Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is often used in various home remedies. Why exactly is it good for you?
ACV contains acetic acid, probiotics, and other nutrients
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, its key ingredient which has a pH of 2.5. Acetic acid is useful for the transportation of minerals (e.g. calcium), the digestion of protein, and the stimulation of thyroid function.
ACV has a vitamin profile similar to apple juice and it is full of B-vitamins and polyphenols (plant-based antioxidants).
ACV also contains “mother,” or the combination of yeast and bacteria that forms via fermentation. A bottle of high-quality ACV contains bits of “mother” that float around in the liquid. This mother is considered a probiotic, which promotes gut health.
The acetic acid, nutrients, and probiotics in ACV are responsible for its many health benefits, such as the ones detailed below.
It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
A study published in the journal Medscape General Medicine revealed that ACV can minimize the growth of gram-negative bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Gram-negative bacteria have an impenetrable outer wall, making them more difficult to kill with antigens compared to gram-positive bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria are usually more resistant to antibiotics, and they are often responsible for “superbugs.”
These types of bacterial colonies are higher in endotoxins called lipopolysaccharides (LPS). High levels of LPS are linked to many inflammatory health problems and leaky gut syndrome. ACV can reduce the number of these bacteria, and consequently reduce inflammation.
ACV also has antiviral, anti-yeast, and anti-fungal benefits that promote microbiome and overall immune balance.
It relieves pain due to digestive issues.
Inflammation in the gut can cause pain and digestive problems. Drinking ACV promotes a healthy gut microbiome, which reduces inflammation in your digestive system and joints. (Related: 7 Natural apple cider vinegar remedies for kidney stones.)
It boosts immunity.
Most types of germs can’t survive in the overly acidic environment created by ACV. This strengthens your immunity to germs that cause different diseases.
It supports skin health.
ACV has acetic, citric, lactic, and succinic acid which can all kill acne. Data from a separate study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology showed that lactic acid can reduce acne.
For the study, researchers observed 22 participants who applied lactic acid lotion to their faces twice a day for a year. The majority of the volunteers reported a significant reduction in acne and only two people experienced less than a 50 percent improvement in acne.
It improves digestive health.
ACV increases the acidity of your stomach, which helps your body produce more pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down protein. Peptic acid also aids in digestion.
It promotes weight loss.
ACV functions as a natural hunger suppressant. Taking an ACV tonic will make you feel full for longer periods.
It reduces blood sugar.
People with diabetes can benefit from consuming ACV since it helps regulate blood sugar. The acetic acid in ACV decreases the activity of the enzyme that breaks down complex sugars into simple sugars.
Additionally, ACV increases levels of glucose-6-phosphate, a compound that converts glucose to glycogen, a form of sugar stored in the muscles and liver and expended as energy. These effects contribute to ACV’s benefits for your blood sugar.
It is a natural detoxing agent.
An ACV tonic can help you detox and improve your overall health.
It treats headaches.
Relieve headaches by using an ACV compress.
ACV tonic recipe
You can try this simple recipe for an ACV tonic to boost your overall well-being.
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 10-24 oz. warm water (not boiling)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 tsp grated ginger (optional)
- Add all of the ingredients to the warm water.
- You can add fresh ginger and cinnamon to improve the taste of the tonic.
Considerations when using apple cider vinegar
As with other remedies, you should take note of the side effects linked to the use of ACV.
- Some studies suggest that the weekly consumption of ACV may increase the risk of dental erosion due to its acetic acid content. To prevent the erosion of teeth enamel, you can take ACV supplements instead.
- If you have a sensitive stomach, taking ACV tonics may cause discomfort. ACV is also linked to side effects like diarrhea or vomiting.
Dilute ACV by making a tonic to relieve digestive issues and boost your immunity.