- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an effective all natural remedy that has been used for centuries.
- Bathing with only 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar provides a number of health benefits.
- The fermentation of apple cider forms health-promoting probiotics and enzymes.
- ACV provides amazing anti-bacterial, alkalizing and anti-fungal properties.
- Apple cider vinegar baths promotes healthy skin; maintaining and restoring pH balance.
Dating back to ancient times, apple cider vinegar has long been regarded as cure-all for a wide range of conditions. The fermentation process is critical for producing the primary ingredient found in the vinegar- acetic acid; so it will be essential you purchase raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. The 5-6 percent concentration of acetic acid is a key factor in providing numerous health benefits. 1 As a popular health product on the market, ACV contains other various acids (lactic, citric, and malic), vitamins B & C, health-promoting probiotics, calcium, mineral salts, potassium and enzymes. Studies indicate apple cider vinegar also has significant anti-bacterial and alkalizing properties. By simply adding 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar into a warm tub it can serve as a potent home remedy for a number of aliments and skin conditions. From treating acne, diaper rash and eczema, soothing poison ivy, sore muscles and hemorrhoids, to detoxing and rejuvenating your body, taking a bath in apple cider vinegar offers a vast range of benefits for improving your overall health.
Fasting clears away the thousand little things which quickly accumulate and clutter the body, mind and heart. It cuts through corrosion and renews our contract with God and Mother Earth.
~ Paul Bragg
32 health benefits of ACV bath
Cleanse your aura and detox
Spiritual detoxing baths are effective way to not only rid your body of stress; they can also rejuvenate you and cleanse your aura of any negative energy. Soaking in an apple cider vinegar bath will aid in your body’s detoxification process as its purifying properties of vitamins and minerals are absorbed into the skin. Submerging your entire body (along with the back of your head and neck) will provide the greatest benefit in ridding your body of negative blockers and toxins while restoring your aura with positive energy- resulting in feeling fresh and energized.
Maintain your skin’s PH balance
A person’s surface skin is naturally acidic at a pH level of 5.5, but with harsh soaps, hard water, the use of cosmetics and other over the counter lotions the pH balance can be dramatically affected causing acne breakouts and inflammation. Most body washes and soaps are known to have an alkaline base which can strip away our skin’s acidic top layer of epidermis. Maintaining our top layer of skin is essential because it acts as a barrier to protect against toxins and other air-borne pathogens. Bathing in apple cider vinegar will not only restore and balance your skin’s pH levels; it will also detoxify your skin.
A great remedy for facial and body acne
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid and citric acid, so it possesses powerful antibacterial properties. 2 Using this potent vinegar in your bath can help combat any outbreaks on your body or face because it has shown to inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes; the specific strain of bacteria responsible for causing acne. 3 Apple cider vinegar also has the ability to calm your skin and balance hydration. The acidity in apple cider vinegar can not only help maintain the pH balance of the skin but replenish it; tightening pores and purifying the skin as it heals acne.
Cures yeast infections and candida
Yeast infections are an uncomfortable, itchy condition caused by candidiasis (Candida). Although doctors will recommend the use of an over the counter anti-fungal cream for treatment, apple cider vinegar has quickly become a preferred alternative treatment that is both effective and safe to use. Being rich in natural enzymes, ACV can regulate the acidic environment where candida thrives. Moreover, being a natural antibiotic it can help the body fight against ‘bad’ bacteria as it improves immunity with its proteins and enzymes, as well as fight the infection with its anti-fungal properties. It has been found that the acidic acid found in ACV is extremely effective in balancing the natural pH of the vagina- which will prevent the growth of yeast. 4
Treats urinary tract infections (UTI)
Of course, antibiotics are one of the most common means to treat a UTI, but if you are looking for an at home treatment apple cider vinegar is a safe all natural method. Known for its anti-bacterial properties, soaking in a warm tub for 20 minutes with 1-2 cups ACV can help aid in killing the strain of bacteria (E.coli) responsible for the infection. 5 Be sure to sit in the tub with your knees up and apart so the vinegar can enter the vaginal area.
Prevents bacterial vaginitis
One of the most common vaginal infections for women of childbearing age (15-44) is bacterial vaginitis (BV). Symptoms often include an uncomfortable itch along with a gray, watery discharge. Untreated, BV can lead to serious complications. Typically BV occurs because of an imbalance of naturally occurring bacterial flora found in a woman’s vagina. Normally a vagina contains good bacteria known as probiotics- specifically lactic acid-which is what prevents other bad bacteria from growing. BV can result when lactic acid is deficient; and, because apple cider vinegar contains lactic acid it can help your vagina regain its balance. Although still a controversial method, many studies have been favorable in the use of probiotics for both the prevention and treatment of bacterial vaginitis. 6
Soothe your sunburn
If you have spent a little too much time in the sun taking a bath with apple cider vinegar is a great way to relieve the sensation of dry, itchy sunburnt skin. Soaking for only 10-15 minutes with apple cider vinegar diluted in bath water will restore your skin’s pH levels leaving your skin feeling cooler and soothed. Often times with a sunburn comes painful blisters which when ruptured can cause infection. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacteria that can infect sunburnt skin. Since one of the components in ACV is acetic acid, it serves as an excellent antibacterial agent against pseudomonas aeruginosa. 7 An effective recommended combination of adding ACV, lavender and Aloe Vera to bath water can work wonders because of the cooling effect and anti-inflammatory properties that work together to help the skin heal faster.
Relieves itchy skin
Having antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties makes apple cider vinegar the ideal treatment for itchy and irritated skin. Whether your skin suffers from dryness in cold weather or you are itchy from a bug bite. Soaking in warm water with 1-2 cups ACV will not only relieve the itching, it will speed up the healing process of chapped or scabbed skin.
Reduce the symptoms of psoriasis
Apple cider vinegar baths are an effective home remedy for combating the itchy red scaly patches that are associated with psoriasis because of its antiseptic properties. Often found on the feet, knees, elbows or hands, soaking in a tub with apple cider vinegar can bring great relief associated with the irritation of this skin disorder. ACV can also reduce the inflammation of swollen or stiff joints-which are common symptoms of psoriasis sufferers.
Take an ACV bath for eczema
Diluting apple cider vinegar in bath water is the ideal way to treat this itchy scaly skin condition- especially if the eczema is widespread. Many eczema sufferers report that they find instant relief from submerging themselves in a bath with only 1 cup of ACV added to the warm water. You should always make certain the water is not too hot because it can irritate already sensitive skin tissue. Apple cider vinegar also works well for babies who have eczema. However, because of its acidic properties, it can burn the affected areas when applied. Instead of submerging an infant in an ACV bath, a ‘sponge bath’ using a washcloth dipped in the water works best.
No more diaper rash
Apple cider vinegar can work wonders for diaper rash. Too much alkaline in a baby’s urine and acidic poops can cause irritation, an uncomfortable rash and pH imbalance in the skin. Rather than bathing a baby in a tub with ACV- the recommendation is to mix a teaspoon with a half cup water in a bowl or bathroom sink and dip a washcloth into the liquid. Gently patting the infected area after every diaper change will result in a natural safe way to relieve this discomfort of this common baby skin condition.
Say good-bye to hives
Hives are patches of raised itchy welts usually caused by either an allergic reaction, exposure to the sun, excessive perspiration or emotional stress. Hives can be very uncomfortable for some people because of the uncontrollable itching, burning or stinging associated with an outbreak. Found on just about any part of the body they can last hours or up to one full day before fading. According to an article written on Urticaria (chronic hives), ACV has a powerful regenerating effect on the skin. It is regarded as an ‘indispensable’ remedy for hives because of its antihistamine properties quickly relieve inflammation; and, ACV can also regulate the immune response of the organism. 8 A bath with two cups ACV in a warm tub of water for 15-20 minutes a day is recommended for the relief of hive related symptoms.
Heal poison ivy rashes
If you have itchy red patches with bumps on your skin from coming into contact with a poison ivy plant you’ll want to soak in an apple cider vinegar bath for quick relief. As a natural remedy, apple cider vinegar contains potassium which can reduce the inflammation that occurs after being exposed to the leaves on poison ivy. It has also been proven effective for drawing the toxins out of the itchy, irritated rash while it reducing discomfort and accelerating the healing process.
Stop scratching mosquito bites
If you happen to be one of those people who seem to be a magnet for mosquitoes on a warm summer’s night (and even if you aren’t) – mosquito bites, especially multiple ones can make you feel really uncomfortable. The bites can be annoyingly itchy and can cause red swollen bumps all over your body. The acidity in apple cider vinegar will not only subside your impulse to scratch, but it can also reduce the size of the bite and expedite the healing process.
Works great for jock itch
Medically referred to as ringworm of the groin area, jock itch is an infection that is caused by a fungus. Causing a burning and/or itching sensation, it is most prevalent in men but women can get it too. Treating jock itch by taking a bath in apple cider vinegar is ideal because of the anti-bacterial properties that prohibit the growth of the fungus. 9 Not only will a bath with ACV sooth the itching sensation it will bring instant relief to the inflammation associated with jock itch.
Apple cider vinegar is a well-known home remedy that can help reduce the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids. Soaking in a warm tub of water with a cup of apple cider vinegar can bring temporary relief to the itching sensation and the swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum. A word of caution- when using ACV you’ll want to make sure not to use more than the recommended amount because the acidity in ACV can cause burning and exacerbate the problems that accompany hemorrhoid flare-ups.
Make a fever more comfortable
For both adults and children who are running a fever it is important to know that when our body’s temperature goes up it is a mechanism that is necessary to kill the virus or bacteria that is causing us to be ill. Although having a fever is actually a good thing it can be an uncomfortable feeling especially for children. For fevers 102 and higher you should seek medical assistance; however, if it is lower, taking a tepid bath mixed with 1 cup of ACV can help to lower your body’s temperature. The ACV is an effective remedy because of is detoxifying properties; so a bath with ACV will help draw out the fever- making you feel more comfortable as you continue to fight off the illness.
Soothe your sore muscles
Sore, sprained or strained muscles can occur at any age whether or not you participate in strenuously activity. It can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful because it generally involves tears or injury within the muscle itself. ACV has become a popular home remedy for treating both sore muscles and leg cramps because of its anti-inflammatory and alkalizing properties. Taking a 20 minute bath with 1-2 cups ACV is an effective way to reduce the muscle pain and inflammation associated with sore muscles.
Reduce arthritis pain
Arthritis sufferers have long sung the praises of apple cider vinegar’s healing and health-promoting properties. According to an article posted on Natural Living Ideas, the acetic acid found in ACV not only provides an alkalizing effect when metabolized, it can also help increase the absorption of calcium in the body- which is essential for strong bones. Moreover, ACV also contains high amounts of antioxidant chemicals, especially powerful polyphenolic compounds such as catechin, epicatechin, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid which contribute to ACV’s healing capabilities. 10 Using raw, organic apple cider vinegar that is unfiltered and unprocessed diluted in warm bath water seems to be the most effective in lessening the pain and swelling that accompanies certain types of arthritis such as: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and psoriatic arthritis.
Fade scars with the help of ACV
Scars, whether they are from acne, the post effect of a pregnancy or caused by an accident can be unpleasant to look at and difficult to live with. Depending on the type of scarring that you have along with the size, depth and where on your body it is located, you will most likely seek out treatment to either repair the scar tissue or in the very least minimize it so it is hardly noticeable. As a natural disinfectant and astringent ACV makes an effective treatment for scars. Having keratolyic properties, apple cider vinegar also has the ability to soften the skin, eliminate dead skin cells and encourage new skin growth; aiding in the fading process of a scar.
Healing a Molluscum infection
Known as a skin infection caused by a virus, Molluscum Contagiosum primarily effects children but can also affect teens and adults. It produces benign raised bumps or lesions that appear on the skin. Although these bumps can be painless, they can be unsightly to look and embarrassing to have. Taking a bath for at least 20 minutes in a warm tub with 1 cup ACV each night can aid in the healing process. It will be important to note- that because apple cider vinegar has a tendency to dry out your skin- it could irritate the bumps while healing. Therefore, it is recommended that after taking a bath with ACV you moisture your skin with an oil that contains anti-viral properties such as coconut or castor oil.
Getting rid of ringworm
According to a study conducted at the Catholic University of Taegu-Hyosung School of Medicine in Taegu, Korea, the 5 percent acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar is more than enough to suppress the formation and activities of the fungus that cause ringworm. 11 Subsequently, with its potent anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, apple cider vinegar has shown strong evidence as an effective home remedy to treat ringworm. Ringworm is classified as a type of fungus that lives on the dead tissues of skin. If present, it appears as a red, scaly, itchy patch on the skin; usually taking the shape of a circle or several rings. The powerful anti-fungal properties found in apple cider vinegar have been found to be extremely effective in the eliminating this type of infection on the skin. 12 Routinely taking baths with 1-2 cups ACV can relieve any itching associated ringworm. As the apple cider vinegar works to kill off skin fungus, the peeling and flaking skin symptomatic of the infection will lessen and eventually disappear.
Helps combat Lyme disease
Caused by bacteria transmitted by a tick bite, Lyme disease is characterized as an inflammatory disease. Symptoms during the initial stages of Lyme disease often include a rash on the skin, fatigue, chills, fever and headache. However, contracting this disease can also result in arthritis, as well as neurological and cardiac disorders. One of the most important things a person can do to fight Lyme disease is to detox their body. Apple cider vinegar can be an effective remedy for someone who is suffering with Lyme disease because not only will it increase the blood supply to the skin, it will also restore the body’s pH levels as it helps to alkalize the body. 13
Supports the lymphatic system
Used for centuries, apple cider vinegar is well known for its cleansing agents that can effectively help detoxify the body. Rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes, apple cider vinegar supplies these essential nutrients that are needed as a body is riding itself of toxic materials. Through its ability to detoxify the body ACV aids in breaking up mucus while it cleanses the lymph nodes for better circulation throughout the lymphatic system. Having a healthy lymphatic system is critical because as it removes toxins from your system it also improves our immune systems response. 14
Fights foot fungus
The acidic properties of apple cider vinegar can create an unfriendly environment for fungus on the hands, toes and feet. Both the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties found after the fermentation process can be effective agents in eliminating any type of fungus on the hands or feet. 15
Heals staph infections
Apple cider vinegar is an effective external remedy for staph infection due to its strong antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. It will not only help in killing the bacteria of a staph infection quickly, it also has the potential to boost the immune system to stop further infections. Applying ACV directly to the staph or bathing in a tub with apple cider vinegar will also work to heal and clear up any lesions quite quickly.
Battles Bartholin cysts
Bartholin cysts, although quite common, are the result of blocked Bartholin’s glands located on the vaginal opening. Typically these glands are responsible for releasing fluid that lubricates the vaginal area; however, when they become blocked or obstructed the fluid can build up and cause swelling. Most of the time these cysts will heal on their own but ACV can help speed up the healing process. Since apple cider vinegar is high in vitamin content and has health-promoting probiotics, sitting in a bath with ACV can aid in eliminating the blockage and dissolve the cyst.
Apple cider vinegar can help Fibromyalgia
Although apple cider vinegar isn’t considered a ‘treatment’ for Fibromyalgia, anecdotal reports on the use of ACV show great promise in relieving the symptoms of this chronic disorder. Symptoms such as fatigue, stress, joint pain, headaches, swelling and inflammation can all be reduced by simply taking a bath diluted with apple cider vinegar’s amazing health promoting properties. Apple cider vinegar’s content of malic acid, trace nutrients and ability to raise pH levels can contribute to improving the flow of oxygen to muscle cells, decrease inflammation and aid in pain management.
ACV removes moles easily
Moles are considered benign growths that can appear anywhere on the body taking the form of brownish, black or flesh toned spots, bumps or patches on the skin. Although harmless they can be bothersome and unsightly depending on where they are located. Having acidic properties- primarily acetic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid ACV can aid in the scabbing of moles so they can be easily removed from the skin. Moreover, because apple cider vinegar also has antiseptic and inflammatory properties, it can safely remove a mole without pain or scarring. You can either apply ACV to the mole directly by soaking a cotton ball and dabbing it on the affected area twice a day until it can be removed or add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a bath 4-5 times a week.
Effective remedy for treating migraines
Although there is no scientific evidence currently to verify apple cider vinegar can relieve migraine or headache pain, there has been significant anecdotal evidence that it works. The key ingredients of iron, potassium and calcium, as well as the acidity in ACV are what aids in headache relief. In one study that explored the effectiveness of using ACV for headaches, it was found that apple cider vinegar has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. 16 This study was significant considering that elevated levels of blood sugar can sometimes cause headaches and migraines; and with the use of ACV to lower levels it proved beneficial in reducing the onset of headache pain. While taking apple cider vinegar orally has been known to help migraines, it can also help when added to warm bath water. By simply relaxing in a warm tub with you can relieve a migraine headache as you inhale the vapors of apple cider vinegar emitting from the water.
Sinus infections are caused by viruses or bacteria. They can become extremely painful because of the mucus blockage resulting from an infection in the sinus cavities. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and malic acid found in apple cider vinegar can be extremely effective in killing the bacteria because they work by binding to pathogens that help rid the body of them. Inhaling the vapors from a warm bath diluted with 2 cups apple cider vinegar can help clean up the sinus cavities, thin mucus in the nasal cavity, and kill the harmful bacteria. By using the pH balancing properties in ACV sinus sufferers can also reduce the body’s acidity. Bacteria loves an acidic environment so by alkalizing the body, ACV can prevent the harmful microbes (bacteria) from multiplying. 17
Sleep better after an ACV bath
If you suffer from insomnia or just need a better night’s sleep apple cider vinegar can be an effective home remedy. Unlike many of the prescribed or over-the-counter medications that can have harmful or uncomfortable side effects, adding a cup of ACV to a warm bath a few evenings during the week is safe and soothing. Bathing in ACV is the ideal solution for getting the restful sleep you need to feel revitalized and refreshed the next day. Although drinking 2 tablespoons of ACV mixed with a little honey in a glass of water is recommended as a sleep aid, taking a bath in apple cider vinegar can not only help relax you it can help alleviate your stress and make you feel drowsy.
How to take apple cider vinegar bath
Enjoying the benefits of an apple cider vinegar bath is so easy- after all, who doesn’t love to relax in a tub filled with warm water at the end of the day? To reap all the benefits that apple cider vinegar offers- whether you are taking a bath to improve the health of your skin, cure a bacterial infection, alleviate headache pain, soothe sore muscles or detox and cleanse your aura –you’ll want to follow these steps for your bath time routine:
Step 1- While filling your bath tub with warm (to hot) water add 1 to 2 cups apple cider vinegar.
Step 2- Soak for at least 15-20 minutes to gain the full effects of the amazing properties found in apple cider vinegar. Make certain to wet your hair with the bath water and apply a wash cloth to your face.
Step 3- Although it is always beneficial to allow the apple cider vinegar dry on your skin, many people dislike the smell and opt to take a cool shower immediately afterward. If you prefer not to rinse it off right away, once it dries you can shower to rinse your hair and face, as well as any residual apple cider vinegar on your body.
The ideal frequency with taking an apple cider vinegar bath will depend on what you want to treat and the type of skin you have. For instance, if you have sensitive skin you might want to limit your baths to once a week because the acidic properties in ACV can be irritating to the skin. If you simply want to promote healthy skin by maintaining the pH balance, a bath 3-4 times a week is recommended. If you are treating an infection you might also need to limit your baths to 1-2 times a week especially if you experience a burning sensation. A toddler’s and infant’s skin is much more sensitive than an adults so parents should limit their child’s baths with ACV only when they can aid in healing a skin condition or infection.
Recommended quantities of ACV per bath:
Adults: 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar in a standard tub
Toddlers: ¼ cup in a standard tub
Infants: 2 tablespoons ACV added to a standard baby bathtub (approx. 3 gallons) for infants
Side effects/precautions of ACV bath
While apple cider vinegar is considered safe to use diluted in warm bath water- there are some considerations.
- Due to its strong acidic properties, prolonged use of apple cider vinegar has the potential to cause a burning sensation or possible irritation to sensitive skin. It could also cause pain and discomfort to an open wound.
- Although there is no scientific evidence of side effects when taking a bath in ACV while on medications- you should always check with your physician prior to using ACV in your bath.
- Pregnant and breast feeding mothers- because not enough is known about the safety using ACV baths during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, it is always better to stay on the safe side and avoid it if you are pregnant or nursing.
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a traditional home remedy for thousands of years. Offering a wide range of benefits it is both cost effective and easily available in most markets or grocery stores. Although there is limited scientific research to support the claims of ACV’s many health promoting properties, the successful and positive experiences of its users seems to be its greatest recommendation.
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