For centuries apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used as a folk remedy for all sorts of health problems and recently there has been a renewed interest in its benefits, although there aren't many scientific studies to back up the claims. These claims do tend to be limited to the raw, organic, unfiltered and unpasteurised ACV which contains 'mother' strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria.
ACV contains no calories, few vitamins and amino acids and only trace amounts of potassium, manganese, phosphorous and calcium. It is usually used diluted, except in a few external applications, and it is best to check with your doctor before embarking on anything that could interfere with any medication you are taking.
Smelly feet and head lice
Besides repelling head lice when applied directly to the scalp and flea infestations on animals, ACV is said to cure fungus and yeast infections and ear and throat infections. It is renowned for relieving insect stings and was also once used on armpits and the feet to reduce the pong.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is said to have used it over 2,000 years ago for cleaning wounds and it has been used throughout history as a disinfectant and natural preservative.
A very old remedy for arthritis was to massage a mixture of two egg whites, 125 ml ACV and 60 ml olive oil into sore joints. This was backed up by taking 1-2 tsp ACV in a glass of water twice a day.
ACV is said to lighten age spots and cure acne when dabbed directly on to the skin. Diluted in bath water it can ease sunburn or aching muscles and can be used to whiten teeth. Probably the most well-known use of vinegar is as a rinse after shampooing to boost shine and possibly help to clear dandruff.
Taking between 1-2 tsps of ACV in a glass of water every morning is said to help maintain a healthy alkaline Ph level and increase energy levels, reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and even shrink cancer cells.
However, one of the benefits attributed to drinking diluted ACV is of particular interest at this time of year; it is said to detox the liver after over-indulging.