The first batch of vinegar was an accident. Likely caused by a forgotten barrel of fermenting wine, vinegar was the “Oops!” that the natural health world needed. Hippocrates recommended its use as a health tonic.
Medical texts as far back as the 18th century note vinegar’s use to promote a long list of health benefits. Today with the help of science, research is now supporting the medical use of apple cider vinegar. For the sake of time, let’s focus on the most research-supported benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Internal Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
1. For Your Heart
Apple cider vinegar has enjoyed much fame as of late. This is due in large part to the benefits to the heart. Acetic acid, one of the main components in apple cider vinegar, lowers blood pressure in test subjects.
Researchers found that subjects with hypertension who were exposed to acetic acid showed a marked decrease in systolic blood pressure.
2. For Diabetes
New research is showing that ingesting apple cider vinegar also helps control blood sugar levels in diabetes patients. This study focused on patients with type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that patients who intake apple cider vinegar before bedtime have a lower blood glucose level in the morning.
3. For Stronger Bones
Your bones are composed of largely calcium. This calcium has to come from your diet; your body cannot produce it. This is one of the reasons calcium supplements are so popular. Apple cider vinegar helps the body absorb more calcium. This recent study focused on the ability of the colon to absorb calcium. Researchers found that acetates such as apple cider vinegar increase the amount of calcium absorbed by the colon.
For this same reason, ingesting apple cider vinegar can help prevent osteoporosis. The intestine is able to absorb more calcium from food; helping to increase bone density. If you are taking a calcium supplement, consider drinking diluted apple cider vinegar 30 minutes before your supplement; to ensure maximum absorption.
The low pH of apple cider vinegar can also boost your digestive acids at meal time. Combined with its ability to help your body absorb more calcium, apple cider vinegar makes a great digestive tonic. A tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar diluted in water and taken with a heavy meal increases digestion and reduces acid reflux.
External Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Thanks to its antibacterial nature, apple cider vinegar has been used as an alternative to harsh chemical crèmes for a variety of skin ailments. The high acid content of apple cider vinegar also acts as an astringent, and can help balance the body’s pH level. Apple cider vinegar has many external applications, including:
- Skin Irritations: From bug bites to warts, sunburn to skin allergies. Applying apple cider vinegar directly to the skin, or diluting it over large areas of the body, can produce wonderful results.
- Hair Conditioner: Apple cider vinegar balances the pH of the hair. It also helps wash out old hair products. Use a half cup of vinegar to two cups water; and rinse hair twice weekly.
- Dandruff Control: This same recipe can be used to eliminate dandruff naturally. Apple cider vinegar balances the pH of the scalp. Massage the diluted solution into your scalp once a week and leave it to soak for an hour. Rinse and let air dry.
- Athlete’s Foot: This common fungal infection can be treated with apple cider vinegar. The antimicrobial nature of acetic acid acts to eliminate athlete’s foot and kill the bacteria associated with foot odor.
Do you have a use for apple cider vinegar not listed above? We would love to hear about it! If you have any apple cider recipes you use regularly, tell us about them in the comments below.