In recent years, it’s been promoted by talk show hosts, magazines, celebrities, influencers, and more: apple cider vinegar. Is it the new wonder remedy, or is it just another health fad?
From facial toner to salad dressing, ACV is used for pretty much everything. And with big claims around it, like lowering cholesterol, promoting weight loss, and even preventing cancer, it’s smart to be skeptical.
So what is apple cider vinegar, what does it do, and what doesn’t it do?
What Is It?
Apple cider vinegar begins as … apples.
These apples are crushed or juiced, and the liquid is mixed with yeast and allowed to ferment into alcohol. That’s the apple cider part.
This cider is then mixed with bacteria that ferment the alcohol into acetic acid, which is the active ingredient in the vinegar.
The same vitamins and minerals you find in apple juice are present in apple cider vinegar, plus dietary fiber.
It’s used for an incredible array of applications, including:
- • Weight loss
- • Heart health
- • Blood sugar management
- • Hair conditioner
- • Deodorant
- • Flea and tick repellent for pets
- • Household cleaner and deodorizer
- • Soothe sunburn
- • Fight allergies
- • Relieve sinus congestion
From Hippocrates to Hollywood: A Brief History
We’ve been using apple cider vinegar as a curative since at least 400 BCE, when Hippocrates (the same guy who wrote the oath your doctor takes) prescribed it to treat coughs and colds.
Vinegar, in general, was used for epicurean and medicinal purposes the world over for thousands of years before that.
Roman soldiers (including Julius Caesar) drank apple cider vinegar, and Japanese samurai drank rice vinegar — in both cases, it was used to fortify them for battle.
As early as 1200 BCE, the Chinese physician Song Ci used vinegar as a disinfectant.
In the 1700s, Americans used apple cider vinegar as a treatment for pneumonia and even as a deodorant.
By the 20th century, it was used to treat digestive issues and fatigue, to disinfect surfaces, and more.
Does It Work?
We know that apple cider vinegar is powerful in pickling and preserving foods, as well as in deodorizing and cleaning surfaces.
There’s actually very little scientific research to back up any apple cider vinegar medicinal claims. Most of the accepted benefits are based on anecdotal evidence. You probably know someone who has found it beneficial for gut health or weight loss.
Some studies show it helps diabetics lower blood sugar and increase insulin uptake. And limited trials have illustrated potential to help with weight loss, kidney stones, yeast infections and more. But the jury’s still out.
It may change how foods are absorbed from the gut, and some studies suggest it could suppress appetite and even improve metabolism.
What we do know is that many, many people have used it throughout history to treat all of the above and more.
Are There Any Risks?
Although you want to be careful and consult your doctor before adding something to your healthcare regimen (especially with detoxes and diets), studies show no major risks with using apple cider vinegar.
It’s acidic, so it could cause an upset stomach, and there’s a possibility that it could interact with some medications, particularly diuretics, by making them less effective. The acid can also be rough on your teeth, so it’s good to rinse your mouth well after you drink it.
The biggest risk is the taste.
How Do I Use It?
Some people start their day with a shot of apple cider vinegar. Seriously.
If a gulp of vinegar first thing in the morning isn’t particularly appealing to you, and we can’t blame you, there are many alternatives.
How you ingest it, and how much you ingest, is to some degree dictated by what you’re using it for. If you’re taking it to lower your blood sugar, four teaspoons (20 ml) are recommended before a meal. For weight loss, two tablespoons a day is the most common dose.
But that doesn’t have to come in the form of a teaspoon of vinegar — something Mary Poppins likely wouldn’t approve. The simplest option is to mix it with honey, lemon, and water. Detox drinks are tasty alternatives, and incorporate the benefits of ingredients like ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, and more.
It’s also available in a range of flavored drinks, enhanced with blueberry, grape, honey, hibiscus, ginger, and turmeric.
Apple cider vinegar is also readily available in pill, gel and gummy forms. These supplements are often formulated with additional vitamins, minerals or ingredients to provide added benefit.
Our Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are a versatile choice, providing the benefits of apple cider vinegar, the energy and immune system boosts of magnesium and vitamin B-12, and the soothing, therapeutic effects of CBD. It’s a handy way to get your daily dose of CBD and apple cider vinegar in one tasty bite.
Do you need to add a little life to your hair? Apple cider vinegar mixed with water makes a great rinse to strip away accumulated product, restore your hair’s pH balance, battle dandruff, and even slow the fading of color-treated hair. For those eyeing summer humidity, it’s also said to control frizz.
It’s also used on the skin to battle wrinkles and acne, and to exfoliate. Apple cider vinegar toners, cleansers and face wipes are all readily available, and designed specifically for skincare.
Some purists claim that the ideal way to reap the full benefits of apple cider vinegar is to ingest unpasteurized, unfiltered vinegar that contains the “mother,” which is a compound of yeast, cellulose, and bacteria. It looks like a disc of jelly, and often appears in bottles of organic apple cider vinegar as thick strands.
It’s clear that the mother acts as a probiotic, but many of the other health-boosting claims about it have yet to be proven.
An Apple a Day …
In short, we don’t know for certain if some of the most major claims about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar are scientifically accurate. But, we do know that it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and gut-friendly live bacteria.
Although there’s much still to learn about apple cider vinegar, it’s also evident that we humans have used it for a multitude of beneficial purposes for thousands of years.
The health benefits of apples, combined with the power of fermented foods, make apple cider vinegar a sure nutritional powerhouse, even if it’s not a miracle remedy.
Check out our CBD Gummies with Apple Cider Vinegar for an easy and tasty way to work apple cider into your daily routine.