by Jessica Montana, LAc. The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are almost humorous in their breadth. Apple cider vinegar is known to help everything from supporting weight loss, to relieving urinary tract infections, and fighting mold and odors of all sorts. It alkalizes the body, clears the skin, and improves immunity and general well-being. The list of common ailments that can be improved by consuming this product are truly remarkable. It is a natural appetite suppressant and works well in a wide variety of recipes from dressings to smoothies, and superfood mocktails to condiments.
From the inside out, apple cider vinegar can pretty much do anything. People with serious conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol, and digestive complaints should consider adding this superfood to their typical food intake. Apple cider vinegar is also good for the skin and hair. Some people report using apple cider vinegar for warts, and as a topical for cleansing acne (50/50 ratio with diluted water). A few drops in your pet’s water or on your pet’s skin helps to greatly repel fleas and other skin conditions. Around the house, mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water and use this concoction to disinfect microwaves, bathroom tiles, kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses, and mirrors.
Studies highlight the benefits of apple cider vinegar in lowering blood glucose and improving cholesterol profiles. The acetic acid found in apple cider lowers the absorption of carbohydrates. A study done by the Department of Nutrition in 2008 on male rats induced with diabetes and then given apple cider vinegar improved the serum lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats by decreasing serum triglycerides and LDL-c, and increasing serum HDL-c. People can bring their bodies back into balance using apple cider vinegar.
Similarly, the American Diabetes Association did a study in 2004 on 29 people. They were split into three groups. Each took vinegar before meals, which resulted in significantly increased insulin production. All three groups, both diabetic and non diabetic, had better glucose readings than the placebo and some individuals even cut their blood glucose levels by nearly half. As an added bonus, it was discovered during a follow up study that many participants had moderate weight loss.
If that weren’t enough of a reason to buy it by the gallon, apple cider vinegar also acts as an anti-tumor agent. The constituent neutral medium sized alpha-glycan (NMalphaG) has been shown to have a favorable response against experimental mouse tumors.
When taken before meals, apple cider vinegar is a natural way to alleviate heartburn symptoms. For the ladies, use it and watch those night sweats and hot flashes disappear! It has also been known to help internally and externally with gout. High in potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon, and fluorine, apple cider vinegar has the amazing potential to improve overall health.
With Vitamin C, E, A, B1, B2, B6, provitamin beta-carotene, and vitamin P, this powerful antioxidant fights free radicals in the body, correcting symptoms of asthma, colds, cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. Eastern Medicine recognizes it for its ability to help with depression and pain because it detoxes the liver and helps smooth the flow of qi throughout the entire body.
Apple cider vinegar is a completely natural product. First apple juice is fermented to hard apple cider, then fermented a second time turning it to vinegar. During this process the product retains all of its natural goodness plus it is fortified with extra acids and enzymes from the fermentation process. The “Mother of Vinegar” is a natural gelatinous substance formed during the last fermentation step. By integrating this product into our diet we automatically decrease the consumption of unnatural chemicals in our lives.
It has also been reported that a daily dose of apple cider vinegar in water can bring high blood pressure under control in two weeks because the potassium content benefits the heart and vessels, making the blood thinner and preventing stroke.
Skeptics can test the brilliant benefits of apple cider vinegar by buying pH strips from a local grocery store, garden nursery, or pool supply store and test the urine before and after a regimen involving apple cider vinegar. The body will become more alkalized and this will strengthen the immune system against allergies, and bacterial and viral infections.
Some people absolutely love the tartness and the smell; others have a very different reaction and can be put off by it. Regardless of the reaction, there is no denying the advantages of apple cider vinegar, and there are ways to make it palatable, and even (deep sigh of relief, or possibly disbelief) delicious.
I leave you with one of my favorite recipes, an all-over treat that will titillate your tastebuds and alkalize your beautiful body.
1-3 shots of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon or to taste of maple syrup or honey
the juice of ½ to 1 lemon or lime (optional)
Jessica Montana, L.Ac. is the founder of Green Medicine Maui, located in the Hawaiian Islands. She takes a solution oriented approach to restoring homeostasis and uses a combination of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Massage, Emotional Release, and Nutritional Counseling to meet the needs of her clients. You can visit Green Medicine Maui at: www.greenmedicinemaui.com