Honey and cider vinegar combined with just boiled water is normally called ‘Honeygar’ and a mighty fine thing it is. This potion is not only a lovely brew (an acquired taste) it also has great health properties and cures many ailments. Both Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians are said to have appreciated the healing properties of cider vinegar. It has also been used as an anti-aging elixir, which is always popular!
Good cider vinegar is a completely natural product and is normally made by allowing crushed apples to ferment in oak barrels. It has cleansing and disinfecting properties which self detoxify the body and it is a powerful cleansing agent and healing elixir with naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria. Honey (unprocessed) is normally added to make the drink more palatable.
Cider Vinegar also helps to keep the body nicely alkaline. Vinegar is obviously acid but when broken down in the stomach becomes alkaline. An alkaline body fights germs and disease better and helps to ward off ailments such as bladder and kidney conditions, osteoporosis, aching muscles, low energy and chronic fatigue, and slow digestion.
Raw fruits, leafy green vegetables, tea and legumes are examples of alkaline foods. Interestingly a foods actual pH is not a good indicator of a food that has acidic effects on the body, for example, lemons and limes when processed by the body actually have a very alkaline effect. All animal products are acid forming, even if they have a alkaline pH prior to digestion. The ideal ratio of alkaline to acid foods in a diet id 70/30. High stress levels can also effect the amount of acid produced in the body.
Cider vinegar is especially good at treating arthritis and with the British national health service restricting the access to arthritis treatments, many people are looking for alternative methods of treatment. There have been many articles recently in the press verifying these healing effects.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the famous explorer and endurance chap, suffered with arthritis in his hand and hip and turned to drinking honeygar. He says “Without it I wouldn’t be able to have done all the things I have done…it has completely kept my arthritis at bay.”
Honeygar is best drank regularly and can take a while to kick in, so stick with it. It also must be combined with a low acid diet, that means no nasty foods high in sugar, nothing processed (factory food) and alcohol. If you have stiff muscles and joints, try taking regular hot baths with epsom salts.
When buying cider vinegar, check that it contains the ‘mother’ and is organic. This ensures that it is completely natural, the good stuff, and has not been distilled. The distillation process kills of the powerful enzymes and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, iron copper, fluorine, silicon, pectin and natural malic and tartaric acids, which are important in fighting body toxins and inhibiting bacteria growth.
Vinegar and honey are thought to work as home remedies for many conditions. In cases of severe illnesses like diabetes, it is best to seek medical advice and use standard treatments to manage the disease. However, some research has shown diabetes to be responsive to the use of vinegar and honey concoctions.
Some research shows vinegar to be effective in managing diabetes. According to a study published in “Diabetes Care,” participants with type 2 diabetes were given apple cider vinegar and carbohydrate-heavy snacks. Their blood sugar was tested after eating and they were found to have improved insulin sensitivity. The study concluded that drinking apple cider vinegar had similar affects as a diabetes drug called metformin but should not be used as a substitute for this drug.
Strange as it might seem, including some vinegar in your diet may improve your blood sugar. Although vinegar has a bit of a checkered past — it has too often been hyped in weight-lossdiets and miracle cures — solid research has clearly shown that it can improve glycemic control.
“Scientific studies over the past 10 years show benefits from vinegar consumption,” says Carol Johnston, Ph.D., head of the nutrition department at Arizona State University, Tempe. Vinegar decreases both fasting and postprandial (after-meal) glucose levels, she says. “It’s inexpensive and can be easily incorporated into the diet. Used in combination with diet and exercise, it can help many people with type 2 diabetes.” Much of the vinegar research comes out of Johnston’s laboratory and that of Elin Ostman, Ph.D., at Lund University in Lund, Sweden. The biologically active constituent of vinegar is acetic acid, also the source of the liquid’s lip-puckering pungency. Nobumasa Ogawa, Ph.D., of Tokyo University in Tokyo, discovered that the acetic acid inhibits the activity of severalcarbohydrate-digesting enzymes, including amylase, sucrase, maltase, and lactase. As a result, when vinegar is present in the intestines, some sugars and starches temporarily pass through without being digested, so they have less of an impact on blood sugar. According to Johnston, some people have far greater responses than others to vinegar. However, she says, “We documented small but important average decreases in hemoglobinA1C in people with type 2 diabetes — over the course of 12 weeks, taking a couple teaspoons of apple-cider vinegar daily,” she says. In another study, Johnston found that taking 2 tablespoons of apple-cider vinegar along with 1 ounce of cheese before bedtime led to a 4 to 6 percent decrease in fasting blood sugar levels, according to an article in Diabetes Care (November 2007). Meanwhile, Lund University’s Ostman found that people were less hungry a couple hours after consuming vinegar with bread, as opposed to bread alone, according to a report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition(September 2005). Because taking a teaspoon or two of vinegar alone seems to cause burping and acid reflux in a lot of people, Johnston suggests that people include vinegar with food. The easiest way is by using oil and vinegar salad dressing, made with balsamic, red wine, apple-cider, or any number of flavored vinegars (avoid the fruity, sweet ones, of course, or you may cancel out the benefit). When making the dressing, use about 50 to 75 percent vinegar, and add some diced garlic, dried oregano, and basil — or stir in a little Dijon mustard. Use vinaigrette dressings drizzled over steamed veggies, such as cauliflower. Another option is to dip small, thin slices of whole-grain bread into a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or, better, try sourdough bread, which contains a substance that also seems to mediate blood sugar response. Vinegar is a natural meat and fish tenderizer, so you can use it to marinate meat and chicken. It’s also used to cook brisket, sauerbraten, and in the preparation of the spicy Korean vegetable, kimchi. Look for low-sodium versions of dill pickles, and consider other condiments and veggies pickled or preserved in vinegar. As for the weight-loss claims attributed to vinegar, Johnston noticed in one study that people consuming a tablespoon of vinegar before lunch and dinner lost an average of 2 pounds over four weeks. It may be a case of “if it sounds too good to be true…,” but consider this: The study was conducted in November and December, when people often eat more than usual. There may be something to it after all.
If you drink apple cider vinegar with a starchy meal, then the starches you don’t digest will feed the good bacteria in your gut.