Apple Cider Vinegar for Colds, Acid Reflux, Diabetes, and More

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is to me an under-appreciated wellness-booster in American households. Studies have yet to be conducted to prove ACV’s effectiveness however many people for hundreds, if not thousands of years, have found numerous benefits from internal consumption of apple cider vinegar.* In addition, good quality ACV is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. [1]

apples, vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from apples that are crushed and allowed to ferment. The best kind to use in the remedies outlined herein is organic unfiltered, unpasteurized ACV such as Bragg brand.* This type of ACV is a bit cloudy and may have some things floating in it. These are good bacteria and safe to consume, not unlike the particles you will find in kombucha, a fermented tea beverage now widely available in stores throughout the country.

Here are 3 ways a shot or two of apple cider vinegar a day can benefit your health:

1. AVC can help dry internal damp conditions: excess mucous, Candida, fungus, some fibroids or tumors. These ailments fall within the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) category of damp presentations. The theory is that an excess of fluids are not properly being released or cleared from your body leaving your body vulnerable to viral, bacterial, or fungal overgrowths as well as masses that are fueled by fluids. ACV’s bitterness is drying and the good bacteria that grow as a result of its fermentation process can help fight off the bad guys. [2]

2. AVC acts as an antacid for mild acid reflux. This may sound counterintuitive because apple cider vinegar is so acidic but some believe it to have alkalizing (meaning antacid) effects on the body and it can help as part of a larger regimen for addressing occasional, mild cases of acid reflux as well as some cases of chronix reflux, or GERD. The reason for this has not been proven but I can say from firsthand experience that I was able to kick my antacids to the curb as a result of my daily ACV shot. (Check out RefluxMD for their theories.) [3] This is particularly noteworthy for women because chemically produced antacids, while often helpful and sometimes irreplaceable can have long-term side effects including our ability to absorb important nutrients and they can lead to more serious conditions such as kidney stones. [4]

3. ACV regulates blood sugar and supports some diabetes treatments. This is an application for ACV that has been scientifically studied and proved that ACV effectively prevents some starches from entering the bloodstream thus regulating blood sugar. A secondary outcome of these studies shows the ways that ACV consumed prior to meals leads to weight loss. [5]

The dosage and recipe for each of the ailments is essentially the same: 1 tsp. to 1 tablespoon of ACV in 6 to 10oz of room temperature water, before each meal, 1 to 2 times/day. If you are wary of the sour taste, I strongly recommend you start with one teaspoon in 10 oz of water and see how your body reacts. Immediately chasing it with half a teaspoon of raw honey can help or you can stir the honey into your drink. If you’re not into the shot, try using ACV in a salad dressing or within another raw recipe that contains several ingredients. As always, feel free to be in touch with questions or comments or to share your favorite ACV recipe. Good luck!

*A few disclaimers:

  • Always check with your doctor before beginning treatment or remedies especially if you have chronic or acute issues and receive a diagnosis.
  • Do not take ACV straight as it can damage the esophagus. Always dilute in another non-acidic liquid such as water.
  • AVC is not advised for people who are generally frail or weak as it has a detoxing effect.
  • Some health practitioners believe pregnant women should only consume pasteurized apple cider vinegar.
  • ACV is not meant for daily consumption for lengthy periods of time as it is quite powerful and can lead to dependency. Symptoms may return when you stop regularly consuming ACV. Paul Pitchford, a nutrition expert and TCM practitioner, rather suggests dietary changes as a more moderate and sustainable method for maintaining long-term health. [6]

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[1]  At time of publication in January 2015, a 32 oz bottle that can last for several months is available online for $4.69.

[2]  Paul Pitchford. Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, 3rd edition. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2002, p. 205.; “Apple Cider Vinegar Cure?” on Candida-Cure-Recipes.com.

[3]  “Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux” on RefluxMD.com.

[4]  “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease In-depth Report.” on TheNewYorkTimes.com.

[5] Carol S. Johnston, PHD, Cindy M. Kim, MS and Amanda J. Buller, MS. “Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. January 2004, vol. 27 no. 1, pp. 281-282; Andrea M. White, PHD and Carol S. Johnston, PHD. “Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. November 2007, vol. 30, no. 11, pp. 2814-2815.

[6] Pitchford pp. 108, 205, 314.

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