Monday, September 30, 2013

Apple Cider Vinegar

My mom has told me for years that Apple Cider Vinegar is nature’s cure all. She has shared stories about the early years of her marriage to my Dad when they were young hippie-ish people living in the mountains and apple cider vinegar was her go-to for most ailments. She said she’d wash her hair in it to make it clean and shiny, that it rids your scalp of dandruff. She said she’d drink it everyday to clean her body of alkaline properties which tends towards making you sick. She joked that Dad told her that her very skin was beginning to smell like apple cider vinegar.
Today, the medicine of apple cider vinegar has not changed much. It is still known for curing dandruff and making hair healthy and clean. It can be applied to cotton balls and pressed to warts under a band-aid. In two weeks the wart will be gone for good. It is a good cure for a post-nasal sore throat if you gargle with it. You watch your mucus wash down the drain, the cider colors it brown and seems to grab it from your throat.

I drink it as a tincture when I am ill and find that I heal in half the time when I do it twice a day. Apple cider vinegar perhaps could bring truth to that old wives tale “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Perhaps, that old wife meant to say, “A table spoon of apple cider vinegar a day…”

You can look up all sorts of information about the values of apple cider vinegar online or in books. One book in particular, “Folk Medicine:A New England almanac of natural health care from a noted Vermont countrydoctor” written by D.C Jarvis, M.D. gives excellent evidence for the chemistry behind apple cider vinegar’s success in healing both people and animals. Folk Medicine was given to me by my grandmother who bought a copy for everyone in the family so that these valued traditions could continue to be used in our generation and passed down.

As Dr. Jarvis explains in his book, that after conducting two years of experimental research on the effects of alkalinity vs. acidity in the body, that it has been proven that when the liquids in ones body turn alkaline (which is ultimately a thickening of the liquids) the body is about to become sick. He tested urine specifically, but also noted that it is obvious that when the urine thickens so do all the bodily fluids and blood is harder for the heart to pump when it is thicker. Alkaline fluids in the body result in a multitude of health problems. This is all to say that he has cured many patients and prevented many illnesses by prescribing 1-2 table spoons of apple cider vinegar in water to be drunk either before or during a meal. He also suggests adding honey to the mixture. Honey is a whole other can of worms I’d like to open up with you soon. Today, there is  debate about alkalinity and acidity. Modern thinkers are in agreement that alkaline urine is a good thing while doctors like Jarvis looked to their research and experience to say that it is not. Consider looking into it on your own as you consider apple cider vinegar as a dietary option.

When I was sick recently, I noted that my symptoms were not changing much with rest, fluids, and supplements that I was taking. It was not until I was looking for a natural option for a sore throat cure that I stumbled upon this familiar passage about apple cider vinegar. For a week, and it only took two days for me to feel almost fully recovered, I drank this mixture:

1 Cup Water

½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's is a great brand)

1 Table soon of dried rubbed sage

2 cloves of diced garlic (fresh or dried)

I boiled all of these items together for about 5 minutes. Then I let it cool and drank it when I woke up in the morning and before I went to sleep. Not only did I feel much better and my cough and sore throat went away, my skin cleared up and became glowy.

This being said, Dr. Jarvis suggests drinking a couple table spoons of apple cider vinegar in water with a meal two times a day to prevent illness and maintain tip top health. After my experience two weeks ago, I believe he is right.

Keep in mind that apple cider vinegar also has a way of depleting your iodine levels if you drink it too often. Jarvis reminds us all that in nature, less is more. You truly must maintain a balance. Just because it is a good thing in very small doses does not mean that if you take a lot of it that you'll be extra healthy. You won't be. Vinegar is an acid and too much acid can cause health problems that shouldn't be ignored either. It is important to do your own research and to monitor your body.

I tend to use it when I feel something coming on. I will put a little bit in water and drink it ward off colds and urinary tract infections. I’ve also read that it can be applied topically to fungal infections, ring worm and yeast infections.

There is so much more that this magical vinegar can do and I urge you to do some of your own research. In the mean time, sip your way to good health!