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Apple Cider Vinegar Can?

My laundry room is like a hot dungeon with cockroaches. I write that assuming some dungeons don’t have cockroaches. The dismal atmosphere inspires me to sing…to my audience of roaches…about anything, and in this case, Apple Cider Vinegar:

Okay. That little ditty was sarcasm, but I have met people who use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for everything- from warts to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to preventing AIDS. If you google Apple Cider Vinegar ( essentially the weak acid, Acetic Acid) you’ll see that it is good for everything. Google is an optimist like that, but it’s not just Google. My best friend from home swears by it for preventing the flu and common colds. She tells me that when she starts to feel the least bit tired and her nose starts to drizzle, she immediately takes a spoonful of ACV, and it keeps her well. I have another friend who told me he uses it for pink eye. He told me that it’s the only thing that clears it up super- fast. I have a relative who says that since she’s started taking a spoonful of ACV a day, she feels less tired and more energetic. A lot of folks I know use it to “detox,” but they usually can’t define what it is they are “flushing” out of their bodies.  All of that said, nothing tops the following ACV story:

When I was a medical student rotating through a Brooklyn hospital, I saw a girl who was using ACV to treat her Bacterial Vaginosis. ACV for BV.  Untreated BV produces a strong, fish-odor smell that can literally knock you over, trigger asthma attacks and attract hungry stray cats from miles and miles away. It can make your eyes water so badly that you feel like you’re in the midst of a chemical attack. She told me that she was all-natural, did not want antibiotics, but simply wanted an “expert opinion” to examine her infected region. Um…, I wasn’t about to go near the “infected region” unless I dawned my military-issued gas mask that I turned in to Uncle Sam several years prior. My Attending physician at the time also kept his distance, and good thing too, as he was an easily-triggered asthmatic.  It was about 5 pm and the girl was in a rush, because she had to “catch the subway to her yoga class.”  I couldn’t help myself:  “Do you want to kill everyone on the train and in your class? If so, I think you’re well prepared.”  She stared at me and said nothing.  I continued, “Listen, I would take a script, call a cab.., but sit in the passenger seat in case he passes out, and you need to grab the wheel. Don’t take the train. Rush hour on the subway is miserable enough, and one less Yellow Cab driver in NYC is no big deal.”

“Eeks, you’re so mean.”- Everyone

“Sugar-coating is for Bakers.” – Me.  

I use Organic ACV ( with the mother) on a regular basis, but I don’t think it’s a super food or a super nutrient or a super vinegar. I don’t believe it’s a panacea. I don’t think any food or food-related item is super, nor do I think any food is 100% bad.  Those are privileged first-world distinctions that drive me nuts. Do you know what a “super food” is in a starving, developing nation? Any damn thing they can put in their mouths.

Based on the research I’ve read, I use ACV after big, fattening or sugary meals.  One study in Type Two Diabetic patients showed that ingesting vinegar after meals that rank high on the glycemic index ( meaning the meals contain heavy carbs & sugars) significantly reduces blood glucose levels.  Reducing blood glucose levels after meals, especially in Type 2 Diabetics, lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome. I’m not a Type 2 Diabetic, but I’m paranoid and like to keep my sugar on the low side.  A couple other studies support the notion that regularly taking ACV not only improves short-term glucose control but long-term too, as measured by the HA1C values. (HA1C is Hemoglobin A1C and it tells you how well someone is managing their diabetes or glucose control long-term.)

ACV may also improve cholesterol levels and triglyceride levelsIt may even slow down dangerous fat build-up in our livers.   No research specifically states that ACV helps you lose weight, however, I can see how better glucose regulation could help with that. Still, you’re probably better off running and cutting calories. I know it’s not sexy, but that’s life.

In my research on ACV, I saw a lot of patents pending for the use of ACV to fight Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease ( GERD), though I couldn’t find any evidence, aside from personal testimony, that ACV works for this. One patent claimed that the combination of ACV and garlic works against GERD. I have no idea. If it works for your GERD, great, just don’t burn your esophageal lining. A lot of folks don’t dilute their dose of ACV with H20 and end up burning themselves. Speaking of burns, a lot of the literature on ACV is cautionary case studies of individuals using ACV to remove warts, skin tags, pimples, etc.,  and accidentally burning themselves.  I’ll be honest- I have an annoying wart on the bottom of my left foot that a podiatrist, even one with low Yelp ratings, could remove with a laser in 5 seconds. Unfortunately, the “Experimental Redneck Do-It-Yourself” part of me wanted to see if I could remove it. I’ve tried everything: OTC Salicylic Acid multiple times; Compound W Freeze Off; Essential Oils; the H-Warts Homeopathic formula from Healing Natural Oils that had over 20 Positive Reviews; My Own Urine ( Yes, I stored my own pee and sucked it up in a syringe and squirted it on my foot for a few weeks); APPLE CIDER VINEGAR; Sandpaper; Garlic, just because, and, of course, Positive Thinking. According to The Secret, if I think my wart will go away, it will. Nope! And not to be a cliché Redneck, but I even tried Duct Tape.  Nothing worked. Not one damn thing. I did burn myself a little, but no shit. The awful thing is still there, and I may very well have to surrender to convention and see a podiatrist who is probably not covered by my crappy insurance.

In closing, if ACV works for you, awesome. Keep doing what you’re doing, as long as you’re safe, logical and not delusional. That said, sometimes delusional people are the happiest people I know. Blog on helpful delusions forthcoming…

 

Dr. Eeks

 

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