Apple cider vinegar - universal health and beauty hero or overrated? We sift through the tall tales and tricky claims to bring you the truth.
Apple cider vinegar's been with us since waaaay before Hippocrates was a glint in his father's eye and, indeed, the Father of Medicine extolled its virtues as a remedy for a sore throat (mixed with a bit of honey), among other medicinal uses.
Nowadays, we understand that apple cider vinegar (ACV) is yet another form of probiotic-rich fermented food (if you choose the cloudy, unfiltered kind), and you could be forgiven for thinking that it is the cure for all ills if you're to take the many, many benefits 'wellness' media claims as gospel.
First, you need to understand that not all cider vinegars are the same. For maximum gut and general health benefits, you should choose organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized ACV. The cloudiness comes from the live culture and 'mother'.
Apple cider vinegar is claimed to have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidant and antiseptic properties, which is why it can be used (diluted) as a household cleaning wash to remove certain funguses and bacteria. It also contains malic acid, which is said to help with constipation or acid-reflux.
We know it has numerous benefits for our health, beauty routine and even housework, but (and there’s always a but, isn’t there?) this inexpensive household staple can actually be harmful if not used correctly, and it may not live up to all the claims if you look carefully. Let us separate the myth from the truth for you here...
Related: 16 Popular Beauty Myths We All Fall For: Truth or Lies?
Some pundits recommend drinking a shot of ACV straight, but this can be dangerous. It can burn your oesophagus, and if you inhale some (because of the strong fumes), you could damage your lungs.
Despite its claim on helping to reduce acid, if you have stomach problems or an ulcer, drinking it neat could also cause problems, and it’s not good for your tooth enamel.