Hippocrates, sometimes called the "Father of Medicine," may have used apple cider vinegar as an antibiotic in 400 B.C. Its popularity as a home remedy has increased since the publication of "Folk Medicine" by the Vermont doctor D.C. Jarvis, though there is little scientific proof of its real value. You can buy the vinegar in health food stores, unpasteurized and without filtering, distinguished from other vinegars by its "mother of vinegar" ingredient. This brownish acetic acid sediment lurks at the bottom of the bottle of true apple cider vinegar and some suggest it has anti fungal and antibiotic properties. While most cider vinegar recipes do not specify whether drinking it hot provides any additional benefits, the taste definitely improves with the addition of a little honey and hot water.
According to the "Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences," the effect of this vinegar on rats points to possible uses in the management of complications in diabetes. Diabetes Care reports that vinegar use can significantly improve insulin sensitivity after meals, especially if you have Type 2 diabetes. Small studies have indicated that blood glucose levels decreased by 4 percent by the next morning when taking apple cider vinegar at night. There is no medical suggestion that use of the vinegar should replace any other form of treatment.
Many drink apple cider vinegar before or during meals, in attempts to lower their cholesterol, or sip it in water with sweetener, either hot or cold, throughout the day. The theory behind this, though medically unproven, holds that the amino acids found in the vinegar have a neutralizing effects on cholesterol.
In a study undertaken by Lund University in Sweden, reported in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2005, suggests that taking vinegar can have the effect of making you feel full, thus helping to reduce overeating. This has increased public support for the vinegar as an aid to weight loss, though the Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits website admits honestly that no one knows why any such weight loss benefit takes place.
According to HomeRemediesweb.com, drinking apple cider vinegar, whether or not you take it hot, can improve diarrhea and constipation, defeat bad breath, increase stamina and improve digestion. Some believe that the amino acids in the vinegar help the body to absorb nutrients, particularly the calcium found in leafy green salad vegetables, and drinking hot apple cider vinegar may help in the prevention, though not the cure, of cancers.
There is no evidence that drinking a hot apple cider vinegar drink has any health contra-indications, so its popularity as a general health drink remains, despite the lack of definitive evidence of its health benefits. Consult with your doctor before using apple cider vinegar to treat any condition.
- Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health; D.C Jarvis, M.D.
- Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences: Apple Cider Vinegar Attenuates Lipid Profile in Normal and Diabetic Rats
- Diabetes Care: Vinegar Improves Insulin Sensitivity to a High-Carbohydrate Meal in Subjects With Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes
- Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits.com: Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss
- Home Remediesweb.com: Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar
Frances Evesham has been writing on communication, language and well-being topics for over 20 years. The author of "Help Your Child To Talk," she has a diploma in speech pathology, is an NLP premier practitioner and is a registered witness intermediary working in the justice system in the U.K.