My husband got me started on apple cider vinegar. About four months ago he started drinking warm water with a spoonful of cider vinegar first thing in the morning. “It’s really good for your health and digestion. It should be the first thing you drink when you wake up,” he urged.
The thought of drinking vinegar first thing in the morning nauseated me. “No thanks, Honey! I’ll stick to my coffee.”
A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism as well as an auto immune issue known as Hashimoto’s disease. While I am lucky not to have many of the more difficult symptoms associated with these disorders, I do often experience fatigue.
After my husband started the cider vinegar routine, a friend of ours who is a doctor of Chinese medicine recommended I drink warm water with lemon, honey and ginger first thing in the morning. He explained that this lemon, honey and ginger combination is good for both the thyroid and digestion. The combination seemed more palatable than my husband’s vinegar concoction, so I went for it.
I was amazed at how I felt after a week of drinking this mixture. The ginger warmed my thyroid area each morning and stimulated my senses. Before long, I cut back on my morning coffee ritual, finding that the lemon, honey and ginger seemed to wake me up just as well as the caffeine (and no jitters, hurrah!). I was better hydrated, and starting the day off with a healthy drink seemed to set me on the right track for the rest of the day.
A few weeks later, my husband suggested I try adding a small spoonful of the cider vinegar to the lemon/honey/ginger drink. After looking up the health benefits, he was right– there are many! Raw apple cider vinegar is alkaline-forming, which means that it can help to balance your body’s pH levels. It also has prebiotic properties which boost gut health and immunity.
Combining apple cider vinegar with honey and ginger creates a powerful boost of antioxidants that aids in digestion and weight loss. This drink can help to combat indigestion, nausea and bloating. Some folks notice a relief in their acid reflux symptoms when they drink this mixture regularly. It can also help to relieve many cold symptoms, including congestion.
After reading about all of these benefits, I went for it. You know what? It wasn’t half-bad. In fact, after a few mornings I barely noticed the cider taste; the lemon, honey and ginger flavors overpowered any off-flavor from the cider.
It has become my morning ritual each and every day – I make one drink for me and one for my husband. Having reaped the benefits for weeks now, I figured it was finally share-worthy for the blog!
While apple cider vinegar has had a noticeably positive affect on my overall wellness and has long been considered a cure-all for many ailments, this drink is not for everyone and does come with its own set of precautions. Cider vinegar is fairly acidic, and can cause throat irritation if not properly diluted or if too much is consumed. It can also break down tooth enamel over time if you’re not careful.
This drink is quite diluted which helps, but you can protect yourself even more by rinsing your mouth out really well with water after you finish the drink. Apple cider vinegar may also react with some medications, including laxatives, diuretics and medications taken for diabetes and heart conditions. Always consult your doctor before taking apple cider vinegar to treat any medical conditions you may be experiencing.
If you really want to follow my morning routine, I always down one of these vitamin C packs (recommended by my naturopath) after sipping the cider drink. They taste really odd, but I have to say my immunity seems to be stronger than ever. I can’t remember the last time I caught a cold!
If you decide to juice fresh ginger, this is the juicer I use. It’s the best I’ve found for ease of use and easy cleanup. Of course, if you’re not into juicing, there is no need to buy a juicer just to make this drink. You can make it a few different ways, which I will explain below!
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- 1 1/2 cups hot water (the same temperature you would use to make tea)
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (or up to 3 tsp)
- 1 tbsp honey (I use manuka honey)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger juice OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp powdered ginger spice OR 2-inch knob peeled ginger, sliced (ginger is to taste - use more or less as desired, but use enough so that your throat tingles when you drink it!)
- If using fresh ginger juice or powdered ginger: combine all ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Serve hot and sip it like a tea. If using fresh ginger: Combine the peeled fresh sliced ginger and 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan and simmer on the stovetop for 2-3 minutes. Remove ginger pieces, then stir in the lemon juice, cider vinegar, and honey.
- Serve hot and sip it like a tea. When finished, rinse your mouth out well with water, then brush your teeth. I usually follow this routine by drinking a full glass of room temperature or warm water.