In the realm of natural remedies the benefits of apple cider vinegar reign supreme. Not only does this fermented apple concoction soothe a sore throat, calm an upset stomach and clear a stuffy nose, its health benefits also include lowering cholesterol, helping control blood sugar and preventing indigestion. And that’s just a partial list of the benefits of apple cider vinegar. This acidic (fantastic-for-your-salad) vinegar offers a slew of other effects that help with how to detox the body in ways that promote overall health.

How to access the benefits of apple cider vinegar

Learning to access the benefits of apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is fairly easy when you determine the focus of its use. For example, try some of these options:

Sore throat: For a jam-packed punch of antibacterial properties mix one teaspoon ACV and cayenne pepper with three tablespoons of clover honey in a glass of warm water.

Reduce digestive gas: Drink one cup of water or tea with one tablespoon of ACV prior to a meal. Vinegar stimulates digestive juices that help your stomach break down food; in addition to relieving gas production ACV can also reduce the likelihood of constipation.

Dandruff removal: In a spray bottle combine ¼ cup equal parts water and ACV. After shampoo spray generously onto hair and marinate for 15 minutes. Rinse. Used twice weekly the ACV acidity should reduce the fungus that causes dandruff.

Clear acne: ACV restores proper pH levels to your skin. Get a smoother, glowing, drier and fine-line reduced look by diluting ACV and applying to your skin (via washcloth) as a cleanser/toner.

Eliminate foot odor: Pour a cup of ACV over baby wipes or single-use paper towels. Let stand in the refrigerator overnight and store in a zip-lock bag for use as needed.

Brighten teeth: Rub a little ACV on teeth to reduce and eliminate yellow stains. Or, mix one teaspoon of ACV with a cup of water to create a more gentle mouthwash.

Side Effects

When starting to use apple cider vinegar be aware of how and in what way you administer the dose. There can be significant side effects if the vinegar is overused or not sufficiently diluted. For example apple cider vinegar should not be ingested straight; it is very acidic and can burn the tissues in your mouth and throat. When using ACV, always dilute it to a 10-1 (water to ACV) ratio. In fact, the acid content is so great that it can damage tooth enamel, so rinse your mouth with water after every use.

Other side effects include lowered glucose levels (particularly dangerous for type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance) and reduced potassium absorption, which impairs the function of nerves and muscles (most likely a side effect when taken in tandem with insulin and diuretics).

The amazing aspect of apple cider vinegar is that the suggestions outlined here only begin to explore its varied uses. Since it thins mucous and is rumored to slow a histamine response, ACV is also good for averting allergies. At least one study in Japan suggests that ACV can help with weight loss. Additionally, it can soothe bug bites, poison ivy and sunburn while its potassium, enzymes and amino acids boost energy.

The key to the successful use of ACV is, as with most remedies of any type, moderation. Sticking to the dilution guidelines, using in small doses to see how your body reacts and adopting the “little goes a long way” perspective will allow the health benefits of apple cider vinegar to support your body in the most productive ways without creating unwanted side effects.

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