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In my kitchen pantry I keep a bottle of apple cider vinegar. I use it for a number of recipes that include marinades, salad dressings, and sauces. But many people use apple cider vinegar for situations beyond cooking, particularly as a home remedy.

For example, did you know that apple cider vinegar can help lower your cholesterol? Or that it can get rid of bad breath? My husband said that it can even be used to get hard water out of pipes! Who knew?

What else can apple cider vinegar do? Since I’ve been on a bit of a health kick recently, I decided to check it out. Keep in mind though that apple cider vinegar is not some magical drink that’ll cure your health troubles. It doesn’t hurt though, to add it to your daily routine.

Characteristics of Apple Cider Vinegar

Just what is apple cider vinegar, anyway? As the name suggests, it’s a type of vinegar made from fermenting apples. You can find it in the grocery store in the same aisle as white vinegar, but if you can wait a few weeks for the fermenting process you can easily make it yourself with this recipe using just apples, sugar, and water.

In fact, it’s better to make your own apple cider vinegar or at least buy the raw, unfiltered organic version. Grocery store apple cider vinegar is distilled and purified, thus removing the all-important “mother”. The mother is a thick, brownish film that contains the “good” bacteria, which in turn creates acetic acid. The mother is also packed with antioxidants and probiotics which are important to healthy living.

That’s not to say that the purified one is useless. Many people use it for household cleaning instead, as it then won’t leave any filmy residue, not to mention that it’s cheaper than the organic version. Others use it as a beauty remedy, such as a hair rinse or in the bath. Check THIS ARTICLE for more information about the uses for general vinegar.


Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

There are a staggering number of health benefits in using apple cider vinegar. Before I continue however, let me stress that there’s a proper way to use it.

Some may think that all they have to do is knock back a shot. Don’t do that! Like any vinegar, the apple cider one is extremely acidic, and drinking a large quantity straight may burn your esophagus and erode your tooth enamel over time. Instead, dilute it by mixing two tablespoons with eight ounces of water. Add some honey to sweeten because well, it doesn’t taste great.

Just what exactly can drinking this type of vinegar do for you? Here’s just a small list.

  • Weight loss: If you drink it right before eating, the acetic acid helps block starch digestion, which means that it won’t be turned into calories.
  • Aids in digestion: Another bonus to drinking some diluted apple cider vinegar prior to eating is that it’ll help settle your stomach.
  • Boosts your energy: If you need a pick-me-up during the day, drink this vinegar. The potassium and enzymes help combat fatigue.
  • Sore throat: Gargling with a 1:1 ratio of water to apple cider vinegar can help stop a sore throat in its tracks.
  • Clear sinuses: Apple cider vinegar helps break up mucus while the potassium decreases the chance of getting a runny nose.


Other Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

You don’t have to drink apple cider vinegar to reap its benefits. Some people use it as part of their beauty routine or even to clean their home.

     1. Dandruff removal: The vinegar’s acidity changes the pH levels in your scalp, thus blocking yeast from growing. Put equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on your scalp. Wrap your hair in a towel and let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing. Do this twice a week.

     2. Teeth whitener: Mix one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water and swish around your mouth before brushing.

    3. Stinky feet remedy: Soak a small towel in vinegar and wipe your tootsies with it.

    4. Skin toner: Soak a cotton ball in the stuff and wipe your face with it.

   5. Remove drain clogs: Mix ½ cup baking soda with one cup vinegar and pour down the drain.

  6. Washing machine: Pour two cups of apple cider vinegar into your empty washing machine then run a regular cycle.

  7. Disinfect germy bathroom surfaces: Scrub your toilet, sink, and tub with full strength vinegar.

   8. Polish silver: Combine ½ cup apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and soak your silver items in it for a few hours, then rinse.