Health Benefits of using Apple cider vinegar for hair and skin
It is not uncommon for you to come across discussions about ACV(Apple Cider Vinegar). From some ladies in your family WhatsApp group sending forwards about the dos and don’ts to your friends doing literal shots of Apple Cider Vinegar every morning. Let us start with the basics.
What is apple cider vinegar, and what is all the hype about it?
Vinegar is ten percent acetic acid made by fermenting ethanol. Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple juice. While at the supermarket, you may find different kinds of Apple cider vinegar -broadly a clear and cloudy type. They both are the same. The cloudy type is just some manufacturers pasteurizing the vinegar just to keep it from going bad. The appearance shouldn’t bother you, though. It is perfectly safe.
Now, the hype?
Apple Cider Vinegar has made rounds of the internet claiming to be this sensational, revolutionary product helping in weight loss- another fad that’s made the world go crazy.
Here’s the million-dollar question though, does it work?
While I have myself been a victim of the Apple Cider Vinegar mania, I’ve never really been able to lose weight by just including it in my diet. Along with this, there’s now also a lot of negativity surrounding Apple Cider Vinegar as people who have tried and tested it for weight loss regime are now bashing it for not helping them.
But, let’s step back a second. Is Apple Cider Vinegar only good for weight loss? Are we too soon in striking it out as a whole?
While maybe not being as useful in watching your weight as it claims to be, there are lots of apple cider vinegar health benefits that aren’t paraded around as much
Apple cider vinegar health benefits for your body
1. Apple Cider Vinegar helps in digestion
Apple Cider Vinegar helps to Improves metabolism and it’s quite common to see people consuming ACV before heavy meals-especially protein-rich meals, claiming to improve digestion. What ACV does, is decrease the pH of the stomach helping the body generate more enzymes in the stomach which aid in digestion.
2. ACV reduces gas and bloating
Taking a tablespoon of ACV, mixed in a cup of water can help alleviate bloating. Although not scientifically proven, a lot of people swear by using ACV as an instant home remedy for getting rid of a bloated belly.
3. ACV decreases acid reflux
Acid reflux or GERD occurs when acid in the stomach travels upwards through the food pipe and into your mouth giving a burning sensation commonly known as heartburn and a bitter taste in your mouth. ACV is one of the alleged home remedies that are helpful in the management of acid reflux disease.
Being an acid itself, it is said to improve the gut health of patients who are on antacids for their condition. Not enough scientific evidence is running about the use of ACV in acid reflux disease and therefore, I strongly recommend talking to your gastroenterologist before starting ACV as therapy.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Breaks down the proteins
The same way as it helps in improving digestion, ACV increases the acidity of the stomach and stimulates the release of the protein-digesting enzyme in the stomach thus making the body more efficient in digesting proteins.
5. ACV and fat breakdown
One of the ways it is said to improve fat breakdown or digestion is by adding on to the hydrochloric acid content of the stomach thereby promoting the release of gastric lipase-a fat-digesting enzyme.
6. Improves blood sugar levels
The acetic acid content of Apple cider vinegar helps in maintaining a normal blood sugar level by promoting gastric emptying i.e., improving the rate at which the stomach digests food and pushes it into the intestines and by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates (like your wheat, oats, etc.) and therefore not releasing too much glucose in the blood.
How to consume Apple Cider Vinger
With so much information from so many sources, all defining different quantities, what is the ideal dosage of ACV?
So These are the steps to drink Apple Cider Vineger
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of ACV in one glass of water. Drink it preferably in the morning or early evening giving a gap between the ACV and your meals.
- Feel free to add a dash of lemon or a drop of honey for more flavour.
- You can also replace your regular vinegar with ACV in desserts and as a salad topping.
ACV, in small amounts, isn’t just good for your inner bodily functions, but also great for your hair and skin! However, don’t forget to consult your dermatologist before use!
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for your skin
Being an acid, using ACV directly on the skin may irritate the skin. Apple Cider Vinegar has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in many skin conditions like ringworm, athlete’s foot, acne, etc. It helps in correcting and balancing the pH levels of your skin. Apple cider vinegar can give the following positive impacts on your skin when used diluted and with caution too:
ACV can help tone down the breakouts on your face as these breakouts are mostly acne which is nothing but a bacterial infection in which bacteria thrive in collections of oily secretions from your face. Owing to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help ease the inflamed skin.
You can apply a diluted form on the affected areas before going to bed along with your other acne medications. You can choose to add a few drops of essential oils in the dilution to give it a nice aroma and make it niftier for use.
2. Mosquito bites
Ever been in a situation where you’re enjoying a relaxing evening and decided to pop a window open because of the lovely weather outside but now you’re covered in bug bites? Ugh! ACV is an instant grandma remedy for soothing the skin covered with bug bites. Just dilute the solution in equal parts water and apply it on the affected areas. It not only relieves the terrible itching sensation but also takes care of the redness and bumps.
3. Fighting smelly feet
Smelly feet are usually a result of fungal infection between your toes or on the soles of your feet. It could also be because of bacterial growth on your feet owing to long hours of wearing closed footwear with socks, especially during warm seasons. ACV’s anti-microbial properties help fight off the very cause of the smell, therefore eliminating the smell. Just apply some diluted solution ACV to your feet before slipping into your shoes. Allow it to dry completely before putting on any footwear. You can also massage it gently onto your feet before tucking into bed for the night.
Apple Cider Vinegar can help exfoliate your skin. What is exfoliation? It is removing the layer of dead skin cells from your face or body. Exfoliating your skin is healthy and it leaves a natural glow as it exposes the new skin formed underneath. However, over-exfoliation should be avoided as it can be harmful to the skin.
Do not exfoliate more than once a week. You can mix a few drops of ACV in your facewash after lathering up and gently massage it into your face. For full-body exfoliation, drop a cup full of ACV into your bathtub after filling it along with your bath salts and stay there for 15-20 minutes. You can also add some essential oils to your bath and light some scented candles around to unwind and relax.
5. Combat wrinkles and age spots
Due to its exfoliating properties, if used regularly, ACV can help fight off wrinkles! It helps keep the skin plump and makes it look fresh. It also lightens age spots which are quite difficult to tackle by other natural remedies.
I’m not quite the make-up junkie and maybe that is why my knowledge of toner is restricted to the territory of skincare. I know it as an unnecessarily expensive, over the top skin-care commodity and have only seen make-up gurus working it into their skincare routine.
And having extra dry skin, I never really needed it. However, after listening to so much talk about it, toner is quite the magic wand you oily-skinned lot. Not only does it correct your skin’s pH levels, but it also constricts or shrinks your pores and therefore helps in reducing your overall oil levels. If you’re tired of blotting an oily face, time and time again, maybe ACV will e the answer to your shiny T-zone!
Health Benefits of Apple Cider for your hair
ACV finds many uses as a home-made hair remedy, namely for increasing hair shine and scalp health. But what makes ACV useful in hair care? Not different from its effects on the skin, ACV helps improve the health of your hair and scalp because of its acidity and anti-microbial properties. Being an acid, ACV is very helpful in correcting pH imbalances. Some specific uses for ACV are:
1. Itchy scalp and dandruff
The scalp can be itchy if not wash frequently due to bacteria and sweat build up. If you find yourself reaching out and scratching your head despite regular washes, it could be due to dandruff. ACV allegedly works in clearing off dandruff from your hair owing to its pH balancing and anti-bacterial properties. You can work some ACV into your lathered up shampoo and apply it on your scalp and hair. Let it be on for a few minutes before rinsing. A persistently itchy scalp could be a cause of concern. Please consult a dermatologist for the same.
2. Along with your shampoo
Mix a few teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in your shampoo bottle and stir it. Use it for every wash on your scalp and hair and this can help you tackle problems like dry, frizzy hair, rough hair cuticles, and even split ends!
3. As a post- shampoo rinse
Instead of adding it into your shampoo, you can use a diluted ACV solution to massage into your hair, from scalp to tip, just after shampooing and before using your regular conditioner. This will leave your hair with a beautiful gloss and soften your hair.
4. Pre-wash treatment
Another way to work ACV into your hair care routine is to take a half-in-half solution of ACV in water and massage it into your scalp and hair. Cover it up with a soft t-shirt or a towel and let it rest. You can also add some essential oils to this solution, giving your hair a healthy, natural glow. Wash it off after 15-20 minutes for the best results. How often should you do this? While you can do this before every wash, treating your hair with a pre-wash ACV treatment once a week should be sufficient.
Apple Cider Vinegar has been called the ‘it-all’ because of the multiple uses of the acid in and on our body. So, with all this ACV information circling, how are you going to use it today?
We hope this article helped you to know about the Health Benefits of using Apple cider vinegar for hair and skin. You may also want to see our guide on What Too Much Sodium Do To Your Body, Salt Side Effects, and How To Maintain Hygiene In Intimate Area.