Vinegar is said to have been discovered around 5000 BC, when unattended grape juice turned into wine and then vinegar. Originally used as a food preservative, vinegar’s medicinal uses soon came to light.
Hippocrates used vinegar to manage wounds, while medical practitioners in the 1700s used it to treat everything from poison ivy and croup to stomach aches. Vinegar was even used to treat diabetes.
Vinegar, which means “sour wine” in French, can be made from virtually any carbohydrate that can be fermented, including grapes, dates, coconut, potatoes, beets, and, of course, apples.
Traditionally, vinegar is made through a long, slow fermentation process, leaving it rich in bioactive components like acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, and more, giving it potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and many other beneficial properties.
Health Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is said to be anti-glycemic and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. It’s thought that the acetic acid in vinegar may lower blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates, which is accomplished either by accelerating gastric emptying or increasing the uptake of glucose by bodily tissues.
This gives your body more time to pull sugar out of your blood, preventing your sugar levels from spiking. Quite a bit of research supports the use of vinegar as a diabetic treatment as well.
One study showed that vinegar could lower cholesterol in laboratory rats,7 while another study on rats found their blood pressure could be lowered by the acetic acid in vinegar.
Vinegar has also been found to decrease triglyceride levels and VLDL levels (the damaging form of cholesterol) in animal studies.
Vinegar may help you lose weight, as it appears to have an anti-obesity effect by increasing satiety and reducing the total amount of food consumed.
For instance, when volunteers consumed a small amount of vinegar along with a high-carb meal (a bagel and juice) they consumed less food for the remainder of the day. The reduction equated to about 200 to 275 calories a day – an amount that would result in a monthly weight loss of up to 1.5 pounds
The antibacterial properties in apple cider vinegar may be useful for sore throats as well. Gargle with a mixture of about one-third cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water as needed.
Apple cider vinegar works for a variety of skin ailments, from bug bites to poison ivy to sunburn. You can either apply it directly to the irritated area or try soaking in a bath with about one cup of vinegar added.
Apple Cider Vinegar around Your House
Generally, you can use distilled white vinegar for household use and the cider vinegars, made from fermenting fruits such as apples, for consumption. However, if you prefer natural cleaning without harmful chemical substances, you can use apple cider vinegar around your home as well. It is very useful with cleaning your bathroom, kitchen and even your bedroom, since it doesn’t contain any dangerous substances.