The use of apple cider vinegar as a medicinal aid is sometimes thought of as a modern fad but it is in fact a really ancient cure; Hippocrates – he of the Hippocratic oath – was recommending it back in 400 B.C. for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties and that was borrowing from a much older tradition.
Today, one of the most popular modern uses of ACV is to drink a little to stimulate weight loss or to treat bloating. Now in keeping with the first line of that Hippocratic oath that all doctors and physician must abide by ‘first do no harm’ – prolonged use of undiluted apple cider can damage tooth enamel and effect the oesophagus so mixing it with water can lessen that – try 1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.
The antibacterial nature is good to lessen candida and other stomach overgrowths that contribute to bloating, the acidic nature of vinegar also prompts the stomach in to slowing gastric emptying so you feel fuller for longer and eat less during the day. There have been some promising studies on how a glass of vinegar water at night can lower blood glucose and serum cholesterol levels.
ACV is also popular as a tonic to restore energy and certainly it has plenty of minerals and vitamins that boost our immune system and prompt a better sense of wellbeing – all the same compounds that make an apple a day keep the doctor away- but the fermentation process boosts some of its capacity to breakdown toxins and clear the system of accumulated wastes. Vinegar has always been used to help break down fatty foods.
Apple cider vinegar is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and a whole range of b vitamins that rejuvenate, tone and cleanse skin. You can use it diluted 1:1 with water as a cleanser, you can mix it with honey or clay to make a mask. Its content of alpha-hydroxy acids and acetic acid really work to clear pores, exfoliate dead skin and tighten and brighten the complexion of skin.
You can also use vinegar as a skin spritz for prickly heat, razor bumps, psoriasis and sunburn. Or as a hair rinse – anti dandruff, strengthening of scalp but also regulating of sebum release in oily hair. And you can even use it neat as nail strengthening soak.