Apple Home Remedies – 8 Natural Benefits of Apples – Prevention Magazine

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Put all the apples in your autumn haul to good use with these home remedies.
It probably comes as no surprise that apples are one of the most popular tree fruits in the world. Usually picked in early autumn in the U.S., they are a sweet and crunchy source of fiber and antioxidants, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid.
In fact, research has shown that the health benefits of eating apples range from having a lower risk of developing certain cancers to a reduced risk of heart disease, asthma, and diabetes. The antioxidants in apples may be particularly helpful in slowing the growth of cancer cells and lowering cholesterol.
And if you’re worried about the sugar content of apples, don’t be. While one medium apple (with the nutrient-rich skin on!) contains nearly 21 grams of sugar, it also has roughly 5 grams of fiber, which helps slow down your body’s digestion of the sweet stuff. This means you won’t experience the sugar spike—and then crash—that is associated with foods which contain added sugars and very little fiber (like white bread). Plus, apples are a great source of vitamins and minerals. For instance, one medium apple has 214 milligrams of potassium and about 9 milligrams of vitamin C.
There are also lots of healthy, natural ways to use apples that don’t always involve eating them. When you’ve made all the apple pie your family can handle and still have plenty of the fruits leftover, check out the six home remedies below from Heather Zwickey, Ph.D., a professor of immunology at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR.
Tip: Try to use organic apples for these recipes because regular apples tend to be toward the top of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the most pesticides.
Use this essential oil in a diffuser for a relaxing scent or add it to homemade beauty products. Wash, cut, and core 1 medium apple. Thinly slice it using a box grater, a mandoline, or the slicing disk of a food processor. Combine slices with 1 cup organic olive or almond oil in the top of a double boiler. Add a few inches of water to the bottom of the double boiler and boil the mixture 30 minutes, then strain out the apples and store the oil in a lidded glass jar in a cool, dark place. Will last 3 to 6 months.
This deliciously scented soap is mild and soothing. Combine 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1/3 cup beeswax pellets, and 1/3 cup shea butter. Microwave in 20- to 30-second intervals for about 1 ½ minutes total. Stir in 15 drops apple essential oil (recipe above), pour into soap molds, and chill for 30 minutes. This recipe can be doubled or tripled, and the soap makes a great gift.
To make this refreshing beverage, wash, core, and chop 1 medium organic sweet apple such as Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp. (Keep the peel on for an extra dose of fiber and vitamins.) Combine with ½ cup ice, ½ cup cranberry- pomegranate or cranberry juice, 1 medium banana (about 6 inches long), and 1 tsp green tea powder. Blend until combined and enjoy.
Try this moisturizing shampoo with a fresh apple scent. Pour one cup plain, unsweetened boxed (not canned) coconut milk into a glass pump bottle. Add 1 cup liquid castile soap, 1 tsp vegetable glycerin for conditioning and shine, and 20 to 30 drops apple essential oil (recipe above). Shake bottle until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Use a pump or two for shampooing, shaking bottle before each use. Lasts about a month.
Reduce frizz and relieve itchy dandruff with this after-shampoo rinse. Pour one cup of water and 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle. Add 4 drops of tea tree oil and 4 drops of apple essential oil (recipe above), which strengthens the hair shaft. Shake to mix, apply to shampooed hair until it’s fully coated, massage into scalp, and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with plain water. Use 2 to 3 times per month.
These muffins make for a fiber-rich sweet treat. To start, make applesauce: Wash, core, and cut 8 organic medium apples (with skins on) into chunks. Put in saucepan with 1 cup water. Turn stove on high, cover, and let water boil to steam apples for 10 minutes. Check frequently, adding water as needed. Stir in 4 tsp cinnamon and bring to boil again. When apples are soft, use a stick blender or food processor to pulverize. To make muffins, preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk together 2 cups flour, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and 1 pinch salt. In a separate bowl, mix ½ cup salted melted and cooled butter, 2 large eggs, ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar, and 1 cup homemade applesauce. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and stir about 15 times, allowing lumpiness to remain. Grease, flour, and fill a 12-cup muffin tin with batter. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 10 more minutes or until done.
A version of this article originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Prevention.