Apple cider vinegar had its moment in the sun during the Pinterest craze of the early 2000s. Though it’s experiencing a resurgence now, the public’s undulating focus on the sweet and tart miracle elixir is nothing new.
Since at least 2,500 years ago, when the nomadic Aryan tribe soured their apple wine (read: fermented) and made apple cider vinegar’s ancestor, people have been using apple cider vinegar for all kinds of things – without the peer-reviewed chemical evidence we have today.
Hippocrates himself was a fan of apple cider vinegar as a catch-all for health issues.
Ancient Persians diluted their apple cider vinegar (ACV) to prevent fatty tissue from forming.
Cleopatra supposedly used it as a toner to clean her skin.
Ancient Japanese samurai drank it for strength in battle, allegedly.
In World Wars, and wars on American soil, ACV was used to disinfect wounds on the battlefield.
And in 1958, when Dr. D.C. Jarvis published his Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, the homeopathic use of apple cider vinegar as a topical application, internal tonic, weight loss vessel, and so much more.
At its simplest, apple cider vinegar comes from crushed apples that have been distilled, exposed to yeast, and then fermented. And yet, from something so pure comes such a diverse array of benefits. Most of its benefits are believed to come from:
- Acetic acid – The result of fermentation, acetic acid can curb appetites by reducing starch absorption and slow digestion, which helps you feel fuller, faster.
- “The Mother” – The cloudy mix of yeast and bacteria used to ferment and then remaining after the fermentation of the apples, which is a probiotic.
- Vitamin profile like the apple – Plenty of Vitamin B and polyphenols
Here are four of the more solidly backed benefits from using apple cider vinegar…
Non-Toxic Cleaning Product
Because vinegar kills bacteria and pathogens, it’s often used as a cleaning product instead of store-bought chemical products.
A simple mixture of apple cider vinegar diluted with water, with baking soda and essential oils, can be used to clean any surface!
Some evidence even suggests that the smell or taste is repellant to fruit flies – perfect for spraying on surfaces.
Helps to Kill Candida
Candida is a harmful bacteria that lives in lots of places, but you’ve most likely heard of it in terms of your gut and oral microbiome.
Using apple cider vinegar to gargle with can not only help combat bad breath by killing off the bad bacteria responsible, but you can also use it to whiten your teeth! (Rub a little baking soda on your teeth and then swish with apple cider vinegar for about a minute. Spit it out when the foaming’s all done.)
It’s been known to help with sore throats for the same reason – especially when paired with an equal amount of honey, to help coat the throat and kill bacteria.
It can also help by encouraging the stomach to produce more stomach acid because of its probiotic and Candida-killing properties.
For Your Skin and Hair
Remember Cleopatra using apple cider vinegar as a toner? Well, we’re still doing it!
That’s because the acetic acid (and alpha hydroxy acid) in ACV can exfoliate the skin and draw oil from its pores. Plus, the acidic qualities in ACV can help to topically restore your skin’s pH levels and dissolve dead skin cells.
Just distill it in water first! And the same goes for using it as shampoo. It lowers the pH of the scalp, which allows your hair cuticles to close, resulting in less tangled, shinier, stronger hair.
A glass of water with two tablespoons of ACV in it should be just fine to rub through your hair as shampoo or after shampoo.
In Your Cooking
ACV can do a whole lot more than dress a simple salad.
It can help egg whites solidify when poaching eggs if you add it to the water before the egg.
You can add it to your bone broth at the beginning of its brewing to help pull nutrients from the marrow.
You can add it to your water after a workout to fight lactic acid build up.
It can even make your rice fluffier if you add it to the rice water while boiling!
It’s certainly not a cure-all… but its uses are wide-ranging and often solve problems more safely than their industrial counterpart.
Try incorporating it into parts of your daily routine… and see where it helps!