Medicinal Monday: Apple Cider Vinegar
Okay--stop me if you think that you've heard this one before: you can use Apple Cider Vinegar for basically anything.
While that's not entirely true, it does have a lot of health benefits. Today I'm going to go over some of those as well as the drawbacks.
One thing apple cider vinegar has gotten very popular for is aiding in weight loss. Some say it's because it has a filling effect so you're less likely to overeat. An easy way to work it into your diet is two cap-fulls in the morning, diluted in hot water. Replace a morning tea or coffee with some apple cider vinegar--you can add honey and lemon for an added flavor (I do).
This concoction is also great for a healthy digestion or a sore throat. When I had laryngitis I was drinking a cup of this every single morning. While the vinegar can seem harsh on your throat, as long as it's diluted, it won't be harmful. And the vinegar itself will work to fight the bacteria causing you to be sick in the first place.
Apple cider vinegar can also be applied to the skin and hair with great results. Many people use apple cider vinegar to stop dandruff. To do this, mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it on your scalp. Let it sit for a while and then go about washing your hair as usual. Two to three times a week should do the trick!
It also works as a great toner for acne due to its antibacterial properties. Sometimes when my skin is giving me a lot of trouble, I'll apply some to my face at night, before bed. Just make sure to keep moisturizing (with oil-free moisturizers) as the vinegar can have a drying effect on the skin. In the morning I'll often use rose-water toner after washing my face and then moisturize for the day.
Last but not least, I've read it can also help with bug bites when applied on the skin. If you have multiple bites, try adding it to your bath for better coverage.
The most important thing to know about apple cider vinegar is that you have to dilute it! Some people use it to whiten their teeth but the acidity can actually be damaging--the way citrus and soda can be.
Also, in some cases, taking large doses of apple cider vinegar can lower your potassium levels. As long as you don't go over a few table spoons a day you should be fine. But if you're really concerned, just work more bananas into your diet!