By Jennifer Sargent
It sounds like the stuff of snake oil salesmen and too-good-to-be-true late-night TV infomercials. But I can tell you from my own personal experience that it’s actually true – there is a very simple, inexpensive, all-natural home remedy, available in most grocery stores, that can alleviate everything from heartburn and bladder infections to colds and allergies, and may also help you lose weight and clear your skin.
What is this miracle cure-all? Apple cider vinegar!
But we’re not talking Heinz here. To get the panacea-like benefits, you’ll need to make sure you’re getting the raw (unpasteurized), unfiltered variety. This kind contains the “mother” (the cloudy, sometimes stringy sediment in the vinegar), the good bacteria, enzymes and minerals that make ACV work its magic. Braggs is one very popular brand.
What kinds of health problems can you treat with ACV? I have successfully used it to ward off colds that I feel coming on (works every time – I swear!), to cure heartburn (a God-send through both my pregnancies!), to treat bladder infections, and, yes, I’ll admit it – even to get rid of hemorrhoids.
And it’s not just folk remedy lore that tells us how great ACV is – according to WebMD, research actually does show that ACV works for wide range of health problems. Several studies in recent years on diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, and even certain types of cancer have shown that ACV does, in fact, improve these conditions.
How to use ACV to help heal ailments:
- For chronic conditions such as arthritis, allergies, asthma, heartburn, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., to help in weight loss, or to boost general health: Mix 2 teaspoons of ACV in 8 ounces of water. Drink a glass of this mixture three times a day, every day.
- For acute conditions like colds, other viruses, headaches, or infections (including yeast infections, bladder infections, diarrhea, constipation, food poisoning, hemorrhoids, etc.,) : Mix 2 tablespoons of ACV in about 8 ounces of water. Drink three glasses of this mixture per day until your condition clears.
- For sore throats or bad breath: Mix ACV in equal parts water and gargle with the mixture, (if your throat is sore, let it coat the throat). You may spit it out, or, for maximum effectiveness, swallow the mixture.
- For acne, rashes, body odor, or other skin conditions (including irritation from yeast infections, jock itch, hemorrhoids and other such conditions): Dilute ACV in equal parts water and apply topically with a cotton ball. For rashes, leave on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with water Repeat three times a day. For body odor or acne, ACV can be left on the skin without rinsing.
So what’s the downside? Well, not much, but some are worth mentioning. Some people don’t really like the taste of ACV. But all is not lost for these poor souls – lots of people still find success with ACV by mixing in maple syrup or honey to make it more palatable.
Some people also like to drink it straight, without diluting it with water (I happen to be in this camp from time to time), but you should be aware that ACV is very acidic, and it’s possible to cause burning and significant irritation to the mouth, throat, or esophagus using this method, so use caution. Also because of its acidity, ACV can be hard on tooth enamel, so consider sipping it through a straw to keep your pearly whites strong and healthy.
I love ACV, and so do many of my friends. We have a running joke now, swapping stories about the magic of ACV and what new condition we found it to work for this time. But, as a disclaimer, I am not a doctor, so please do your own research and, as with any substance you would put in your body, use common sense and caution. And if you’re already been treated for a chronic condition, especially blood pressure, blood clotting issues (ACV can thin the blood), electrolyte functioning (ACV can decrease potassium), or diabetes, please take extra precautions and talk to your doctor (and/or do some of your own research) before using ACV or any natural remedy.
For more information and hundreds of testimonials, check out earthclinic.com’s ACV page. And for more ACV health advice, as well as household uses (ACV can be used to clean, disinfect, and control household and cooking odors), Braggs has a Facebook page filled with lots of cool tips and tricks, including one of my favorites: consuming ACV can help ward of mosquitos! How cool is that?
Jen is a stay-at-home mom to a crazy but cute two-year-old boy and a brand new, sweet-as-pie baby girl. She is rediscovering her Southern roots, having recently moved to Richmond, VA, after more than a decade in New England. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Holistic Studies and has a passion for natural health and living. Other passions include reading, writing, and watching the Real Housewives on Bravo. And she couldn’t do any of it without her amazing, brilliant, underpaid architect husband.