Benefits After reading a lot of the benefits and testimonials from the users of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), I decided to try it. I wondered if it is all that it is made out to be. I also decided to explore Apple Cider Vinegar Uses and Benefits for Skin, Weight Loss, Hair and More.
This article is a compilation of my experience and research while using it.
I came to know about ACV couple of years back. When I saw Katy Perry’s video about its magical health benefits, I was perplexed. How could something like ACV resolve so many health concerns?
I have now been regularly consuming it. After drinking it personally for several months, I thought of writing an article on the vast uses of ACV, and it’s absolutely fantastic health benefits.
As said earlier, Please note I am sharing here my observations and experience. I am also sharing a long list of scientific tests conducted across the world as references, that I have used while writing this article.
So here comes. But if you want to jump directly to a particular section just use the links in the table of contents.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar, also known simply as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar that is made from the fermentation of cider apples. To make ACV, the apples are crushed and then squeezed, till the juice has been extracted.
To this juice, various yeast and bacteria are added. This is to initiate the process of alcoholic fermentation. When alcoholic fermentation takes place, the sugars are converted to alcohol.
Once the first step of fermentation is completed, the second step begins. This is to convert the alcohol into vinegar, by bacteria that form acetic acid. The combination of malic acid, along with acetic acid is what makes vinegar sour. (1)
The more commonly used type of ACV is the filtered one, that is a more clear liquid. There is an unfiltered type that is called ‘mother’ as well, that is a more cloudy liquid. This type contains a few friendly bacteria, enzymes, and proteins. (2)
Apple cider vinegar uses
It is used for cooking purposes, commonly for making salad dressings. It is also ingested along with water. However, while ingesting ACV, a mix of ten parts water is recommended for every one part of ACV.
In addition to culinary and health purposes, ACV can also be used around the house for the following –
- It can be used as an all-purpose cleaner
- ACV an be used to wash or rinse vegetables and fruits
- It can be used as a toner for your face
- Can be used as a hair rinse
- Can be used to keep away insects like fruit flies
- ACV can be used to kill weeds in the garden
- It can be used to remove warts (3)
Apple Cider Vinegar Uses and Benefits
Here, I will share with you the health benefits of Organic, unfiltered, raw Braggs apple cider vinegar only, as that is what I tried & what I recommend. Organic, unfiltered, raw ACV contains “Mother of vinegar.” The strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria give a murky, cobweb-like appearance called the Mother of Vinegar.
Internal Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
External Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
The external benefits of ACV are numerous. It helps maintain healthy skin. It helps promote youthful, healthy bodies. It soothes irritated skin. It even relieves muscle pain from exercise. Here’s a whole list of things you can do with ACV.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother Uses & Benefits
“Mother of Vinegar” is the most nutritious part of ACV.
Health benefits of organic apple cider vinegar with mother:
- It is a Rich Source of Iron: As per a study appearing in the February 2015 edition of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition mother of vinegar is high in iron. And that is great news for all those who are deficient in Iron. You see, your body need iron to make haemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood.
- It is a Good Source of Phenolic Compounds: One of the major phenol found in the mother of apple cider vinegar is gallic acid. Phenolic substances protect against diseases.
- It is High in Prebiotics: As per Victoria Rose, author of the book “Apple Cider Vinegar,” Mother of vinegar is rich in indigestible carbohydrates called prebiotics. Prebiotics serves as food for beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines. Probiotics crowd out the harmful bacteria and allow beneficial bacteria to grow and flourish.
- It contains B Vitamins: As per Victoria Rose, author of the book “Apple Cider Vinegar,” the mother of vinegar is a good source of B vitamins.
Try out apple cider vinegar with mother benefits and you will certainly see the results.
2. Natural Acetic Acid found in ACV kills Bacteria
ACV is rich in Acetic & Malic acid, which gives ACV its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. ACV can help kill pathogens, including bacteria.
It has been found that Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar for wound cleaning over two thousand years ago. Many cultures around the world traditionally use it for cleaning and disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts and ear infections.
ACV is a natural food preservative. When used as a food preservative it inhibits bacteria (like E. coli) from growing in the food and spoiling it.
All this is due to its main substance Acetic acid. Acetic Acid in ACV kill bacteria and prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar uses for Weight Loss
Benefits of apple cider vinegar for weight loss are very well known.
Consumption of ACV may decrease the glycemic effect of a meal through satiety thus reducing the total amount of food consumed.
It has also been found that acetic acid found in ACV suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolism, and reduces water retention. This overall results into reduced weight and belly fat. The reduction of water retention itself allows for losing inches.
A 2009 study from Japan found that taking two tablespoons of diluted ACV twice a day with meals helped people lose about four pounds after 12 weeks.
How to use apple cider vinegar for weight loss
Keep your total daily intake at or below 4 tablespoons.
TIP: Some individuals with disturbed digestion may have difficulty in tolerating fermented foods. Such people may suffer from bloating, nausea, stomach cramps etc after ingesting ACV. I suggest that such individuals never drink ACV on an empty stomach.
Always take ACV with food.
Do not consume ACV directly out of the bottle, as your esophagus (throat) may not withstand its acid. Avoid smelling it for long as you may inhale a substantial amount of acid into your lungs, where it can cause some serious pain. Yes it is strong!
4. ACV and Blood Sugar: May Lower Sugar Levels
ACV has been found to be useful for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
The effect of ACV on blood sugar levels is perhaps the best-researched. It is the most promising of all the known ACV’s health benefits.
Several studies have found that ACV may help lower glucose levels.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that both adults and children should reduce the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake.
Sugar consumption is linked to several health concerns such as:
- Sugar Addiction
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Unhealthy Blood glucose levels
- Cardiovascular disease
- Obesity and diabetes
- Tooth decay etc.
It is quite clear from this that elevated blood sugar ca be a problem even in people who don’t have diabetes. In fact, sugar is the major cause of ageing and various chronic diseases.
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar for Diabetes or to lower blood sugar:
Image courtesy: diatribe.org
A 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of ACV before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%. So add 1 or 2 tablespoons of ACV in water and take after dinner. Expected benefits are:
- Improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses.
- Reduces blood sugar by 34% when eating 50 grams of white bread.
- Two tablespoons of ACV before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugars by 4%.
- Numerous other studies, in both rats and humans, show that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals.
5. Apple cider vinegar uses for hair and dandruff
Dandruff is caused by a fungus called Malassezia. This fungus usually is harmless but for those with a compromised immune system, this becomes a pathogen.
Dandruff is extremely high, with a prevalence in as much as 50% of the population! You see dandruff can clog hair follicles and prevent new hair from growing. This leads to hair thinning. A reduction in dandruff can help with better hair growth.
ACV can help you with your hair dandruff problem, by changing the pH levels of your scalp, making it harder for the fungus to grow.
The acetic acid in vinegar can help balance pH levels. This destroys yeast, which is responsible for dandruff. If you are suffering from dandruff, then an itchy scalp is inevitable. But ACV can help treat this as well. (11)
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Dandruff problem
Here is how to get rid of dandruff using ACV based of your scalp type.
I. Dandruff elimination for normal scalp using ACV – (ACV + Honey + water)
Honey provides moisture and keeps the scalp hydrated. ACV and honey have been shown individually by studies to reduce dandruff. The recipe for this is as follows:
- Combine warm water, ACV and raw honey in equal proportion.
- Mix well and pour the solution into a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on the scalp and cover your head with a shower cap or a towel.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes.
- Rinse off the hair.
- Repeat the process 2-3 times in a week to get rid of dandruff.
II. Dandruff elimination for normal/dry/combination scalp using ACV – (ACV + honey+ aloe)
Aloe Vera contains anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. When used, it soothes and moisturises the dry scalp.
- Into a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of ACV, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of aloe vera gel. The gel can be directly scooped from the aloe leaf, or it can even be store bought.
- Mix well and apply the mixture on the scalp.
- Leave it on for few minutes and rinse off with water.
- Repeat the process 2 – 3 times in a month to get rid of dandruff.
III. Dandruff elimination for dry scalp using ACV – (ACV + honey + yoghurt)
Yoghurt contains proteins and B vitamins and fats which are essential for hair and scalp health. It can also reduce the irritation caused by dandruff.
- Combine 1/2 cup yoghurt and 2 teaspoons of ACV.
- Wash your hair and apply the mixture on the scalp while it is still wet.
- Massage it gently for few minutes.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse off with water.
- Repeat the process 2 times in a week till you are rid of dandruff.
Note: Make sure to use only plain yoghurt. Homemade is best.
IV. Dandruff elimination for oily scalp using ACV – (ACV+tea tree oil+lemon juice+water)
Tea tree oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. In fact, tea tree oil can kill the fungus Malassezia known to cause dandruff.
- Combine 1 cup distilled water, 1/4 cup of ACV, 5 drops tea tree oil and juice of half a lemon.
- Spray onto the scalp.
- Wrap the hair with a towel and leave it on for 30-60 minutes.
- Rinse your hair
- Repeat the process 2 times in a week.
Hope the above helps you learn, how to use apple cider vinegar for dandruff. These home remedies are useful to eliminate dandruff. Do let me know in the comments, what works for you.
6. Skin Benefits of ACV: Clear your acne
Acne and acne scars are a common problem among teenagers.
Antibacterial properties of ACV makes a great natural toner as it helps keep acne under control.
The primary cause of acne is the blockage of skin pores due to pollution and dust in the air which settles on the skin causing bacterial overgrowth. The anti-bacterial properties of ACV inhibit acne by acting as a cleanser and toner.
People suffering from acne should consider dabbing a little ACV on the affected areas. ACV can potentially dry out pimples and remove excess oil in your skin.
However, it must be diluted with water. Too much ACV or a highly concentrated version can cause chemical burns and harm your skin. Sometimes, it can aggravate the pimples and acne further. (9)
How to use apple cider vinegar for acne
Here is how to treat acne using apple cider vinegar:
- Dilute ACV (2 tsp) in ¼ cup of water.
- Mix it well with a spoon and leave it for some time.
- Soak a cotton ball in the mixture for 5 minutes.
- Remove the excess diluted solution from the cotton ball and apply it on the acne affected area for 2 minutes.
- Rinse your face with warm water. Use this method twice a day to get rid of acne quickly.
7. ACV for teeth: Removing Stains
ACV helps remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.
How to use apple cider vinegar as mouthwash:
ACV contains acetic acid, a natural acid. Bacteria don’t survive in acidic environments. This is what makes ACV an excellent mouthwash, and it may reduce bacterial growth. To use ACV as Mouthwash add 2 tablespoons of ACV to 1 cup of water. Gargle with the solution for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out.
8. ACV may deodorize smelly feet
Some people suffer from feet odour. This happens when we don’t take care of our feet properly.
The human feet are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and fungi. So if you don’t take good care of it, feet odour is inevitable. Now in case you are a victim of feet odour, then try using ACV to counter this.
The antibacterial properties of ACV may kill the bacteria, which generates smell. To use it:
- Add a teaspoon of vinegar in water and apply it with a swab or towel.
- Soak your feet in warm water and add a few drops of ACV. What it does is, it balances the pH level, which in turn can kill the bacteria in your feet. (10)
9. Apple Cider Vinegar for warts: Removes warts effectively
Here is how to remove warts on face using apple cider vinegar:
10. ACV may reduce itching on a mosquito bite
When you are bitten by female mosquitoes you may feel an itch right away or within a certain number of hours. What happens is reality is that mosquito is not biting you, she lands her large needle-like mouth part, called proboscis on your skin to suck out the blood.
After sucking the blood, she leaves behind a little of her saliva, which acts as an anticoagulant (helping her suck up your blood efficiently). Our body has a natural immune response to the foreign mosquito saliva and creates histamines, thereby causing the skin around the bite to itch.
ACV, when applied on skin part bitten by a mosquito, feel relieved with minutes of applying it.
11. ACV for stomach pain: may help with stomach troubles
Thanks to its anti-bacterial properties ACV is found effective against bacterial infection during your diarrhoea. It can also soothe intestinal spasms due to pectin, which is abundant in ACV.
12. ACV has Anti-Oxidant Effect, may delay ageing and other degenerative disorders
Apple Cider Vinegar is rich in Bio-active substances such as polyphenols and vitamins. These bio-active substances defend your body from oxidative stress which leads to accelerated ageing, cancer, and degenerative brain disorders. Apple Cider Vinegar with its significant antioxidant activity may reduce incidences of these degenerative illnesses.
13. Apple cider vinegar may help you recover from hiccups.
Hiccups can be extremely annoying. In most cases, drinking a glass of water should help stop hiccups. However, there are times when hiccups just don’t stop. In situations like this, you could try ACV.
The sour taste of ACV could stop hiccups. Its bitter taste relieves throat by overstimulating the nerves responsible for the spasms.
Take one teaspoon of sugar, and add a few drops of ACV to it. When you consume this, it triggers a few nerve endings in the throat, which in turn can help stop hiccups. (14)
14. ACV for a sore throat and cough: may soothe your sore throat
Traditionally, people have used ACV to treat pain associated with a sore throat. One such remedy is the consumption of ACV, along with honey and cayenne pepper. However, thanks to its acidic nature, it can irritate your throat further if you consume it too often or in large quantities. So make sure you begin with small amounts. Also, consult your doctor before doing so. (8)
As soon as you feel the prickle of a sore throat, employ germ-busting ACV to help head off the infection at the pass. It turns out; most germs can’t survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates. Just mix 1/4 cup ACV with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.
15. ACV may clear your stuffy nose.
ACV contains potassium and acetic acid. These two ingredients are useful if you have a stuffy nose. Potassium thins mucus, and the acetic acid prevents germ growth resulting into de-congestion of the nose.
16. ACV for Heart: may help with your Heart Health
ACV supports heart health in multiple ways. As explained in the Journal of Food Science, “Polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, which is present in high levels in ACV, could inhibit oxidation of LDLs and improve health by preventing cardiovascular diseases.”
17. Apple Cider Vinegar benefits for Skin
The malic and lactic acids found in ACV soften and exfoliate skin, reduce red spots, and balance the pH of your skin.
18. Apple Cider Vinegar for Detoxification
Apples are one of the most nutritious, health-giving foods available, containing a host of vitamins and minerals like pectin, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, phosphorous and potassium in addition to enzymes and amino acids. Apples are the main ingredient in ACV.
ACV detoxifies and purifies various organs in the body. As a purifier, it breaks down fatty, mucous and phlegm deposits within the body. By breaking down these substances, it improves the health and function of organs such as the kidneys, bladder, and liver.
It oxidises the blood, reducing the risk of high blood pressure, and neutralises any toxic substance or harmful bacteria that enters the body by ingesting certain foods. ACV promotes healthy digestion, assimilation and elimination.
19. Helps with indigestion and heartburn
ACV can help with the digestion of your food. It can also help relieve the effects of acid reflux or heartburn. In most cases, doctors recommend reducing intake of acidic foods if you have heartburn or acid reflux.
However, sometimes, this is caused by insufficient stomach acids. So, ingesting ACV might do the trick. In some cases, it is believed to treat heart disease as well but there is very little evidence to support this. (13)
20. Helps treat sunburns
The go-to remedy for sunburns is cool water or aloe vera gel, but apple cider vinegar has its benefits too. You can add a few drops of ACV to a cold bath, or simple spritz some on your body.
However, this remedy is only recommended for minor burns. If your burns are severe, then make sure you get medical attention as soon as possible. Also, get a check on the severity of your burns before opting for the use of apple cider vinegar. (12)
21 Lowers the risk of cancer
Cancer, in case you weren’t aware, is caused by an abnormal growth of uncontrolled cells. There are a few studies which have been conducted, that has proven that ACV has potential anti-cancer properties.
It can apparently inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and also shrink the size of tumours. Truth be told, there is insufficient evidence to swear by this. Most of the studies were conducted on either rats or in isolated labs. (5)
How to Choose the Best ACV Brand
If you are looking for the best Apple Cider Vinegar Brand, here is your guide:
- Always look for 100% organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Go for raw, unprocessed, unfiltered Vinegar; it will look cloudy
- Ensure it contains “Mother” of vinegar, a cobweb-like amino acid-based substance at the bottom
- Look for unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar
- Ensure your Apple Cider Vinegar is unflavored
- Look for Non-GMO Apple Cider vinegar
- AVOID buying ACV in plastic bottles! Since vinegar is highly acidic you don’t want the plastic compounds leaching out into your health fix.
Braggs ACV: Best Apple Cider Vinegar in India
Read This Next
- “STUDIES ON ACETIC ACID-BACTERIA I. BIOCHEMICAL STUDIES ON ETHANOL OXIDATION”. oxfordjournals.org.
- Holzapfel, Lisa Solieri, Paolo Giudici, editors; preface by Wilhelm (2009).Vinegars of the world (Online-Ausg. ed.). Milan: Springer. pp. 22–23.ISBN 9788847008663.
Cleopatra dissolves pearls in vinegar […] vinegar is quite often mentioned, is the Bible, both in the Old and in the New Testament.
- “Why Apple Cider Vinegar Is So Good For Weight Loss.”
- Sejo Regular del Vino y Brandy de Jerez (Council regulating the production of Jerezy wine and braef)
- “Balsamic vinegar”. BBC Good Food.
- Effect of neutralized and native vinegar on blood glucose and acetate responses to a mixed meal in healthy subjects. Brighenti F1, Castellani G, Benini L, Casiraghi MC, Leopardi E, Crovetti R, Testolin G.
- Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes. Carol S. Johnston, Ph.D., Cindy M. Kim, MS and Amanda J. Buller, MS
- Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes. Andrea M. White, Ph.D. and Carol S. Johnston, PHD
- Examination of the antiglycemic properties of vinegar in healthy adults. Johnston CS1, Steplewska I, Long CA, Harris LN, Ryals RH.
- Delayed gastric emptying rate may explain improved glycemia in healthy subjects to a starchy meal with added vinegar. Liljeberg H1, Björck I.
- Vinegar dressing and cold storage of potatoes lower postprandial glycaemic and insulinemic responses in healthy subjects. Leeman M1, Ostman E, Björck I.
- Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes
- Effect of Acetic Acid and Vinegar on Blood Glucose and Insulin Responses to Orally Administered Sucrose and Starch
- Functional Properties of Vinegar. Nilgün H. Budak1, Elif Aykin, Atif C. Seydim, Annel K. Greene andZeynep B. Guzel-Seydim
- Source: Improve Your Life Expectancy – Live Long Lean and Healthy
- How Apple Cider Vinegar May Help With Weight Loss. Time
- Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects.
- Oral supplementation with probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei ST-11 improves dandruff condition
- Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.