Vinegar is often considered as one of the key remedies from Islamic medicine and there are a number of Sahih Hadith which the Messenger of Allah (SAW) has been reported as having praised it. The Prophet (SAW) was reported to have once remarked that vinegar was the seasoning of all the prophets who came before him. Jabir (RA) narrated, “The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, took me one day with him to his house. He was served some bread. He asked: ‘Is there any dip?’ They replied ‘No, only some vinegar.’ He said, ‘Vinegar is a good dip.’ Jabir used to say, “I have loved vinegar since I heard it from Allah’s Prophet”.Naf’a said, “I have loved vinegar since I heard it from Jabir .” (Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i)
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been around for thousands of years, and has many uses and benefits. Hippocrates, often described as the father of medicine, prescribed apple cider vinegar to help with many health issues. Japanese Samurai warriors were said to drink it for strength and power, and it was supposedly used in World War 1 and the American Civil War.
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Apple Cider Vinegar contains many important vitamins and acids, which can have a beneficial impact on our health. These include pectin, vitamin C, vitamins B1, B2 and B6, folic acid, pantothenic acid, acetic acid and citric acid.
Although not fully backed by science yet, studies have found that ACV can have an amazing effect on treating some of the most debilitating diseases. It may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth, the acetic acid bacteria may also have anti-tumor properties, and ACV can also help combat diabetes by lowering glucose levels. The acids in ACV may help lower cholesterol by preventing it accumulating and crystalising in the bloodstream. The potassium in the vinegar can balance sodium levels, which helps maintain blood pressure within healthy limits, and the magnesium in the vinegar can help to relax blood vessel walls, potentially lowering high blood pressure.
The vinegar can also help us feel fuller longer, meaning fewer calories are consumed, potentially resulting in weight loss.
BEAUTY BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1. Use as a skin toner, to tighten the skin and treat and prevent acne. Mix together one part ACV with two parts water
2. Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar to remove shampoo build up and prevent dandruff, and get shiny, soft hair in the process! Mix 1 part ACV with 1 part water and rinse after shampooing.
3. Get rid of warts and skin tags by dabbing on and covering with a plaster. Repeat each day for a week.
4. Correct hyper-pigmentation by applying it to dark spots on your skin.
5. For sunburn, dilute 1 cup of ACV into your bathtub and soak. As added sunburn relief, apply coconut oil after your bath.
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6. Eliminate bad breath by gargling with equal parts water and ACV7. Whiten your teeth, remove stains and kill bacteria by gargling with ACV after brushing your teeth
7. ACV is a highly effective antiseptic with great antifungal properties so works really well to relieve itchy skin. Simply pour a few drops onto a ball of cotton wool and dab on the affected areas.
RECIPE: SIMPLE ACNE MASK
This simple, two-ingredient face mask will unclog your pores, draw out impurities and help tackle blemishes and blackheads.
Bentonite clay also helps to draw out toxins from the skin, heal and rengenerate skin tissue, unclog and reduce the look of pores, exfoliate, prevent blackheads, treat acne, even out skin tone and leave skin feeling soft and glowing.
Mix together equal parts bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar to create a nice, thick face mask. 2 tablespoons of each should be sufficient. Avoid using metal utensils to mix, as it can react with the clay. Try a simple wooden spoon or plastic spatula.
Apply to the face and leave for approximately 15-20 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, rinse off after 10 minutes.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR:
Ibn Qayyim (RA) said, “Vinegar is beneficial for an inflamed stomach, it suppresses bile, and wards off the harm of some strong medicines. It benefits the spleen, regulates the balance of the stomach, quenches thirst, aids digestion and softens heavy food. If it is heated and used as mouthwash, it is good for toothache and strengthens gums.”
• Soothe an upset stomach by mixing with ginger
• Clear a stuffy nose by mixing a teaspoon of ACV into a glass of water
• Add 1 tbsp to your post-workout drink of water to prevent lactic acid build-up. In fact, add it to your water bottle during your workout to help enhance fat burning.
• Soothe a sore throat by mixing 1 part water with 1 part ACV
• Ease leg cramps by rubbing directly onto your aching muscles
• Take a teaspoon of ACV to relieve heartburn
• To prevent gas and bloating, drink a glass of cider vinegar diluted in water before taking your meals. This will get your digestive system going much faster, so that food can be broken down at a more efficient rate.
RECIPE: MORNING DETOX TEA
Ideal for weight loss, to boost your metabolism, to control blood sugar, improve immunity, boost energy, and help with acne, bad breath and so much more.
• 1 cup warm water
• 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp raw honey
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• dash of cayenne pepper
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Reyhana Ismail is SISTERS’ resident designer, who always prefers natural products for her health and beauty regime, especially for her children. She also works as a freelance designer and can be found at www.reyoflightdesign.com