Apple Cider Vinegar has been around forever (well, at least since the days of Ancient Rome. Even Caesar drank the stuff!) and while most people don’t exactly look forward to drinking fermented apple juice, ACV is a hot topic in the wellness world. Come on, have you smelled it before? Pretty pungent. There are hundreds of touted benefits and uses for ACV. Though they aren’t all scientifically proven, that hasn’t put a stop to its popularity. ACV contains acetic acid, Vitamin C, B-Vitamins, and antioxidants that, studies have shown, may make it beneficial for blood sugar regulation, cholesterol reduction, and weight loss. There are also tons of ways to incorporate it into your beauty and household cleaning routines. Talk about versatility!
Here are our top five favorite benefits of ACV, plus easy ways to put it to use!
#1 - Maintain Your Microbiome.
Because it’s fermented, ACV can add a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria into your diet, increasing microbiome diversity and decreasing inflammation. While it’s not a probiotic, it is a probiotic-rich food that’s most beneficial when it contains “the mother” -- those fragile strands that float around the bottle creating a cloudy effect. That’s a buildup of yeast and sugars where all the nutrients are contained. Always look for a bottle that still has the mother, as some brands will filter it out.
Want a healthy gut, but don’t want to drink ACV straight out of the bottle? We don’t blame you. To make it more palatable, whip up a salad dressing, ACV shot, or take it in the form of a delicious gummy.
#2 - Tame Your Tresses.
ACV is full of antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help balance the ph in your hair and scalp. The result? Gorgeously shiny and silky smooth locks! Plus a scalp that’s neither too oily nor too dry.
For happy hair, make an ACV rinse and use it once per week. Combine 1 part ACV to 5 parts distilled water (increase the water if your scalp is particularly sensitive or parched). After you shampoo, spray or pour the solution onto your scalp and strands. Work it in with your fingers or a brush (a little scalp massage never hurt anyone!). Wait about 2-5 minutes then give your head a good rinse (psst: be sure to close your eyes during this step to avoid getting ACV in them -- it stings!). For extra measure, end with a cool rinse to close up the hair cuticle and contain moisture.
#3 - Calm Your Complexion.
Your skin can also benefit from the antimicrobial and ph-balancing effects of ACV -- especially if yours is extra sensitive or acne prone. A gentle swipe of a DIY toner or face wash can help cleanse AND exfoliate the skin thanks to ACV’s malic acid which encourages cell turnover. Baby soft skin awaits!
Treat your skin with a homemade ACV toner! For the most basic recipe, mix one part ACV to two parts distilled water (and if you’d like, add some optional rosewater, essential oils, or witch hazel to the mix). Shake the solution and apply it to your face with a cotton pad after you cleanse. For best results, use unfiltered and organic ACV and consider storing it in the fridge for ultimate potency! PSA: Always do a patch test before you go overboard with ACV on your face (or any new skincare ingredient for that matter!). And please, please avoid getting it too close to your eyes.
#4 - Clean Green.
If you’re looking to add a natural ingredient to your house cleaning routine, ACV has you covered in that department, too. It’s a natural disinfectant and while it can’t kill viruses, it CAN aid in simple household tasks.
Add some ACV to your next load of laundry (about 1 cup) to clean and deodorize all those smelly baby clothes. Or add ¼ cup to your dishwasher wash cycle to remove stains from cups and glasses. Plus, you can even use it to clear a clogged drain when combined with baking soda (white vinegar or ACV works for this -- you can read how to do it in this article).
#5 - Take Care of Your Ticker.
Thanks to its levels of acetic acid (again!) ACV can help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are known to increase the risk of heart disease when they are too high. So if heart health is a concern of yours, adding ACV to your diet may be something to consider.
Doctor it up and you won’t even know you’re tasting ACV. Purchase a kombucha with added ACV, or look for a salad dressing or chicken dinner recipe with ACV in the sauce. There are lots of yummy options to test out!
PS: Is ACV safe for kids?
If your baby is dealing with skin issues or tummy troubles, you might wonder if ACV could be a healthy, natural remedy. However, there is no official recommendation for kiddos and ACV usage. Please be on the safe side and check with your pediatrician!
What are your favorite ways to use ACV? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.