Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the source of many an old-fashioned tonic or home cure. Said to be good for everything from allergies to yeast infections, there are dozens of apple cider vinegar remedies. Bear in mind that few if any of these remedies are clinically tested or medically approved, and are not a substitute for medical care.
The production of apple cider vinegar, also called ACV, is quite simple: apples are crushed and the juice extracted. The juice is double-fermented; first to convert natural sugars into alcohol, second to convert alcohol into vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is easily found at grocery stores or health food suppliers, and may come in liquid or tablet form.
Some apple cider vinegar remedies are meant to be applied to the face or skin. Coating a cotton ball with ACV, rubbing it over the skin, and rinsing is meant to cure acne and improve age spots. As an astringent, the ACV probably helps remove some bacteria and promotes cellular turnover. Because ACV is high in acid, consider applying a moisturizer after use to prevent the skin from drying out.
Drinking a diluted source of ACV is the key to most apple cider vinegar remedies. Many home remedy fans suggest diluting one or two tablespoons (14.7-29.4 milliliters) of the vinegar in eight ounces (236 ml) of water. The recommended dosage is to be taken before each meal. Some people object to the taste and add a little honey or sweetener to fight off the bitterness.
Drinking ACV-infused water is meant to cure allergies, bacterial infections, lower blood pressure, help promote weight loss, and treat digestion issues. There have been some medical studies that suggest that it can be helpful for certain ailments, but generally not as helpful or productive as modern medicinal remedies. Some studies have shown that it may be helpful in boosting the effects of other treatments, but not as a sole cure.
Another popular section of apple cider vinegar remedies involves bathing in a diluted solution of ACV and water. This is meant to work as an anti-bacterial cure for yeast or urinary tract infections. While studies generally agree that the vinegar has anti-bacterial properties, many medical products have been shown to perform better and faster. If allergies or personal choices prohibit the use of medical remedies, ACV baths may help to relieve vaginal infections somewhat, but most experts recommend medical attention for suspected infections, as they can lead to serious complications.
There are strong proponents and detractors of the curative properties in ACV. While there are few harmful side effects to the tonic, its high acidity concentration can be harmful to some people. Taken in moderation and well diluted, experts suggest it is unlikely to cause harm to most people. Whether or not it helps with ailments, however, is far more debatable and best determined on an individual basis.