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Apple Cider Vinegar, aka ACV, is one of those mysterious things that you always have around but rarely actually know what to use it for. It’s great for cooking and making things like salad dressings and making detox drinks, but did you know that it is also super useful out of the kitchen? Vinegar has long been a staple of most cooking, but it is also an ancient folk remedy and has been known to heal a number of health problems. Whereas you might choose white vinegar or balsamic for cooking, for the health benefits, Apple Cider Vinegar is the best bet. When choosing the right ACV, it is important to choose an unfiltered one (like Bragg’s) because it still contains part of the “mother.” The what? Sounds gross, I know. The “mother” is strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that are formed during the fermentation process of the apples and yeast. The presence of such bacteria, proteins, and enzymes is what gives this unique liquid its “magical” properties (which aren’t magical at all, just scientific).

Because the main ingredient in vinegar, acetic acid, kills bacteria and stops it from reaching harmful levels, vinegar has a long history as a disinfectant and natural preservative. This doesn’t sound like a salad dressing now does it? In fact, Hippocrates used vinegar to clean wounds over two thousand years ago! If it worked for the Greeks and Romans, it’ll probably work for you too. If you’re willing to take the vinegar out of the kitchen, here are some ideas for you to try:

  • Use it as a facial toner! If you want a nice natural way to fight some stubborn acne, mix one part ACV to three parts water and apply it to your skin with a cotton pad. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse with warm water. Do this two to three times a day for a perfectly natural, clear clean.
  • Trap flies and other obnoxious flying bugs by putting a bit of ACV in a cup with some liquid dish soap. Just set it out on the counter and fruit flies and all their annoying friends will get drawn in by the sweet smell and get stuck.
  • Get beautiful, shiny hair by mixing ⅓ cup ACV with 4 cups of water and pour it over your hair after shampooing. Leave it on for a few seconds and rinse with cold water before shampooing.
  • Have some coffee stains on your teeth? Skip the chemical based teeth whitener by gargling with ACV in the morning to help remove stains and clean the mouth and gums. Your dentist is sure to praise you for your extra sparkly clean teeth next time you go in for a check-up.
  • At last, there is a cure for hiccups! Just drink a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar and the sour taste can stop you from hiccuping for hours. (Fun fact: the Guinness world record for hiccuping was held by Charles Osborne who had the hiccups for 68 years, too bad he didn’t know about ACV).
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