By Vivian Molick from the May 2011 Edition
Apple Cider Vinegar and Its Health Benefits
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of nature’s great gifts to mankind;
it is a truly natural product. It was an indispensable component of Egyptian medicines and was used to treat almost all ailments prevalent in ancient Egypt. Even the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, prescribed this vinegar with honey for a variety of ills.
Throughout time the military has used ACV in a variety of ways; Roman and Japanese Samurai warriors used it regularly for strength and power, it was added to drinking water to kill potential infectious agents, and the antiseptic nature of ACV has been used to clean and disinfect soldiers wounds. Even Christopher Columbus and his crew had their vinegar barrels for the prevention of scurvy, as did the soldiers of the American Civil War and WW1.
The only vinegar to have such an abundance of health benefits is apple cider vinegar. It is made by crushing fresh apples and allowing them to mature in wooden barrels. This boosts the natural fermentation qualities of the apples, which differs from the refined and distilled vinegars found in supermarkets. When the vinegar is mature, it contains dark, cloudy, web-like bacterial foam called mother, which should be visible at the bottom of the bottle.
Natural vinegar that contains the mother has enzymes and minerals that the other (over-processed, over-heated, filtrated, ‘dead’) vinegars may not have, and is considered to be one of Mother
Nature’s most perfect foods. It is for this reason that it is recommended to use only ‘natural apple cider vinegar’ for the best health benefits. (The cheap distilled vinegar can be used for household cleaning, pickling, disinfecting, and other misc. purposes.)
ACV contains powerful enzymes and life giving minerals, such as: potassium (thought to be the most important mineral for good health), phosphorus, natural sodium, magnesium, iron, sulfur, copper, natural fluorine, silicon, trace minerals, pectin and other powerful nutrients. “Potassium is so essential to the life of every
living thing that without it there would be no life” ~ D.C. Jarvis, MD. It is believed that potassium is more effective used in conjunction with other associated minerals (all in the ACV) than the potassium alone.
Potassium’s main function is to promote cell, tissue and organism growth. It’s also necessary for replacing worn-out tissue and dead cells. Basically, it sustains life. There is no better source of potassium than vinegar – particularly apple cider vinegar. Vinegar makes potassium so effective because it presents the mineral in an acid medium, ‘and nature always combines potassium with an acid’. ACV can be used for a number of ailments which usually require antibiotics and other medications (that have numbers of side effects). Just to name a few, ACV has been known to:
Reduce sinus infections and sore throats Balance high cholesterol
Can be helpful in leveling blood sugar Protect against food poisoning
Fight allergies in both humans and animals Prevent muscle fatigue after exercise
Strengthen the immune system Increase metabolism
Alleviate symptoms of arthritis and gout
Prevent bladder stones and urinary tract infections Lower blood pressure
Remove symptoms of heartburn/acid reflux (GERD)
ACV also contains other natural acids that are important in fighting body toxins and inhibiting unfriendly bacteria growth. It has been shown to be an extremely valuable constituent in the body’s biochemical operations and an essential building block in the construction of many complex substances in the body. Acetic (Latin word for vinegar) acid, the principal constituent in vinegar, plays an important role in the release of energy from fats and carbohydrates and is what gives it the tart/sour taste. It is of primary importance in the body’s metabolism.
For daily maintenance it is suggested to use: 2 teaspoons of organic raw apple cider vinegar and 8 ounces of water. The average dosage is three times a day, but this formula is extremely flexible… experiment with your own ratio of ACV to water. You can also add honey for added benefits (another article) and taste. Sip, don’t chug it!
This author (and now friends I told) has had personal experience using ACV with honey for GERD. (It also works well for nausea.) It was a surprising pleasant side effect from drinking the ACV w/honey for all around health maintenance. After using the ACV mixture for a number of months, it dawned on me that I had not been taking my ‘heartburn/acid reflux medication’… and I hadn’t been having any problems…WOW! I continue to use ACV daily and I seldom have problems, but if necessary, I will consume another dose. It is believed best to start taking ACV and gradually decrease your medication to see how you feel. I usually mix 2 teaspoons of ACV with 1 teaspoon of natural honey into hot water and drink it like tea. It is perfectly fine to drink it warm, cool, or as an iced drink…your choice.
As usual, some claim there is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of ACV for health purposes, but its use continues to grow. Some have gone so far as to write printed material to scare people away from using it. While critics have dozens of reasons as to why it won’t work, none of the reasons involve the actual study of ACV in action. Today it is used with great enthusiasm by its supporters for a wide variety conditions.
As everyone is different, there will be different degrees of success in using ACV. Of course, you should not take these words as a substitute for professional medical advice.
*Note: FYI for Manzanillo residents…there is a store in the
Valle market (open Tuesday – Saturday) and also in the Santiago market (open only on Sunday) that carries the good ACV with the mother (brand is “La Tia Trini”).