Any homesteader worth his heirloom tomatoes knows a litany of non-traditional curatives. Apple Cider Vinegar is tops of the home remedy heap, with a seeming use for most ailments, short of broken bones and bad grades. It’s the internet darling of trendy wundervittles, with suspiciously broad claims of efficacy.
As a home remedy, apple cider vinegar is a homesteader’s dream. It’s inexpensive, widely available, and noxious enough to the senses that it just has to have medicinal benefit.
Many of the purported uses of apple cider vinegar are seemingly contradictory:
- Salad dressing
- Facial toner and bath detoxifier
- All-purpose cleaner
- Cat deterrent and cat urine removed
- Fly trap bait
- Halitosis and throat soother
- Teeth whitener
- Hair detangler
- Post-exercise pick-me-up
- Lowers blood sugar
- Appetite suppressant
- Cancer preventer
My doubt-o-meter red-lines once a product is held up as a cancer fighter. It begins to sound more like snake oil.
Evolution developed the gag reflex for a reason.
Mrs. Cunha is a fan of the home remedy. She’s not a zealot advocating pickled frog spleens for earaches, but I am willing to swear by any of her several concoctions that have, over the years, produced the desired effect without having killed me.
She’ll be the first to admit that sometimes you just need to see a doctor. Of course, she has never killed anyone by mistake, so I figure that puts her ahead of about half the doctors currently practicing.
Recently, I was required to make weight for a Secret Squirrel mission to Antarctica. Apparently, there are no lard-asses allowed at the South Pole. The penguins can be as fat as they like.
I had all of three weeks to drop thirty pounds and get my labs to acceptable levels or polar bears would die from melting icebergs…or something.
Body builders regularly accomplish such feats ahead of competitions. I’m not a body builder by trade, but if they can ruin their long term health in the name of their profession, so can I. The decade cut off the end of my life is likely years I don’t want, anyway. I’ve been to an old folks home before.
It was the world’s worst party game; The Apple Cider Vinegar Challenge.
Knowing my aversion to poverty and pathological inability to turn down any opportunity to work, Mrs. Cunha enabled my lunacy by becoming my personal dietitian. She put me on a high protein, no carbohydrate, low sugar feed ration. It was basically meat and vegetables, which isn’t much of a sacrifice for me, other than having to drink my coffee as it came out of the whirring “Don’t Bother Daddy” machine. It was the quantities of food that caused suffering.
I don’t believe I exceeded a thousand calories a day.
Looking back, the pain in Mrs. Cunha’s eyes at having to tell me that I had eaten my caloric allotment convinces me that she should be considered for sainthood. I did my best not to whine too much over the deprivation because, after all, I had asked for her help. On the upside, I discovered a previously unknown taste for fish. Plus, the fish portions were larger for the same number of calories.
Still, it was a punishing routine maintaining a full schedule of chores and projects on the farm, with my muscles burning and my stomach crying out in famishment.
Add to this a thrice-daily ritual of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before each meal. Occasionally, I could mix it in with a salad, but then I’d have to drink the dregs of the salad bowl to ensure I consumed the entire dose. After a while, Mrs. Cunha would simply measure the apple cider vinegar out into a shot-glass prior to each meal, and I’d pound it down like a college student on a tequila bender in Tijuana.
Just writing about it gives me the dry heaves.
I only came close to throwing up two or three times.
The claim of appetite suppression is true enough. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar not only takes away the appetite, it causes faces that resemble a cross between a kabuki mask and a Maori warrior dancing before a battle.
Where the claim as a sore throat curative comes from mystifies me. Chugging down apple cider vinegar caused my throat to hurt. Maybe I used too much.
I can’t speak to the other uses, but I imagine no self-respecting cat would chew on a power cord doused in the stuff. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar gives a ring of truth to any uses that dissolve grime, stains, unwanted cell clusters, etc., but after melting a pistol, I’m hesitant to use any sort of vinegar as a solvent.
My experience with apple cider vinegar was about the furthest thing possible from a randomized, double blind, placebo control study; the Gold Standard of scientific research. Truth be told, click-baity Facebook posts and well-intentioned articles from homesteading websites far better than mine are not much better supported by data. What I can tell you from experience is that adding apple cider vinegar as a diet aid or cholesterol reducer is a rough way to achieve an extreme, short-term goal.
Introducing the best diet of 2018: Don’t Eat so God-Damned Much
I made to Antarctica, saved a polar bear, and even had time to officiate a penguin same-sex wedding (Albeit, with no cake), but I doubt the apple cider vinegar would have been as effective without the radical reduction of caloric intake.
If you have a use for apple cider vinegar that works for you, carry on, my wayward son.
If you’re told about a new use, approach it carefully. Apple cider vinegar is a corrosive, technically speaking. Ultimately, we are all responsible for the results of our actions.
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