5 Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar, A Miracle Product You Probably Already Own
As I sit here drinking a vaguely urine-colored drink – which tastes like pee, too – I ponder the miracle tonic that is apple cider vinegar. I mean, seriously: This stuff is downright magical, despite the fact that it smells kind of rancid and tastes like wee-wee. Not that I know what wee-wee tastes like. I digress!
Apple cider vinegar, aka ACV, has lately become sort of a health and wellness darling, and deservedly so. The benefits are well documented, and wide spanning: You can use ACV, apparently, for anything. Have a yeast infection? Drink some ACV. Breaking out? Dilute some ACV and dab it on. Have a sore throat? Chug the stuff. Heck, I think there’s an argument for saying that ACV is perhaps the most important staple you’ve got in your kitchen pantry.
I know that this is all overwhelming, which is why I’ve detailed out my personal five favorite uses for ACV below. Read ‘em and get ready… to smell rancid. JK.
As a pH-balancing skin toner
ACV is a key component of our Toner and, fittingly, my first and favorite suggestion for integrating this magical ingredient into your life. I love ACV as a skin treatment because it possesses the amazing ability to naturally balance out your skin’s pH by interacting with our acid mantle (the acidic, film-like barrier that serves to protect your skin from the elements). Not only do many conventional soaps strip the skin of its natural (and all-important) acid barrier, acne and other skin irritations tend to thrive in a more alkaline environment. Applying ACV, then, helps to neutralize overly alkaline skin, resulting in skin that is healthier and less vulnerable to the elements. Yes, you can use our Toner (which is also infused with witch hazel, which has antibacterial properties) to this end or just dilute some ACV with water and apply with a cotton ball on your skin.
As a hair and scalp treatment
I tend to forget that my scalp is a part of my skin. Do you? Thought so. Well, your poor little old scalp is unfortunately exposed to some of the harshest products out there, such as sulfate-laden shampoos. These shampoos can strip the scalp of its natural oils and dry it out, causing itchiness, dryness, and dandruff. By applying ACV, you’re not only helping balance out your scalp’s pH, you’re eliminating the excess buildup that has accumulated over time. This means a healthier scalp and, consequently, shinier hair. I pour half a cup of ACV into a cup of warm water then carefully transfer onto my hair, avoiding having the mixture run down my face (it’ll burn!). Then I massage it into my scalp. It’s sexy.
As a mouthwash
No joke, you should be gargling with ACV. I know, it sounds totally disgusting, but the benefits trump the stomach-curdling aspect of this ritual. For one, ACV helps kill off not-so-good bacteria that’s chilling in your mouth, plus can help alleviate gum inflammation and bad breath. Moreover, ACV will assist in removing stains from your teeth. With that noted, BEWARE: it’s highly acidic and will cause erosion if it sits on your teeth enamel, so follow immediately with tooth brushing and water rinsing. I mean, you’ll probably want to, anyway…
As an all-around wellness tonic
There is an often-cited study that touts the weight loss effects of drinking ACV and, of course, people went nuts over that. Although the research is limited, researchers do believe that ACV can stimulate genes that help burn fat, so that’s cool. More importantly, drinking diluted ACV has been shown to help reduce blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels, assist in digestion, and balance out your body’s pH levels (which helps reduce inflammation and inhibit the growth of pathogens). So even if you aren’t dropping any pounds by sucking the stuff down, at least you can rest assured that you’re helping your body out in other ways. As always, be sure to dilute with plenty of water (I do one tablespoon in a large glass). Grimace and enjoy!
As a cleaning product
ACV has impressive antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it an ideal at-home cleaning product. In fact, ACV is often placed head-to-head with chlorine bleach in effectiveness studies (there’s sadly no real conclusive answer, although both are recognized as potent disinfectants). My favorite way to use ACV in the home is to dilute with it with some water and use as a countertop cleaner in a spritz bottle. Toss in some essential oil if you want to cut the smell, but do avoid adding in baking soda – it’s naturally alkaline and when combined with ACV, has neutralizing effects. Who would’ve thought?