Most of us seem to be on a quest for a magic pill, the fountain of youth, or a cure-all solution to having more energy, better skin and a healthier body. We pin our hopes to super foods, the latest fad in oils, and the most recent supplements being touted as the answer to our prayers. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about apple cider vinegar. But the use of apple cider vinegar is anything but a fad. In fact, it has documented uses dating back to 400 B.C. when Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it to manage wounds.

In the 1700s, medical practitioners used it for everything from indigestion to croup to poison ivy to diabetes. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is full of nutrition and rich in enzymes our bodies love, and that can help keep the germs in our bodies under control.

It has been used as a tonic, a poultice, taken straight and diluted in water to treat various ailments. Because of the acidity levels in ACV, taking it straight can be a bit harsh to your tooth enamel and your esophagus. Instead, try mixing two tablespoons into a glass of water before meals to help soften the effects on your stomach and throat.

Apple cider vinegar has been promoted as the cure-all to everything from detoxing the body to relieving arthritis symptoms. Studies on this folk remedy are ongoing, but experts say that adding some apple cider vinegar to your daily routine can have some noticeable health benefits.

Here are eight reasons you need to drink apple cider vinegar:

apple cider vinegar

1. Apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels.

A study conducted by the American Diabetes Foundation found that apple cider vinegar taken before meals significantly reduced insulin and glucose levels. The study was conducted on three groups of people, one group diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, one group with pre-diabetic symptoms and the last group was healthy.

All three groups improved their blood glucose levels. The pre-diabetic group improved their blood glucose levels by nearly 50% and the group with diabetes improved theirs by 25%. As an added benefit, it is thought that this increase in better glucose levels can contribute to some assistance in losing weight.

2. It can relieve sinus infections and soothe sore throats.

ACV helps detoxify our bodies by cleansing the lymph node, breaking up mucous, and even helping with allergy symptoms. As a result, it can help relieve sinus infections and soothe sore throats that are often caused by congestion.

3. Apple cider vinegar can regulate the pH of the skin.

Applying ACV directly to the skin with a cotton ball can help balance the skin. Use as a replacement for facial toner and it can even be left on the face overnight to lighten age-related dark spots or sun damage.

4. It can promote healthy-looking hair.

Use apple cider vinegar as a replacement for hair conditioner. Mix ½ tablespoon of vinegar with cold water and rinse hair with it after shampooing. Just a few times a week will boost shine, give the hair natural body and even eliminate dandruff.

5. Apple cider vinegar can whiten teeth.

Apple cider vinegar helps remove yellowing stains from the teeth. Simply gargle with it in the morning and then brush normally. You can boost the process by brushing your teeth with baking soda at least once week.

6. It can increase energy levels.

The amino acids in ACV act to combat excess lactic acid in our bodies that accumulate from exercise and other types of stress. Excessive lactic acid causes fatigue, and a tablespoon of vinegar added to a glass of water can help alleviate it. The extra potassium and enzymes contained in the vinegar are a bonus.

7. Apple cider vinegar can lessen joint pain due to inflammation.

Mixing apple cider vinegar with honey, lemon, and hot water twice a day may promote joint relief. This is especially helpful to relieve arthritis. The deficiency of certain minerals in our bodies can intensify joint pain, and vinegar contains the necessary minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, to help alleviate it.

8. It can diminish the appearance of bruises.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, ACV can help lessen the appearance of discoloration caused by bruising. Use a cotton ball to dab the vinegar directly to the bruise several times a day.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural, holistic remedy for many common ailments. As a preventative measure, add some organic apple cider vinegar to warm water in the morning. Try it out for a week or two and see how it works. There certainly won’t be any harm, and most likely it will be doing the body some good.