Until now, you may have thought that apple cider vinegar is only good for dressing salads. But people across the globe use apple cider vinegar in a number of other, more medicinal ways.
In fact, many even use it as the central ingredient in what’s called an apple cider vinegar detox.
The idea behind the detox is that raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar still has “the mother” in it. The mother contains good bacteria for the gut, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. It’s normal for apple cider vinegar with the mother to be murky or cloudy.
The use of apple cider vinegar for detoxification, diet, or other benefits goes back thousands of years. Some even claim the father of medicine, Hippocrates, promoted its health qualities as far back as 400 B.C.
More recently, makers of Bragg apple cider vinegar have been touting its health advantages since 1912.
The body is able to detoxify itself. There isn’t much scientific research to support the argument that detox diets remove toxins from the body.
Many people use a detox diet to begin changing their diet, removing processed foods and introducing healthier whole foods.
The supposed benefits you may gain from an apple cider vinegar detox are both internal and external. They include:
- giving the body a good dose of enzymes
- increasing potassium intake
- supporting a healthy immune system
- helping with weight control
- promoting pH balance in the body
- aiding with healthy digestion
- adding good bacteria for the gut and immune function
- helping remove “sludge toxins” from the body
- soothing skin and helping keep it healthy
- healing acne when used externally
You may hear that apple cider vinegar helps reduce appetite and even burn fat. There’s also evidence to suggest that adding apple cider vinegar to your daily routine may help with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.
The basic recipe is as follows:
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 8 ounces of purified or distilled water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sweetener (organic honey, maple syrup, or 4 drops of Stevia)
There are many variations of this basic drink. Some include adding lemon juice. Others add a dash of cayenne pepper.
With an apple cider vinegar detox, you consume this type of drink regularly for a set period of time — several days to a month or more.
Many people choose to consume it three times each day: upon waking, midmorning, and again midafternoon.
There isn’t any formal research specifically about apple cider vinegar as part of a detox diet.
Much of the information you’ll find online is purely anecdotal. Read it with caution. But this isn’t to say that the health properties of apple cider vinegar haven’t been examined.
For example, there’s a growing body of research related to apple cider vinegar and its impact on type 2 diabetes.
In one small study, consuming this ingredient lowered both blood glucose and insulin in 12 participants with diabetes. Not only that, but the participants’ fullness after eating bread increased.
When it comes to weight loss, there are a few studies that support apple cider vinegar’s powers.
One study revealed that obese rats who drank apple cider vinegar daily lost more body weight and fat mass than the rats in the control group. The waist circumference and triglyceride levels for rats in the groups that consumed apple cider vinegar lowered significantly as well.
The results suggest that regularly consuming apple cider vinegar may be a good way to prevent atherosclerosis for people at high risk of developing this complication and other heart issues.
However, these studies were either conducted on animals or very small sample groups of people. Larger-scale studies on humans are still needed.
Because evidence surrounding apple cider vinegar is largely anecdotal, we curated comments from Amazon reviews left by people who tried the detox:
Before you start guzzling lots of apple cider vinegar, make sure it’s diluted with water. Apple cider vinegar in its pure form is acidic. It may erode tooth enamel or even burn your mouth and throat.
If you do choose to do the detox, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after drinking the vinegar. You may even want to drink it through a straw. Even just one glass a day may be enough to negatively affect your teeth.
Apple cider vinegar may also interact with different medications or supplements. In particular, it may contribute to low potassium levels if you take diuretics or insulin.
If you take diuretics or insulin, talk to your doctor before you start consuming apple cider vinegar regularly or try the detox.
People who have tried an apple cider detox do share that you may have some nausea or stomach discomfort after drinking it. This discomfort is usually worse in the morning hours when your stomach is empty.
While there isn’t a huge body of research to suggest apple cider vinegar is a miracle health cure, the testimonials and reviews you’ll find online can be compelling.
Trying an apple cider vinegar detox is likely safe for most people.
In the end, the best way to “detox” your body may be to stop taking in sugars and processed foods and eat a healthy diet rich in whole foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
If you’re still interested in apple cider vinegar, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before adding this ingredient to your diet. This is especially so if you’re taking medications or supplements.