Sunday, January 6, 2013

What's So Great About Apple Cider Vinegar, Anyway?

Yesterday I talked about how awesome apple cider vinegar is for sinus infections, yet I left out one glaring bit of information:

What the heck is so great about apple cider vinegar, anyway???

I mean, sure.  It relieves sinus infections, but why?  What makes it so much better than so may other methods, like saline rinses and neti pots?

A few things.

For one, apple cider vinegar has the ability to thin mucus almost immediately.  

This is because it contains ascetic acid.  The ascetic acid widens the mucus membranes, which causes the mucus to thin.  Thin mucus drains so much faster, I think we'll all agree!  The ascetic acid has another nice benefit, as well -  

It fights fungus.  

Bottle of apple cider vinegar holding up a sword, shouting "I'll save you!!!"

Many chronic sinus infections are caused by fungal activity.  For sinus problems caused by fungal activity, it's actually a good idea to administer apple cider vinegar directly into the nasal passages through a neti pot (ooOOoo!  Looks like they are a good idea, after all, right?) or even a mixture of boiling water and apple cider vinegar in a large pot that can be breathed in.

That's not all, though.  Apple cider vinegar has another property that sets it a peg above other methods:

It's filled with antioxidants and flavonoids!

Beta carotene, an antioxidant, is in abundance within apple cider vinegar.  Beta carotene is like a knight in shining armor that rushes off to save you from the damages of free radicals, so the more, the better!

Apples contain the flavonoid quercetin.  Quercetin helps relieve the histamine effects that seem to go into overdrive when you have a sinus infection.  It's an anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-yuckiness hero.  Apple cider vinegar contains pulverized apples, so it continues to provide that same benefit.

Just make sure you use apple cider vinegar, rather than apple cider flavored vinegar - the former is awesomeness in a bottle.  The latter, though, is just vinegar with some added color and flavor.  Not cool, at all.  Check the ingredient list before you buy, and make sure it actually contains apples!

Trust me on this... in an effort to save money, I accidentally got the wrong type, once.  Oops...

Another thing I should point out is that I haven't found any scientific studies to back up the fact that apple cider vinegar works on sinus infections.  This is a folk remedy.  It works for me, as well as for many, many others, but the evidence is all anecdotal, which is another way of saying that the evidence doesn't appear to have any scientific foundation.

Of course, that doesn't stop me.  I've seen it - felt it - work.

I just figure that it's something you should know.  Always do your own research, and never take someone else's word for it... even mine.  And always talk to your doctor.

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