Written by: Cassie Vanderwall
Many people are excited today by the opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint or to do things the “old-fashioned” way. These do-it-yourselfers most definitely have their go-to staples for accomplishing a variety of tasks. Apple cider vinegar is one of these staples. This natural product can be used as a beauty product to an ingredient in your favorite dressing. Read on to learn all that one can do with vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is fermented apple juice, which contains a variety of B-vitamins, vitamin C, and small amounts of various minerals, including calcium, iron and magnesium. It also contains acetic and citric acid but the content of these acids vary. The chemical make-up of this “sour wine” contributes to all of its uses.
There is an abundance of research on the use of apple cider vinegar to lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol, as well as, to maintain healthy blood sugar levels after meals.
It has been found that persons who consumed 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at meal time experience fullness, or satiety, more quickly with lower blood sugar levels after the meal than those who do not. The vinegar may help these people to eat less by slowing down how fast their digestive tract moves. Additionally, apple cider vinegar may decrease enzyme activities that help to breakdown carbohydrates, which would prevent the breakdown- or at the very least- slow down the process. This delayed digestion and use of carbohydrates can cause a more steady release of the blood sugar, which translates into much healthier blood sugar values and a lower hemoglobin A1c. Those looking to add apple cider vinegar may do so in the form of a dressing, which can be made via the following recipe:
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Dried herb of your choice such as parsley, thyme, or oregano
There is also limited research on the use of apple cider vinegar to alter the body’s pH to an alkaline state. An alkaline pH is thought to be more favorable and may prevent chronic disease and aging. However, this is unlikely since the body has a large number of processes that help it to maintain a neutral pH. A stronger approach would be to modify the foods a person commonly consumes and follow a plant-based dietary lifestyle.
It is important to note that people who ingest vinegar regularly may be at an increased risk for low potassium. This potassium depletion can be made worse if taking vinegar with laxatives or diuretics. Additionally, apple cider vinegar may alter the effectiveness of Digoxin, a drug used to treat congestive heart failure.
Diluted apple cider vinegar can help to regulate the pH of hair and skin. Many use this type of vinegar as a “conditioner” for their hair by diluting 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water and applying or spritzing it onto their hair after shampooing. Others dilute 1/3 cup of vinegar with 2/3 cup of water to create a toner for the skin, which can be applied after washing the face or before applying a moisturizer. This same concoction may also help to lighten “age spots” on the skin.
It does not stop there. Vinegar can also be used as a whitener for teeth. Vinegar can be applied directly to the teeth and then rinsed shortly after to remove stains on teeth. It is vital to not leave this acid on for a long time because it can wear away the enamel on the tooth.
A vinegar bath may also be a great remedy for sunburn and tired hands and feet because the acetic acid acts to soothe the skin and tendinitis. Another option is to soak a towel a in mixture of vinegar and warm water (equal parts) and wrap the sore limb for five minutes. Then, repeat this process with vinegar and cold water.
When sifting through common cleaning products one may come across a variety of harsh chemicals. People wishing to reduce their family’s exposure to these chemicals may wish to use vinegar. Mix ½ cup of vinegar with 1 cup of water to create a “green” disinfectant that will leave your kitchen, bathroom and windows squeaky clean!
As one can see there are several purposes for vinegar. It truly is a DIY staple! Always remember that even though it is a natural product it is still harsh and must be used with caution and in a diluted state.
Stay tuned for more DIY staples, including the power of baking soda!