Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a fermented product made from crushed and aged apples. The healthiest versions contain “the mother” which is a colony of beneficial bacteria with many health benefits. ACV is naturally high in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium and others. It has been rumored to help with weight loss and digestive uses. It was even used in the time of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, as a remedy for many ailments.
If you are going to use ACV for a health remedy, look for organic, unpasteurized vinegar with “the Mother,” which are available at most grocery stores. Bragg’s is one popular brand (I get mine here).
ACV mimics the acidic environment of the stomach and helps food to break down. Many people report reduced symptoms of reflux or heartburn after using Apple Cider Vinegar, which is logical, since many times these conditions are caused by too little stomach acid, rather than too much. Whenever I’ve had heartburn or reflux, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water takes care of it!
If you suffer from yeast overgrowth in the body, and many people do, ACV might help. Some research shows that the acid and enzymes in Apple Cider Vinegar help kill excess yeast in the body. For those with severe yeast problems, the symptoms may get worse initially when they begin taking ACV. This is caused by the die off of the yeast, called a Herxheimer reaction, when the body can’t remove the toxins from the yeast fast enough. It is actually a good sign, though an uncomfortable one. If you suspect you have yeast overgrowth, consider taking 1 tsp- 1 TBSP of ACV in water before each meal or twice a day, preferably on an empty stomach.
I can vouch for this one personally! If you suffer from a sunburn or insect bite, Apple Cider Vinegar can help alleviate the pain. For sunburns, apply ACV and water (25/75 mix) with a cotton cloth or washcloth directly to the skin to cool and relieve pain. You can also soak in a bath of warm water with 1 cup ACV. For bug bites, apply a 50/50 mixture directly to the bite, or soak the area in vinegar water.
Some studies suggest that the acetic acid in Apple Cider Vinegar may help power blood pressure. ACV may help increase production of the blood vessel relaxing compound nitric oxide. It may also help inhibit enzymes that cause blood vessels to constrict. One person I know who used this with success took 2-6 TBSP a day in water for several months.