Vinegar - health or horror?





The use of alternative medicines and treatments have increased in the last ten years. Where natural remedies, potions and concoctions were common place in medieval times, the increase of scientific research and expert training encouraged more professional medical help being sought. As pharmaceutical drug companies grew so did the money spent on investigation and drugs to cure ails were developed. However the use of drugs promoted by companies have come under fire in recent months. With profit over cure questioned. Drugs that are cheap to produce and turn around once the initial licence has expired and generic versions are available, provide the mainstay of income for multi national businesses. The bad press and mass production is one of the reasons other options are being sought. As knowledge grows so does the ability to question what is right for the individual and explore whether one size really does fit all.

Apple cider vinegar is my subject for investigation as part of  a series of exploring health benefits, real or imagined, how palatable these choices are and the ones that would be best avoided.

Vinegar dates far back in history with some sources claiming 5000 BC however despite the dispute over it’s origins there is a conformation between sources that it has a medicinal effect. Vinegar mixed with tepid water is used on cotton rags to draw out temperature of a sick person, apple cider vinegar has been promoted for it’s health benefits particularly associated with blood sugar or cancer. So how much is enough and how much is too much?

One tablespoon diluted in a glass of water is the most common dose, you do have to have an amount of tolerance however, to make this a regular feature in your diet. If you are prone to acid reflux this probably isn’t for you, however there have been reported benefits of reduced disease of the esophagus but this is unsubstantiated. Although vinegar supplements have been explored in a lab setting this is in mice and rats and the benefits it may have produced are not necessarily reflective, as with most trials, everyone is individual and results need confirmation with trials on humans. Vinegar supplements are available, but in times gone by apple cider vinegar has been taken as a liquid, and one an imagine the benefit is greater.

I have tried apple cider vinegar in water, it is quite pleasant, one tablespoon diluted in a glass, but I also felt quite thirsty afterwards and ended up following it with a pint of water, so maybe the flushing of toxins form the extra liquid really is the key. I found the taste lingered for quite a long time and this was more noticeable because with most vinegar we tend to have a foodstuff and this dilutes and distracts from the taste. What I did find is the slightly sweet taste becomes bitter and my throat remained dry for some time afterwards. This didn’t put me off but it did mean I was more likely to follow it with some food. It is an acidic solution.

If you have ever eaten pickles and enjoyed them, this flush is probably for you. If you shy from sour taste then this is probably not for you. If a health benefit from anything is to be achieved it has to be regular and enjoyed or it will not last. So this is definitely one reliant on your taste buds.

It’s quite cheap to buy at little over a pound a bottle, although mass produced for cooking there are ‘pure’ vinegar options to buy, it depends on how much faith you have in it’s medicinal qualities as to how much you spend. As with most generic supplements and tonics one is much the same as another the label or name is the real cost.

So is vinegar health or horror?

It’s not going to harm you in small doses, so my opinion is worth a try

It’s a horror if you are going to think it’s gross before you even try it

If you are having treatments for other illnesses it is worth mentioning to your practitioner before starting a new routine in case they advise that it may not be suitable for your regime.