If you have a well-stocked pantry, chances are that you have a bottle of apple cider vinegar. It is well used for salad dressing, marinates, and home made pickles. But aside from making your dishes savory, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has some health benefits.
Traditional medicine also known as folk medicine has credited ACV with the ability to cure maladies from indigestion to warts. Many of these claims have not been scientifically proven but many experts believe that this sour condiment has some health benefits.
1. Soothes Sore Throat
The antibacterial properties of ACV help fight infections that may cause sore throat. Most germs that find their way into your throat can not thrive in acidic environment created by apple cider vinegar.
The raw apple cider vinegar has prebiotic inulin which supports the immune system and increases the number of the body’s white blood cells and T cells. ACV is a natural expectorant so it can loosen and thin the phlegm in the throat, making it easier to swallow and to breathe.
To relieve sore throat, try the ACV gargle. Mix ¼ cup ACV with ¼ cup warm water and stir well. Take a mouthful and gargle. Repeat every hour until the pain in your throat subsides. Do this regularly to kill the bacteria that are causing your sore throat.
You may also want to prepare a mixture of 2 tablespoons ACV and ½ cup warm water which you need to drink every hour. This is quite effective when used at the first sign of a sore throat.
ACV solutions may offer additional relief but it is not a replacement for prescribed medication.
2. Treats Sinus Infection
Sinuses are normally filled with air, but when they are blocked and filled with fluid, the germs can grow and cause an infection. Some of the conditions that can block the sinuses are common cold and allergic rhinitis.
ACV has many natural properties that can help treat sinus infection. It contains Vitamins B1, B2, A, and E, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. All of them can help clear sinus cavities and reduce the allergy symptoms.
ACV is a natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. It has antiseptic properties which can help fight the sinus infection and clear the mucus for congestion relief.
There are many ways to take ACV for sinusitis relief. One of them is mixing 2 tablespoons of ACV and 1 tablespoon of honey into a cup of warm water, and drinking regularly 2 to 3 times a day. For better flavor, you can use herbal teas instead of plain warm water.
3. Relieves Back Pain
If you are suffering from back pain, try to reach for apple cider vinegar before rummaging in your medicine cabinet for painkillers. ACV contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help provide pain relief. Mix 1 ½ cup water, 2 tbsp. raw ACV, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon in a glass and enjoy!
For those who can not take the taste of ACV, you can take advantage of its pain-relieving action through topical application. Mix ACV with coconut oil or lotion and gently massage on the affected area.
It is best to use raw organic ACV and try to avoid the highly processed vinegars since over-processing may reduce the health benefits of ACV.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have found that insulin resistant people who take a mixture of ACV and water before eating a meal high in carbohydrates have lower blood sugar afterwards. Other studies show that ACV consumption with a meal, such as in salad dressing, improved a person’s blood glucose sensitivity.
Researchers believe that ACV have anti-glycemic properties which play an important role in regulating blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. ACV helps break down sugar in the body to create that anti-glycemic effect.
That is why experts believe that ACV can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
This is most helpful for diabetics, but not every expert feels confident that ACV is good for all diabetics. If you have diabetes and want to try ACV, please consult your doctor.
5. Relieves Indigestion
Indigestion, known medically as dyspepsia, is the pain or discomfort in the stomach which usually happens after eating fatty or spicy foods, or from simply overeating. The symptoms of indigestion are abdominal pain, growling stomach, bloating, gas, burning sensation in the upper abdomen, vomiting, and acidic taste.
ACV, though acidic in nature can help settle indigestion because of its alkalizing effect. Drop a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered ACV into a cup of water, add in a teaspoon of raw honey, and drink 2 to 3 times a day for a quick relief from indigestion.
Tips on Using ACV:
1. Use unfiltered ACV, the cloudy kind where you can see the “mother” which is full of probiotics and beneficial bacteria.
2. Don’t drink ACV straight. It is so acidic, it may harm your tooth enamel and your esophagus.