Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is the “natural miracle” of our century as it is used for many ailments. The use of apple cider vinegar dates back many years. Its use was documented in Egyptian cultures, was written about in the Bible – even Hippocrates (the father of medicine) spoke of its use in 500 BC. Its uses are being advertised by product manufacturers to this day, and it is therefore gaining in popularity as more and more uses are coming forth.
This product is made from apples through a two-stage fermenting process. Hard apple cider is made from the first stage of the fermentation process; Apple cider vinegar is made from the second stage. Fermentation of organic apples is the key to the multitude of health benefits of this inexpensive natural product. Any food that is fermented yields a higher nutritional value, especially of enzymes, which is the life giving force of live foods. The best and only apple cider vinegar to use is the one that contains “the mother”. “The mother” is a natural gelatinous substance formed during the last fermentation step. It is the murky brown vinegar with the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. This sediment is the living nutrients (enzymes) and bacteria.
Most types of vinegar go through many processes to make them look appealing. These processing steps destroy the nutrients and actions of organic apple cider vinegar leaving them nutrient absent. The different steps in the process are:
- Distilled – physical separation of substances in a liquid
- Filtered – separating solids from liquid
- Pasteurized – heating to kill germs
- Refined – removing substances and nutrients
The type of apple cider vinegar to use is one made from whole apples that are:
- Cold pressed
- Organically grown
- Chemical free
- Preservative free
- Not Pasteurized
- Contain “the mother”
There are three major ways that raw organic apple cider vinegar containing “the mother” are used:
- As a tonic. A tonic is made by adding 1-2 Tablespoons to 8 ounces of water. This is usually taken with meals to enhance the nutrition of each meal. It is also taken on an empty stomach as a specific medicine undiluted by food. Tonics can also be made by mixing the apple cider vinegar with certain types of foods. Follow the individual recipes below to treat the following conditions, signs and symptoms:
- Acute conditions like Colds and Flu (mixed with water)
- Acute Strep Throat, Tonsillitis, and Laryngitis – Gargle with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to half a cup of water, three times an hour.
- Constipation, Diarrhea, Gas or Indigestion – (mixed with water)
- Heart – For blood pressure and cholesterol control, mix together a 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and honey. Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture two to three times daily. Together they create a high mineral tonic along with alkalinizing properties which helps the heart relax and prevents bad cholesterol from being high.
- Inflammation like sinusitis, joint pain, headaches, heartburn, asthma or frequent urinary tract or upper respiratory infections – Use the tonic with meals as well as on an empty stomach twice daily.
- Insomnia – Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into ½ cup of local honey. Before bed, take one tablespoon of the mixture. You can repeat this every ½ hour until you fall asleep.
- Joints – If you suffer from any form of arthritis (osteo, rheumatoid), consider massaging the joints with a poultice. Mix 2 egg whites, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, and ¼ cup olive oil. Paint affected joints in the am and pm. Let sit on while resting for fifteen minutes or longer. Drink the tonic with three meals daily.
- Menstrual Symptoms including PMS, cramps and heavy bleeding (mixed with water)
- Osteoporosis (mixed with water)
- Weight Loss (mixed with water)
- As a topical soak. A full strength soak is undiluted apple cider vinegar. If used as a diluted solution it is mixed usually with water. Most dilutions are 2 tablespoons in 8 ounces of water. Topically, apple cider vinegar works as an astringent and antibacterial. Any condition involving inflammation and infection will benefit from this simple home remedy. For the conditions below, if diluted, the ratios of vinegar to water are given. Also note that anytime you want to do a detoxification bath or if you suffer any of the topical symptoms over large body parts, you can place 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a bath soak.
- Acne – The diluted soak is applied with a cotton ball several times a day to decrease inflammation and prevent infection.
- Age Spots – Mix undiluted vinegar to raw onion juice (made at home in a juicer – warning: wear goggles) in a 1:1 ratio. Apply with cotton ball to age spots twice daily and watch them fade within a month.
- Athlete’s Foot – Soaking feet twice a day in a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. You can make this stronger if you want to do a 1/3 mixture of apple cider vinegar, water and original Listerine.
- Bruises/Burns/Bites/Stings/Varicose Veins – Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in ½ cup apple cider vinegar and warm gently. Soak cloth and wrap area, leaving on for several hours. If the bruise is on a limb, a good trick to hold it in place is to cut a sock above the heel and use the tubing of a sock to hold the soaked cloth in place.
- Calluses – Soak feet in full strength apple cider vinegar for ½ to 1 hour to soften callus. After soaking, use pumice stone to shave off thickened skin. Soak feet again in full strength apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes.
- Dandruff – Apply pure apple cider vinegar, massaging it into the roots of the scalp. It is best to leave on for 15-20 minutes.
- Deodorant – Wipe underarms with a cotton ball soaked in undiluted apple cider vinegar. If you use this, there is no need for store bought deodorants.
- Ear Infections – Place 1 capful of a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and rubbing alcohol into ear. Leave in for 10 minutes a few times daily. This is also perfect for Swimmer’s ear.
- Eczema – Soak or wrap skin areas affected by eczema with a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water several times daily. When done, massage pure castor oil into skin. If on feet or hands, wear socks or gloves over affected parts while sleeping.
- Hair Rinse – Treat dandruff, itchy scalps or to close cuticles and prevent fraying hair. After washing massage pure vinegar into scalp and all the way through the hair shafts. Leave on for half hour a few times weekly.
- Nose Bleeds – In pure apple cider vinegar, soak a gauze or cotton ball and insert into the nostril. Apple cider vinegar has astringent properties that constrict the vessels and helps the bleeding stop sooner than using dry gauze.
- Vaginal Yeast Infection – Mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to one quart of water. Use a bladder bag (sold in the feminine hygiene section of pharmacies). Fill with 2 cups of the mixture gently warmed. Use the vaginal tip of the bladder bag and insert into the vagina. Release the clamp as you sit on the toilet, allowing all drainage to drain out comfortably. Do this 2-3 times daily until symptoms have resolved. Do not use this for longer than 5 days as you strip out the acidophilus that is normal to the vaginal flora.
- Warts – Crush garlic and place on wart. Wrap a bandage soaked in apple cider vinegar to the wart and cover with bandage to hold on overnight. Remove bandage in morning and rinse under cold water. Place castor oil to wart and cover with a bandage. Continue the nighttime wrap and morning wrap until the wart falls off.
- For vegetable rinses and for household cleaning – Soak vegetables in a mixture of 2 tablespoons vinegar to 1 quart of water to remove residue of pesticides and to remove dirt and insects from underneath the leaves that are difficult to clean. For cleaning household surfaces, it is best to use white vinegar rather than apple cider vinegar to deodorize and disinfect. If you prefer, you can add essential oils of any scent that you like to cut the vinegar smell as this is the biggest complaint. Simply add 2 tablespoons to a spray bottle of water and use on all surfaces from granite to Formica, windows to wood floors in place of any and all chemical store bought products.
Dr. Theresa Ramsey is a practicing physician, speaker, lifestyle expert, author of the best selling book, Healing 101: A Guide to Creating the Foundation for Complete Wellness, and a weekly guest expert on Arizona’s top morning show, Your Life A to Z. Dr. Ramsey has been nominated Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doc for two years in a row and recently selected as an eHow.com health expert, as well as the 2012 Natural Choice Award winning Naturopathic Physician. As a nationally recognized speaker, she elegantly bridges the gap between Allopathic and Naturopathic medicine educating patients & physicians on the language of wellness and root causes to illness & dis-ease.