Just last week I shared a post by Dr. Mercola centred around lemons and the over 60 ways that they can be used around the house to make your life a little cleaner and a lot easier. Today, I’m happy to share another post from Dr. Mercola on another healthy powerhouse: apple cider vinegar.

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For those who don’t know, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a form of vinegar made from cider or apple must that, when prepared organically, contains something called “the mother,” a cobweb-like substance which has many health benefits when consumed. ACV with the mother present has been fermented slowly and is of the highest quality.

Although I had heard about it for years, my first firsthand experience with ACV came a couple of years ago when having a conversation with a close friend about a skin tag I had had on my lower back for quite sometime. At that point I had been using tea tree oil (as recommended by my doctor) but found that it had no effect. My friend suggested that I switch over to apple cider vinegar, an alternative that quickly became the solution after two short weeks.

From that point on I was hooked, and I’m now excited to share with you all over 15 ways that apple cider vinegar can be used to improve your life (written by Dr. Mercola):

Health Uses

1. Diabetes

Vinegar is said to be anti-glycemic and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. It’s thought that the acetic acid in vinegar may lower blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates, which is accomplished either by accelerating gastric emptying or increasing the uptake of glucose by bodily tissues. (source)

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One theory is that vinegar might inactivate some of the digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates into sugar, thus slowing the conversion of complex carbohydrate into sugar from a meal into your bloodstream.

This gives your body more time to pull sugar out of your blood, preventing your sugar levels from spiking.  Quite a bit of research supports the use of vinegar as a diabetic treatment as well.

One study found that vinegar treatment improved insulin sensitivity in 19 percent of individuals with type 2 diabetes and 34 percent of those with pre-diabetes. (source)

Yet another study found taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes by up to 6 percent by the morning. (source)

2. Heart Health

Vinegar supports heart health in multiple ways. As explained in theJournal of Food Science: (source)

“Polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, which is present in high levels in apple cider vinegar, could inhibit oxidation of LDLs and improve health by preventing cardiovascular diseases.”

One study showed that vinegar could lower cholesterol in laboratory rats, (source) while another study on rats found their blood pressure could be lowered by the acetic acid in vinegar. (source)

Vinegar has also been found to decrease triglyceride levels and VLDL levels (the damaging form of cholesterol) in animal studies. (source)

3. Weight Loss

Vinegar may help you lose weight, as it appears to have an anti-obesity effect by increasing satiety and reducing the total amount of food consumed.

For instance, when volunteers consumed a small amount of vinegar along with a high-carb meal (a bagel and juice) they consumed less food for the remainder of the day. The reduction equated to about 200 to 275 calories a day – an amount that would result in a monthly weight loss of up to 1.5 pounds. (source)

In addition, separate research found taking vinegar along with bread not only lowered glucose and insulin responses, but also increased levels of satiety. The rating of satiety was directly related to the acetic acid level in the vinegar. (source)

4. Sinus Congestion

Apple cider vinegar helps to break up and reduce mucous in your body, helping to clear your sinuses. It also has antibacterial properties, making it useful for infections.

5. Sore Throat

The antibacterial properties in apple cider vinegar may be useful for sore throats as well. Gargle with a mixture of about one-third cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water as needed.

6. Digestion & Acid Reflux

Acid reflux typically results from having too little acid in your stomach. You can easily improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water daily. The pectin in apple cider vinegar may also help to soothe intestinal spasms.

7. Skin Irritations

Apple cider vinegar works for a variety of skin ailments, from bug bites to poison ivy to sunburn. You can either apply it directly to the irritated area or try soaking in a bath with about one cup of vinegar added.

8. Warts

Topical application of apple cider vinegar may help remove warts, likely because of the high levels of acetic acid it contains. (source) You can try soaking a cotton ball in vinegar and applying it to the wart, covered, overnight.

9. Energy Boost

Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes to help banish fatigue. Plus, its amino acids may help prevent the buildup of lactic acid in your body, further preventing fatigue. (source)

Around The Home

1. Cleaning

Vinegar is one of the best natural cleaning agents there is, and this is largely due to its antimicrobial properties. When added to food, the organic acids in vinegar (especially the acetic acid) pass into cell membranes to kill bacteria.  Foods fermented with vinegar have a natural arsenal of antimicrobial organic acids, including acetic, lactic, ascorbic, citric, malic, propionic, succinic, and tartaric acids. One study found acetic acid to be lethal to even E. coli O157:H7, while other research has shown substances such as acetic acid, lemon juice, or a combination of lemon juice and vinegar to be effective against salmonella. (source)

2. Weed Killer

Vinegar is very effective to control weeds in your garden.

3. Neutralize Odors

Apple cider vinegar in a bowl will help to neutralize odors in your home.

4. Fruit & Veggie Wash

Vinegar is one of the best natural agents for removing certain pesticides and bacteria from your fresh produce. Try a solution of 10 percent vinegar to 90 percent water as a bath to briefly soak produce. Just place your veggies or fruit in the solution, swish them around, and rinse thoroughly (don’t use this process on fragile fruits like berries since they could be damaged in the process or soak up too much vinegar through their porous skins).

Beauty

1. Hair Rinse

Apple cider vinegar helps remove product build-up and balance your scalp’s pH level. Try a weekly rinse of one-third cup of vinegar mixed with four cups of water. For dandruff, try spraying your scalp with equal parts vinegar and water (mixed), wrapping a towel around your head, and leaving it to sit for an hour. Then, wash out and repeat up to twice a week. (source)

2. Facial Toner

Diluted apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball makes a simple facial toner and cleanser to help prevent breakouts. It might even help bruises to fade faster.

3. Deodorant

Apple cider vinegar helps kill odor-causing bacteria, so dab a bit under your arms for a natural deodorant.

4. Oral Health

Gargling with diluted apple cider vinegar can help to eliminate bad breath and whiten teeth. Keep in mind, however, that apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. The main ingredient is acetic acid, which is quite harsh, so you should always dilute it with water before swallowing. Pure, straight apple cider vinegar could damage your tooth enamel or the tissues of your mouth and throat. (There is, in fact, one reported incident of long-term esophageal damage to a woman who got an apple cider vinegar supplement capsule stuck in her throat.)

5. Foot Odor

Wiping your feet down with apple cider vinegar can help to eliminate odor-causing bacteria and smells from your feet.

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Of those listed above, I personally have used ACV to combat a sore throat, to clean around my condo, to wash fruits and vegetables, as a facial toner, and as previously mentioned, to successfully remove a long-standing skin tag.

I cannot personally guarantee that ACV will work for you, but it is certainly worth a shot, and thankfully it is both relatively affordable and easy to buy. I’ve only had experience with organic ACV (with the mother), but even a non-organic version may be just as effective. Try it out and be sure to share any and all experiences in the comment section below!


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