ACV: The Mother of All Vinegars
Excerpts from “Apple Cider Vinegar: Natural, Everyday Uses,” by C.M. Roesch, MPC
Nothing embodies the words of Hippocrates—“Let your food be your medicine” so completely as apple cider vinegar. Vinegar, in its multitude of varieties, has been used for thousands of years both to enhance our food and preserve it and, as our ancestors discovered, for its surprising array of health benefits. Of course, over time, it became legendary and developed a reputation as a “cure-all,” but while this claim may be a stretch, there is no denying that vinegar, and apple cider vinegar in particular, is one of the healthiest substances we can have in our pantry. Read and get to know this essential and timeless sour liquid and why you should give it a favored place in your kitchen and in your diet.
Disclaimer: Statements made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
When it comes to ACV and your health, ACV is incredibly dynamic. That said, we’ve compiled a list of health-related issues and how ACV can help.
The background: High cholesterol blood levels are implicated in cardiovascular disease, from obstruction in arteries to plaque build-up inside arterial walls. When plaque hardens it can limit the flow of oxygenated blood to your heart and if it ruptures, it can cause a blood clot to form, which can then travel to your heart and cause a heart attack.
Conclusion: Drinking diluted vinegar may be helpful in supporting already regular blood cholesterol levels both in the liver and in the intestines. However, considering that cholesterol that accumulates in the intestines is recirculated if it isn’t bound to dietary fiber headed for elimination, it might also be helpful to increase your dietary fiber by eating more vegetables so that it doesn’t find its way back into your bloodstream.
The Background: According to the most recent CDC data, 39.8% of adults and 18.5% of American youth were obese. While the most recent statistics indicate the numbers have stabilized, the focus of public health efforts by national organizations remains high due to the high cost of medical care involved in the diseases caused by obesity.
Conclusion: Adding vinegar support already regular blood sugar. When added to low-glycemic foods, blood sugar control may lead to reduced hunger and prolonged satiety. It could help you feel less hungry, eat less, and result in meeting healthy weight goals.
The background: The entire body becomes compromised by low stomach acid. Heartburn is a common symptom and using the traditional approach of taking antacids and medications that suppress the acid producing cells (antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors or PPI) in the stomach only stops the symptoms for a short while but may have a rebounding effect after stopping the medications, which then increases the symptoms.
Conclusion: If you experience some of the symptoms listed above, try diluted apple cider vinegar to see whether it offers relief. ACV is not as strong as HCL, but it is an acid and as such may help increase the acidity in your stomach. If it doesn’t seem to help, there may be other issues involved. Contact your local naturopathic clinic or health care practitioner for further testing.
The background: Skin sensitivities affect about 3% of adults who have a genetic tendency towards allergic response. It is also prevalent in families with a history of asthma and hay fever allergies. It produces an itchy rash on the skin of the face, and may appear on the back of knees, wrists, hands and feet. Over time, it may thicken and appear dry and scaly. In dark-skinned people it may affect the skin’s pigment.
Conclusion: Removing any known allergenic substances in the diet is of course, the first action to take. Slowly adding a little ACV to a glass of water during meals may increase acid in the stomach and slow down digestion enough to help break down the proteins more completely before they are released into the intestinal tract. A report suggests that eating a salad with vinaigrette dressing may also greatly support a healthier digestion of proteins in the meal.
Acid reflux: Although this seems counter-indicative, ACV may help if the reflux is due to too little stomach acid! Try it a tablespoon in at least 8 oz of water just before bedtime and with meals.
Cough: Hippocrates used a combination of vinegar, honey and water to help soothe a persistent cough.
Ear infections: Use a diluted ACV/water solution to rinse the inside of the ear. It is also a good solution to use to relieve swimmer’s ear.
Hair loss: If hair follicles are clogged by the use of hair products that are alkaline, rinsing with an ACV/water solution can help rebalance the pH of the scalp.
Hiccups: Apparently a girl with chronic hiccups cured her hiccups by drinking ACV, which triggers nerves in the throat that are responsible for the reflex. She is presently starting a company that produces lollipops that contain several ingredients including ACV.
Jelly fish stings: Helpful for immediate relief until the afflicted site can be submerged in hot water, which is more effective.
Lice: There are conflicting reports on whether this is effective or not. Some reports say it isn’t effective, but several mothers have told me personally that it was the only thing that worked on their daughters. Perhaps in hair that is too thick or coarse, it may be less effective.
Mosquito repellent: Reports suggest that drinking ACV diluted in water may help keep mosquitoes at bay, or rub it directly on your skin, particularly the ankles and wrists which are their favorite landing sites. Already bitten? Rub a little vinegar on the bite to relieve the itch.
While it may not truly be the “cure-all” many claim that it is, it’s certainly a great, natural starting point that could help you find some sort of relief. And not only relief, but it also has the potential to help improve your overall well being.
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