The many uses of Apple Cider Vinegar include everything from curing hiccups to alleviating cold symptoms, and some people have turned to apple cider vinegar to help with health concerns including diabetes, cancer, heart problems, high cholesterol, and weight issues. Read on for more reasons to keep apple cider vinegar handy in your kitchen.
Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a clowdy, cobweb-like appearance.
History of Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has been used as a staple for daily human life since ancient times with our first evidence for its existence stretching back to Egypt around 3000 BC. Discovery probably went hand in hand with the development of alcoholic beverages such as wine from which it is often created as a by-product, particularly in France. The Chinese were the first to write about vinegar in 1200 BC and the Romans were big fans of it during the rise of their far reaching empire. It was often used, as it is today, to add flavour to foods and as a tonic for better health.
In the Middle East it was helpful for a variety of ailments, to help clot blood or as an aid to digestion, and played a vital part in dealing with the sick during the Great Plagues of the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe. The vinegar industry really took off during the Renaissance in France and Italy where, at one time or another, it seemed every naturally grown product was being used to make this important liquid including herbs, spices, flowers, and, of course, apples.
During the 1920s apple cider vinegar was drunk more in the United States than most other beverages mainly because of its supposed effects on the physical constitution. By the mid-70s we were beginning to see self-help books that were entirely devoted to the product and its positive health effects. Over the years, there have been many advocates of cider vinegar and many households will have a bottle in their kitchen.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Pasteurised cider vinegar is clear and a golden colour whilst the unpasteurized variety is cloudier. The manufacturing process is pretty simple and has been the same across the centuries – the apples are squeezed or pressed to release their liquid and this is then mixed with bacteria and yeast to start the fermentation process. As you might expect, the sugar in the apples is then turned to alcohol, similar to the cider making process. The difference is that once this fermentation has been completed the alcohol is then turned into vinegar by adding more bacteria that help produce acetic acid.
Apple Cider Uses and Home Remedies
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile products in the world and is used in everything from cooking to cleaning and for various health and medicinal benefits. Many people believe that the organic or cloudy apple cider vinegar is more potent for health needs because it contains valuable enzymes and proteins as well as some bacteria that are good for the body. Cider vinegar also has anti-microbial properties and has often been used in treating wounds and skin conditions to keep them clear of dangerous bacteria. There is also some research evidence that apple cider vinegar can reduce elevated blood sugar levels and help with conditions such as diabetes.
There are a wide range of uses for apple cider vinegar, in dressings and food recipes, and most households have a bottle or two on hand along with various herbs and spices. This means there are plenty of ways to get the health benefits of cider vinegar, for instance, by adding a few teaspoons to your morning fruit juice or making a tasty salad dressing for your evening meal.
Cure for an Upset Stomach
Mix some water with a little apple cider vinegar, drink it and you could find a soothing cure for your stomach upset. This is probably due to its antimicrobial benefits and the pectin which it contains may well also help stop things like intestinal spasms. A spoonful of apple cider vinegar has even been touted as a cure hiccups.
Sore Throats and Blocked Noses
Again because of its effect on bad bacteria, apple cider vinegar can be used to sooth a sore throat because the germs can’t handle the acidic environment the liquid provides. All you need to do is mix half and half with slightly warm water and gargle every hour or so to see some improvement. Apple cider vinegar also has some good decongestant properties too so if you have blocked sinuses using it can help drain all that mucus out and clear your head.
There needs to be some more research done on the value of apple cider vinegar here but there is some suggestion that small amounts in your diet can help to reduce cholesterol and therefore reduce the risk of a heart attack.
For those who suffer from bad breath, a quick gargle with an apple cider solution can help deal with even the worst case of halitosis. It’s also thought to work on the teeth by helping with whitening though because of the acidic properties this shouldn’t be done more than once a day with a diluted solution.
Indigestion and Weight Loss
If you suffer from indigestion on a regular basis or are about to eat rich foods that are sure to give you a problem later, taking a teaspoon of cider vinegar beforehand can help keep the stomach settled. There is also growing evidence that it can act as an appetite suppressant and aid in weight loss for some people. A few studies have shown that it has an effect on how our bodies handle starch which could mean that fewer calories get into the body.
Hair and Skin
Because of its acidity, many people use apple cider vinegar for treating problems such as dandruff because it changes the pH of the scalp, making it more difficult for yeast to grow. The best way to use vinegar is to mix it with water and spray it as a fine mist onto your scalp. For the same reasons, apple cider vinegar is also good for people who suffer from acne with the malic and lactic acids the liquid contains helping to soften the skin and counter problems like blackheads.
Apple cider vinegar has always been thought to have some invigorating properties and has been used since ancient times to provide a tonic to pick up energy levels. This could be due to the potassium it contains and adding a teaspoon to a drink of water can soon have you feeling a lot more lively. Incidentally, if you suffer from something like night time leg cramps, a little cider vinegar before you go to bed can provide the potassium your muscles need to relax while you sleep.
There’s no doubt that if you want to add a healthy ingredient to your kitchen that can be used for a variety of things, then a bottle of apple cider vinegar is perfect. It keeps for a long time and can be a natural replacement for a lot of other products we buy over the counter to cure things like indigestion, promote energy and skin problems.