If you’ve been hanging out with His Girl Friday for a while then you will probably have picked up on my affinity for all things natural and healthy (except for the french fries, coffee and pizza, but hey, I’m human).
The problem with having an interest in natural wellness and living, though, means you sometimes are willing to try things that sound a little crazy.
I get a lot of sinus infections each year. I mean, a lot. I’m plagued by the stupid things, and my doctor tells me they are caused by allergies. I’ve tried all the natural remedies to no avail, and about every 3-4 months I end up back at the doctor, getting my quarterly script for an antibiotic.
It’s frustrating, doesn’t feel particularly well, and I strongly dislike being on so many antibiotics each year. But what do you do?
Well, if you are me, you start taking shots of apple cider vinegar each morning!
It is definitely a shock to the system, and isn’t the most palatable (and I like vinegary things!), but I’m hoping the health benefits outweigh the short term ick factor. Here is what I’ve learned about apple cider vinegar:
- It’s rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes. The unique acids in apple cider vinegar can bind to toxins and help the body eliminate them more effectively.
- ACV helps with detoxification by breaking up mucus throughout your body and helps your lymphatic system circulate better.
- Substances like malic acid are formed in the creation of apple cider vinegar, giving it antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties (which is why it’s great for your skin).
- Regular apple cider vinegar in water is believed to help correct low stomach acid conditions that leads to heartburn.
- Apple pectin fiber, found in the mother of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, soothes the entire gastrointestinal tract, helping to prevent stomach cramps, bloating and gas
- ACV is full of beneficial acids which are believed to help improve the make up of your intestinal flora.
- Your intestinal flora are a big part of your body’s immune system. It makes sense then that improving the conditions for the growth of friendly bacteria with apple cider vinegar can help improve your overall immunity. The malic acid in ACV is also a strong antiviral, perhaps one of the reasons people often say they experience fewer colds when they take apple cider vinegar in water daily.
- ACV balances your skin’s pH levels and has long been recommended as a skin tonic. It can also help treat dermatological conditions like acne, especially when used both internally and externally regularly.
- Sipping on an apple cider vinegar drink can increase low potassium levels in your body, a suspect in nighttime leg cramps and restless leg syndrome.
- Improved stamina and energy are harder to measure subjectively, but raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar has long been considered a general health tonic and more energy and greater stamina are commonly reported when drinking it.
And of course, the pièce de résistance:
The benefit of apple cider vinegar is that you can treat the cause of your ailment thereby decreasing or completely eliminating your symptoms entirely.
An allergic reaction occurs when your body overreacts to an unfamiliar yet harmless substance (known as allergens). Allergy sufferers have abnormally sensitive immune systems, which overreact to allergens such as pollen, dust, fur, feathers and mold.
An allergic person’s body mistakenly releases histamine to fight off the intruding particles. The abundance of histamine circulating through the body subsequently signals the mucus membranes to produce all the unwanted symptoms indicative of allergies.
Chemical and natural antihistamines, such as ACV, head off your body’s abnormal response by preventing the production and release of histamines.
This consequently prevents the allergic symptoms (as quoted by Melissa Gallagher, M.S., CWC, CNHP.
Each day, I pour about a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s brand) in a glass, add some water (important!) and drink it down as fast as i can. While it’s too early to tell if it will help with my allergies, I can already tell you that I’ve definitely experienced a more settled tummy this week. I don’t want to be too quick to attribute this to the ACV, but I also had a ton of energy this week; I’ve had a lot on my mind and have had a hard time falling asleep before 2 am each night, yet I’ve woken up quickly each day ready to go. Hmm, we will see if this is a trend!
***update 2016: I now take apple cider vinegar in capsule form. It seems to be equally as beneficial but waaay more palatable ;-).
They say and apple a day keeps the doctor away. Here is to hoping that a shot of ACV a day will keep the sinus infections away!