… and Out
You don’t have to drink ACV to reap its benefits. It’s also a natural moisturizer and toner with many uses for face, hair, and body.
• Combine one-half tablespoon of ACV with one cup of cold water for a natural dandruff remedy that will also add body and shine to your hair, as long as you don’t mind the smell. (It will fade … eventually.)
• If you’re prone to acne or age spots, use some ACV on your face as a nightly toner. It will clear up the oil and work as a natural antibacterial, as well as lighten discoloration.
• Whiten teeth on the cheap by brushing them with ACV. The acid will help break up stains. But don’t do this too often, or you’ll wear away the tooth enamel (and the stains will get worse).
• Claims that ACV also cures lice and warts are untrue, but it does do plenty. You can come up with a longer list if you think creatively.
Beware of Snake Oil Salesmen
As with all supplements, you should ask your doctor before beginning to take ACV. It’s not for everyone. Pure vinegar is very acidic and can damage tooth enamel and the tissues in your mouth and esophagus if it’s not diluted. It can even cause contact burns on the skin. Long-term use of ACV can lower potassium levels, contributing to osteoporosis, and may interact with certain medications. ACV contains chromium, too, which affects insulin levels, so people with diabetes need to be especially careful when taking it.
Despite its acidity, opt for (diluted) liquid vinegar. You can purchase ACV tablets, but since the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate supplements, there’s no way to know for sure what you’re getting. A 2005 study of eight different brands revealed wide discrepancies among their ingredients, and some didn’t contain any ACV at all.
No Miracle Cure
Though sorting through conflicting information about ACV can be confusing, adding a tablespoon or two to your salad dressing will probably do you more good than harm. Only now are researchers starting to confirm the liquid’s age-old reputation as a restorer and maintainer of health, but while we should all retain some degree of skepticism about its supposed cure-all properties, centuries of history assure us that ACV is no fad.