What do you think of when you see a bottle of apple cider vinegar (ACV) on the shelf in your local supermarket – or health food store? Weight loss? Detoxification? Blood glucose control? Heart health? Cancer prevention? Skin care? There has been a surge of interest in this folk remedy in recent years as a versatile health elixir.
However, did you know that your bottle (a glass bottle to prevent plastic chemical contamination), can help you keep you healthy not only inside, but outside too?
Here are 11 uses for ACV you probably didn’t know about (3):
- Hair conditioner/rinse. A final rinse of your hair using half a tablespoon of ACV in one cup of water will leave hair shiny, removing any unwanted chemical residue such as chlorine.
- Skin toner. Great for people with oily skin, acne, scars and age/dark spots. Dilute ACV in water in a ratio of 1:2 (or weaker if you have sensitive skin) and apply directly to clean skin twice a day. Keep it away from your eyes.
- Wart remover. Soak a cotton pad in ACV and keep this in place on the wart overnight (using a band-aid or porous skin tape). Repeat this daily until the wart turns black and falls off.
- Mouthwash: can help treat bad breath resulting from thrush, chronic gum infections, and tooth stains. Put 2 teaspoons into a quarter cup of water, swish around your mouth a few times and spit (or swallow if you want to). Remember to brush your teeth as the acid in ACV may damage the enamel on your teeth if left in place.
- Foot fungus treatment. Dilute one part ACV to two parts water, and soak your feet in it. Be prepared for some stinging if you have any sores or cuts, but it will help to kill off any fungal infections like athletes foot. If you have a really persistent infection, consider soaking your stocks in the solution and wearing them overnight (covered in a plastic bag to prevent you soaking your bed).
- Body odor control. Believe it or not, a diluted (1:2) solution of ACV will help to keep you smelling fresh and clean. Simply dab the solution on your underarms instead of using a deodorant. However, it is not an antiperspirant, so you may have to reapply if you sweat a lot.
- Bites and stings. Dabbing the bite or sting with undiluted ACV will help reduce the pain and irritation. It works well for jellyfish stings too.
- Cleaning. Make a solution of one part ACV to nine parts water, and use it to clean any surface. If you like, you can put it in a spray bottle to make cleaning easier. Simply spray on and wipe off. Undiluted, ACV also makes a great toilet, bath and shower cubicle disinfectant.
- Weed killer. Spray undiluted ACV onto garden weeds such as dandelions. A great way to kill them without resorting to unhealthy chemicals.
- Animal repellent Rats, mice, rabbits – or even that pesky cat that’s using your flower beds as a sandbox – can be kept at bay. For the rodents, scatter a few cotton balls soaked in ACV around the house and flower beds. For cats, spray undiluted ACV along the edge of the flower beds.
- Flea fighter. Dilute ACV into a 1:1 solution and apply to your dog’s fur to keep fleas away. Test it on a small part of your dog’s skin first to ensure he does not react badly to it.