Apple cider vinegar is not a "new" folk remedy, but has its origin in Phoenician times, when they drank Shekar, a type of apple cider vinegar, for its healing properties.
The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates (400 B.C.), also used apple cider vinegar to treat his patients, using it as a healing elixir.
The Roman army issued its soldiers with a ration of vinegar to take daily for general health, and the sponge with water and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ when He was on the cross, was not necessary torture, but could have been a sign of compassion, since the Romans drank vinegar and water as a thirst quencher.
When the Black Plague swept Europe, the healers of the time protected themselves by taking apple cider vinegar because of its disinfectant properties.
Apple cider vinegar has never disappeared from folk medicine, but has also not gained huge popularity, for two reasons.
Firstly, few people actually like the taste of apple cider vinegar liquid, and secondly, supplement manufacturers never believed that there would be a market for an apple cider vinegar capsule.
The saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" comes from the medieval English saying, which really goes "to eat an apple before going to bed will make the doctor beg for his bread."
This would be hard to believe in our modern day world, where our health is kept together and disease is kept at bay by a battery of doctors - ranging from cardiologists, dermatologists, gynecologists, internists, oncologists, neurologists, pathologists, radiologists etc.
Some people complain that apple cider vinegar is too acidic to drink, but that is really not true - but to make it easier to swallow, we have developed the apple cider vinegar capsule with gotu kola, where the active liquid is in a
concentrated active powder form, encapsulated and combined with the greatly beneficial gotu kola (Centella asiatica) herb.
It is the addition of Gotu Kola, which makes our capsule an effective supplement to take, since the two different components work in synergy and form a formidable and powerful combination.
Scientists have measured ninety different substances in apple cider vinegar, such as thirteen types of carbolic acids, four aldehydes, twenty ketones, eighteen types of alcohols, eight ethyl acetates etc. It also contains important minerals, trace elements and vitamins (as listed underneath) as well acetic acid, propionic acid, lactic acid, enzymes, amino acids as well as roughage in the form of potash and apple pectin.
- Minerals and trace elements
- sulfur (the mineral - not the anti-biotic sulfa which some people are allergic to)
- If we had to highlight one of the above ingredients I would really like to draw attention to potassium. Potassium is as important to tissue as what calcium is too bones. With potassium lacking many health problems can arise, whereas sufficient potassium can help for problems such as aching legs and keeping arteries working properly. Potassium is to soft tissue as what calcium is to bones - essential.
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
- vitamin A
- vitamin B1
- vitamin B2
- vitamin B6
- provitamin beta-carotene
- Vitamin P
- well functioning metabolism
- reducing cholesterol (the dangerous LDL cholesterol type)
- regulating the water content in the cells and body
- reducing water retention in the body
- reducing excess sodium from the body
- helps to regulate blood pressure
- assists in preventing circulatory problems
- helps with diminishing premature calcification of the arteries
- helps increase concentration and memory
- assists in blood circulation
- This condition of inflammation of the joints is a major chronic disease in the West, and is believed to be partly caused by a build-up of toxic wastes in the tissues, causing irritation. Arthritis sufferers have reported a positive influence that apple cider vinegar has on the pain experienced as well as slowing down the progression of this disease. Most people using it as a therapy for this problem ingest it four times a day. Although apple cider vinegar is a humble ingredient - it has been trusted by millions of people for thousands of years - maybe you to should give it a try.
- Although orthodox allopathic medicine might not agree with this remedy, some people have found relief from asthma by ingesting apple cider vinegar, as well as applying pads, soaked in apple cider vinegar, under pressure to the inside of the wrists.
- Blood pressure
- The potassium in apple cider vinegar is said to be beneficial to the heart, and in some quarters this remedy is said to assist in making the blood thinner, and thereby assisting with blood pressure and in the prevention of strokes.
- The manganese, magnesium, silicon and calcium found in apple cider vinegar has been linked to sustaining bone mass, which is important in the fight against osteoporosis. A supplement of apple cider vinegar could for this reason be valuable to consider should you suffer from a calcium shortage, have a problem with osteoporosis, or if you are entering your post-menopausal stage, where a risk of bone loss could cause a problem.
- Although apple cider cannot cure cancer, it is a valuable ally to have around to help fight free radicals in the body, which have been shown to be indicative in the formation of various cancers. Beta-carotene, found in apple cider vinegar, is a powerful antioxidant, which helps to neutralize the free radicals formed in our bodies through oxidation. To prevent these free radicals, and to keep them in check, we need antioxidants in our system to rid our bodies of these potentially dangerous compounds. If free radicals are left alone to have the run of our bodies, they cause major damage by severely damaging cells, which leads to ageing and degeneration. The pectin in apple cider vinegar adds fiber to the diet, and even the American Cancer Society promotes a high fiber diet to help prevent cancer, especially colon cancer. The reason for this is that fiber binds with certain cancer causing (carcinogenic) compounds in the colon, and speeds up their elimination from the body.
- A good warning system for heart disease is the presence of high blood cholesterol in the system. To help prevent this, follow a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a diet high in fruit and vegetables, maintaining your ideal weight, getting enough exercise, while avoiding processed foods, junk foods and hydrogenated oils. Another way is to add fiber to your diet, especially water-soluble fiber - such as the pectin found in apple cider vinegar. Water-soluble fiber soaks up water, which adds bulk and interacts with your body. Fiber also soaks up fats and cholesterol in the body and they are then excreted instead of being absorbed. Non water-soluble fiber soaks up moisture in the body, but cannot interact with the body. The amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar have also shown promise in neutralizing some of the harmful oxidized LDL cholesterol. Apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy for helping to fight cholesterol for some time - but please consult your doctor if you need medical assistance.
- It has been found that the pH factor (the acidity factor) of the body becomes a bit more alkaline prior to a cold or flu striking you down. When you take apple cider vinegar it helps to rebalance the acid level of your body.
- Not having proper bowel movements is blamed for many illnesses and diseases that befall us. The logic behind this is that should the waste from our body functions be retained in the body, for longer than what nature intended, it will cause toxins to be absorbed back into the system. As we age our bodies produce less, and start to lag behind, in the manufacture of digestive acids (hydrochloric acid), pepsin and digestive enzymes - which can cause constipation. When we add fiber to our diet, such as the pectin in apple cider vinegar, we assist our body by having regular bowel movements and therefore properly eliminating waste. Some conventional practitioners do not see constipation as a huge health problem, but merely a nuisance - in alternative medicine constipation is taken very seriously, as it is thought to be counterproductive to good health.
- If you have never woken up in the middle of the night with cramps tearing through your calves, feet or legs, you would not understand the agony. A useful remedy to assist with this is to take apple cider vinegar.
- This disease is becoming more and more common, and there may be various reasons for this phenomena, but it must be remembered that it is not only extremely serious, but needs proper medical supervision, and a strict adherence to dietary rules and medication, as prescribed by your medical practitioner. It is however interesting to note that added dietary fiber, such as contained in apple cider vinegar, is beneficial in controlling blood glucose levels.
- There are various causes for diarrhea, and although it should not be left untreated, it sometimes is a way for the body to rid itself of harmful compounds and ingested materials. The pectin in apple cider vinegar is great to take when suffering from this problem, since this water-soluble fiber swells up, and forms bulk. Apple cider vinegar can also be an effective item to use against certain bacteria, which cause diarrhea, and the intestinal flora also transforms pectin into a protective coating, which soothes the irritated lining of the colon.
- Although prescribing apple cider vinegar for depression would be classed as extremely alternative, some Eastern medicines do believe that depression is the symptom of a "stagnant" or tired liver. If you believe in this philosophy, then apple cider vinegar would help to fight depression, since it is a great medium to help detoxify and clean the liver.
- Cataract development in the eye is associated to oxidation of the lens of the eye due to alterations caused by free radicals changing the structure of the lens. With this in mind apple cider vinegar can be of use since the antioxidant properties of beta-carotene contained in apple cider vinegar is great in combating free radicals. With modern day lifestyles and diet, the average person could do well by ensuring that their diet contains adequate antioxidants in order to fight the free radicals in the body.
- Lactic acid is released in the body during exercise as well as periods of stress, and this can lead to fatigue, which in turn can be combated by the amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar. The enzymes, as well as the potassium contained in apple cider vinegar can also be of great help in the quest for more energy and vitality.
- Food poisoning
- Because of the great disinfectant qualities inherent in apple cider vinegar, some people use it with success when suffering from mild cases of food poisoning. If you suffer from violent symptoms, and suspect serious food poisoning, please contact your medical practitioner immediately.
- Gallstones and kidney stones
- A theory exists that the acids found in apple cider vinegar are beneficial in breaking up kidney stones and gallstones, by softening or dissolving them. Although we cannot guarantee any results since there are so many other influencing factors, it might be worth your while to supplement your diet with apple cider vinegar, should you be suffering from gallstones or kidney stones.
- The cause of headaches can be stress, allergies, tiredness, and problems with your gallbladder, liver, kidneys or a variety of other factors. Although apple cider vinegar cannot be touted as a headache treatment, is has been found that people have slightly more alkaline urine when suffering from a headache, and with this apple cider vinegar can be effective, since it will assist in bringing your body's acid level back into sync. The inhalation of apple cider vinegar can also assist with a headache - and can be done by adding some apple cider vinegar to boiling water in a big pan, removing it from the stove and carefully inhaling the vapor.
- Since apple cider vinegar is used to promote the health of veins and capillaries, it is by implication also useful in assisting in the health of the heart and blood pressure. The potassium found in apple cider vinegar is also beneficial to the heart. For each kilogram of excess weight, your body has to work so much harder - is it not time to be kind to the one organ that may not stop working, by simply shedding some extra weight?
- When people start talking about indigestion they immediately start referring to the "excess" stomach acid that they have! In most cases it is NOT a case of an excess of stomach acid, but a shortage of it. Hydrochloric acid and pepsin, an enzyme working in an acid environment, are needed to break down food effectively, and a shortage of these two ingredients will lead to a sluggish digestion of food and resultant indigestion. Taking apple cider vinegar may assist in effecting a remedy.
- The quest for achieving the ideal weight always will include effective and efficient metabolism. Without it your dietary intake will not be metabolized correctly, the nutrients will not be available to the body, and this will result in excess weight being added to the body frame. Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries in aiding the liver to detoxify the body and to help with digesting rich, fatty and greasy foods, and for properly metabolizing of proteins, fats and minerals. If the food cannot be broken down into absorbable form, the body cannot assimilate the required nutrients needed from the diet. An added extra to help with this is the malic acid and tartaric acid found in apple cider vinegar, since it helps to bring the acid content into balance, while killing off unwanted and unfriendly bacteria in the digestive tract.
- Lactic acid in muscles is the cause of the muscles feeling sore and stiff, but by adding some apple cider vinegar to your diet, it could assist the body to get rid of it at a faster pace, since it will help to break down the acid crystals, making it much easier to be flushed out of the body.
- Nasal congestion
- A constant draining of mucus from the sinus cavities can both be sore and uncomfortable. It is best to cut out, or eat as little as possible, mucus forming food - which traditionally, in most cases would be dairy products. Many sufferers of nasal congestion have experienced relief by adding apple cider vinegar to their diet. Apple cider vinegar is not an anti-allergy substance as such; but some people experience an improvement in hay fever as well as headaches associated with allergies when taking it.
- Stiff joints
- A shortage of potassium in the body may cause stiff joints. Apple cider vinegar can help in relieving this problem when ingesting it, since it is a good source of the needed nutrient. Another remedy is to relax in a warm tub, with some apple cider vinegar added to the water.
- Apple cider vinegar is showing great promise in helping to heal alcohol-induced ulcers, since it activates the body into starting up its own defensive mechanism. This, together with other indicators, suggests that apple cider vinegar may in the near future be drawn into the fold of alternative ulcer preventing remedies.
- Some people suffering from underweight could have a shortage of enzymes, and apple cider vinegar can help provide the needed nutrients to rectify this problem.
- Weight loss
- Apple cider vinegar has been used as a weight loss remedy for centuries, and although the mechanics are not always clear on how it works, it really does work. It has been suggested that apple cider vinegar works because it makes the body burn calories better, that it reduces the appetite or simply that it gets the entire metabolism working at top efficiency. But whatever the reason for apple cider vinegar helping to lose weight - the fact remains; it has stood the test of time as a fat-busting supplement, and has helped countless people to achieve their ideal
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica), also called Indian Pennywort, Centella or Mandookaparni, is a native herb to South Africa, India as well as Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
It has been used extensively in African herbal remedies and is a major herb in Ayurvedic medicine for the last 3000 years, and was also referred to by early Western medicine in the French pharmacopoeia of 1884.
In the modern day pharmaceutical world it is often used as an active ingredient in tonics, oral slimming formulas, body-beautiful preparations, body firming products, wound healing, anti-aging skin care products (some independent studies have shown great promise in the topical effectiveness of centella and the treatment of stretch marks).
It contains NO caffeine or any stimulants (do not confuse it with the kola nut), but contains asiaticosides, which are a triterpene glycoside - which can be classified as a type of antibiotic which may assists in wound treatment. Centella has also been used to assist in fighting leprosy in both African and Indian herbal treatments, since it helps to dissolve the waxy coating of the leprosy bacteria - thereby allowing the immune system to destroy the bacteria.
It further contains brahmosides and brahminosides, which are saponin glycosides, as well as madecassosides - also a glycoside, but with great anti-inflammatory properties.
Over and above the asiaticosides, brahmosides and brahminosides, the plant is also a source of vitamin K (which is used to promote blood clotting, as well as bone maintenance and repair), magnesium, calcium, sodium, madecassic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, vitamin K, asparate, glutamate, serine, threonine, alanine, lysine and histidine.
Gotu Kola is said to help with the following:
- purify the blood
- promote better circulation
- increase energy
- healthy skin
- assist in helping with high blood pressure
- rejuvenating and balancing the mind, as well as a being a nerve tonic
- assisting with slimming
- treatment of liver and kidney problems
- an anti-stress agent
- an adaptogen
The saying "if it is to good to be true, then it usually is" comes to mind when you start talking about this amazing herb - but in the instance of gotu kola, much can be said for the properties it contains, and for this reason it has been successfully used for more than 3,000 years.
- Memory and alertness
- The Indian yogis believe that gotu kola helps in their meditation, since it is thought to help with concentration, mental alertness and mental focusing. Students have also reported greater capacity for memory retention and it is also thought to help produce neurotransmitters.
- Gotu Kola is a useful herb for bedridden patients since it is great to help with circulation, wound healing and bedsores, whereas people with problems with phlebitis (inflammation of the veins), varicose veins, gastric ulcers and other circulatory problems also report benefits from gotu kola. In this, centella helps in strengthening the capillaries and veins and in so doing also assists with better blood circulation. Some people report great benefit from gotu kola when suffering from varicose veins, and this is in keeping with what Ayurvedic medicine uses this herb for.
- Energy and vitality
- Gotu Kola is also taken for energy and vitality as it is said to help with the normalizing of blood sugar levels, which in turn helps with combating hypoglycemia, mental fatigue, depression and confusion. Gotu kola could also help with the body's energy level since it has a good supply of thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6), which assists in convert carbohydrates into glucose as well as being needed for normal nervous system functioning. In animal testing it was also shown that gotu kola (together with capsicum and Siberian ginseng) can assist in overcoming the negative effects of fatigue and stress.
- In India it has for the last 3,000 years of Ayurvedic medicine been used for wound healing, as a mild diuretic, increasing concentration, alertness, as well as anti-anxiety and anti-stress. In the Far East it is used for treatment of depression and longevity - in China it is also called the "fountain of Youth" - and by name alone should inspire those looking for a way to look better for longer. Another anti-aging benefit that gotu kola is said to have is to help with the increase of hemoglobin, while decreasing urea and acid phosphate levels in the blood.
- Gotu kola is said to have an effect on connective tissue, and has great value helping with the synthesis of collagen, thickening of the skin (a great anti-aging property - as we age our skins become thinner), increasing the tensile strength of the flesh, wound healing, repair of damaged tissue in wound healing, as well as promoting hair and nail growth.
- When detoxifying the body it is also helpful to look at gotu cola, as it said to assist with destroying toxic accumulation in the brain as well as the nerves, while helping to clear the body of heavy metals as well as drugs - including recreational drugs.
- In some quarters, although it should be classed as extremely alternative, people suffering from hepatitis as well as alcoholic liver disease also use gotu kola when detoxifying.
- In alternative health this herb is used to treat tumors and cancerous growths, without suppressing the auto immune system or creating toxic wastes within the body.
In its fresh form (you can plant it successfully in your garden) gotu kola (centella asiatica) can also be used in salads and the dried leaves can be used to make an herbal infusion.
If very large quantities of gotu kola is ingested it might cause nausea, but no other side effects exist; yet children under 4, as well as pregnant or lactating mother should not take gotu kola orally. People on any sedatives or calming medication should also avoid centella, since it could enhance the action of the sedative.
We would like to re-iterate that the above information on apple cider vinegar, as well as gotu kola (centella asiatica) is meant as information only, and although the anecdotal qualities have been listed, it is not as such underwritten by clinical Western allopathic medicine, and none of the above should be seen as any health or medicinal claims by Zest for Life™ or its manufacturers. Should you suffer from any medical condition, or have any concerns about your health, please discuss your problems with your medical doctor before taking any type of supplement. © 1999, 2000, 2001 Sallamander Concepts (Pty) Ltd.
- Healing cream
- To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
- Face wash
- This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
- Moisturizing day cream
- This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
- Nourishing night cream
- This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
- Eye gel
- An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
- Mud face mask
- With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.
- Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
- Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
- Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
- We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.
- Hand and body lotion
- When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
- Stretch mark gel
- Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.
- Cellulite gel
- Fighting cellulite is easy with this herbal cellulite gel. It contains a patented extract of Bayberry (Myriceline) and nine other plant extracts and essential oils. The gel will help to get rid of cellulite (which has been clinically proven) and will also help to prevent cellulite from forming. So now it is easy to get your soft body contours back again.
- Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
- The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
- Digest capsules
- If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
- Detox capsules
- Our modern day lifestyle exposes us to many unwanted additive and our diet also places stress on the body. To help the body get rid of toxins and waste materials naturally we combined fennel, basil, celery and parsley to help the body remove these toxins. It peps-up your metabolism and helps the bladder, kidneys and liver to do their work more effectively.
- Urinary and bladder health capsules
- Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
- Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
- If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
- Olive leaf extract capsules
- This natural detoxifier helps with a variety of ailments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, glandular fever (Epstein Barr), and even candida and herpes have found it of value. Olive leaf extract helps to fight bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and protozoa and yeast strains. Apart from fighting all of these problems it also helps to improve kidney function and fights free radicals.
- Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
- Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.
- Jojoba oil
- This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
- Almond oil
- This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.