational study found participants who ate bread and vinegar felt fuller than those who ate the bread without the vinegar. While this is hardly scientific, it could very well be that ACV makes people feel fuller, and thus, they don’t eat as much as they would otherwise.

  7. Diabetes. Researches *have* found that ACV is good for reducing blood glucose levels in people who are diabetic, or pre-diabetic. This was confirmed in a 2007 study. Turns out, people with type 2 diabetes who drank two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed, had lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%.
  8. Blood pressure. Again with the rats. Researchers found that rats who drank ACV had lower blood pressure levels.
  9. Heart health. There is anecdotal evidence to indicate ACV is good for heart health. According to WebMD, “A large observational study found people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates of heart disease than people who didn’t. However, it’s far from clear that the vinegar was the reason.” It could very well be that people were eating more salads and less bad fats, or that they were exercising in addition to eating ACV.

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I use the unfiltered Braag Apple Cider Vinegar. There’s a bit of a cloudyness to the vinegar, but that’s where all the good stuff is. Filtered vinegar is only filtered because manufacturers discovered consumers would buy more of it if it wasn’t cloudy.

While the evidence to backup the magic of Apple Cider Vinegar is far from conclusive, one thing does remain consistant: ACV has many potential benefits. There is a potential side effect, however. Studies do indicate ACV lowers potassium levels and bone density. If you’re going to embark on an ACV regimen, consult with your doctor. You might very well be advised to take a potassium supplement and increase your milk consumption.

What do *you* use Apple Cider Vinegar for? Let me know in the comments!