Growing up, my mother always had a bottle of apple cider vinegar under the kitchen sink. It was a mystery liquid to me. It was never served up to me in a cup to drink. I never saw it splashed into the washing machine. I did not detect its distinctive scent in the toilet after it had been scrubbed. Daddy didn’t sneak a bit, as if it were some sort of illicit liquor. No one ever hastily rushed over with the bottle to soothe scrapes and boo-boos. I never knew what it was for yet I never questioned its presence.

Growing up to be an intensely curious adult, I ask myself now, “What the heck is apple cider vinegar good for?” I mean, after all, it has withstood the test of time. I still see it abundantly stocked at my local market every time I shop. It must have a grand and useful purpose.

Vinegar itself, any old variety of vinegar, is a high-acid liquid produced by fermenting any number of vegetables, grains or fruits, like the apple. And, the apple seems to produce the most beneficial vinegar of all. An unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar is a great source of good bacteria and enzymes which promotes healthy digestion. But, doesn’t it taste awful? How, then, should it best be consumed or used and for what purpose?

Antibacterial properties are at the top of the list as to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. To control intestinal bacteria, mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink. This can help avert troublesome diarrhea which is usually caused by the intestines reacting to an overabundance of bacteria.

As an antibacterial agent to kill those nasty bad breath germs, create a healthy mouthwash that is half apple cider vinegar and half water. Simply gargle for fresh breath. And, there is another perk to this recipe. It can help keep bacterial growth under control and prevent occurrences of strep throat and other throat infection illnesses.

If you do come down with a painful throat infection, apple cider vinegar also has anti-inflammatory properties. Create a mixture of one or two tablespoons in a glass of warm water. Add a splash of honey and sip slowly to enjoy the soothing effect.

Anti-inflammatory benefits can also be experienced by those suffering with skin conditions like acne, eczema, or psoriasis. Even itchy or painful insect bites can be neutralized. Simply dab on the apple cider vinegar full strength to affected areas.

To further skin benefits of apple cider vinegar, drink the apple cider vinegar/water/honey tonic prescribed above for a sore throat. The acid improves the release of iron in consumed food products. As blood is enriched with iron, it becomes more efficient with its job of oxygenating the body. This improves cell regeneration which, in turn, improves the condition of skin.

Digestive disorders can be soothed with simple apple cider vinegar remedies. Despite its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar can, indeed, reduce the discomfort of acid reflux. The recipe for treatment is the same tonic above, one or two tablespoons mixed with a glass of water. Or, if you are desperate for quick relief and don’t even want to take the time to pour a glass of water, that’s okay. Toss back a spoonful or two of apple cider vinegar straight and undiluted.

The same apple cider vinegar/water mixture with a splash of honey that can be used to soothe an achy throat can also be consumed prior to a meal to prevent indigestion. If you are invited to a dinner party and know the menu includes problematic foods, don’t worry about skipping those items and insulting your hostess. About half an hour before dining drink the apple cider tonic and enjoy your meal like a boss.

One reason apple cider vinegar is so effective at alleviating digestive problems is the pectin it contains. This is an insoluble plant fiber within the apple that is present within apple cider vinegar. It creates a protective coating in the colon’s lining. If irritants such as greasy or spicy foods are prevented from aggravating the lining of the colon, bowel movements maintain normalcy.

Topical use of apple cider vinegar as a gentle cleanser can cleanse hair and scalp yet also maintain the delicate balance of necessary oils needed to prevent dandruff, itchy scalp, and dry, lusterless hair. The anti-microbial agents within the apple cider vinegar cleanse naturally yet gently. So, use apple cider vinegar the next time your run out of your favorite shampoo and see if your hair is not healthier and shinier within a week.

As my research continued, I discovered apple cider vinegar recipes for hiccup cures, blood-glucose stabilizers, hormone balancers, appetite suppressants, sinus pressure relief, cholesterol and blood pressure reduction, and natural insect repellents. If my mother arrives for a visit and peeks into my kitchen and bathroom cabinets, she will be disappointed to find that there is no bottle of apple cider vinegar in my house. After learning all the wonderful things it can do for a body, I will have to remedy that on my next trip to the market.

Written by Gemma