Wellness Wednesday #1 : Apple Cider Vinegar

You’re probably wondering a) why a photo of apple cider vinegar is popping up on your screen and b) what I’m doing posting mid-week when you usually only hear from me on a Monday.

vinegarThe answer to both those questions is that today marks the start of a new series on this blog called “Wellness Wednesday” with tips on health, beauty and wellness in general. There are lots of things I’ve learnt from trial and error, through writing for Peppermint magazine (did you know I do that? Well, now you do!) or found out from other women which have improved my health and are worth sharing. But don’t worry, there are not going to be any Embarrassing Bodies -type TMI reveals with hideous images to match, these posts will be more like tips that you can choose to try, or completely ignore if you prefer to just drop in on Mondays to check out my DIYs! Also, a disclaimer: I am in no way an expert in this area, I’m just a (relatively) normal person who is kind of interested in things that make my body/mind/complexion work better.

I will also say up front that I’m extremely lucky in that I don’t have any huge health concerns. So I’m not going to be posting on anything as major as how to cure cancer (although wouldn’t it be fantastic if  I did somehow find that out!?).

Anyway, that was a rather long lead-up into today’s topic, which can basically be expressed as “apple cider vinegar is good for you”. How do I know it’s good for you (or for me, at least)? About a year and a half ago I suddenly developed little bumps and itchy, dry, flaky patches around my nose and mouth which just wouldn’t go away except with cortisone cream, but kept coming back once I stopped using it. Not wanting to have a life-long obligation to anything chemical, and kind of freaked out because I had never had any major skin issues but now looked like I had a permanent cold and had been wiping my nose with sandpaper, I Googled to find out WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH ME and annoyed my sister, who once worked at a health store and so actually knows about this kind of stuff or just has better Googling skills than I do, because she found this blog post which revealed I had perioral dermatitis. Which basically means “little bumps and itchy, dry, flaky patches around the nose and mouth”.

If you have never had it and are thinking “this won’t happen to me so I won’t bother reading”  stay with me – there seems to be no specific cause for the condition so anyone could get it at any time (although it seems to affect middle-aged women more) and there is no specific cure either, although the comments in the post did give me several clues as to how to fight it. At the same time as trying to eliminate chemical skincare products as many women suggested, I also read something about apple cider vinegar (in a completely unrelated post) and decided to start taking it for no other reason than it’s cheap (about $7 for 500ml) and hey, what could go wrong?

Well, whether it was the vinegar or a combination of reasons, the dermatitis went away. Yay, right?! So I now take ACV semi-religiously every morning as soon as I get up: just a dash of it in some hot water is how I start my day. No, it doesn’t taste great but I’m used to it and it is obviously doing me good. The reason is to do with fermented stuff ie vinegar being good for your gut and subsequently your digestion. As I’ve never suffered from stomach issues, I would never have thought that I had a digestion problem but the gut is related to just about every part of the body, as far as I can gather, so it pays to keep it full of happy bacteria. Obviously something was off-balance that was restored once I started drinking ACV.

Oops, this has turned into a much longer post than I planned, but if you’ve ever had a long-term illness or annoyance that suddenly got better with little actual effort or cost then you’ll understand why I am so enthusiastic about the benefits of ACV. There are about a zillion uses for it apart from using it to cure complexion and digestion issues, so if you’re interested in finding out more, do some of your own research, or start your reading here if you like.

Phew, finally, I’ve kind of said what I wanted to say about ACV and so that wraps up the first Wellness Wednesday. I’ll try not to make the next one quite so wordy! In the meantime, let me know if there are any topics you’re particularly interested in or if you have any great tips to share. Keep well!

 

*ACV is available in any supermarket or health shop. There are quite a few different brands around and I’m not sure if there’s much difference between them, but I try to get any brand that is organic and that contains the “mother” which is the fermentation residue. If you’re new to drinking it, you probably want to start with just a few drops in water, or otherwise use it as a dressing on salad, because it really does taste basically like vinegar.

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