14 Healthful Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar You’ve Never Heard Of
So you know all about using apple cider vinegar to make delicious dressing, but did you know apple cider vinegar has dozens of other health-boosting benefits as well? Yep, it’s true. This wonder liquid is full of fermented goodness that help you inside and out. Here are 14 of our favorite to add to your clean, green life machine today.
1. Weight Loss Agent
Believe it or not, apple cider vinegar is associated with weight loss. People who consume it regularly are slimmer and have healthier eating habits. While you can mix a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water for good fat-burning results, you can also drizzle it on salads along with oil, or splash it over cooked vegetables for a nice tang. Try blending it into a smoothie as well, where it adds great zing.
Feeling stuffy, runny and all-around sad? Apple cider vinegar to the rescue. Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with an equal amount of lemon juice, and add in hefty dashes of honey, cayenne and ginger. These natural decongestants and expectorants work together to loosen mucous and clear you out, so take a tablespoon whenever you need relief.
Apple cider vinegar also perks you up. If you’re feeling down or blue, splash some vinegar onto your greens or put a small dose into your fruit tea and drink it down. You’ll feel the energizing effects right away.
4. Throat Soother
Sore through got you down? A big part of the problem is bacteria, which infest your throat and cause itchiness and pain. Gargling with a half-and-half mixture of apple cider vinegar and warm water once an hour or so will wash away those pesky bugs and create a nice buffer.
Apple cider is a great system cleanser, helping you banish toxins and keep your blood clean. Sounds weird, but it’s true. Pump up the jam on your bodily processes by mixing 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 12 ounces of water, honey and lemon to taste.
6. Hair Conditioner
Hair needs a little love, especially when it’s been exposed to sun, salt water, chlorine or a lot of product. While the shampoo companies would have you believe you’ve got to buy specially formulated treatments with a thousand ingredients, all you really need for soft, smooth hair is apple cider vinegar. Pour some into your hand after shampooing, and gently work it into your locks. If you’re feeling really au naturel, skip shampoo and wash your hair with a few tablespoons of baking soda.
7. Sunburn Soother
Got baked without meaning to? Soothe skin by rubbing apple cider vinegar onto it, or soaking in a lukewarm bath with a cup or two poured in. Don’t get into hot water by getting into hot water, though: It will only make things worse.
8. Digestive Aid
Your detox recipe can also serve as a tummy soother and digestive regulator. Double whammy. If you don’t want to drink your digestive aid, use the salad or smoothie trick. Remember, though, that a lot of the benefits of vinegar come from the fermentation process; don’t kill all those beneficial bacteria by cooking it, or there’s no point.
If you suffer from breakouts and would like clearer, more even skin, apple cider vinegar can help. The enzymes in this fermented liquid help your skin regulate its own oil (called sebum), as well as cleaning out your pores so dead skin and other debris doesn’t build up, clogging them and causing blemishes. After washing your face in the morning or evening, swipe some apple cider vinegar on and let dry before moisturizing.
10. Green Cleaner
You can swap out harsh chemical cleaners with a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water, mixed in a spray bottle and used for toilets, counters, sinks, showers and even painted walls. Clogged drain? Pour in ½ cup of baking soda followed by ½ cup of vinegar and a cup of warm water.
11. Mouthwash and Teeth Whitener
We all want prettier pearly whites, right? Now you can have them without paying for expensive treatments, simply by swishing a bit of vinegar around in your mouth every day. To get the best effects, don’t dilute it with water, and make sure to swish for a full minute or two.
12. Non-Toxic Weed Killer
Forget Roundup. Instead, put apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and squirt directly on pesky weeks. Voila: instant weed murder that won’t harm your pets or kids.
13. Baked Goods Tenderizer
Apple cider vinegar is an acid, which helps to make baked goods super tender. Biscuits, cornbread, muffins and cake all benefit from a little splash of vinegar, so try it out. If your baking skills are a bit rusty, try searching for a recipe that already incorporates vinegar so you don’t ruin the delicate chemistry.
14. Appetite Moderator
Have trouble regulating your appetite between meals? As part of its weight-loss function, apple cider vinegar also works as an appetite suppressant, helping you regulate your blood sugar and avoid insulin spikes. This means you escape from the unhealthy cycle of craving and crashing that so often results from unhealthy eating. If you’re suffering from a disease that makes it hard to eat, moreover, cider vinegar can actually stimulate your appetite, helping you maintain healthy weight in both directions.
See? Apple cider vinegar goes well beyond its traditional role as a dressing ingredient. Now you can use it to supercharge your energy, keep your home and your insides clean and running smoothly, and help the environment. What are you waiting for?