- a) essential oil of marshmallow
- b) expeller-pressed mushroom fungus
- c) applesauce with mustard and habaneros.
- d) apple cider vinegar
- e) vodka spiked with clorox
- f) gold dust
And, of course, it’s d.
Can’t I just use apple cider? The hard kind?
No. It’s all about the fermentation—in this case, double fermentation. This traditional process produces a tincture loaded with beneficial bacteria, or probiotics. ACV has antioxidant, antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. And its healing compounds include acetic acid, potassium, magnesium and enzymes.
I bet you’re going to tell me that its use dates back to the beginning of all time.
Yes, that’s right. When Eve plucked the apple off the tree, it was to make apple cider vinegar to cure her yeast infection, lol.
Actually, though, apple cider vinegar (ACV) was allegedly discovered thousands of years ago when wine accidentally turned into vinegar. “What do we have here?”, they might have said, and then experimented with the new potion until they realized that it had medicinal properties. There is evidence of its use in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Hippocrates, the Father of medicine, used vinegar in 400 BC as a disinfectant and antibiotic to cleanse wounds and heal patients from coughs and colds. In the Middle Ages it was used to cure conditions as diverse as poison ivy and stomach aches. Later it was taken for fevers, and more recently, managing diabetes. And the list goes on.
Can I use white vinegar?
No. It must be organic apple cider vinegar, and you know it’s the real thing if it’s cloudy and looks dirty and unappetizing. (If it’s clear, then it’s been pasteurized and filtered and it’s missing all it’s nutrients). That’s right, some of the best things in life are cheap and gross looking. Also yucky tasting unless you like drinking salad dressing. But seriously, here’s the impressive list of symptoms and conditions it helps:
- Nutrient Absorption. Because it contains acetic acid, it can increase your body’s ability to absorb minerals from food. For this reason, some people take it before meals.
- Diabetes. Vinegar prevents sugar levels from spiking. It slows the conversion of complex carbs into sugar so that they enter your bloodstream more slowly, helping to lower blood glucose levels. A Study in the journal Diabetes Care showed that taking vinegar before meals improved insulin sensitivity in diabetics and pre-diabetics. I ran this by a friend of mine whose son is diabetic and he said that ”yes, it really does work.”
- High Blood pressure. Animal studies have demonstrated that vinegar lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol (VLDL levels), likely due to its acetic acid.
- Weight loss. Vinegar helps increase satiety if taken before meals, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. This reduces the amount of food consumed. Other studies have correlated its consumption with loss of body fat.
- Sinus congestion and allergies. Vinegar helps clear mucous from your lymph system and your sinuses and supports your immune system. Add 2 teaspoons of it to a neti pot, or add two tablespoons to a glass of water three times/day.
- Sore throat. Vinegar has antibacterial properties. Gargle with it straight or mixed with water (1:3)
- Acid reflux/digestive distress. Reflux is often caused by insufficient acid in your stomach. One teaspoon daily of ACV in a glass of water can resolve it. ACV activates digestive juices which allow the body to better digest food.
- Skin irritations. Rub into bug bites, poison ivy, acne and eczema. Or add a cup to your bath. Also effective for skin and toenail fungus.
- Cancer. There is some evidence that cancer thrives in an acidic environment, and ACV naturally alkalizes your body, thwarting the growth of cancer cells. One study showed a decreased risk of esophageal cancer, and another, prostrate cancer.
- Fatigue. ACV contains potassium and enzymes which help energize your body.
- Toxicity. ACV may help eliminate harmful toxins in the body. It cleanses lymph nodes and promotes better lymph circulation, resulting in a stronger immune system.
- Bad bacteria. Candida occurs naturally in our bodies, but an overgrowth can result in yeast infections, headaches, sugar cravings, fatigue, and depression. ACV kills the bad bacteria and helps colonize your gut with good bacteria. Because ACV is fermented with a beneficial yeast, it acts as a prebiotic, helping good bacteria colonize your gut. In fact, it is considered a natural antibiotic.
- Cardiovascular Disease. ACV is full of polyphenols, and polyphenols play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease as well as cancer, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers.
- Armpit Reek. Bacteria and yeast cause body odor. A damp armpit breeds bad bacteria. ACV is your cheap new deodorant—dab it on and smell fresh!
- Cold/Sore throat.The vitamins and probiotics in ACV make it a natural treatment for colds. Two tablespoons 3 times/day.
Take one to two teaspoons a day, mixed in a glass of water, before meals or in the morning. Or, you can mix it into salad dressing. Note that ACV may interact with certain medications, so do some homework if you plan to use it long-term, especially if you take medication for diabetes or heart disease.
You thought I was done, but there is one more amazing use you won’t want to miss:
Clean your house cheaply! That’s right, mix 50% ACV and 50% water in a spray bottle and go crazy! It’s a natural non-toxic anti-bacterial cleaner.
So keep a bottle in your house in plain sight so you won’t forget to use it—a spoonful a day keeps the doctor away!
p.s. Where are all the double-blind placebo studies in American medical journals to substantiate my claims? They’re nowhere, that’s where. Why? Because it’s not lucrative to study naturally occurring substances that anyone can get. Pharmaceutical companies can’t cash in on apple cider vinegar, or turmeric, or lavender, so no one funds these studies. So where do I get my info? Mostly from the observations of scientists and anthropologists who have studied traditional practices in other cultures that have yielded consistent results over long periods, plus historical documentation and anecdotal evidence, added to my own experience, with a dash of common sense.