Moment for Health: Apple Cider Vinegar

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apple-cider-vinegarIn My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Gus, the father, pulls out a bottle of Windex and claims it is a cure-all for anything.

When I first saw that movie, I laughed so hard at that part because it brought me memories of me being a little kid and my mom grabbing the Vicks Vapor Rub for anything from coughs to cuts.

And then there was my dad, his poor sunburned body slathered up with a jar of Best Foods Mayonnaise to ease the pain and keep his skin from blistering.

To this day, I don’t get the Vick’s all purpose remedy, yet it had worked. But my father’s mayo made more sense. It was the vinegar that did the trick. He didn’t know why it worked. All he knew was that the layer of cold mayo soothed his burns and kept him from blistering.

Later on in life, I learned that vinegar has been a long time remedy for sunburns (as are eggs whites, another ingredient found in mayo).

And though vinegar in mayo might prompt some people to keep a jar or two at home, I would recommend keeping a bottle of apple cider vinegar instead. It has many more uses and is less fattening!

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is simply apple cider (the fermented kind) turned to vinegar. Using vinegar made from apples instead of regular vinegar from rice or wine lends more value to its use.

Apples contain phytochemicals, a big word for protective properties to the body. Phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids are agents of defense for the ravages of radicals roaming the body and are still present in the vinegar of the apples. Besides improving bowel irregularity, apple cider vinegar can treat constipation. Though there are other products out there to help out constipation, if you want to go a more natural route its best to take a look at your diet, include more fiber, add more water and drink the apple cider vinegar for better digestion.

The alkalizing effect of the ACV helps digestion with the breakdown of food, especially in those people who do not produce enough hydrochloric acid. Food that is not broken down properly causes more stress on the digestive tract and produces gas, constipation and bloating.

A glass of warm water mixed with 2 tablespoon ACV and a tablespoon of raw honey every morning before eating can bring comfort to those suffering from constipation due to digestive stress. (Those with too much hydrochloric acid are better off with lemon and water in the mornings to alkalize the acid.)

For those with diarrhea, ACV can help as well, helping to soothe the irritated lining of the intestine.

One of my favorite uses of AVC is to clarify the hair and to revitalize the cuticle, leaving the hair, smooth, soft, and shiny. The shine comes from the ACV closing the cuticles of the hair which makes light reflect off of it. ACV also helps improve the complexion by restoring the skin’s natural pH balance.

For the hair, mix 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water. After shampooing, pour the mixture into your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes then rinse. Your hair will feel soft and smooth.

For the skin, use 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water and lightly dab or spray over the face as a toner to lock in moisture. The smell dissipates after a few minutes.

To improve the smell, chop up a few of your favorite herbs, bring water to a boil and add the herbs. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve. When cool, replace the infusion in the above recipe.

The best apple cider vinegar is the raw, unpasteurized, organic kind that keeps the “mother vinegar” and all the important enzymes and nutrients alive, whether for ingesting or for applying to the skin and hair.

 Gina Dostler can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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