Alternative Remedies

We hear a lot about how apples are nutritious, and how eating an apple a day can help keep you out of the doctor’s office (I reworded the proverb. The original sounds offensive to doctors.), but apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, does not seem to get the attention that it needs.

When it comes to nutrition, apple cider vinegar is considered a poor source of nutrients. You will hardly find any nutrition in apple cider vinegar. You might ask, “Then, what is the big deal about apple cider vinegar? How can it be beneficial, yet not nutritious?”

Well, although apple cider vinegar is not very nutritious itself, the properties of apple cider vinegar are beneficial for improving health in other ways. Here, I will discuss 10 little-known ways that apple cider vinegar is useful to improve health.

Acne Pores by Kjerstin_Michaela via Pixabay

Acne

One of the causes for acne is the growth of bacteria inside skin pores. It is believed that apple cider vinegar helps prevent acne because of its ability to kill bacteria. Another cause of acne is the buildup of sebum, skin oil. According to Dr. Penny Stanway, Apple cider vinegar can increase the acidity of the skin, emulsify skin oil, and reduce inflammation. All that is necessary is to use a cotton ball to apply a mixture of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts water to the affected area (be sure not to get it around the eyes), wait 10 minutes, and then rinse. This should be done three times a day for clearer, cleaner skin.

Age Spots

Some say that apple cider vinegar can help lighten age spots, those spots that are caused by a buildup of melanin, a skin pigment. To help those age spots fade, apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to the affected area twice a day using a cotton ball. Another variation which is claimed to be more potent is a mixture of 1 part onion juice, and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. And one last concoction that requires several ingredients to make is a mixture of 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of horseradish, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and a few drops of rosemary oil. Each of these should help cause your age spots to fade.

Dandruff

I think everybody knows what dandruff is. Those flaky white specks sometimes appear on your scalp, and fall onto your shoulders. If you are not fond of using a dandruff shampoo to get rid of your dandruff, maybe you should try apple cider vinegar. The acidic properties of apple cider vinegar just may get rid of the fungus that causes dandruff. Just mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and warm water, and apply this to your scalp. Afterward, cover your head with a towel for one hour. Then you can rinse the apple cider vinegar out, and shampoo your hair.

Sprains

Muscle sprains are a common occurrence. What is not so common is the knowledge that apple cider vinegar may help relieve the pain associated with muscle sprains. Should you decide to try it, just add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of hot water. Soak a cloth in the mixture, and then squeeze out the excess. Place the compress over the affected area.

Athlete’s Foot and Smelly Feet

We have already mentioned that apple cider vinegar can help with dandruff, which is caused by a fungus. Athlete’s foot fungus may also be relieved by soaking your feet daily in equal parts of apple cider vinegar and hot water for 10 minutes, and then drying them thoroughly. Since fungi hate acids, this should help kill fungal infections on the feet and eliminate foot odors.

On a side note, this also can help with corns and callouses. After soaking your feet for 10 minutes, the skin around the corn should be soft enough to rub off.

High Blood Pressure

While it is not yet understood exactly why apple cider vinegar can help lower blood pressure, it is believed that by relaxing the blood vessels, it can act as an ACE-inhibitor, and lower blood pressure. For those with low calcium intake, apple cider vinegar can increase calcium intake, which can lower blood pressure. And it encourages weight loss. According to the Mayo Clinic, if an overweight person loses just 5 pounds, that person’s blood pressure can be lowered.

Headache

I can’t wait to use this one. The next time I have a headache, I am going to try mixing 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 pint of water, and apply the mixture using a sponge or cloth. Another way to attempt to alleviate a headache is by apple cider vinegar vapors. Just add apple cider vinegar to a vaporizer and inhale the vapors for about 15 minutes. And yet another method is to drink a hot cup of water containing 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar 3 times a day. If you tend to get a headache every day, please go see a doctor. I don’t recommend this remedy as a long-term solution. 

Insect Nature by jodeng via Pixabay

Wasp Stings

Ouch! Those wasp stings sure do burn, but you can take some of the sting out of that, um, sting by applying a dab of undiluted apple cider vinegar to the affected area. Remember that this is strictly for wasp stings. Apple cider vinegar should not be used for bee stings.

Absorption of Essential Nutrients

Earlier, I mentioned that apple cider vinegar may help the intake of calcium, but calcium is not the only nutrient that can be absorbed better with the help of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can increase stomach acidity in those who have issues with not having enough stomach acid. Without enough stomach acid, many nutrients are not absorbed well. By drinking a glass of water containing 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar two or three times a day, according to Dr. Penny Stanway, you can possibly increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals such as “protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, [and] cobalt.”

This is interesting because earlier I said that apple cider vinegar does not provide a significant amount of nutrients, but it does help create conditions that permit the body to absorb more vitamins and minerals.


Be Aware of The Risks

Allergy
Some people may be allergic to apple cider vinegar. If you are one of those people, you should not use apple cider vinegar as a remedy.

Enamel Loss
Apple cider vinegar softens tooth enamel temporarily. It is recommended, therefore, not to brush your teeth directly after drinking apple cider vinegar. Always dilute apple cider vinegar with water. Never drink undiluted apple cider vinegar.

Lower Potassium
After extended use of apple cider vinegar, it is believed that it may lower your potassium. Lowering your potassium is dangerous, as this may cause the use of certain drugs may build up to toxic levels in the body. This is why most remedies suggest that you do not use apple cider vinegar remedies regularly for more than six months at a time.

Undesired Lowering of Blood Pressure
I have already mentioned that apple cider vinegar can lower blood pressure. While normally this might be considered a good thing, if you are taking medication that lowers your blood pressure, your blood pressure might fall too low. Always take care when taking alternative remedies with medications. It is always best to consult your doctor when you are taking medications.

Also, WebMD recommends that you not use apple cider vinegar if you have kidney disease because your kidneys may not be able to handle the excess acid.


Conclusion
I began by offering 10 little-known uses for apple cider vinegar to help improve health. However, there are actually many more. But, I don’t want this article to go on forever. Now that you know that apple cider vinegar can be used as a remedy for many ailments, please research the topic more on your own. I always recommend doing your own research before using any alternative cure or remedy. I have listed the sources for the information provided in this article; you are welcome to start from there with your continued research.

If you use apple cider vinegar for any of the remedies I have listed, or any other remedies using apple cider vinegar, or any alternative remedy, I invite you to comment with your remedy. I am curious how many other people use alternative remedies.


Sources

“Acne.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, July 2023, www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/acne.

“Age spots (liver spots)”. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic, 11 February 2022, www.mayoclinic.org › age-spots › syc-20355859.

Baker, Jerry. Supermarket Super Remedies. American Master Products, 2006.

Benisek, Alexandra. “Apple Cider Vinegar: Benefits, Uses, Risks, and Dosage.” Edited by Jabeen Begum, WebMD, WebMD, 7 July 2023, www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar-and-your-health.

Lopez-Jimenez, Francisco. “Blood pressure medication: Still necessary if I lose weight?”. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.org › faq-20058056.

Stanway, Penny. The Miracle of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. Watkins Publishing, 2010.

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