Many people believe apple cider vinegar has all sorts of health benefits.
The beloved ingredient also has many applications and is a favorite among the DIY crowd. It has been used through the years as a home remedy for treating various health ailments, as a disinfectant and as a natural food preservative — to name just a few of its purposes.
Here are seven of the most weird and wonderful things people are using it for:
1. Treating Health Conditions and Maintaining General Health
Remember that old saying: ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away?’ Well, many people would probably change that to: ‘a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar a day keeps the doctor away.’ For years people have claimed apple cider vinegar can do wonders for our health.
Lowering blood sugar, easing digestion, treating arthritis, and soothing a sore throat are just a few outcomes people have relied on it for. Some people insist that consuming a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar each day helps to boost the immune system. Others even bathe in the stuff, adding a few cups of apple cider vinegar to their bath as a way to relieve muscle pain.
There are many suggested health benefits of apple cider vinegar, and it really does seem to help a lot of people, but we must remember that these stories are just anecdotal. Everyone’s body is different, so you should always consult with a doctor before using apple cider vinegar to treat any serious health conditions.
A teaspoon a day won’t hurt you, but there’s certainly no proof yet that it will keep the doctor away!
2. Apple Cider Vinegar as a Beauty Product
As well as keeping us healthy on the inside, people also apply apple cider vinegar for looking luscious on the outside! There are various wellness authors and natural health experts who recommend using it as a natural replacement for all sorts of beauty products.
For skin, they suggest using it as a toner, a face mask, and also to treat acne, spots and warts. They also suggest that because apple cider vinegar is slightly acidic, it will help to balance your skin’s PH levels after cleansing.
Other uses they recommend are using apple cider vinegar to remove hair product buildup, tackle dandruff, strengthen nails and even whiten teeth.
How effective these solutions are I’m not sure, but probably best to do your own research before trying them.
3. A Clean House Without the Toxic Chemicals
Keeping our houses clean and our surfaces spotless is essential for stopping the spread of harmful bacteria, and also for making sure the place looks nice when the neighbors pop over for a visit. But often household cleaning products can contain harmful chemicals, and nobody wants that! Thankfully, apple cider vinegar can help, and I know this one works because I’ve tried it myself!
Mix about half a glass of the stuff with a full glass of water and you’ll have a solution that can blast through kitchen counter stains, clean dirty windows, and even polish up your bathroom sinks and surfaces.
Due to its antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar should also kill most of the bacteria around your house without emitting any toxic chemicals at all, although it’s not quite as effective at killing bacteria as commercial household disinfectants.
4. An Old-Fashioned Energy Boost
This is an interesting one, and with a bit of history behind it too! Ever heard of switchel?
Switchel is an old American farmer’s favorite thirst-quenching beverage. Historians aren’t exactly sure where it originated from, but it was popular on farms in New England and across America between 1700-1900 as a refreshing energy booster while out tending the fields. And yes, you guessed it; one of the key ingredients in switchel is apple cider vinegar.
The brew is generally made from water, apple cider vinegar, ginger and a sweetener like honey or maple syrup. You can also add some rum if you’re feeling feisty!
It is thought that the vitamins and natural sweeteners from the ginger and honey, mixed with the potassium and electrolytes from the apple cider vinegar combine to create a tasty, healthy, regenerative beverage.
Here’s a delicious looking Switchel recipe if you’d like to give it a shot.
5. Making the Perfect Poached Eggs
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Well you may not know it yet, but apparently you’re going to love them with apple cider vinegar!
According to Nick Korbee, executive chef at the egg specialist restaurant Egg Shop in New York City, apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) is a key component for poaching the perfect egg.
The trick is to add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the water in your saucepan before adding the egg. The acidity of the vinegar helps to ‘coagulate’ the egg white while cooking, keeping it firm and maintaining the perfect shape. Who knew?
Here’s Mr. Korbee’s step-by-step egg poaching tutorial if you fancy having a go yourself.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar in the Garden
We’ve used it on ourselves, we’ve used it on our houses, we’ve used it on our eggs! And now it’s time to use it on the garden.
In a world where harmful chemicals, herbicides and fertilizers seem to be absolutely everywhere, people have started to search for more planet-friendly ways to take care of their gardens, and apple cider vinegar is seen by many as a multi-purpose solution.
It is often mixed with water and used as a natural fertilizer for certain plants due to its acidity. The idea is that acid-loving plants like azalea and magnolia will thrive when the apple cider vinegar/water solution is added to the soil around their roots, and many people seem to have had success with this method. For the same reason, apple cider vinegar can also be poured to acidify larger patches of soil if needed.
Other garden-related uses include cleaning rusty tools, washing clay pots, and repelling fruit flies, ants, and larger animals like rodents and moles.
Some people have even suggested using apple cider vinegar as a natural weed killer, but here’s why it’s a better idea to just stop mowing your lawn altogether and let those weeds grow wild!
7. Getting Rid of Head Lice
Now this one I can personally confirm has worked for me.
About two years ago, after traveling for a few months through Cambodia, I returned home with a pretty unbearable head lice problem. I tried quite a lot of things to get rid of the lice, including combing them out with a special comb and head lice shampoo, but they kept coming back.
After about two weeks and a whole lot of research, I decided to try soaking my hair and scalp in apple cider vinegar. For three days in a row, I washed my hair thoroughly in hot water mixed half and half with apple cider vinegar, and let the mixture sit and soak into my scalp for half an hour each day. After that, the head lice were gone!
Now just like for most of its other reported health benefits, if you search online you will find no science-based evidence that apple cider vinegar can get rid of head lice, only anecdotes.
But since it worked for me I’m inclined to think that there is value in some of these stories, and that apple cider vinegar may very well have all sorts of proven benefits, if only we did a little more scientific research.
Always Ask Your Doctor
The multitude of stories about apple cider vinegar and its benefits, along with its history as a popular home remedy would suggest that it’s a great thing to have in your home. But because the scientific evidence for its use as a health tonic is limited, you should never use it to treat any serious conditions without consulting your doctor first.
Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.
From reducing waste to recycling and upcycling, our e-book shows simple ways to make choices you can feel good about.