Apple cider vinegar is widely celebrated across the globe for its amazing health benefits, and has been for some time. Did you know that Hippocrates himself is thought to have used it to treat various diseases as well as clean injuries and ulcers?
As with any remedy/supplement/health drink, there’s some degree of exaggeration out there when it comes to this drink, so today I want to explore what you can use this fantastic vinegar for. So here are my top 8 uses for apple cider vinegar:
8 great ways to use apple cider vinegar
1. As a digestive aid
Many digestive issues can be caused by a lack of stomach acid. This acid is vital to break food down quickly and efficiently. Without enough, undigested food will move into the small and large intestine where it can start to ferment, causing gas, bloating and discomfort. Undigested food can then cause problems like constipation further on.
The acid in apple cider vinegar helps to intensify the acid in your stomach, helping to breakdown food more efficiently.
The pectin in apple cider vinegar also acts a bit like a prebiotic, helping to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria, which are vital for good digestion.
Drink 1-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water around 15-20 minutes before a meal to support stomach acidity. After drinking the mixture, you may then want to drink a little plain water to remove any residual vinegar from the teeth and oesophagus.
2. As a weight-loss tool
When used alongside a healthy diet, apple cider vinegar can promote healthy weight loss. This is partly due to the more efficient digestion noted above, but also because it contains pectin, a starch that helps you to feel fuller.
Drinking the mixture described above before meals can help to reduce your appetite a little so you don’t eat as large a meal. When taken between meals it can help to reduce snacking.
Just remember that this is not a magic weight loss miracle – you still need to put in the work!
3. As a facial toner
A toner is a fantastic addition to any skincare routine; it helps to remove oil, reduce pores, restore acidic pH and generally refresh the skin. But did you know that you can easily replace your toner with apple cider vinegar?
I’d recommend mixing 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2-3 parts water (you can experiment with this a little to see which works best for your skin), then apply to the skin using a cotton ball or pad. Just be careful to avoid the eyes!
Your skin should naturally have a slightly acidic pH, but soaps and cleansers are often alkaline, throwing your pH out of balance, leaving you vulnerable to dryness and spots. A little diluted vinegar can therefore return your skin to its natural pH.
The vinegar smell usually disappears once it’s dry, but if you can still smell it you could add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the mixture.
4. To ease a sore throat
As a natural antibacterial, apple cider vinegar can help to cleanse the throat and fight an infection that could be lingering there.
Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a mug of hot water, add a teaspoon of honey and drink. Alternatively, you can mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of cold water and gargle.
5. As an all-purpose cleaner
Apple cider vinegar’s acidic nature means that it makes a great all-purpose cleaner, helping to dissolve and loosen dirt and grime. It’s a natural antibacterial and antifungal, so you can use it to clean surfaces, toilets, floors and sinks. It works great against mould, so you can also use it on mouldy walls or baths.
Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle and spray onto surfaces. Leave for a minute and then wipe clean.
6. To soothe an upset stomach
Whether caused by indigestion, stress, overeating or illness, apple cider vinegar can help to soothe an upset stomach. It’s really cleansing, and the extra acid can help to shift any food that’s still sitting in there and causing problems.
Again, add 1-3 tablespoons to a glass of water and drink.
7. As a hair rinse
Apple cider vinegar is fantastic for healthy hair! It can help to remove dandruff, cleanses impurities and rebalances your hair’s pH for strong, shiny locks.
If you’re trying out DIY shampoos like castile soap or baking soda, then apple cider vinegar is vital if you don’t want to ruin your hair! These recipes are very alkaline so while they will clean your hair, they will also change the pH, which will lead to dry, dull and brittle hair.
Add 2-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a 500ml bottle, top up with cool water and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil if you like. This should cover shoulder length hair, so you can adjust the recipe depending on your hair length.
Once you’ve rinsed the shampoo from your hair, simply pour the whole bottle over your scalp, letting it run through the lengths of your hair. Leave on for 1-2 minutes and then rinse.
8. In cooking
Let’s not forget that apple cider vinegar can also be enjoyed simply as a tasty ingredient in cooking! It can be used as the base for a delicious salad dressing, while still maintaining all of its health benefits.
The sharp, potent taste of vinegar means that it can be used to enhance the flavour of your cooking, lessening the need for extra salt. Try adding this to creamy pasta, stir fry or cous cous salads. Just remember that heating the vinegar can damage some of the vital nutrients.
My favourite apple cider vinegar
I absolutely love Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar! It ticks all the boxes: organic, unfiltered, unheated and unpasteurized! It even contains ‘the mother’ – a cloudy, web-like residue in the vinegar that contains vital nutrients and beneficial acids. Refined vinegars tend to lose this element, giving them fewer health benefits.
Note: Since this vinegar contains ‘the mother’, make sure to shake it before use as all this goodness can sink to the bottom.