This article was written by Nashville Strength Trainer Ashley Dance.

So what’s the deal with apple cider vinegar; is it all it’s cracked up to be? For once, the answer is yes! Apple cider vinegar is one of those all-purpose wonder products kind of like coconut oil. It can be used in the kitchen, for its numerous health benefits, but also for beauty and cleaning. As always, it’s really important to get the raw (unpasteurized), unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar with the mother.

Let’s take it from the top. What exactly is it? It is, obviously, made from apples. The liquid is squeezed out and bacteria and yeast are added to start the fermentation process. Yes, another fermented friend. This one is actually fermented twice to go from cider to vinegar. So automatically you know it contains beneficial bacteria and enzymes. The mother is what’s floating around in the bottle- the bacteria. Those bacteria are helpful with combating Candida yeast in the guts. It also lowers blood glucose levels, so it can be helpful with diabetes. It can lower high blood pressure as well.

Even though it contains acid and is an acidic food in itself, it promotes alkalinity in the body, much like a lemon. An acidic environment in the body is a prime cause of disease and cancer. You want to avoid foods that create an acidic environment and consume foods that promote the opposite, alkalinity. So apple cider vinegar can help with any inflammatory related ailments including gum infection, joint pain, arthritis, sinus infection, etc. Apple cider vinegar reduces gas and bloating and can relieve symptoms of heartburn. Put away those pills and just shoot some vinegar! You may want to dilute your tablespoon of vinegar in water or herbal tea, as it could irritate the esophagus in a concentrated form. Overall it aids in detoxification of the body.

Other than what it can do inside your body, apple cider vinegar works wonders on skin and hair. You can use it like an astringent on your face and as a spot treatment on blemishes. Dilute the vinegar with water and dab on pimples or swab your entire face. After washing your hair, rinse with a diluted vinegar mix for smoother, shinier hair. It provides additional clarification to remove dirt and oil and can help balance even your hair’s pH, not just your guts. It can help with dandruff and soothe irritation of the scalp. Add a cup to a bath to help sooth sun-burned skin. If you don’t know what to do about a wound or ailment, chances are apple cider vinegar and/ or coconut oil will help.

It neutralizes odors and has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-viral properties. Therefore it is not only useful in and on the body, but in your home as well. You can actually replace some toxic chemical-containing cleaners in your home with apple cider vinegar. Again, dilute it with water and put in a spray bottle for your hard surfaces. You can mop floors with it, too . The smell will dissipate as it dries, both on surfaces and your body.

Ok, ok, but how can you enjoy apple cider vinegar? It makes a delightful salad dressing for one. It’s a great tenderizer and marinade for meats and fish. An even tastier option is a drink from our friends at The Jam Coffeehouse called the “Yolo.” It contains apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon infused raw honey and sparkling water. Talk about an anti-inflammatory, alkalizing, refreshing health drink! If you are in Nashville, you need to go get one today!

As you can see, apple cider vinegar has a myriad of benefits. Oh the wonders of apple cider vinegar.