Vinegar is made when you expose a beverage made with almost any carbohydrate such as; wine, fruits, molasses, grains, honey, or potatoes to the air. Bacteria in the air ferment the beverage, thus transforming it into vinegar, Latin for “sour wine.”
Apple Cider Vinegar has a long history as a preservative and medicine. Vinegar made from dates was used in Babillion as early as 5,000 BC. Vinegar residues have been found in ancient Egyptian urns traced to 3,000 B.C.
The Roman Empire ensured soldiers were kept hydrated by mixing vinegar and pungent herbs to create an energizing beverage that was an acidic, slightly tart drink called posca.
In ancient Greece, around 400 B.C., Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed apple cider vinegar mixed with honey for various ills, including coughs and colds.
Apple cider vinegar also has a strong history in Africa and China as a medicine. It contains vitamins C and B and acetic acid, which increases the body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods we eat and slows down the body’s rate of turning carbohydrates into sugar.
More recently, apple cider vinegar has been famous for cleansing detox diets, weight loss, controlling diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and more. If you follow the trend, apple cider vinegar is a modern-day cure-all. But is all the hype really true?
Here are some facts about apple cider vinegar backed by research:
Apple cider vinegar improves gut health.
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to have anti-yeast, antiviral, and anti-fungal benefits, which help support the microbiome for a healthy gut bacterial balance and improved immune health.
Apple cider vinegar alleviates heartburn and indigestion
Apple cider vinegar has an incredible ability to improve indigestion and heartburn when the root cause of the heartburn is hypochlorhydria (low production of stomach acids). Take a small amount of apple cider vinegar with your meals. Be cautious of apple cider vinegar if your stomach produces too much acid.
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antihistamine.
If you suffer from seasonal or year-round allergies, you’ll want to load up on ACV. Its natural antihistamine effects can help to lower symptoms of allergies and chronic immune problems, including wheezing and sneezing.
Apple cider vinegar can help keep your blood sugar balanced.
Research has shown that ACV helps lower fasting glucose and increase your muscle’s ability to take up sugar from your blood.
Apple cider vinegar reduces cravings.
Using apple cider vinegar for weight loss is a trend that I heard of when I was a teen (and let me tell you, that was a long time ago). So is it true or just a myth?
Consuming apple cider vinegar does not directly lead to weight loss. But because apple cider vinegar helps stabilize blood sugar, you won’t get that “hungry” feeling as often as you would on the blood sugar roller coaster. It also helps reduce cravings by healthily decreasing your appetite through increasing your feeling of satiety. Doing so might help reduce weight.
Many folks are familiar with using vinegar as a salad dressing, but until the distillation of alcohol, vinegar and wine were the common solvents used to extract plant medicine and preserve them.
Why use apple cider vinegar as an extract:
I use apple cider vinegar for people who cannot consume alcohol, whether they have a history of alcohol or have fatty liver disease. Also, for young kids, when you want to avoid alcohol.
Vinegar lends itself more readily to some plants than others. Creating plant-based medicine is a form of art. You will need to learn a little plant chemistry and what solvent works with each. Or you can skip right to the recipes that I provide in the Inner Circle.
Apple cider vinegar – a spring tonic
When you infuse apple cider vinegar with herbs found in your backyard during the spring (Remember my blog “The Wild Salad”?), you make a spring tonic. Spring tonics can help support your detox if you are using herbs like dandelion and violet. They can help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal allergies if you use herbs like fresh nettle or increase your mineral intake if you use horsetail.
In the Inner Circle this month, you will find a recorded workshop that will teach you:
- What herbs are best used in vinegar
- How to make an infused vinegar (including a sneak peek into my messy kitchen)
- An abundance of recipes for vinegar infused with herbs from base for seltzer to oxymel (that’s a type of syrup)