The Uses and Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar


By Rachel Ramirez

Imagine an all-natural, organic liquid that has been used as an elixir throughout the centuries, one that even Cleopatra and Samurais have used, a liquid that provides multiple health benefits, both internally and externally.  And imagine this liquid is easily accessible and does not require a prescription.  This liquid is apple cider vinegar (ACV) and has been used by various health professionals to help with ailments, including high blood pressure, colds, infections and fungal growth.  The use of ACV goes as far back as 400 B.C. when Plato touted it as a health tonic.  ACV is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and when taken internally, can help with:

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) distress – ACV can help with diarrhea and constipation, and can help improve digestion.
  • Joint pain by reducing acid crystal build-up that can lead to kidney stones or gout.
  • Diabetes via insulin regulation.
  • Weight loss by increasing metabolism
  • Increasing bone density by helping to draw out calcium from foods, thus allowing maximum calcium intake.
  • Lowering cholesterol.
  • Reducing sinus infections, colds and allergies.
  • Protecting against food poisoning.

When used externally, ACV can help with:

  • Acne and excessive oil build-up, both on face and body.
  • Age spots – its natural sulfur content can help reduce the appearance of discolorations.
  • Cellulite.
  • Body odor – adjusts the body’s pH level.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Halitosis.

ACV contains minerals and trace elements such as potassium (good for hair and nails), copper, sodium, sulfur, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, silicon, fluorine, chlorine and calcium.  ACV also helps to “thin” the blood, allowing for a lowering of HBP, since excessive intake of animal fats and proteins can thicken the blood, making it difficult to pass through hair-like capillaries and veins.  Another reason ACV is ideal as a health aide is that it has no side effects like prescription antibiotics can have.

When searching for an ACV, make sure it says “organic” and “all-natural” on the label and contains “the mother”, a dark, cloudy foam that contains the nutrients.  The color of ACV should be either dark brown or amber and the pH should be between 5-7.  Avoid the traditional grocery store vinegars that are distilled, filtered, fermented, pasteurized or malted since all of the nutrients have been removed.

Do not drink ACV directly; mix 2 teaspoons of ACV with 8oz of water.  Although it is recommended to drink this 3 times a day, once a day is ideal.  If this concoction is too acidic, add 1 teaspoon of raw, organic honey to sweeten.  ACV can also be used as a dressing for fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, spinach or broccoli (especially to draw out the calcium in broccoli).  Natural, organic ACV can be purchased at any health food store. While there are no known side effects of taking ACV, watch for deterioration of the dental enamel, which can lead to teeth yellowing.  For those concerned about the discoloration, ACV is available in a capsule form.

Rachel Ramirez has written for Modern Latina since 2006, in addition to  Many of her articles reflect her interest and specialty in skin, beauty, and nutrition.  Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from San Jose State University and currently is a skincare expert with Sephora.