Health enthusiasts have a special place in their hearts for apple cider vinegar, often affectionately called ACV. The raw, unfiltered variety is made from fermented organic apples, and at the bottom of the bottle you’ll see a little cloud called “the mother.” (Bragg’s is one popular brand, but there are several others.) Apple cider vinegar is rich in essential enzymes, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Here are eight ways to love it:
1. As an aid to digestion – Our bodies produce hydrochloric acid (HCL) as a component of our gastric fluid; it breaks down protein. Without sufficient hydrochloric acid we experience indigestion, gas and constipation. ACV stimulates the production of HCL.
2. As a good source of prebiotics – Prebiotics support the growth of helpful microorganisms in the intestines, making them a critical factor for gut health. The powerful prebiotics contained in ACV live in “the mother.”
3. As a stabilizer for blood sugar – Research participants who drank a solution of one tablespoon ACV and eight ounces of water prior to eating had lower and better regulated glucose levels after eating.
4. As a household cleaner – ACV is an excellent natural disinfectant. To use it as a cleaner, combine one part ACV with one part water in a spray bottle. This mixture replaces many common cleaning sprays and wipes in the kitchen and bath, and it is nontoxic, odor-absorbing and all natural.
5. As a weedkiller – Just fill a bottle with concentrated, undiluted ACV, and spray directly on weed-infested areas of your garden.
To use ACV as a natural fertilizer for acid-loving plants, add one ounce of vinegar to a gallon of water and spray.
6. As a remedy to calm itchy skin and soothe scalps – The acidity of ACV changes the pH of the skin and scalp, suppressing the growth of bacteria and yeast. Combine equal parts ACV and water and spray on and massage into the affected areas for at least one minute (and up to an hour), then rinse. You can also put ACV directly onto a cotton ball and rub it on irritated skin. If you prefer a soothing soak, add a cup of vinegar to a warm bath and soak up to ten minutes.
7. As an ingredient in salad dressings – Combine ACV with olive oil and some spices or herbs, and receive an array of health benefits along with your salad.
8. As a baking substitute – A combination of ACV and non-dairy milk will substitute in any recipe for buttermilk. Just let the mixture stand about five minutes before using.
Of course, the list of ways to use apple cider vinegar, and the list of all its benefits, is much longer than just these eight. Make ACV part of your health regimen and enjoy it every day.