By Brenda Skidmore - 2007-11-09
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV has been around for a long time yet many doctors do not prescribe it for ailments that it is perfectly capable of treating.
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This wonder food is said to help with weight loss, acne, acid reflux, cholesterol, constipation and heartburn among others.
Apple cider vinegar, also called just cider vinegar, is produced from cider or apple must (crushed and aged apples). The unfiltered product is a kind of brownish to yellow colour, the unfiltered cider contains the "mother of vinegar", this is the part that has the most health benefits.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a natural bacteria fighter that contains minerals and trace elements such as magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulphur, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine.
This wonder food is said to help with weight loss, acne, acid reflux, cholesterol, constipation and heartburn among others. it is also said to work wonders for your overall health and can even help fight diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer, memory problems and aging.
Apple cider vinegar will also act as a blood thinner which aids in the prevention of high blood pressure (blood pressure chart).
Vinegar has been used to cure and prevent a variety of ailments for centuries. As early as the time of Hippocrates, considered by many to be the father of medicine, vinegar was used to treat patients.
During the Civil War, it was used as an antiseptic. What makes it so special and why should you use it?
Apples are one of the most nutritious, health-giving foods available, containing a host of vitamins and minerals like pectin, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, phosphorous and potassium in addition to enzymes and amino acids. Apples are the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar detoxifies and purifies various organs in the body. As a purifier, it breaks down fatty, mucous and phlegm deposits within the body. By breaking down these substances, it improves the health and function of organs such as the kidneys, bladder, and liver.
It oxidizes the blood, reducing the risk of high blood pressure, and neutralizes any toxic substance or harmful bacteria that enters the body by ingesting certain foods. Apple cider vinegar promotes healthy digestion, assimilation and elimination.
Research has proven that apple cider vinegar can assist in strengthening the heart, stabilizing blood sugar and reducing the risk of certain cancers. It flushes harmful toxins from your body and assists in weight control.
Try drinking two to six teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with water every day. It can also be used in cooking or sprinkled on salads, vegetables, etc. You can drink it as a hot or cold beverage and sweeten it with honey.
You might wonder, if Apple Cider Vinegar is so great, why hasn't your doctor told you about it?
I think the simple reason might be that medical doctors are more apt to prescribe medicines than natural remedies.
Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money getting their medicines and pills approved and they certainly wouldn't want you using the inexpensive, unpatentable alternative of ACV instead of buying their expensive cures and treatments.
One big problems today that many people suffer from is acid reflux. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies have come up with a plethora of pills to treat this ailment. But before you take pills that may be harmful to you, you might want to consider treating your acid reflux or other stomach ailments with apple cider vinegar.
You see, your stomach needs acid to digest food and when you have digestive problems like acid reflux or heartburn it's not because you have too much acid it's because there is too little. Most medications you would take for these are antacids which diminish the amount of acid in your stomach but this may not be what you need. These antacids may treat the symptoms but they will not address the cause and therefore, will never cure your problem.
Apple cider vinegar will mimic the acid level of your stomach and help you digest food properly which can help to treat that burning sensation. In addition, you might also consider taking digestive enzymes that will help your stomach digest the food.
If you suffer from acid reflux, heartburn or nausea, try taking one tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar prior to each meal. You may see your symptoms go away in as little as three days. However, you'll want to continue this practice for three to nine months and you may see the problem disappear altogether.
You don't want to use just any kind of ACV, though. What you need is organic apple cider vinegar that still has the enzymes in it (called the "mother"). This is where the healing properties are. The "mother" will show up inside the bottle as stringy globs floating around. To get the most out of your vinegar, shake it up each time you take a swig so that the mother can be dispersed throughout.
What's that you say? It tastes terrible?
Certainly most people do not take to the taste of ACV right away but it can be somewhat of an acquired taste and I know many people (including myself) that slug down a tablespoonful of the stuff all by itself. If you can't stomach this, space however, there are some things you can do to make it a little bit more palatable.
Apple cider vinegar can be taken in many various ways including in salad dressings, making mayonnaise, or sprinkled on chips and fries. It also can be sweetened with natural honey to make it taste better, a method often used in India where physicians will often prescribe apple cider vinegar with Gotu Kola (a herb) to help in the revitalizing of the skin.
You might try making a tea out of your Apple cider vinegar by heating a couple of water and then adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to that.
While it's best to take ACV before each meal, you can also take it anytime your stomach feels a little upset and it will have immediately curative effects. Some people swear by it, and drink it for everything including the onset of cold and flu. Apple Cider Vinegar is also a cure for bad breath or halitosis due to its acidity.
An additional benefit is that many people who have taken apple cider vinegar before each meal have seen a moderate weight loss as well. Some theories for the weight loss benefits of apple cider vinegar suggest that ACV may help to speed up the bodies metabolism.
Medicinal uses of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Honestly, natural apple cider vinegar is one of nature's own, true miracle health elixirs. The long history of its use demonstrates, rather clearly, that using vinegar was once highly revered as a practical medical application long before Johnny Appleseed graced North America by planting apple trees.
The healing powers of vinegar has been traced back as far as 3000 BC, Hippocrates, Babylonia, and to 15th century England as a means to ward off dangerous and infectious diseases, to keep one's general health fit and strong, and used as a simple antiseptic/disinfectant.
When deciding to use ACV for medicinal purposes, be sure to select only a raw, non-distilled vinegar. You may be able to find this type of vinegar in your regular grocery store. But more likely than not, you will probably need to look for it at a local health food store.
Clear distilled vinegar is easy to find in any food store and is relatively inexpensive. This type of vinegar is great for regular household cleaning chores, but it is not so wonderful for your internal health. Non-distilled vinegars are definitely going to be more expensive and nutritionally potent than the distilled varieties, but isn't your health worth the price difference? Plus, you are going to have the satisfaction of knowing that you have chosen the right mixture that will work hard to enhance your health.
Most commercial brands (whether white or brown) have been pasteurized, filtered, and refined or distilled in order to make the final product look more attractive to please the consumer. The manufacturers are only giving the consumer what they apparently seem to want. Unfortunately, unbeknown to the average consumer, this extra processing actually destroys much of the natural health restorative properties of the end product.
Look for ACVs that have been cold pressed and made from whole, organically grown apples, with no added chemical preservatives, and in which the 'mother' of vinegar liquid has been retained. This 'mother' substance, as it is lovingly known, is the gelatinous liqueur that is naturally formed during the final fermentation process.
This milky, cloudy, and stringy looking stuff at the bottom of the container is what contains the healthiest part of the mixture. It also lets you know that the important vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and naturally occurring good bacteria have not been compromised due to over processing, filtration, or excessive heating. Before consuming, shake the the bottle gently to thoroughly distribute all of the nutrients, pour, and serve.
An energy boosting way to drink ACV, without it taking your breath away, is to mix about 2 teaspoons with an equal amount of raw honey in a small glass of warm water. Stir to dissolve the honey and drink one to three times a day. You can sip on this drink during a meal for extra digestive power, or you can drink this ahead of a meal. Refrain from drinking to much water or any other beverage during your meal, and for up to an hour afterward. Give your gastric stomach juices enough time to fully break down the food you just ate, on its own, without weakening their effects with added liquids.
Why use apple cider vinegar?
Because, when it is used medicinally it helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins, has wonderful disinfecting properties as a natural bad germ fighter, and is a very biodegradable substance that does not pollute the environment.
With regular and continued use, this wonderful liquid helps restore and balance the body's pH, taking it from acidic to neutral in a short amount of time. Normally, it would be hard to believe that such an acidic substance could normalize, or lower our pH so easily. As far as I know, this only applies to vinegar, as our digestive system will naturally convert it to an alkaline based substance.
An acidic internal system is directly caused from eating excessive amounts of meat, grains, and sugar by eating and drinking too many processed foods and beverages. This will provide an invitation, internally, for unwanted illness or disease to set up house. Otherwise, a neutral or more alkaline system will promote an enhanced emotional and physical health state.
Raw, ACV contains over 40 different naturally occurring substances from vitamins and minerals, to enzymes and beneficial bacteria. It has been used for generations to treat a variety of different human health conditions such as,
high blood pressure
all types of skin problems
chronic fatigue and insomnia
heartburn and other digestive abnormalities
maintaining normal body weight
This is not exhaustive list, by far, of common health maladies that ACV has been known to eliminate. As with any new diet addition, your expectations may be too high in the healing effects of vinegar. Keep in mind that it is not to be considered a panacea for all ill health evils.
Although many individuals have achieved a more improved physical state by using vinegar, without modifying their daily dietary habits, serious diet modifications need to be considered in some hard-core cases. Doing so would further enhance a partial response when combined with a healthier diet.
This is, especially, a key factor when using vinegar for serious weight loss. You simply must reduce or eliminate your consumption of over processed foods, eat more raw plant foods, eat smaller meals more often, and step up your effort in getting regular and moderate physical exertion. These strategies combined with ACV will take you a long way in seeing the results you are hoping for, and quicker. It is possible to lose up to one to three pounds a week.
Remember too...that diet modifications include increasing daily liquid intake. Apple cider vinegar works best when adequate liquids are supplied to help carry out the toxins we ingest and are exposed to every day.
Not just any liquids, but read this to mean WATER exclusively. Start reducing the amounts of other beverages you may be drinking instead, such as soft drinks, coffee, tea, fruit juices, and alcohol. Moderation, in occasionally consuming these, is absolutely crucial in maintaining a healthy body weight (even if your underweight), or if you are trying to lose weight.
When used as a flavour seasoning, or drinking as a healthy tonic, ACV could have your current health issue becoming a thing of the past. As with any type of natural or conventional health treatment, be realistic. Expect a reasonable amount of time for vinegar to take affect. This may be only a few days, a week, or it could be longer. If you are really committed to giving it a real chance, you may look forward to a much different health reality sooner than you think.
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Brenda Skidmore has spent over the last five years actively researching natural health care alternatives. She can attest to the many positive results natural practical cures and preventive strategies bring to human health. Along with the many medical professionals whose public works she has studied, it is her sincere desire to empower others by sharing this important information.