A couple of years ago, I got a cold. Just an ordinary cold - but it turned into something pretty serious. I thought the cold was just a long, drawn-out one, so I didn't go to the doctor. I didn't want to go to the trouble of arranging an appointment (you moms of little ones know what I mean!) and pay the doctor's fee just to hear, "It's only a cold; there's nothing we can do."
Then one morning, I felt really cold. I cranked up our wood stove and bundled up in a blanket. I got the shivers and could barely walk. I took my temperature: 105 degrees. To make a long story short, my husband came home from work and took me immediately to the doctor, who said I had a "raging" sinus infection. He was so worried about me, he wouldn't let me walk out the door, prescribed a heavy duty antibiotic, and gave me an extra-long dose. Even then, I had to take an additional week of the stuff.
Ever since that serious bout with a sinus infection, it seems every cold I get leads to a sinus infection. The good news is, I now know that if a cold seems to last more than 2 weeks, I should seek medical help. I also recognize the extreme fatigue and sinus issues related to a sinus infection. Nonetheless, as you can imagine, I was tired of going to the doc for antibiotics every time I got a cold.
So I did a little research into preventing sinus infections. A lot of doctors recommend using a neti pot, which I already did. Further research showed that among experts in natural medicine, apple cider vinegar was recommended - but not the ordinary kind typically found in grocery stores. It must be the raw, unfiltered type with the "mother" still in it, like Bragg's.
So I bought a bottle and put it in my pantry.
Soon, I had opportunity to use it. I got another cold (a rather nasty one, in fact), and I began taking the apple cider vinegar every day. I continued until all my cold and sinus symptoms disappeared. And for the first time in years, my cold wasn't followed by a sinus infection! That was enough to make me realize raw apple cider vinegar is a worthy part of my health care.
Why Does it Work?
It's certainly possible the diuretic action of the vinegar does a lot to get rid of illness. (If you've ever had a doctor tell you to "push fluids," this is why. The more you drink, the more you urinate and the more "bad bugs" your body gets rid of.) But the fact is, no one is exactly sure why apple cider vinegar seems to be so beneficial to health - although we do know it's packed with acetic acid, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
According to a conservative source, WebMD, raw apple cider vinegar:
* may help diabetes and cause weight loss
* helps lower high cholesterol and blood pressure
* may slow the growth of cancer cells
If you visit alternative medicine websites, you'll also find a great many other claims for what apple cider vinegar can do. (Here's a more moderate example of such a site.)
According to WebMD, there is also some indication that drinking apple cider vinegar every day for years could lower your potassium and bone density and that the chromium in the vinegar could alter insulin levels in diabetics - so if you choose to drink it daily, please discuss it with your doctor. Personally, I drink it only when I crave it, or at the first sign I could be getting a sinus infection.