I’m a big fan of vinegar. Few other compounds can boast benefits so varied. Whether you use it in the garden to kill weeds, in the kitchen to disinfect countertops, or in your culinary adventures, you just can’t go wrong.
You may also want to keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet because there are a number of health benefits of vinegar as well. This kitchen staple has a solid and respected place in folk medicine, with references dating back to Hippocrates. And today, the health benefits of vinegar are finally being recognized in the medical literature.
From Diabetes and Weight Loss…
One of the most impressive health benefits of vinegar is that it works just as well as oral diabetes drugs at lowering blood sugar after a high-carbohydrate meal. And anytime something natural works as well as a dangerous drug, I’m all for it.
Vinegar also facilitates weight loss by curbing appetite and stimulating fat burning. In a clinical trial conducted in Japan, overweight men and women were divided into three groups. Groups one and two drank beverages containing 15 or 30 mL (1 or 2 tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar with breakfast and dinner, while group three got a placebo drink.
After 12 weeks, the first two groups had significantly greater decreases in weight (more than 4.4 pounds), body mass index (BMI), body fat ratio, and triglycerides compared to the placebo group. Although results were somewhat better in the participants who took the higher dose of vinegar, the researchers concluded that one tablespoon per day was enough to achieve benefits.
…To Digestion and Heart Disease
Another area where vinegar shines is digestive problems. One Health & Healing subscriber, John R., had stomach troubles most of his life. Despite numerous GI workups, including a series of tests costing $2,000, his doctor could find nothing to explain these problems. So the doctor prescribed Zantac, a drug that reduces stomach acid.
John R. was less than enthusiastic about taking Zantac every day, so when a friend suggested vinegar, which he had read about in my newsletter, John decided to give it a try. After one week of drinking one teaspoon of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of raw honey in warm water once a day, his heartburn and stomach problems were alleviated. He reports that he hasn’t had to take Zantac since.
Bob D., a patient we treated at the Whitaker Wellness Institute for heart disease, gives a lot of credit for his rapid and remarkable elimination of angina to his “vinegar cocktails.” He mixed a whiskey shot glass of vinegar with molasses and grapefruit juice and downed it twice a day. Though he was pursuing several other therapies for his chest pain at the same time, Bob feels that the vinegar had a decided effect.
Please note that John and Bob weren’t drinking straight vinegar. It’s far too acidic and needs to be diluted before it is consumed. To reap the health benefits of vinegar—without adding a lot of unnecessary calories and sugar—dilute with a little water and add a healthy sweetener, or mix it with extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings to make a delicious dressing.
Health Benefits of Vinegar Applied Topically
You don’t have to drink it to enjoy the health benefits of vinegar. There are several topical applications as well. Vinegar can clear up fungal infections and stubborn warts. If you have swimmer’s ear, just combine equal parts vinegar and water and rinse with the mixture once or twice a day. Vinegar can also help with dandruff (apply vinegar directly to the scalp) and, when used as a hair rinse (one part vinegar to two to three parts water), it makes hair shiny.
So there you have it. Because of the myriad health benefits of vinegar, I use it and recommend it to my patients daily. The brand I use and recommend is Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar.