As I was thinking about what to write about this week, it occurred to me that the many different uses of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar have come up a bunch with colleagues and clients lately. If you are not familiar with the stuff, it is made by exposing crushed apples to yeast and letting the apples ferment. This turns the apple/yeast mixture into alcohol. The second step in making apple cider vinegar is to then expose the apple alcohol to bacteria, which further ferments the alcohol and turns it into acetic acid... the main active compound in apple cider vinegar. Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg's) also contains "mother," strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the vinegar a murky, cob web-like appearance. This is the good stuff. It is the "mother" in the vinegar, that I believe, enables it to have so many healthy benefits.
Here is a list of some of my favorite uses for organic, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar:
Having 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of A.C.V. in a glass of warm water before a meal helps to reduce gas and bloating, increases satiety and metabolism. It helps to reduce cravings, lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. There have been some studies that have proven that having this small amount of A.C.V with water before meals can aid in weight loss! It helps break down hard to digest proteins, and balances out your body's ph levels, helping to reduce acid reflux, and could be beneficial in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.
As a hair conditioner. Rinsing my hair with an even mixture of water and A.C.V. after shampooing and conditioning my hair does two things... 1- it makes my hair incredibly shiny and 2- it calms my dry, flakey, itchy, winter scalp. You can also use it as a treatment for dandruff. Just mix equal parts with water, apply via a spay bottle to your scalp. Leave on for up to two hours. Rinse and repeat up to once a week.
It works great as a toner to reduce the appearance of fine lines, smoothes the skin and helps to eliminate acne and age spots. You can apply the A.C.V. neat to a blemish, soak a face cloth in a diluted solution of A.C.V. and water, or mix equal parts A.C.V. and water, and apply to skin with a cotton ball.
Acetic acid (the main active ingredient in A.C.V.) is anti-microbial - which means it kills bacteria. This make A.C.V. a great natural cleaner for everything from your floors to your countertops to your windows. Just mix a small amount with water and use as you would your other, more toxic cleaners.
It is a mood enhancer and fatigue-fighter. Having 1-2 tsps in water before a meal, this helps your body produce tryptophan, which in turn helps to produce serotonin, which is the feel god hormone, which helps you feel calm and relaxed. You can also take a bit of it in water during the day to banish fatigue. This works because A.C.V. balances the P.H. in your body, clearing brain fog and giving you a boost of energy.
With so many uses, I strongly encourage you to purchase a bottle. It cost less then $3 in most grocery stores. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Yours in health,
Certified Holistic Health Coach