If you have a bottle of apple cider vinegar in your pantry, it’s time to think of it as more than just a salad dressing ingredient.
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is made by fermenting the sugars from apples. The fermentation process turns the sugars into acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar, which can help kill certain pathogens. ACV is also rich in potassium, enzymes and other organic acids, including propionic acid and lactic acid.
Apple cider vinegar has been used all over the world for health and cleaning purposes for centuries. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine, used ACV for cleansing and treating wounds. He also prescribed ACV mixed with honey for coughs and colds. Vinegar also has been used by many cultures through history as a food preservative. Vinegar residue has been found in ancient Egyptian urns traced to around 3000 B.C.
Christopher Columbus included barrels of apple cider vinegar on his ships for his sailors to drink as a way to prevent scurvy. In addition, Japanese Samurai warriors were known to drink apple cider vinegar as a way to help give them strength and power.
Here are some amazing uses for apple cider vinegar.
1. Odor neutralizer. Try apple cider vinegar as a natural deodorant. Instead of blocking perspiration with commercial antiperspirants which usually contain aluminum, rub a bit of ACV in your armpits to absorb and minimize odor. Similarly, you can use ACV to combat foot odor. Place apple cider vinegar-soaked paper towels in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight. Then wipe your feet with the towels to combat odor. In both cases, the smell of the vinegar will dissipate as the solution dries.
2. Cleaning spray. Use ACV as an inexpensive and effective household cleaning spray. Mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. Simply spray the solution on hard surfaces such as bathroom counters and kitchen cabinets, hardwood floors and countertops before wiping it off with a clean rag. Use ACV as a toilet cleaner by pouring some into the bowl and leaving it to work overnight. You can also clean your dishes with an ACV solution in your dishwasher or in your sink.
3. Teeth whitener. Rub ACV directly on stained teeth and then rinse well with water. For a homemade whitening mouthwash, mix one teaspoon of ACV with a cup of water and then swish the solution around your mouth before rinsing well with water. Note: ACV can break down tooth enamel, so don’t overdo this remedy.
4. Sore throat remedy. ACV has antibacterial properties, and it works to break up mucous and congestion. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey. Take a tablespoon every four hours for pain relief. Another option is mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey in a cup of warm water and sip it slowly. Rinse your mouth well when you are finished to protect tooth enamel.
5. Stomach relief. To reduce gas and bloating, stir a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water or tea, and sip it before a meal. ACV stimulates digestive juices that help your body break down food. ACV also helps reduce heartburn by boosting low stomach acid levels. To help reduce the vinegary taste, add a teaspoon of honey to the mixture.
6. Wart remover. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and tape it over the wart with an adhesive bandage. Your skin may swell slightly as it reacts with the vinegar, and then the wart should fall off easily. Repeat treatment for a few more days.
7. Flea treatment. Generously spray a solution of one part ACV and one part water onto your pet’s fur. Repeat each day for about a week to rid your pet of fleas.
8. Hair care. Apple cider vinegar will bring shine and body to your hair. Mix a half tablespoon of ACV with a cup of cold water and pour the solution into an empty shampoo bottle. Pour the solution through your hair after you have shampooed. Then rinse.
If you have dandruff, let the solution stay on your hair for about 15 minutes before rinsing, and you should notice an improvement in about a week, as the acidity in the AVC inhibits the growth of the fungus that causes dandruff.
9. Skin care. As an all-natural astringent, ACV will help clear up skin blemishes and work to restore your skin’s natural pH balance. Simply apply a washcloth soaked in diluted apple cider vinegar to your face and then rinse. Place apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and apply it directly on blemishes. Or dab some ACV directly on trouble spots, such as age spots or scars, and leave it on overnight for reduced appearance.
Apple cider vinegar also makes for a natural aftershave, and it soothes skin after sunburn. Add a cup of ACV to your bathwater to restore pH levels to cool and soothe your skin.
Unpasteurized or organic ACV is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Don’t be put off by its cloudy appearance or by the strand-like sediment that floats at the bottom of a bottle of organic ACV. This sediment, called “the mother,” contains beneficial raw enzymes and “good” bacteria.
Start using apple cider vinegar around the house, and you’ll soon discover it’s one of the more useful all-natural products you can own.
Do you know of other uses for apple cider vinegar? Leave your reply in the section below: