Apple cider vinegar has been used for over 4000 years as a natural homeopathic remedy. It is a natural product of fermented apple juice first from juice to hard apple cider and then to vinegar. The vinegar still contains all the wonderful nutrients from apples including Vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber and polyphenols as well as additional enzymes which are a beneficial byproduct of the fermentation process.
Menopausal women have used apple cider vinegar to assist in alleviating hot flashes and night sweats. By drinking apple cider vinegar and water in the morning, it is thought to aid in the flushing of toxins from the body, decreasing the body’s needs to increase temperature and release the toxins through sweat.
Heartburn is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter opens up and hydrochloric acid (HCL) from the stomach splashes onto the esophagus creating a burning sensation. Apple cider vinegar is said to help with this in two ways. First, since apple cider vinegar is alkaline to the body, it acts as an antacid and can aid in neutralizing the stomach acid in the body. The other theory is that people who have heartburn often have a decreased amount of hydrochloric acid in their stomach. The decrease in acid causes the flap that normally keeps the stomach closed when food is digesting does not close because it does not believe it needs to due to the lack of HCL in the stomach. This then leaves the esophagus vulnerable.
Although it is not confirmed through research, scientists believe that apple cider vinegar aids with weight loss by being an appetite suppressant, increasing metabolic rate, reducing water retention within the body, and when taken with meals, aids in the digestion process allowing more nutrients to be absorbed from the food eaten. According to a study by Dr. Jarvis, people taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at each meal lost an average of 15 pounds per year.
Science have only done a few studies on apple cider vinegar and its benefits, but the ones that have been done have shown the following results.
In 2007, apple cider vinegar was shown to aid diabetics with decreasing glucose levels by 4-6%.
A study on rats found that apple cider vinegar lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels over a 6 week study.
There have been several studies done on cancer and apple cider vinegar that resulted in a decrease growth in the cancer rate.
Apple cider vinegar should be made from the double fermentation of whole apples should be used, and it should not be distilled, filtered or pasteurized as these extra processing steps destroy many of the vitamins, nutrients and fermentation products that are thought to be important elements in apple cider vinegar’s health benefits
More information can be found by reading Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health by D. C. Jarvis.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits.com “Apple Cider Vinegar” 2012. http://www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.com/hot-flashes.html
WebMD. “Apple Cider Vinegar. 2012. http://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar