~ written by Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar offers numerous health benefits and has been used in traditional home remedies both topically and internally. After the fermentation and extraction process using organic apples, the end result is a vinegar loaded with trace minerals, beneficial enzymes, healthy bacteria and pectin.
Over time, it is common for the vinegar to form a “mother” ~ the name for the natural protein which forms from enzymatic activity on the natural bacteria in the unpasteurized vinegar. The presence of a “mother” in the vinegar ensures that the vinegar contains the live enzymes needed to aid various ailments. Shaking the bottle will help disperse the mother and it is safe to use and drink.
As non organic apples are heavily sprayed, ensure that the brand of Apple Cider Vinegar chosen uses only organic apples and is bottled in a dark container, as the presence of bright light causes the vinegar to oxidize and breaks down vital nutrients.
Some traditionally home remedies using Apple Cider Vinegar
- Used as a hair rinse after shampooing for healthy shiny hair, to help minimise dandruff and also used as a hair soak overnight to remove nits or lice from the hair shaft (shampoo out in the morning).
- Cold and flu prevention: 1-2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in warm water and ingested daily. Honey can be added to aid the bitter taste.
- Sore throat and an irritated cough: 1 teaspoon of Vinegar in 1 cup of water. Gargle and swallow. Repeat frequently throughout the day.
- Sinus congestion: Boil apple cider vinegar and use as a steam.
- The antiseptic properties makes this vinegar an excellent disinfectant wash for scrapes and wounds.
- May provide some relief from poison ivy and shingles when applied as a liniment or an external soak.
- Reputed to provide some relief from arthritis and bursitis and traditionally used long term to provide some relief from calcium deposits. It is thought that the acidic nature of the vinegar can help dissolve calcium deposited around the joints. Use as a topical application, soak a tea towel in apple cider vinegar and apply to the affected joint and dilute in water and drink internally.
- Sip, diluted in water before a meal to stimulate the digestive juices and enhance digestion.
- A delicious salad dressing, when combined with lemon, olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs.
Apple cider vinegar should not be ingested by persons dealing with digestive conditions casued from overacididity, ulcers or heartburn.