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10 Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar You Might Not Know About

10 Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar You Might Not Know About

Though many people keep apple cider vinegar at home for use in salad dressings and marinades, but it actually has several other uses as well. From household cleaners to beauty products, a.c. vinegar can be used in more ways than you may have imagined.

Check out some of these ideas about how to use this wonderfully versatile vinegar.

1. Facial Toner

facial toner

    Make your own skin toner with a ratio of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water, and use a cotton ball to daub your face with it after cleansing. It’ll tighten up pores, clear blackheads, and help fight acne breakouts as well as helping to heal any acne that has already popped up. Rinse your face with plain water 10 minutes or so after swabbing.

    2. Conditioning Rinse for Hair

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    Conditioning Rinse for Hair

      Instead of store-bought conditioners that are laden with chemicals, just stir 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar into 1 cup of water, and rinse your hair with it after shampooing. It adds body and shine, and will help de-tangle your hair as well.

      3. Bug Bite Soother

      bug bite 2

        Full-strength vinegar swabbed onto bites can alleviate itchiness, and speed healing. Just soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and then press against the bite for about 30 seconds. Repeat every hour or so for itch relief.

        4. Tooth Whitener

        Tooth Whitener

          Dip a cotton swab in full-strength vinegar and use it to wipe your teeth every morning and every night to lighten stains on the enamel. Rinse your mouth with water after swabbing to eliminate the acidic residue.

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          5. Weight Loss Helper

          Weight Loss Helper

            Apparently, taking 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water every day can assist with weight loss: the acetic acid contained in the vinegar helps your body break down fat, and reduces the triglycerides in your blood.

            6. Insomnia Relief

            Insomnia Relief

              Many people swear that a drink made with hot water, a tablespoon of a.c. vinegar, and honey (to taste) helps them get a more restful night’s sleep. This is another one that isn’t scientifically proven, but experimenting with it could be rather delicious.

              7. Detox

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              detox

                Apple cider vinegar has high levels of potassium, which can have a clarifying, detoxifying effect on the body. Taking apple cider vinegar in water 3 times a day can apparently alleviate the symptoms of sinus infections, allergies, sore throats, and even candida.

                8. Household Cleanser

                house cleanser

                  Pour a full cup of apple cider vinegar into your toilet bowl, let it sit for half an hour, then scrub with a brush and flush away. Not only will it clean and disinfect the bowl, your bathroom will smell like apples for days.
                  Use undiluted a.c. vinegar on counter-tops and other surfaces to disinfect them and leave them smelling fresh and apple-y.
                  Dissolve a tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle of water for homemade “Febreeze”: spray it into the air to combat unpleasant odours, or spritz it lightly on furniture to eliminate pet smells.

                  9. Insect Repellent

                  Insect Repellent

                    Some people swear that the changes in body pH due to daily doses of this vinegar will fend off mosquitoes, but this has yet to be proven scientifically.
                    A 50/50 mixture of cider vinegar and water can be sprayed onto your pets (and their beds) to help repel fleas, and it can also be sprayed around windows and doors to keep ticks out.

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                    10. Garden Help

                    garden help

                      Full-strengh a.c. vinegar poured onto stubborn weeds will kill them without poisoning the soil around them. You can use a diluted vinegar solution (1:8 ratio of vinegar to water) to raise the acidity in your soil for azaleas and rhododendrons to thrive in, and if you dilute that even further and add some sugar to the mixture, you have home-made plant food.
                      Add a few tablespoons of a.c. vinegar to a gallon of water and then transfer it to a spray bottle; you can use this spray to treat black rot and fungus issues on roses, and to fend off aphids.

                      If you’re taking apple cider vinegar internally, it’s important that you use the highest quality vinegar available. Organic would be the best option, but if you can’t get your hands on that, then don’t hesitate to shell out a few extra dollars for a good product. For topical uses (like for facial toner), you can use a lower-quality vinegar, and the cheapest products on the market are fine for house-cleaning and gardening purposes.

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                      Catherine Winter

                      Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                      4. Feed Your Brain

                      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                      6. Write it Down

                      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                      7. Listen to Music

                      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                      8. Visual Concepts

                      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                      9. Teach Someone Else

                      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                      More About Boosting Memory

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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