It’s no secret why unpasteurized apple cider vinegar has such a massive worldwide following. This popular vinegar packs a huge wellness punch, and its health claims seem to be almost never-ending.
Try looking up the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, or ACV, and you’ll see an endless ocean of articles and success stories. Here are just a few things fans claim ACV helps with: Stomach (acid reflux, heartburn, upset stomach, constipation, gas, digestion), candida, weight loss, sinus, sore throat, bad breath, bone health, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes (blood sugar levels), leg cramps, hair (strengthen, shine, hair growth, dandruff), cooking and in food (salads, pickling, egg poaching), skin (toner, acne, wrinkles, bruises, sunburns, wart remover, toenail fungus), bug bites, all-purpose cleaner (windows, air deodorizer, toilet), pets (flea repellant), and weed killer.
There are a variety of vinegars on the market like white, balsamic, red wine, rice, and sherry vinegar. While most are similar in pH and acetic acid levels, there’s only one vinegar that’s associated with so many successful health claims.
ACV is the most popular among the health community, where stories and recipes are widely shared as a remedy for a variety of health issues and ailments.
A use not as widely discussed as others is adding apple cider vinegar to a warm bath several nights a week. Adding ACV to your bath will help with balancing your skins pH, detoxing and alleviating achy bones.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
For centuries vinegar, a natural disinfectant and preservative, has been used in folk remedies to help solve health problems and was used widely for household and cooking purposes. Vinegar, in French, vin aigre, means “sour wine.”
Apple cider vinegar is formed from the sugar in apple juice, then converted to a fermented alcoholic apple cider and, later, to vinegar. The slow fermentation process results in vinegar that is a source of pectin, acetic acid, citric acid, and makes it a natural antioxidant, antimicrobial and antifungal agent.
The primary substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill bacteria and prevent it from multiplying and reaching harmful levels. Acetic acid is the chemical name for the component in vinegar that gives it the characteristically sour taste and health benefits.
Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s) contains “mother,” a strand of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that gives the product a white murky, cobweb-like appearance. Apple cider vinegar contains about three calories per tablespoon, and although there are not many vitamins or minerals in ACV, it does contain a tiny amount of potassium.
Apple cider vinegar with “mother” can be made at home over the course of several weeks or so in your kitchen. With apples, sugar, cheesecloth, and glass storage containers (and a little patience), you’re ready to start your own batch of apple cider vinegar. You can check out an easy recipe here to make your own homemade apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar Bath
Whether you’re using homemade or store-bought ACV, adding it to your bath may help detox and reduce inflammation in the body, help cure skin infections caused by bacteria, and moisturize the skin.
ACV Bathing Benefits:
Helps draw out any excess uric acid out of the body (gout).
Provide relief with joint problems, arthritis, bursitis, or tendonitis. ACV is rich in magnesium, calcium and other minerals that promote bone health.
Rebalance and maintain the proper pH level of the body’s naturally acidic skin. The acidic top layer of skin provides a barrier against toxins but can be exposed through the use of soaps and body washes with alkaline bases.
Offers relief for people with eczema and other skin conditions.
Detox bath for those with candida issues that affect the skin. The ACV bath helps return the skin to an optimal, slightly acidic pH which is a difficult environment for candida to thrive.
Helpful for those with excessive body odor problems, by balancing the pH level of your skin.
May help with urinary tract infections; possibly help to kill the bacteria responsible for causing the urinary tract infection.
Other: Sunburn, foot odor, and toenail fungus.
If you would like to try an apple cider bath at home, fill the tub with warm to hot water then add 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar (with “mother”). Soak for 20-30 minutes. If you would like, follow bathing with a cool shower to rinse off any excess vinegar water.
For more than 2,000 years vinegar has been used to flavor and preserve foods, heal injuries, combat infections, sanitize household surfaces, and sometimes manage diabetes. Although vinegar is highly treasured as a cooking agent, there is still scrutiny around its medicinal use, mostly because of the limited scientific studies.
Before using it for bathing, applying topically, or to drink research its uses, reactions and understand the proper measurements. Consult your doctor before adding apple cider vinegar to your diet, especially if you are on medications, as it may cause adverse reactions to several prescriptions.