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I feel about raw apple cider vinegar the same way Tula's dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding feels about Windex, "...and every ailment from psoriasis to poison ivy can be cured with..." cider vinegar.
Raw apple cider vinegar has long been touted for its health benefits and usefulness all around the house. While it can be used to clean soap scum and tough stains, it also does wonders inside your body.
Apple cider vinegar is full of potassium, calcium, acetic acid, malic acid, pectin, and ash, and it helps to regulate blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, digest foods, break down fats in the body, maintain proper pH balance in your body, and a strong immune system. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties and helps give you strong teeth, bones, and hair.
Raw apple cider vinegar has been found to improve bowel movements, reduce acne, remove warts, reduce joint stiffness and pain, improve heartburn, sinus infections, flu, chronic fatigue, arthritis, dermatitis, acid reflux, sore throats, gout, candida, allergies, and more. It’s even good for your pets’ skin/fur and flea control.
I definitely recommend Bragg's raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother. “The mother” is the sediment that rests at the bottom of the jar, and when shaken it floats around in the bottle. This is where all the healthful enzymes are, and if you use filtered vinegar, you are missing out on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Braggs apple cider vinegar is very strong, so it’s best to dilute it somewhat. When you first taste it, you might be slightly repulsed as it’s very sour and without dilution can actually burn your mouth. If you have severe conditions, dilute 1 tablespoon vinegar with 4 ounces water and drink it twice a day. For most other people with less severe conditions, 2 teaspoons each day will be plenty. (These dosage recommendations come from EarthClinic.com)
There are also a plethora of books on the health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar and some amazing ways to use it in your life, like this one called Apple Cider Vinegar: Miracle Health System.
ACV is your friend when it comes to veganizing recipes as well. To make one cup of vegan "buttermilk," simply combine one cup nondairy milk with 1-2 tablespoons ACV. Stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the milk is curdled.
You can also make salad dressing by mixing 1 part vinegar to 2-3 parts oil, and adding in any spices you like.
My new favorite way to drink apple cider vinegar is through a grape concoction that Bragg’s sells called Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar All Natural Drink Concord Grape Acai. I was drawn to the bottle because I knew how good apple cider vinegar is for you, and I also know concord grape juice has tons of health benefits. When I first tried it, it was zingy and interesting, but the more I drank, the less I could remember why anyone would ever want to drink regular sweet grape juice again. The depth of flavor is so much more interesting than the flat sweetness of grape juice.
So, I went home and doctored up my own recipe for it. If you make my recipe exactly as is, it will be slightly different than Bragg’s drink, and slightly more vinegary. I really like it this way. Luckily, as with every recipe you make, you get to control the flavors, so feel free to pour more or less of each ingredient into your own juice.
My Apple Cider Vinegar Grape Juice
Combine all the ingredients and stir well. It tastes best cold, so give it some time to refrigerate.
You can buy Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar at Amazon for a discount over what you find in stores. Also, if you’re going to use it relatively often, it makes sense to buy Braggs in gallon container like I started doing.
Some time ago, I really annoyed by this hard skin colored mole on my forehead that my dermatologist cleared as a basic mole. I found a forum on natural cures and saw that many, many people had gotten rid of their moles with apple cider vinegar and I was beyond intrigued.
The basic theory is that moles, warts, and skin tags on our body come from build-ups of candida and that organic apple cider vinegar neutralizes the bacteria and fungal infections. Gross, right? Well, it's an interesting solution and a great alternative to surgery.
To give you a quick rundown, you should always have your moles checked with a dermatologist before trying to remove them naturally. Remember that symptoms are our body's way of showing something is wrong inside, so if you ever see a mole that changes shape, texture, or color, that is a cause for concern. And, it's a good idea to clear anything like this with a doctor first.
If you want to try to get rid of a mole or wart, here's what was recommended… Start by gently scraping the wart with a nail file. Then cut out a small piece of cotton ball that is about the size of your wart. From here there are two options:
1. Periodically dip the cotton ball in organic raw apple cider vinegar with the mother throughout the day and dab it on the affected spot. Make sure to wipe any drips off as the vinegar can cause burns.
2. After dipping the cotton ball, press it onto the wart/mole and bandage down to hold in place. Refresh the vinegar on the ball once or twice a day and use a new bandage. Be careful that the vinegar does not spill on any other area of your skin because it will burn (you might want to put vaseline all around the wart to keep the vinegar from polling on your regular skin, or placing a first bandage down to prevent drippage.)
Over the course of about three days, the raw apple cider vinegar will begin to burn through your mole/wart and remove it from its base. It will get slightly larger, scab, turn black, and then fall off. Don't worry; this doesn't hurt. The only thing that can hurt is if you get vinegar on your regular skin. If you have a very large mole, you might end up with an actual hole where the wart used to be, but your skin should rejuvenate itself and grow back.
If you’re trying to remove something off your face, you can keep the bandaid on only at night, but keep in mind that the wart will appear bigger and turn black, so you might be self-conscious. Maybe try it on a weekend!
Another wacky use for raw apple cider vinegar is as conditioner on your hair. I've tried numerous vegan shampoos and still find that most of them tend to destroy my hair and weigh it down tremendously. Now I love natural soap-based shampoo bars that clean my hair rather than strip it like the typical detergent-based shampoos. A few times a week I'll rinse with a diluted raw apple cider vinegar and find that it makes my hair shiny and silky, and removes any residue of shampoo left in my hair.