Recently, cleansing diets and regimes have become popular including starvation, juicing and the ingestion of apple cider vinegar with possible additional ingredients (e.g. ginger, cayenne, lemon or honey) which have additional effects on digestion, absorption, and elimination.
Supporters of apple cider vinegar claim it helps with weight loss, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, controls blood sugar levels, boost immunity, relieves constipation, regulate the body and skin pH., and removes toxins from the body, but there is not a lot of scientific evidence supporting these claims.
Many clients ask me about the benefits of ingesting apple cider vinegar, and what Ayurveda believes about its use. Vinegar is not a common food in India, but according to the Samhita Charaka (classical Ayurvedic text) "There is nothing in the world which does not have therapeutic utility inappropriate conditions and situations."No food or herb is assumed to help everyone always, but in some cases, apple cider vinegar can support healthy blood sugar, weight loss, enhance stomach acid production which increases the digestive fire (Agni), and reduce cravings.
Ayurveda believes that "The effectiveness of your digestion depends on the strength of digestive fire; Agni" and the goal is to have efficient digestion, absorption, and elimination processes. If the digestive fire is low, food can sit in the stomach, creating burping, belching, and gassy symptoms, and if the digestive fire is too high, you might experience burning, sharpness and pain.
Ayurveda uses the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent) to help regulate the digestive, assimilation, and elimination processes. Each of these tastes has different energetics; sour, salty, and pungent are heating and increase the digestive fire, sweet and astringent flavors are more cooling, and heavy, and can inhibit it, and the bitter taste is cold and light. Understanding your constitution can determine which tastes are beneficial for each person.
For instance, let's look at the energetics of a ripe apple. Its taste is astringent (cool), sweet (cool), and sour (hot), its energy is cooling, and it's after effect is sweet (cooling). In terms of the doshas, the apples coolness and lightness can aggravate Vata, but reduces Pitta, and calms Kapha. Preparations can change the effect of foods, and with the fermentation of apples into apple cider vinegar it results in a taste that is sour (hot), its energy is hot, and its after effect is sour (hot), so this flips the energetic effect on the doshas, the sourness calms Vata and Kapha but its heat aggravates Pitta.
How to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Daily Routine
Start with 1/2 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar in warm water before each meal, which can be increased up to 2 teaspoons, but be cautious if you experience quizziness of bloating.
Do not practice when pregnant or breastfeeding.
Patients on diabetes medicine should monitor blood sugar levels.
Caution if on digoxin, insulin or diuretics, may drop potassium levels.
ACV is so acidic you should not take straight it can harm your tooth enamel and esophagus.