I was reviewing an ebook on vinegar remedies and uses recently, and came across some surprising assertions. Despite the ebook author claiming that vinegar was not a cure all, the list of complaints vinegar supposedly fixed was astounding. Almost as astounding as the rationale behind using vinegar to fix said complaints.
Apart from the evils of satisfying one's 'debased' taste buds over nourishing the body – which is apparently the cause of all of modern man's ills. The author suggest we start looking to 'natural resources' that have been used in the days before Christ. Apparently that was a bit of a turning point nutritionally.
Anyway, sunshine, water and air aside, its all herbs, honey, and homebrews. These are the antidote to the 'unnatural chemical compounds' that are plaguing us. Hmmm – that must be why we our ancestors lived about double the life span that we do. Oh, I'm sorry, its we who live on average twice as long as our ancestors…
It would be lovely if we could explain away the plethora of chronic and acute illnesses that affect so many people. There is no doubt that in some cases nutritional choice has played a causative or aggravating factor in a person's ill health. But people who follow very healthy, natural diets also get sick. People who exercise still have heart attacks. The answer is not always simple, nor is it always to be found by glorifying folk remedies or taking complex Oriental classification systems and treatments out of context. Which is not to say there is not some value, for certain things, in either traditional medicine, or folk remedies.
But giving herbal treatments, or folk remedies, the veneer of pseudo science, does not help anyone.
The author of this ebook stated that 'a number of outstanding authorities' have proven the 'therapeutic' value of using apple cider vinegar for complaints ranging from obesity to arthritis – without naming said authorities. And the chief rationale behind apple cider vinegar's supposed wide ranging value is that, like apples, it contains Phosphorous, Chlorine, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium, Sulfur, Iron, Fluorine, Silicon, plus many trace elements. And, Potassium.
Now, apple cider vinegar may in fact contain all of these things. It certainly does contain potassium, but only very small amounts – about 15mg per tablespoon as compared to 159mg per apple, or 288mg for 10 rings of dried apple. Cider vinegar has no sodium, no magnesium, and about 1mg of calcium and phosphorus. Hardly noteworthy. But that doesn't stop the book promoting apple cider vinegar as encouraging the health of veins and capillaries, and therefore heart health and blood pressure. And whilst we're at it, it helps the blood clot better, though there is no explanation as to this mechanism. By this rationale, tomorrow it will help colonize mars. Presumably in the same mysterious way as it stores the fiber this ebook attributes cider vinegar as having.
But just as apple cider vinegar in fact has no fiber – unlike apples – so cider vinegar is not nearly as miraculous or mysterious as the ebook's logic. Vinegar may in fact have promise in cleaning without having to resort to harsh chemicals. And in may also be beneficial for some health purposes. But it does not do nearly as much as is claimed. And by creatively linking it to every ailment imaginable, it serves to turn herbal remedies into a bad joke. Mars anyone?