Apple Cider Vinegar – Nature’s Medicine
Apple cider vinegar is a common household staple. Nearly everyone has a bottle of vinegar stashed away somewhere in the home because of its multipurpose function as both a tasty topping, as well as a powerful cleaning tool. However, the benefits of apple cider vinegar do not stop at the kitchen counter. Believe it or not, vinegar has been used to help improve human health for thousands of years. Even the father of medicine himself, Hippocrates, commonly prescribed apple cider vinegar to the ill to help soothe sore throats, as well as to alleviate the symptoms of the common cough or cold. However, apple cider vinegar as a medicine goes much further back than ancient Greece. History tells us that even the Babylonians of 5,000 BC have been found to have used vinegar to make wine, as a pickling agent, and also to preserve food, creating a more reliable food source during small harvests and droughts.
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are wide spread and extraordinary. Studies in Japan have suggested that apple cider vinegar can be helpful in reducing weight in the obese. According to WebMD, “In the study, 175 obese but healthy people took either vinegar or water daily for 12 weeks. Their diets were similar. They kept food journals. At the end of the study, those who used vinegar had lost slightly more weight. On average, the vinegar group lost 1-2 pounds over the 3-month period.”
Apple cider vinegar has also been proven to help individuals with diabetes control their blood sugar levels because of its anti-glycemic qualities. Carol Johnston, PhD, director of Arizona State University’s nutrition program who has been studying vinegar for over ten years, tells us that, “Apple cider vinegar’s anti-glycemic effect is very well documented. It doesn’t block the starch 100%, but it definitely prevents at least some of that starch from being digested and raising your blood sugar.”
Not only is apple cider vinegar great for humans, but it is also extremely helpful for people with pets, as it can be used to help cure upper respiratory infections in cats, as well as reduce the incidence of flea infestations in all pets. For cats with respiratory infections or runny noses, dip a cotton ball in some apple cider vinegar and swab the liquid around the feline’s neckline, saturating the fur. Not only does the strong acidity of the vinegar help to create fluid movement through the nostrils, quickly draining the cat of the problem, but vinegar’s antibacterial qualities help to kill any germs or bacteria the cat may have, often clearing up the infection in 24 hours or less. A pet owner from Baltimore elaborates on this subject by saying, “By Wednesday, I’d managed to remove all the blockage and keep it clear, but [my cat]wasn’t eating at all. The antibiotics had nauseated him, and at one point, he threw up what looked like nothing more than nasal drainage. I had a meeting I had to go that night, and I put more apple cider vinegar on his paws and neck before I left. I was gone for about five hours, and I came home to a completely different cat than the one I left.”