An apple cider vinegar and baking soda mixture might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re trying to lose weight or improve the condition of your hair or skin, but many people swear by this combination. These baking soda and apple cider vinegar cures have been relied on for years for their various health benefits. Will it work for you? Read on for the ins and outs of some of the most common uses for apple cider vinegar and baking soda — and this may just become your favorite new home hack.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda for Weight Loss
Studies into apple cider vinegar and baking soda for weight loss are small, says nutritionist Vanessa Rissetto, so it’s difficult to back claims up with science. However, these studies suggest that people who consume 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda before eating have better glucose control, and eat far less. “We still don’t know for sure why this happens,” says Rissetto. “It could be because apple cider vinegar is bitter, and therefore puts you off your food.”
To make an apple cider vinegar and baking soda drink, nutritionist Keith Kantor, PhD, recommends mixing 2 teaspoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar with one-eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass (it will fizz up at this point). Fill the glass the rest of the way with water before drinking. Hint: If you find the taste of apple cider vinegar unpleasant, have some orange wedges or pineapple slices at hand.
According to Dr. Kantor, the drink contains nutrients and enzymes that help your body digest your food better, while increasing your overall nutrient intake. The health benefits of apple cider vinegar and baking soda include a stronger immune system, a healthy alkaline metabolic environment, and improved appearance of the hair and skin. It may also help with appetite control and weight loss. “When the body is inflamed from environmental toxins and stress it becomes acidic, and over time this can cause a hormone imbalance resulting in weight gain,” says Kantor. “Drinking an alkaline drink regularly will help remove inflammation and regulate the appetite, which may result in weight loss.”
It’s impossible to target fat in specific areas of your body through diet or natural remedies alone, so be wary of any supposed apple cider vinegar and baking soda for belly fat remedies. Important: Always seek your doctor’s advice before drinking baking soda and vinegar, particularly if you have diabetes or a digestive condition that affects the mouth, esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
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Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda for Hair
According to Rissetto, all the information that baking soda and apple cider vinegar is an effective treatment for hair loss, dandruff, and psoriasis is self-reported and there are no actual studies that can point to its success. “It's believed that the treatment helps with pH balance and creates a more neutral environment for hair growth,” she says. It may also help with psoriasis and dandruff, but again there are no definitive studies out there.
If you want to try this remedy, mix a little baking soda with enough water to form a paste. Apply this to dry or wet hair, starting at the roots and working down to the ends. Let it sit on your hair for up to three minutes, then rinse with warm water. Next, rinse your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar. Finally, rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove all traces of vinegar.
Baking soda may be harsh for the scalp, but if you use it in combination with a diluted apple cider vinegar mixture it may help to rebalance your scalp's pH level. “Baking soda dissolved in water can remove excess oil and buildup,” explains dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. “Used in combination with diluted apple cider vinegar, it may help to rebalance your scalp’s pH level. However, use baking soda with caution, as it may be too harsh for the scalp and increase hair breakage.”
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda Bath
Many wellness experts recommend natural detox baths to remove toxins and cleanse the body. To soothe irritated skin and boost magnesium levels, try a salt detox bath. According to MedlinePlus, magnesium is important for nerve and muscle function, a healthy immune system, a steady heartbeat, and strong bones.
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For a salt detox bath, dissolve one-quarter of a cup of sea salt or Himalayan salt, one-quarter of a cup of Epsom salt, and one-quarter of a cup of baking soda in boiling water in a quart size jar. Fill your bathtub with warm water and add one-third of a cup of apple cider vinegar and 10 drops of your favorite essential oils. Finally, add your salt mixture and soak for as long as you wish.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda for Acne
Rebecca Lee, RN, recommends an apple cider vinegar and baking soda mask to improve the condition of problem skin. “Most skin problems are caused by dehydration or an unbalanced pH level,” she says. “Apple cider vinegar and baking soda together can reduce acne, dry skin, and rough patches.”
Mix 1 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of raw honey and apply the paste to your face, leaving the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows clear. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
A mixture of baking soda and apple cider vinegar may also rejuvenate and replenish dry, dull skin. “Apple cider vinegar helps to shrink the pores, while baking soda exfoliates the skin,” says Dr. Jaliman.
Whether you use apple cider vinegar and baking soda for weight loss, hair, or skin, stop immediately if you experience any adverse effects and seek medical attention if necessary.
This post was written by Claire Gillespie.