Apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy for various ailments for many years, and also as a beauty treatment. Little scientific research has been carried out on the uses of apple cider vinegar – however, most of the problems it is used to treat are minor, and you are unlikely to suffer any ill-effect by at least trying apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is said to be effective against dandruff. Vinegar should be applied straight to the scalp and massaged into the roots, before being left for an hour and then rinsed out. An alternative treatment is to mix equal amounts of vinegar and water and apply it to the scalp, and then leave it to dry – although this method means that you will smell of vinegar! In either case, the theory is that the vinegar will lower the pH of the scalp – or increase the acid present on the skin – and thus reduce dandruff.
Some women believe that apple cider vinegar can be used in a douche to treat vaginal thrush – the theory is that the acid in the vinegar kills the bacterium that produces the itchy discharge. Conversely, other women argue that apple cider vinegar can actually make the condition worse – live yoghurt may be a more reliable traditional remedy.
Apple cider vinegar is also meant to help sunburn. The person suffering from burns should sit in a bath with around a cupful of vinegar diluted within the water. Alternatively, apple cider vinegar can be applied to the burned area as a compress.
Skin complaints have traditionally been treated with apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can be mixed in equal measures with water, and daubed on the face as a toner. This method is also believed to cure and reduce acne, particularly when suffered by teenagers. Apple cider vinegar is also believed to assist in the treatment of warts. Another folk remedy is to apply apple cider vinegar to the wart for a compress, or soak the wart in apple cider vinegar for fifteen minutes every day, until it disappears. Apple cider vinegar is also believed to cause cellulite and age spots to become less noticeable or disappear.
Some people believe apple cider vinegar promotes health loss by increasing the metabolism, and try to consume a teaspoon diluted in a glass of water on a daily basis. A more practical – and palatable – way to consume it is as part of a salad dressing. Simply toss a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar – and, if wishes, a small amount of olive oil and garlic – with a green salad. Whether or not apple cider vinegar promotes weight loss or not, the salad will be a delicious low calorie accompaniment to grilled chicken.
Apple cider vinegar is also thought to reduce stomach upsets and calm diarrhoea – try a small teaspoon the next time your stomach is playing up, to see if it works.
Apple cider vinegar is not associated with any health risks, and does not appear to have any side effects. The only exception is that consuming a great deal of apple cider vinegar may discolor your teeth – try diluting it with water to prevent this happening.