There's so much information out there about the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), you may be asking yourself "Can Apple Cider Vinegar really do everything people claim?". I don't doubt that some health or benefits claims may be overstated, but there are several that I am personally acquainted with that I can attest to. Those are what I will be addressing here.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a cure-all that has been passed down over many centuries. It's use goes all the way back to 400 BCE and was used by Hippocrates, the father of medicine, to treat his patients. Apple Cider Vinegar has experienced a renaissance of sorts in the last 10 years.
It is important to use raw Apple Cider Vinegar, which contains the mother, in order to fully benefit from the use of ACV. The mother is a web-like cluster of beneficial bacteria, that converts the apple cider into a vinegar, or ferments it. The vinegar will have a murky quality and should be shaken before use to distribute the bacteria and enzymes throughout the liquid. Cheap Apple Cider Vinegar is typically filtered and pasteurized, killing all the beneficial bacteria that we want.
Apple Cider Vinegar has a similar pH to that of human hair. Conventional shampoos and conditioners upset the hair's natural pH which can damage the condition of the scalp, and the strength of the hair. These products also leave a residue on the hair, weighing it down and clogging hair follicles. When hair follicles get clogged, hair loss increases and the follicles can go dormant. Regular use of Apple Cider Vinegar clears product build-up from the scalp, and can return hair to its natural, slightly acidic state. Only use diluted ACV on your hair, scalp or skin; it will still smell like vinegar, but the smell will dissipate as it dries.
Apple Cider Vinegar is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-septic, and anti-microbial. These qualities help to calm an inflamed scalp, reduce dandruff, and diminish hair loss. When your scalp is healthy, your hair reacts in kind. Maybe you're thinking "If my scalp is inflamed why would I pour vinegar on it?". Fair enough. If the situation is bad and you have broken skin or small cuts on your scalp, it will sting a bit. Healing your scalp is a process and won't always be comfortable. The same can be said about many things. For example, if you've never worked out or had a physical routine, then resolve to start because you want the benefits of a fit and healthy body, that first trip to the gym or yoga class can be brutal. The good news is the more you exercise, the better you feel, and the results are ultimately worth the initial discomfort.
When it comes to personal care, Apple Cider Vinegar smooths the cuticles of your hair, like shingles on a roof, which makes it able to reflect light, therefore adding sheen. By doing this it also reduces the chance of tangles and breakage, making hair more full and manageable. It can accentuate curls by conditioning the hair without weighing it down. ACV stimulates blood circulation which strengthens the hair follicles and encourages hair growth, while reducing hair loss.
Read more about using Apple Cider Vinegar for hair growth here:
There is an old story about an aging Queen of Hungary in the 1300's who had an alchemist develop a tonic to help her restore her youth. As the story goes it reversed her aging to the point that the grand-duke of Lithuania, in his mid to late 20's, asked for her hand in marriage when she was 70. The concoction was a blend of herbs and flowers infused in vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar has many benefits for the skin. Human skin, like hair, is slightly acidic. Soap based facial cleansers disrupt the acid mantle of the skin and leave it susceptible to bacteria and infections. Use of an acidic toner, like Apple Cider Vinegar, helps to restore the skin's acidic level and strengthen its resistance to environmental disturbances. ACV is full of alpha hydroxy acid which helps to remove dead skin cells and reveal the healthy complexion below. It also increases blood circulation, minimizes pores, calms razor burn, and may reduce eczema.
Apple Cider Vinegar can be added to a bath or diluted and applied directly to skin to cool a sunburn. It can be used as a potent astringent on the face, neutralizing bacteria deep within the pores. Additionally it reduces redness and scarring. While an Apple Cider Vinegar astringent is suitable for all skin types, it is particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with acne.
In an ongoing quest to create natural, effective body care, I have been looking to the wisdom of our ancestors for inspiration. Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for nearly 2500 years to address various human conditions, and that kind of legacy is not built on a passing fad. I encourage people to look into the many ways that ACV can improve health when taken internally as well. Having used Apple Cider Vinegar for healthy hair and skin I will never return to modern, conventional products. Check out Apothecuryous' line of Herbal Infused Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinses and the ACV based Queen of Hungary Astringent!