Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
What is it? A fermented vinegar made from apples and apple cider.
Top uses: Apple cider vinegar (ACV), like other types of vinegar, contains acetic acid, which has been studied for its health benefits and is thought to be the active ingredient in ACV. Here’s a quick guide to ACV’s medicinal applications:
- Diabetes: In one study, drinking 1 Tbs. of ACV in water (before meals) was shown to lower fasting blood glucose among adults at risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Blood pressure: According to animal-based research, drinking ACV may help lower high blood pressure.
- Cholesterol and triglycerides: Diabetic rats fed a diet enhanced with apple cider vinegar experienced a reduction in triglycerides and a boost in HDL, or “good” cholesterol.
- Internal cleansing: Some research shows that ACV supports liver detoxification and overall circulation. Holistic practitioners recommend its use for reducing acidity within the body (i.e., balancing the body’s pH), as well as easing indigestion, combating candida yeast, and breaking up mucus throughout the body.
- Weight loss: All types of vinegar, including ACV, are thought to help promote weight loss by increasing satiety between meals.
Tidbits: Research into ACV as an effective weight-loss aid is limited; however, a double-blind study from Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry showed that obese subjects who consumed a vinegar drink daily for 12 weeks lost more weight than those given a placebo. Scientists noted greater reductions in body-mass index, waist circumference, and serum triglyceride levels (linked to cardiovascular disease) among those ingesting vinegar.
Beauty & personal care: ACV is an inexpensive beauty stable. Use this simple rinse regularly for shinier, healthier hair: Pour 1-3 Tbs. of ACV (mixed with a cup of water) over hair after shampooing; leave for 1-3 minutes before rinsing out. As a toner, apply using a cotton swab after cleansing your face. ACV is also a natural home remedy for sunburn-apply to affected areas using a cotton swab.
How to take ACV: There are several ways to add ACV to your diet. In addition to cooking with it more often, consider mixing 1-2 Tbs. of ACV into 8 oz. of water and drinking it before meals, twice daily. Another option: Add the same amount to a water bottle and sip throughout the day. Not crazy about the taste of ACV? Try tablets or capsules.
Everyone Asks …
Do you need to refrigerate ACV? Should you take it straight or mix with water? Here are some helpful info and tips we discovered about ACV:
- No refrigeration is needed. Keep bottled vinegar in a cool, dry place (e.g., a kitchen cabinet) away from direct sunlight.
- Dilute with water or juice; drinking undiluted ACV can cause burning or stinging.
- Look for raw, unpasteurized brands of ACV-pasteurization can weaken or even destroy the vinegar’s natural enzymes and other nutrients.
- The “Mother”-strandlike enzymes that occur naturally and are visible in bottles of unpasteurized ACV-is perfectly safe to ingest and rich in ACV’s healing nutrients.