Cleansing diets and regimes have become popular, including starvation, juicing, and ingesting apple cider vinegar. Supporters of apple cider vinegar claim it can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, control blood sugar levels, and remove toxins.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, vinegar is not commonly used in India. Still, the Samhita Charaka (classical Ayurvedic text) states, "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 constantly, but in some cases, apple cider vinegar (sour taste) can benefit specific individuals and conditions.
Ayurveda believes, "The effectiveness of your digestion depends on the strength of digestive fire, Agni." Food can sit in the stomach if the digestive fire is low, creating burping, belching, and gassy symptoms. You might experience burning, sharpness, and pain if the digestive fire is too high.
Ayurveda understands and uses the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent) found in foods, spices, and herbs to balance digestion, assimilation, and elimination processes.
Vinegar is sour, hot, heavy, and wet and can benefit the cold, dry, and light qualities of Vata but can create an imbalance for Pitta and Kapha. The climate you live in impacts many decisions on the addition of hot or cold energies; for instance, in a cold environment adding fermented food or using vinegar might be warranted, but in hot climates, not so much.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Taste: Sour (hot, moist, heavy)
Post-digestive energy: Sour (digests proteins)
Vata: Balancing with its warmth, heaviness, and moistness.
Pitta: Unbalancing because of its heat
Kapha: Unbalancing by its heaviness and wetness.
Actions: Digestive and circulatory stimulant increases saliva, enhances digestion, relieves thirst, sharpens the senses and extracts minerals from food, and eases menstruation.
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, it may drop potassium levels.
Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can excessively harm tooth enamel and the esophagus.