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The ancients promoted the alleged merits of apple cider vinegar (ACV). This elixir in raw form has been used as a healing potion since 400 B.C. Just over the last few years, many Canadians have started using organic ACV, as well. Make sure the brand you buy contains what is called “the mother,” which is unrefined, unpasteurized and unfiltered.

Here are a few ways in which you can put ACV to good use:

Shed a few pounds. Studies have shown that consuming ACV can help you feel fuller. Acetic acid, which is a compound in ACV, has been proven to slow fat accumulation. For many, the flavour is on the strong side, so you can add ACV to salad dressings or juices to get it into your diet.

System detox. The acid in ACV can help remove toxins from your body and promote circulation. It’s also a great cleanser for your liver. ACV is high in potassium, which is said to help clear lymph nodes and break up mucus.

Mend a sore throat. Try gargling with equal parts ACV and warm water when your throat starts to feel sore. It might give you some relief.

Sunburns or itchy skin. If you apply diluted ACV to sunburns or itchy skin, you should get instant relief. It works on bug bites and poison ivy, as well.

Open up sinuses. ACV breaks up mucus in the body. In the same way, it can clear your sinuses. ACV has antibacterial properties, so it can help prevent infections and colds. Sipping ACV in some warm water may help you breathe easier.

Shiny hair. If you rinse your hair once a week with ACV, you may notice an improvement in its shine. The acid in the vinegar helps to remove product buildup and helps balance the pH level of your scalp. Mix one-third cup of ACV into four cups of water and rinse your hair after you shampoo. Rinse with cool water to lock in the shine.

Pearly whites. If you want your teeth to sparkle, dilute ACV with two parts water and give it a good swish around in your mouth. Brush your teeth afterwards. Voila—whiter teeth.

Non-toxic cleaner. Raw, unfiltered ACV contains a multitude of healthy bacteria that make it perfect for cleaning and disinfecting. A cleaning solution is simple to make. Just mix equal parts of ACV with water. That’s it. The vinegar smell dissipates as it dries and will leave your place sparkling clean.