Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV is another one of those extremely versatile kitchen items that I simply refuse to live without. I say kitchen item, but in our house it is used from the kitchen to the bathroom and everywhere in between. Sounds interesting? Read on!
What is ACV?
As the name suggests, ACV is a type of vinegar made through the fermentation of crushed and aged apples. Raw unfiltered ACV contains powerful essentials like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, acetic acid, probiotics and enzymes. Also, when you use ACV that includes the ‘mother’, which is the cloudy strands floating around in your vinegar, it means that you are getting some of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes developed during the fermentation process.
It is best to use raw (unpasteurised), unfiltered ACV because the pasteurisation process kills off most of the enzymes, vitamins and probiotics, and filtering removes the ‘mother’. You also want to stay away from ACV in plastic bottles, as its acidity can cause chemicals of the plastic to leach into the ACV.
Research has shown that vinegar assists in weight loss, supports heart health, has a balancing effect on blood sugar levels and is able to kill candida. ACV is a liver tonic which supports detoxification of the body, as well as promoting better lymph circulation and stimulating lymphatic drainage. With all the toxins and chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, it makes ACV a definite necessity.
The many uses and benefits
The uses and benefits of ACV range from detoxification, to digestive aid, to personal care and cleaning. Here are a few –
1. Detox bath – add 1 to 2 cups ACV to bath water as warm as you can handle, and soak for about 40 minutes. Other than supporting the detoxification of your body, it also kills bacteria and fungi on the skin and helps to restore the skin’s pH balance.
2. Helps in clearing sinus infections by breaking up and reducing mucus in your body. For allergies, drink 2 tablespoons of ACV in water 3x daily.
3. ACV aids digestion, and can be consumed when you are having digestive discomfort. It also helps people with acid reflux, as this often results from having too little stomach acid, and ACV improves the acid content in your stomach. I like to drink 1 tablespoon with a small amount of water before or after a big meal.
4. ACV can be consumed in various recipes, from detox drinks to vegetables to salad dressings (e.g. ACV, olive oil, lemon & honey). Try out our Sour Beets recipe!
5. When making bone broth, ACV is often added to help draw the minerals from the bones and ensure a more mineral-rich broth.
6. Mix 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar and use as a fruit and vegetable wash to remove wax, dirt and pesticides.
7. Clean and get rid of urine smell on carpet. For those little accidents done by potty-training toddlers or house-training pets. Just add ACV to a cloth and rub on the spot.
8. As an all-purpose cleaning agent in the home, use 1 part water, 1 part ACV and an essential oil like lemon.
9. Use as a hair-conditioner to soften hair and restore pH balance. I personally use ACV as conditioner for my hair. I add 4 tablespoons to a cup/glass and gently pour it on after washing & rinsing my hair. I leave it on for a couple of minutes and then rinse off. It works wonderfully! A note on this though, if you have sensitive skin around your face and chest, try not to get it in touch with the ACV as it can result in slight itchiness, which goes away after a few minutes.
10. Use as a facial toner. As mentioned above, ACV restores the skin’s pH balance, as well as being super affordable in terms of skin toners. Also, when you make your own skin toner, you can avoid all those extra toxic ingredients so often found in commercial products.
11. It can be used to soothe sunburn or insect bites. To do this, either mix with water and apply directly using a cloth, or take an ACV bath with 1 cup ACV added.
12. By dabbing ACV on your armpits, it acts as a deodorant by killing off bad bacteria and yeast which result in body odours. Try on a small area first to make sure your skin is not overly sensitive to it.
Impressed yet? I sure am! To think the humble apple + time can have so many wonderful and diverse benefits!
May as many positive attributes and more, flow from us as time goes by and we mature!
To life & in good health,