For centuries apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used as a home remedy for many health ailments, as a disinfectant, and natural food preservative. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar to clean wounds over 2,000 years ago. So, we’ve all heard of the magical powers of ACV, but do they hold true? Have they been proven? Or is this just another fad that will go down in the long book of health myths?
What is Apple Cider Vinegar and how is it made
ACV is made by taking crushed apples and adding yeast. The yeast digests the sugars and turns them into alcohol (fermentation). Next, they add bacteria to the alcohol, turning it into acetic acid, which is the main active compound found in vinegar. Acetic acid is what gives vinegar its strong potent sour flavor and smell. Apple cider vinegar has no actual nutritional value. Maybe a wee bit of potassium
May help manage diabetes by lowering blood sugar
There have been numerous studies on the effects of vinegar in helping blood sugar and insulin levels. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps to block the enzymes that help digest starch, which results in a smaller spike in blood sugar after a starchy meal. This can be of benefit for those with diabetes and without. Incorporating ACV into meals can be as simple as adding it to marinades, sauces, or salads.
Can help kill harmful bacteria and fungus
Vinegar can be very effective in killing pathogens, including bacteria and fungus. It has been used for centuries as a cleaning product and disinfectant. One study showed ACV was effective in killing Escherichia coli and Staphyloccocus areus, the bacteria’s responsible for staph infections. ACV’s anti-fungal properties also showed it effective in treating the common fungal infection, Candida albicans. The culprit responsible for thrush.
May help improve skin conditions
When applied to skin it can help reduce the numbers of flares and itching that can come with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It can also help with acne, due to its antibacterial component. Some say it can even help sooth a sunburn. Something to remember when using ACV topically, is that it must be diluted. Applying ACV directly to skin without diluting first can result in chemical burns.
So, as you can see ACV may be a welcome visitor in your daily health routine; however, I am not saying it is a magical cure all and should ever take the place of medication or medical attention. But, adding it to your arsenal of home remedies could be beneficial.
How to use and how much to use
A typical dose of ACV is anywhere from 1 tsp – 1 tbsp. Usually, taken before or after a meal. Things to remember, this is a vinegar so when consuming never drink it undiluted. It can cause throat irritation and tooth enamel erosion. Try drinking in a least 8 ounces of water. If you really love the taste of vinegar, go ahead, and pour yourself a nice glass of ACV. However, I am not a big fan, so I simply use it in salad dressings and sauces to get the benefits without the gag effect. If you use ACV please leave a comment below and let me know how you incorporate it into your diet.