Apple cider vinegar is all the rage these days. Even if you haven’t spent much time studying home remedies and ways to better your life with natural products, you’ve still probably heard about apple cider vinegar and the many benefits it could offer you. From controlling your blood sugar, to whitening your teeth, apple cider vinegar is portrayed as the cure all for your every problem. While it might not be an instant miracle, there are numerous areas in your life that could be benefited by proper use of apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is different from the white vinegar you might be used to. It is made, of course, from apples, and looks somewhat like apple juice, though it is often a darker color. Apple cider vinegar is the stage after hard cider. In olden days it was usually made in a clean barrel. Apple peelings, and cores would be tossed into the barrel as apples were canned and dried for the season. Once the peelings and cores were in the barrel, the ingredients would begin to ferment and would become like hard cider or wine. In several months time, the housewife would have an acidic batch of homemade vinegar.
This practice was to prevent anything from going to waste, and also to prevent housewives from having to use store bought vinegar that could be tainted with dangerous acids that put their families at risk. Housewives prided themselves in making unique flavored vinegar that they could use as a condiment on the table, and also in many recipes.
Unless you happen to preserve a ton of apples and feel very adventurous, making your own vinegar at home is probably not something you want to undertake. These days there is little risk involved in purchasing store vinegar, either apple cider, or the white vinegar that is more common. The benefits of apple cider vinegar are many, so even if you’ve never tried it before, add it to your next shopping list.
For best results, try to purchase raw, unpasteurized and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. This will be as close to natural as possible. If you can get organic, that’s even better. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find natural apple cider vinegar at a regular supermarket. Some may have it in the health food section, but mostly likely, you’ll have to go to a health food store, or possibly even order it online and have it shipped to you.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Everyday Hair Care
Because apple cider vinegar is acidic, it’s great at removing grease, and the residue of hair products, leaving your hair shiny and healthy looking. The natural ingredients and nutrients in apple cider vinegar will nourish your hair and make you feel younger and more natural.
Apple cider vinegar is a great rinse for your hair. Mix ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar to each cup of water, then pour this mixture over your hair after washing it with your favorite shampoo. It will work just as well, or better than your favorite conditioner. Several other hair treatments are possible with apple cider vinegar.
If you’d like to make a mask to give your hair an extra boost, then follow the below procedure.
Mix one egg with a tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Beat the mixture well, then apply it to your hair, focusing on the roots first, then working the mask down to the ends of your hair. Let this sit on your hair for fifteen minutes, or more if you have time, then rinse it well with warm water. When it’s all rinsed out, wash your hair with a gentle shampoo, ideally something organic.
A rinse of diluted apple cider vinegar can help nourish your hair on a regular basis.
Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water in an empty shampoo bottle, or even a small spray bottle. After shampooing, rinse your hair with this tonic. Give yourself a relaxing head massage while you work the tonic into your hair and scalp for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Be aware that if you use a stronger mixture, that you may get a burning sensation on your scalp. If this happens, feel free to rinse off sooner, then add some water to your tonic before you use it again.
For best results, don’t shampoo your hair every day. Your hair gets greasy quickly because of ingredients commonly found in commercial shampoos. This is why some women have turned to no-shampoo methods of cleaning their hair. Apple cider vinegar will help cut through that grease, and restore the shine to your hair without infusing it with all kinds of chemicals.
If you suffer from an itchy, dry scalp and all those white flakes that ruin the look of dark clothing and generally embarrass you, it’s time to make apple cider vinegar a part of your daily shower. Keep a spray bottle of diluted apple cider vinegar in the shower and spritz your hair after shampooing.
Apple cider vinegar helps prevent and control dandruff because it will help balance your scalp pH.
For a mild treatment, make a 3 part water, 1 part apple cider vinegar mixture and pour it over your scalp. If you have a more serious problem, apply the vinegar full strength. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wash it out with a mild shampoo.
Other Hair Benefits Gained from Apple Cider Vinegar
Your hair needs to be able to hold onto moisture, otherwise it gets dry and brittle. The acid in apple cider vinegar has been shown to help seal the cuticle of your hair. This will help keep the moisture in where it belongs.
Who wants to struggle with hair brushing every day? Not to mention, rough brushing causes breakage and hair loss, so it’s best avoided. Apple cider vinegar when used as a rinse after shampooing, will flatten the edges of the individual strands to a brush will glide, instead of pull.
3) Hair Loss
Hair loss is embarrassing, and very frustrating to cure. Apple cider vinegar won’t be a miracle worker here, but it has been shown to stimulate the follicles to grow in some situations.
4) Stop Frizz
Nothing is worse than being outside on a humid day and becoming like that doll you rejected when you were a kid, you know the one with the fuzzy, tangled hair? Because apple cider vinegar helps seal your cuticles, it also helps reduce frizz.
5) Prevent split ends
Again, it’s about the cuticles. If you want your hair to grow longer, you have to deal with split ends. Usually this means getting your hair trimmed just slightly every few weeks to remove the split ends so your hair keeps growing. If you use apple cider vinegar as your conditioner about once a week, you’ll be able to prevent many split ends from happening, because it will smooth the cuticle and help keep the hair from breaking into many pieces. Ideally leave the rinse in for a minute or two so it has time to really work its magic before you rinse well with warm water.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin
The pH of your skin is important. If it gets out of balance, you get skin problems such as acne. If you are used to using expensive creams and other drug store preparations to deal with your skin imperfections, you’ll be glad to know that you could save a lot of time and money by switching to one product. A bottle of apple cider vinegar could be sitting in the place of all those jars and tubes of cream.
Follow along to find out about what products apple cider vinegar could replace for you when it comes to skin care.
Blemishes can be encouraged to dry and heal by dipping a cotton ball or cotton pad in apple cider vinegar. Dab the blemishes and wait for the magic.
You can make an easy DIY toner with ½ cup apple cider vinegar and one cup of water. Dab this all over your face with a soft cloth, or cotton pad. This is great for balancing your skin’s pH and preventing skin infections.
Fine lines and wrinkles can be used by dabbing apple cider vinegar on your face in the same manner as if you’re correcting blemishes. The vinegar will help firm and plump your skin so the wrinkles fill out.
Applying apple cider vinegar directly to your age spots, then leaving it overnight could help reduce or remove them. In fact, apple cider vinegar makes a great overnight facial and toner. Apply before you go to bed and wake up with more youthful skin.
If you have warts, you can mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar with glycerine and use the resulting lotion daily until the warts disappear.
Because apple cider vinegar is good at regulating pH, applying it to your skin will correct the imbalances that are contributing to your acne. Use in the same manner as blemishes. Apply it to your pimples and get rid of them in no time.
A few other Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits you might consider:
- Controls blood sugar
Some diabetics have discovered that if they take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed each night, their blood glucose levels ended up being 4-6% lower in the morning.
- Whitens teeth
Always use diluted apple cider vinegar for any application where you plan to put it in your mouth, and especially if you plan to swallow it. Any vinegar is an acid, and strong acids could damage your enamel and sensitive tissues in your body.
- Helps with allergies
Some people have found that if they take apple cider vinegar at the first sign of an allergic reaction, that they can stop the histamine response instantly. It’s worth a try if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Obviously this is not a substitute for medical intervention if you have a severe allergy that could result in anaphylaxis and shouldn’t be tried in that case.
- Soothes stings and burns and other pain
If you’ve spent too much time in the sun, fill the tub with cool water, add one cup of apple cider vinegar and soak for at least ten minutes to cool and sooth the burn. Dab full strength apple cider vinegar on mosquito bites, or bee stings to relieve pain and itching. If you got too close to the stove, use ice cold apple cider vinegar to sooth minor burns and help prevent blistering. For stings and burns, it might be smart to keep a small bottle of apple cider vinegar in the fridge where it will stay cool for those applications. If you suffer from arthritis, gout, or other joint pain, start drinking a glass of water with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before every meal. Within three weeks, you should notice a huge reduction in your pain.
- Treats colds and coughs
Use ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar in your vaporizer to sooth your breathing. If coughing is your problem, mix ½ cup apple cider with an equal amount of water, four tablespoons of organic (ideally local) honey and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Use this in place of cough syrup by taking one spoonful whenever needed.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Pets
Apple cider vinegar has also been proven as a good treatment for pets. If your dog is suffering from hair or skin issues, like hot spots, or allergies, a little apple cider vinegar will help them the same way it helps you. The smell of apple cider vinegar might also deter pests like fleas. Put a tiny bit in their drinking water, and spray a diluted vinegar and water mixture on your pet to deter fleas from jumping onto them.
If your dog ever meets up with a skunk, you’ll be glad to know that apple cider vinegar, rubbed into the coat at full strength, will help remove the smell. Use lots, then rinse the pet well. Your skunk smell should disappear.