Friday, September 26, 2014

3 Natural Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Being healthy is not just about eating your greens and exercising daily. There are many dimensions of health!

It is important to watch what you put in your body, but what you put on your skin matters too!

Now, you may have seen or heard about "detoxing your life." The medical dictionary describes a toxin simply as "a poisonous substance."

To be honest, if you wanted to completely rid your life of toxins, it could be quite maddening. Now-a-days toxins are EVERYWHERE! However, there are ways we can lessen the amount of toxins we are exposed too.

One of these ways is by using good, ol' fashion home remedies! Homemade health and beauty products can not only be more natural, but can also be MUCH more cost effective.

And you know one of the most versatile natural products??

Apple Cider Vinegar!!!!

This handy stuff is the nectar of the Gods!! (although it certainly does not smell heavenly..) I love using Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar because it is raw, organic, and contains the "mother" (see below for what they heck that means!)

It has many, amazing benefits when used on your skin and hair, or around the house! Here are:

3 Natural Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Digestive Support

OK, earlier I said I use Bragg ACV because it contains the "mother." I am sure many of you are asking, "What the heck is that!?" The "mother" is the stringy, dark brown stuff that settles at the bottom of the Bragg's bottle (I know, appealing right?)

Well, these are actually enzymes that can work wonders on your digestive system! It's great for bloating, constipation, cramps, and indigestion. And you don't need to drink a lot of this to feel its effects. ALTHOUGH!! I would not recommend doing a straight shot of this stuff (if you do, you get some mad props from this Three-Wisemen-Lover!!)

It is vinegar, mind you, and it having the words "apple cider" in front of it unfortunately does not dilute this fact. I recommend making your own ACV cocktail (it's 5 o'clock somewhere!!) OK, not an alcoholic cocktail.. sorry!

Just pour a glass about 1/4 full of ACV, the rest with water, and add some honey to cut down on the vinegar taste. You can also do 1/4 ACV and the rest apple juice and water. Also, make sure to shake the bottle of ACV before pouring since the "mother" does settle to the bottom.

2. Hair Rinse
This is something I have only done a few times because I have yet to perfect the execution. And, according to my boyfriend, I already take too long to get ready, so why add another thing to my morning ritual. BUT the few times I have done it, it has worked fairly well.

The idea is you mix 1/4 cup of ACV and 3/4 water to dilute it. Then, after shampooing, rinse your hair with the mixture. Massage it into your scalp and leave for a few minutes, then rinse it out with water.

This is a great remedy for all types of hair, whether you have oily hair or you are dealing with dandruff! You can also get fancy and experiment by putting essential oils in the mixture. (I am really starting to get into essential oils! Very holistic!)

3. Facial Toner
I save the best for last! This is my FAVORITE use for ACV, and honestly the reason behind this post! I was never one to use a toner in my skincare routine. But after discovering this, I am never going back!

ACV is awesome in that it helps balance out your skin's pH. Whether your skin has a high or low pH can result in your skin's tendency to be oily or dry (mine tends to be oily.) If you have combination skin and it is both, this is your God-sent! I also tend to have an uneven skin tone and I have noticed quite a difference since using ACV!

Now, please be aware that ACV is slightly acidic and can be harmful when applied directly to the skin. Therefore, I have my own little "recipe" for diluting it to be gentler on your skin. As I mentioned above, I am really getting into essential oils, and it started with this toner recipe.

  • Fill a travel size lotion bottle 1/3 full with ACV (remember to shake before you pour!! The "mother" is good here too!)
  • Fill the rest with water
  • Put in 5-10 drops of tea tree oil and lavender
  • After you wash your face, shake your bottle and put some tone on a cotton ball. Apply all over your skin. 
One bottle of this toner usually lasts me about a month or so. I've been using this for about a year and JUST ran out of tea tree oil. I was using The Body Shop's tea tree oil, but I heard their's may not be the most natural. Therefore, I will be heading to Whole Foods to find an organic brand!

The essential oils not only give the toner more anti-inflammatory and healing properties, but also help make if little more fragrant. Feel free to mix and match essential oils to match your skin/ fragrance desires. As I said, I have oily, uneven skin so these essential oils are particularly good for that skin type.

Sorry to go off on a bit of an essential oils tangent (I just LOVE them!!) Here is a great Essential Oils Guide if you are curious to learn more about the oils themselves. :-D

These are just a few examples of what ACV can be used for.

Have you tried ACV, and if so, what do you use it for?

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