Anyone who’s got a finger on the pulse of holistic healing has likely heard some claims about the power of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to heal and renew. As it turns out, many anecdotal claims are partially backed up by scientific studies. But remember that ACV is not a magic cure-all. True healing requires one to get to the root cause of disease and correct the imbalance at that level.
Nonetheless, ACV has been found helpful for allergies, sinus problems, acne, getting cholesterol under control, easing flu symptoms, chronic fatigue, candida infection, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, and gout.
Anecdotal evidence shows daily doses of ACV in water can lower high blood pressure in a matter of weeks. Apple cider vinegar also has strong anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, which would help to explain its effectiveness with sore throats, sinus infections, contact dermatitis and even candida infection.
Although many are sucked in by the myth that ACV “burns fat”, this is not actually the case. ACV is a healthy concentrated fermented liquid that can be used as a general health tonic. In some, taking a dose of live enzymes, beneficial bacteria, minerals and antioxidants (see below) may lead to weight loss, but ACV is not able to magically burn fat. However, its health benefits are still nothing short of miraculous.
Several studies have shown ACV to have blood sugar balancing qualities. This could lower the overall glycemic index of a meal, smoothing out blood sugar spikes and would be quite beneficial for diabetics. It has also been found to increase satiety if taken before meals, possibly curbing overeating. And, much like lemons, while acidic on the palette ACV has an alkalizing effect on the body, likely due to mineral content. This alkalizing effect would explain its helpfulness in treating gout and arthritis.
Some of the healing properties may also be due to the antioxidant profile of apple cider vinegar. Scientists in Normandy have been experimenting with cider apple extracts for their high antioxidant value, one they suspect would be ideal for adding to health beverages. It could be just these antioxidants that are providing so many health benefits for people using ACV by reducing free radical damage. This could definitely explain its cholesterol lowering abilities as high cholesterol is theorized to be caused by a lack of antioxidants in the bloodstream like vitamin C.
The Earth Clinic recommends for daily maintenance: “2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 16 ounces of water that you’ll sip throughout the day[…]. You will be keeping your pH in a constant, alkalized state by sipping this highly diluted dosage. Usually 1-2 tall glasses of the concoction are all you’ll need each day.” This method could have you easily adding ACV to your daily water consumption to reap health benefits.
For acute conditions Earth Clinic recommends a slightly stronger concoction – 2 tbsp. per 8 oz of water. This may be a little strong for some people, so you may have to work up to this dosage. They also recommend trying a little raw honey mixed in, to take the edge off. However, for ideal healing it would be taken without honey.
Make sure you’re getting a raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the “mother” intact. The mother refers to the cloudy solid mass found in the bottom of the bottle that indicates the beneficial bacteria and enzymes are all present. It’s a byproduct of fermentation, so seeing it in the bottle is a good sign that the concoction is still “live”. When you get to the bottom of the bottle you can strain out any solids, but they are harmless if consumed.
Question: My Doctor has always advised me to eat more fruit. So I started drinking Apple Cider. Since Vinegar is normally for pickles, I leave it out of my cider, and take it with my pickles. Am I getting the same effect?
Answer: You’re definitely not getting the same effects. Any old vinegar is not the same thing as ACV. Apple cider vinegar is a fermented product with live bacteria, enzymes, vitamins and minerals which alkalizes the body when consumed. White vinegar is a completely dead product which acidifies after consumption. Both commercially produced pickles and cider are pasteurized, killing any of the beneficial live ingredients. The two options are really not even close to the same thing, health-wise.