Though I had a number of injuries during my high school and college sports career, I was extremely fortunate to never suffer major knee damage. However, in my sophomore year in college, my knee, without any identifiable trauma, started to really hurt. Day after day for about three months I was hobbled to the point that I was actually limping and couldn’t run. To add to my frustration, the doctors and trainers were just as baffled.
One day, I was on the phone with my mother, complaining about my plight, when she told me she had just read on article in a health magazine about a similar condition. She told me the author recommended drinking a concoction of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water sweetened with a tablespoon of honey.
I said, “Mom, that’s ridiculous. It’s my knee, not a sore throat.” But I was desperate and willing to try anything. After only two days, the nagging pain was gone. I chalked it up to a fortunate coincidence. But get this: eight years later my knee started killing me again. Nothing I did offered any relief. After about two months of disability, I remembered that crazy apple cider vinegar elixir. Another lucky coincidence, a couple of days later the pain had completely vanished. I can’t scientifically explain it, and I know the vast majority of people will be skeptical, but I know it was what helped.
Regrettably, quality medical studies are few, but the success stories on the benefits of apple cider vinegar (or ACV) are massive. I’m going to share a number of the most common claims, and let you be the judge. The best ACV is made by fermenting organic apples without filtering, pasteurizing or heating it. The cloudy, solid debris that accumulates at the bottom is called the “mother” and has a higher concentration of beneficial vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and probiotics.
The acids formed in the fermentation process give ACV its antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal qualities, and, almost counter-intuitively, it also helps create an alkaline environment in the body. Let me assure you that vinegar is useful for far more than making pickles and salad dressing; in fact, it’s been reported to impart the following major health benefits. Apple cider vinegar:
Aids digestion and improves assimilation. The ideal time to consume ACV is a few minutes before a meal because it will help start breaking down the food for you. The probiotics are soothing to the digestive tract and decrease gas.
Can help relieve joint pain and stiffness—I can swear by this one.
Fortifies the immune system as well as cleanses the liver and lymphatics.
Lowers blood cholesterol levels.
Helps diabetes, particularly type 2, by lowering blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that it may have physiological effects similar to prescription medications.
Is beneficial for the cardiovascular system and may lower high blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide that relaxes the blood vessels.
Is touted to have numerous other applications, from helping dandruff and acne to leg cramps and gout; some claim it can even cure a bad case of hiccups.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t know if I can do it. The taste is so strong!” Well, you can sip it slowly, you can just hold your nose and slam it down, or you can make a delicious cocktail by mixing it with apple, grape, or cranberry juice. Give it a go; this centuries old natural tonic can revolutionize your health picture.