Traces of apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been discovered in Egyptian urns as far back as 3000 B.C. Babylonians used it as a condiment and preservative, while Julius Caesar's army used an apple cider vinegar tonic to stay healthy and fight off disease. The Greeks and Romans kept vinegar vessels for healing and flavoring. In Babylonians times apple cider vinegar was used an as antiseptic and a healing agent, and it is mentioned in the Bible. In 400 B.C. Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) knew about apple cider vinegar's antibiotic properties and recommended it to his patients for its healing properties. In Paris in the Middle Ages it was sold from barrels by street vendors as a body deodorant, healing tonic and delicious vinegar drink to keep the body healthy and ageless. Even Christopher Columbus on his voyage to discover America in 1492 had vinegar bottles for prevention of scurvy as did Captain James Cook on his ships to the South Seas. During the Civil War it was used to disinfect and heal the US soldiers' wounds. For centuries in Japan, the feared Samurai warriors drank it for power. The Chinese call vinegar a "friend" because they have used it for centuries to process herbal medicines. For thousands of years, apple cider vinegar has been used not only for health reasons, but as a cleansing agent to remove bacteria, germs, mold, odors, even stains and spots.
Apple cider vinegar has known anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Among the ailments it is said to cure are allergies, acne, high cholesterol, joint pain, weight loss, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, dandruff, chronic fatigue, candida, sore throat, gum infection, sinus infection, flu, acid reflux, leg cramps and ear infections. It is also used to help dissolve kidney stones, lower high blood pressure, and has been shown to help with type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.
Even though vinegar is acidic, ACV has an alkaline effect on our bodies when taken internally and this alkalinizing of our blood pH could play a large part in its reputed curative powers. Our bodies need a slightly alkaline pH balance to be healthy; however, the typical western diet creates an acidic pH in our bodies, which results in many health problems. Therefore, taking a tonic containing apple cider vinegar can help restore alkalinity, and therefore assist the body in getting rid of some of the health problems listed above.
ACV also reacts to some toxins in our bodies, converting them to less toxic substances. Much of the evidence to support the healing powers of ACV is lacking scientific corroboration and is just anecdotal - Internet sources, testimonies in Apple Cider Vinegar: Miracle Health System by Bragg and Bragg. With such widespread testimony, even with the lack of scientific evidence, there seems to be something of value here worth looking into!
ACV contains acetic acid, great for controlling insulin and helping to control blood sugar. It also contains malic acid which positively affects metabolism and energy production. Being made from apples, ACV is also rich in pectin, rich in soluable fiber for lowering cholesterol, as well as potassium, which promotes cell and tissue growth. ACV also has almost all of the minerals, vitamins and trace elements that our bodies need, which raises the question why ACV can't be proven scientifically to be beneficial for fighting diseases, etc.
Benefits of raw apple cider vinegar with "mother"
Beneficial ingredients in raw apple cider vinegar give it its power to make us feel better, look better and feel energized. Just look at some of the beneficial ingredients in raw apple cider vinegar:
- Potassium – helps to prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses as well as cell and tissue growth
- Pectin – rich in soluable fiber, helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol
- Malic Acid – gives ACV the properties of being anti-viral, anti-bacterial & anti-fungal; positively affects metabolism and energy production
- Calcium – helps create strong bones and teeth
- Ash – gives ACV its alkaline property which aids the body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state
- Acetic Acid – slows the digestion of starch which can lower the rise in glucose which commonly occurs after meals
- 1 tablespoon of raw ACV mixed in 4 ounces of purified water after a meal has been used as a natural remedy for heartburn and as a replacement for toxic heartburn medications (although it is usually not a good idea to dilute gastric juices after eating with liquids as digesting is greatly disturbed)
- may help improve bowel irregularity, thereby removing toxins from the body at a faster rate
- helps clear up skin conditions and blemishes giving a smoother texture and complexion
- may also help with joint pain and stiffness.
- helps to break down fats so the body can use them rather than store them - for this reason, ACV is included in many diets
- helps reduce levels of glucose, as published by Arizona State University in a preliminary study in the Diabetes Care journal
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In 2007 a study, published in Diabetes Care, found that Type II diabetes patients who consumed two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime showed favorable changes in blood sugar levels the following morning.
The biologically active constituent of vinegar is acetic acid, also the source of the liquid’s lip-puckering pungency. Nobumasa Ogawa, Ph.D., of Tokyo University in Tokyo, discovered that the acetic acid inhibits the activity of several carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, including amylase, sucrase, maltase, and lactase. As a result, when vinegar is present in the intestines, some sugars and starches temporarily pass through without being digested, so they have less of an impact on blood sugar.
[This is very insightful as to WHY the apple cider vinegar helps lower blood sugar levels. For me, according to blood tests I have very low amylase production, that is the ability to digest carbohydrate starches, and so I wonder about the value of ACV for me because the outcome might be that I have even lower digestion rate increasing my malabsorption problem as shown by many lines on my fingernails.]
2. Weight Loss
A study published in 2009 found that obese people who consumed acetic acid (found in apple cider vinegar) daily for 12 weeks experienced significant decreases in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides.
Most apple cider vinegar weight loss home remedies, like the one investigated in Vermont by Dr D. C. Jarvis, M.D., call for the taking of one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before each meal. Patricia Bragg recommends adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of raw honey to this mixture.
Whichever way you take it, don’t expect a rapid weight loss, the weight will be lost gradually, as it should be to allow the body’s fat cells to adjust to their new size.
3. Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
High blood pressure can lead to major health problems including heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, congestive heart failure and kidney damage. A normal blood pressure reading is considered to be 120/80. If yours is higher, consider apple cider vinegar as a normalizing agent.
Studies conducted on rats found that acetic acid may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
4. Alkaline-Acid Balance
Take only raw unfiltered ACV with the "mother"
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar will vary depending on the ingredients and process used in making it. Commercial production can use wood shavings, and other vinegars as the base (speeding fermentation), but changing the makeup of the end product. Therefore, the apple cider vinegar with its natural acetic acid, malic acid, pectin and potassium and which is made from organic apples, fermented using traditional methods (raw/unpasteurized and unfiltered) is supportive and balancing to the human body.
Clear vinegar has none of the benefits of raw organic apple cider vinegar. Through its processing and distilling, it’s been stripped of everything beneficial and can be detrimental to one's health due to the fact that it is dead instead of alive. Only raw organic apple cider vinegar has the “mother of vinegar” that makes the vinegar so beneficial. The “mother” is made up living nutrients and bacteria. You can actually see it settled in the bottom of the bottle like sediment.
In March and April, for three weeks, I went for a serious raw food and therapy detox at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. Day 1 I learned DO NOT TAKE ANY VINEGAR, NOT EVEN THE RAW ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!!! IT HAS BEEN FERMENTED AND WILL FEED CANDIDA!!! And so I have my answer, the one I suspected all along.