There is a common thread that runs through many healing traditions, in which many of the same herbs and spices that are used for culinary purposes also have healing properties.
Chinese herbal medicine uses ginger, Ayurvedic medicine relies on turmeric (one of the main ingredients in curry), and Latin American traditional medicine uses sage and cumin. In fact, there is often a complex relationship between the types of foods you should eat, depending upon the best way to balance your body for optimal health.
Traditional Chinese medicine is particularly known for this, as it classifies certain foods as either cold or hot, not in terms of their actual temperature, but whether they are considered to have yin or yang properties.
Apple cider vinegar is another such culinary item that also has medicinal properties. When most people think about apple cider vinegar, they usually think of using it as a marinade for meats, part of a sauce for pasta or vegetables, or as a salad dressing.1 However, some interesting research has looked beyond just apple cider vinegar’s excellent nutritional value to its actual medicinal qualities.
Read further to see how a daily dose of apple cider vinegar can do more than just add a zing to your salad dressing.
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a food preservative since ancient times.2 Hippocrates mentioned its use as a powerful antibacterial agent to clean out wounds. There are even records of it being used to treat nail fungus, lice, and ear infections.
A recent article in Scientific Reports examined the antibacterial properties for three common pathogens, E. coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans. The researchers concluded that apple cider vinegar had good antimicrobial properties and showed excellent potential for clinical benefits.2
Helps lower blood sugar and insulin levels
Although most people associate high blood sugar with diabetes, it can also present with other chronic conditions, such as cardiac and metabolic diseases. There has been quite a body of interesting research on how apple cider vinegar may help reduce blood sugar and levels.
A 2004 article in Diabetes Care found that study subjects saw an improvement in insulin sensitivity of 19 percent to 34 percent following a high-carb meal taken two minutes after consuming a drink mixture containing 20 g of apple cider vinegar.3 Blood sugar levels also decreased for the subjects who took the apple cider vinegar mixture.
A 2007 article in the same publication looked at the effect of taking apple cider vinegar at night on fasting blood sugar levels the following morning.4 A group of 11 patients with type 2 diabetes (four men and seven women) who were not taking insulin were randomized to take either 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or water at bedtime with 1 ounce of cheese.
The researchers found that the patients who took the apple cider vinegar at night reduced their fasting blood sugar the following morning by 4 %, as compared to those who took the water the previous night.4
Aside from using it for cooking,1 your patients can actually consume apple cider vinegar as part of a beverage. Daily dosages can range from 1 – 2 teaspoons per day to 1 – 2 tablespoons, mixed into a large glass of water, but it is usually best to start with a smaller dose. Adding a bit of honey may also cut down on some of the vinegar’s natural tartness.
While taking apple cider vinegar each day may not keep the doctor away, it may help protect your patients against a number of diseases related to blood sugar levels, as well as help with fighting off several pathogens.
- 18 ways to cook with apple cider vinegar. Cooking Light. Accessed 8/8/2018.
- Yagnik D, Serafin V, J. Shah A. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports. 2018;8:1732.
- Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care Jan 2004, 27 (1) 281-282.
- White AM, Johnston CS. Vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose concentrations in adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care Nov 2007, 30 (11) 2814-2815.