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More evidence appears every day that the health and beauty benefits of vinegar are real and varied. Growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, we heard about vinegar for pickling veggies, dressing salads, and cleaning different surfaces around the house. (Let’s not forget about the whispered benefits of vinegar douching– more about that in a minute.) But can you remember ever hearing your mother talk about how it made her skin feel fantastic? Or helped digestion after a big meal? If so, your mother was *way* ahead of her time.
And times are a-changin’.
Vinegar for Weight Loss and Digestion
Celebrity nutritionist Cherie Calbom (55), nicknamed “The Juice Lady,” a big fan of vinegar’s health and beauty benefits. Cherie holds a Master of Science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University and has authored 35 books on how nutrition can tackle everything from weight loss to cancer cleanses. She understands the science and the positive impact vinegar can have on a woman’s overall well being.
Cherie’s favorite way to incorporate vinegar for weight loss? Juicing, of course! “Good diets are as much about committing to change your internal landscape as they are about changing your outward appearance,” she says. By replacing one or two meals a day with one of her signature juice cocktails, you can reap serious benefits. Take for instance, this “Apple Cider Vinegar Fat Buster” recipe:
1 qt. purified water
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (raw)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of cayenne pepper
Several drops of stevia to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Drink a glass 20 minutes before a meal.
Note: Vinegar can erode tooth enamel so be sure to rinse your mouth out or brush your teeth when finished drinking your juice.
Securely buy Cherie’s book “Sipping Skinny” from Amazon.com for more healthy juice recipes and information.
Why is apple cider vinegar (ACV) especially important for women who are over 40? Cherie quickly responded these health and beauty benefits of vinegar:
1. It helps kill bacteria and fungus in the digestive tract, according to a 2014 study.
2. Helps to lower cholesterol, according to a 2012 study published in Life Science Journal that found that apple cider vinegar improved blood lipids overall.
3. It’s rich in antioxidants–caffeic acid, catechin, epicatechin, gallic acid and p-coumaric acid.
4. Helps with weight loss. Drink 20 minutes before a meal. It may decrease the glycemic effects of a meal. (Journal of Food Science )
5. It helps with indigestion; mix in water and drink before a meal.
6. Can help muscles relax and reduce leg cramps.
“What if I’m sensitive to vinegar?”
Enter kombucha vinegar. According to KombuchaHome.com, “Kombucha vinegar, if matured fully, contains about 2% acetic acid. As opposed to regular vinegars such as apple cider vinegar or spirit vinegar which contains 5%. The acetic acid is what determines vinegar’s strength, so kombucha vinegar is a lot milder than regular vinegar.” The page includes a recipe on how to make and bottle it at home.
Vinegar for Beauty
This one might come as a surprise, but vinegar’s skincare use dates back to the 18th century. Unfortunately, combining it with lead to whiten the face became quite trendy and resulted in devastating symptoms, according to CIREM.com, until lead was outlawed by the FDA in 1906. Today, we hear about all kinds of “acids” in our cosmetic applications, and vinegar is definitely acidic. It stands to reason that there are benefits.
On BeWell.com, Deborah Burnes (CEO and Co-founder of natural beauty product line Sumbody), tells us “With a pH similar to skin, AVC helps restore and balance your skin’s pH and acid mantle. This too is key to healthy, beautiful skin. The acid mantle is the combination of sebum (oil) and perspiration on the skin’s surface. This barrier protects the skin and makes it less vulnerable to environmental damage (smog, sun and wind), less prone to dehydration, and also inhibits the growth of foreign bacteria and fungi (enabling skin to be healthier and have fewer breakout and blemishes. Acne, allergies and other skin problems become more severe as the skin becomes more alkaline).”
Roger & Gallet is a Paris-based skincare company that created “Aura Mirabilis Beauty Vinegar” daily skin cleanser. The product description:
“Its delicately-scented biphasic texture concentrates 18 officinal plants in the essence phase and fruit vinegar in the watery phase. It helps remove makeup residue, smoothes the skin and helps eliminate dead cells. It refines skin texture and tightens pores. It clarifies and refreshes skin’s complexion.”
Here’s an informative review from BeautySauce.com
According to PopSugar, ACV beauty benefits include:
- removing hair product buildup on hair (get rid of that brassiness)
- minimizing dandruff
- soothing razor bumps
- cleaning makeup brushes
- easing sunburn
Vinegar for “Down There”
This one is a bit trickier. Reports show that while vinegar douches can help a number of ailments like vaginal yeast infections, it can also incite them. Livestrong.com posted this article about the benefits of vinegar douching, while WebMD cites a number of risks involved, such as creating a vaginal infection, ectopic pregnancies, and Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases.
You’ve heard it a million times: talk to your doctor before treating yourself at home. Symptoms you are trying to treat may be the result of more serious medical problems.
If you like what you’re reading, check out our other beauty-related articles here.