Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar

I never imagined my children would actually drink vinegar, nor did I imagine that they would ask me for it on nearly a daily basis!    However,  if I look around my home, a lot has changed over the past year since we've embraced GAPS.    I never imagined I would have vegetables fermenting in my pantry, Kombucha tea always stocked in my home, or 24 hour broth in my crock pot daily.   I never imagined I would be making all this fresh food and cooking all the time, but I never imagined the healing my son and my family would gain from GAPS.

For those of you new to GAPS some of these things might be foreign to you.  I  suspect that "Kombucha" is likely not part of your regular vocabulary.  (That link, by the way, is my FAVORITE site for brewing Kombucha and is sure to lead you to a successful homemade batch).   Last week I accidentally, offered a taste of Kombucha to my sister-in-law.   I think the name alone terrified her so  I wont begin to imagine what she though about the brain-like SCOBY she saw floating in a glass jar in my refrigerator.   Needless to say, I think she's a little freaked out right now.  Hum, maybe that's why she's not returning my calls?   So a little advice from personal experience: work slowly when telling your family and friends about your new found love of GAPS, some people need to be eased into the whole idea of drinking something that is actually ALIVE.    For those of you new to this "health thing;"  Don't worry, you'll learn the lingo, and in time, you too will have SCOBYS floating around your refrigerator and will be scaring your family members as well.    I might come back to the Kombucha info later, I got a little side tracked.   Today I want to talk about something awesome and easy to come by:  Apple Cider Vinegar.    Though not a particular part of GAPS, Apple Cider Vinegar has had it's place in healing my son and my family, so I'd like to share some interesting health aspects of this simple concoction.

When I talk about Apple cider Vinegar I'm talking about Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar.  There is a difference,  and you need to know what that is.  Bragg's is made with the MOTHER, which is similar to the familiar Kombucha SCOBY.   SCOBY simply stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.    See, I actually had a purpose for bringing it up earlier, besides just freaking everyone out.  It is LIVING thing that gives the Cider it's powerful healing potential, and that's why you need Apple Cider with THE MOTHER! 

 Here's a quote from the Bragg Website: " Natural (undistilled) organic, raw ACV can really be called one of Mother Nature's most perfect foods. It is made from fresh, crushed apples which are then allowed to mature naturally in wooden barrels, as wood seems to "boost" the natural fermentation. Natural ACV should be rich, brownish color and if held to the light you might see a tiny formation of "cobweb-like" substances that we call the "mother." Usually some "mother" will show in the bottom of the ACV bottle the more it ages. It never needs refrigeration. You can also save some "mother" and transfer it to work in other natural vinegars."

You can't have the same healing affect by drinking white distilled vinegar which has been processed and devoid of all nutrients.    Apple Cider Vinegar has amazing healing properties and helps heal inflammation in the body and also helps with reflux as we have seen with Henry as well as with my own mother, (not to be confused with THE MOTHER) who had pretty severe reflux and arthritis herself.   If you are interested in finding out more details of all the aliments that ACV can heal I would suggest reading Patricia Bragg's Book on Apple cider vinegar, you can find the Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar at your local health food store or order it online. 

While I am promoting Apple Cider Vinegar, I don't promote the vegetarian diet that the Bragg family lives by.   The best way to have healing from ACV is to take it daily.  We make a big batch and drink it each day, my son likes it warm and calls it "tea."

Basic Recipe

1/2 Gallon Distilled water
1/2 Cup ACV
1/2 Cup Honey

Warm up the1 cup of the water and dissolve the honey and then mix into a container with remain water and ACV.  Drink at least 8 oz daily. 

ACV does amazing things for the joints and bones and prevents and heals arthritis and eliminates stiffness from the body.  It contains many enzymes and minerals as well as "potassium, phosphorus, natural organic fluorine, silicon, trace minerals and pectin as well as many other powerful nutrients!" (Bragg's website).

It boosts the immune system and destroys germs.  People clean with vinegar right?  At the first sign of any cold symptoms we all start drinking our ACV more regularly.  If we ever have a sore throat, we gargle with it--you would not believe the relief it gives to a sore throat or the things that it draws out of your throat that you end up spiting out that you didn't realize were back there!  Yuck! 

It is also a powerful healer of sinus infections.  I use one tsp of ACV to 8oz of water and mix in my Netty pot.  It will give you a healthy burn, but will draw out all sorts of junk from your sinus's.  A few weeks ago the doctor told me I had an ear infection, I had a fever and she wrote me a script for an antibiotic.  I never filled the prescription because I used my Netty pot with ACV and in 3 days my sinus were clear and my ear pain was gone.   I mixed 1/8th of a tsp in my sons salt water solution (I didn't want it to burn as much for him) and put several drops in his nose the last time he had the start of a cold along with having him drink the ACV tea and he was better the next day. 

Drinking ACV every day in the winter is a great way to prevent colds and other viruses.  Also, if you have heart burn or a child with reflux I recommend making the recipe above and work up to 8oz a day.  If you have arthritis, stiffness, aches and pains, or your children have "growing pains" the best solution is to take your daily ACV.    

So the best way to see the power of ACV is to start taking it yourself.  Let me know what you think!