Folk Remedy: Apple Cider Vinegar

Since the 1950’s, apple cider vinegar has been a well-known folk remedy. Although there are few studies to prove many claimed benefits of using apple cider vinegar as a supplement there are several uses that have been proven.

Some anecdotal uses for apple cider vinegar include:

  • Treat congestion- apple cider vinegar is thought to help thin mucus and help with sinus drainage.
  • Treat seasonal allergies – In addition to thinning mucus, ACV has also been said be able to stop or slow a histamine response if taken immediately after exposure to the allergen.
  • Treat digestive issues – apple cider vinegar has high pectin content that helps treat diarrhea by forming bulk fibrous matter. The pectin also forms a protective coat for soothing the colon lining and intestinal spasms.
  • Prevent indigestion – Sip before eating, especially if you to consume foods that cause indigestion
  • Soothe a sore throat – When you feel the prickle of a sore throat, take some apple cider vinegar to help head off the infection at the pass since it appears that most germs can’t survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates.
  • Relieve arthritis pain – The potassium in apple cider vinegar is thought to work to prevent calcium build-up in the joints, which is linked to joint stiffness.

Uses for apple cider vinegar supported by scientific studies:

  • Control blood sugar levels/Diabetes – apple cider vinegar has anti-glycemic effects that help to improve insulin sensitivity, which is essential to maintain the sugar levels of blood. A study (source) found that taking vinegar before meals increased insulin sensitivity and significantly reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that occurred after meals
  • High cholesterol – A 2006 study indicated that vinegar could lower cholesterol. The study was done in rats, so it’s too early to know how it might work in people.
  • Cancer – A few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may have the ability to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Observational studies of people have been unclear; one found that drinking vinegar was associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer while another associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Type of apple cider vinegar to use:

  • apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting (raw) apple juice, making apple cider, then again with acid-forming bacteria to create vinegar.
  • It is thought that to get the benefits of apple cider vinegar you need to consume raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains the mother (a natural sediment with pectin) trace minerals, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, which will make it appear cloudy. You’ll see the mother floating at the bottom of the bottle, and yes, it’s good for you and you can drink it.

Words of caution:

  • Always dilute apple cider vinegar before consuming because it is very acidic and can burn the tissues in your mouth and throat.
  • A common “recipe” seems to be 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar to 8 oz water, sweetened with honey or stevia to taste.
  • Consult your physician before using apple cider vinegar to treat any medical conditions.

Have you used apple cider vinegar to treat health conditions?

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