"To eat an apple before going to bed will make the doctor beg for his bread."
The undisputed benefits of eating apples, however, can be further multiplied many fold by the consumption of apple cider vinegar (ACV). A veritable host of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and substances is available in ACV to improve and reinforce health.
The Bragg family, who make the famous Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, like to tell the following story: Farmer Bragg had an old hen prepared for dinner. The old hen's meat was tough and didn't taste good (this being what happens to poultry and beef when it's deficient in potassium; human flesh suffers the same problems). To prove to the children that ACV and raw honey needed to be an important part of their daily nutrition, he would then select another old hen for the dinner table. But this time he fed that old hen ACV twice a day. For a week to 10 days he gave the hen the ACV mixture. When the hen was prepared for the dinner table, the children saw the difference in the old hen's meat. They tasted how tender it was. It was just like eating a young hen.
When acid crystals harden in the joints and tissues of any animal, the joints become stiff and the tissues become hardened. The meat becomes tough and tasteless. But, when the animals are given ACV regularly, the precipitated acid crystals enter into a solution and pass out of the body, thus making the body tissues healthier and tender. This applies to human flesh also.
Now, when body tissues hold all the precipitated acid crystals they can, the crystals next appear in the bursae and joints of the body, resulting in arthritis and bursitis. One to two teaspoons of ACV with one to two teaspoons of raw honey in a glass of water daily will help relieve the stiff aching and prematurely old joints. You be the judge. See how elastic and well-oiled your joints will become!
Even the very healthiest people must continually fight the build-up of acid crystals in the body. The strongest solvent of acid crystals is a simple drink made up of ACV, raw honey and water. This powerful daily mixture puts the acid crystals in solution so they can be flushed out of the body by the kidneys and other organs of elimination. The malic acid content of the ACV dissolves calcium deposits in joints, while ACV acts to balance the acid-alkaline pH levels in the body and helps to oxygenate the blood.
Animal proteins and fats have a tendency to thicken the blood. Blood has to circulate all over the body through the arteries, blood vessels and tiny capillaries, and it's impossible for blood to circulate freely through these incredibly thin pipes when it's thickened with too much protein. However, the natural acids in ACV help keep the blood healthier and thinner. It's been reported that soaring blood pressure can be dramatically reduced by a 48-hour fasting program with only ACV, raw honey and water (five glasses a day plus additional water) being taken; a longer program, without the fasting, is said to work just as well.
ACV also prevents the growth of bacteria and mold. The acid content of ACV helps reduce the chance of bacterial or fungal growth on fresh foods. If you use conventionally grown produce, you can remove pesticide residues by spraying fruit and vegetables with ACV, then waiting five minutes and rinsing. Similarly, to eliminate bacteria fromorganic or conventional produce, spray it with ACV, wait five minutes and rinse. ACV can also be sprayed on seeds during the sprouting period to prevent the growth of bacteria or fungi: Simply place ACV in a mister bottle and spray your seeds thoroughly with ACV after each rinse with fresh water until the seeds are sprouted. You can rinse the ACV from the sprouts before serving if you dislike the taste!
ACV has been helpful as an aid for digestion, helping to break down minerals, protein and fats. It also inhibits the growth of unfriendly bacteria in the digestive tract. ACV has detoxifying properties, strengthens the immune system and may ameliorate viral, bacterial and fungal infections. It's used as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medicine and has a natural antibiotic effect.
Its benefits also include alleviating respiratory infections and may reduce symptoms such as watery eyes and nasal discharge with complete relief of pollen, food and pet allergies. If you live in a highly polluted area where allergies and sinus infections are rampant, your system may better balance itself with a small dose of ACV each day. ACV has also been reported to cure sinus infections, acne, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, Candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis and gout. Many find it to be a general energy tonic. It can be used to sooth sunburns and insect bites, to make your hair shine, and to treat dandruff. A wonderful side effect of drinking ACV every day is that it brings a healthy, rosy glow to one's complexion. This is great news if you suffer from a pale countenance. And, what's more – although no one is quite sure how – ACV also seems to break down fat and is widely reported to be a gradual, yet permanent and effective aid for losing weight.
Many commercial ACVs have been pasteurized, filtered, refined or distilled in order to make the product look good, and thereby be more appealing to the general public. Unfortunately, this extra processing destroys much of the healthy goodness of the product. The best type of ACV to use is one made from cold-pressed, organically grown whole apples, to which no chemicals or preservatives have been added, which contain the "mother of vinegar," and are not pasteurized. This "mother," as it is affectionately known, is a natural gelatinous substance formed during the final fermentation step. This type of especially wholesome ACV can be found readily in most health food stores and even in some general grocery stores.
Kelly Joyce Neff has an interdisciplinary degree in Celtic Studies which includes work in cultural anthropology, history, linguistics, language, and literature. She is a traditional midwife and herbalist, a reiki master, and an active craftsperson. She lives in San Francisco.