The Holy Trinity of Digestive Aids: Apple Cider Vinegar, Ginger, and Aloe Vera
In my household, there are three items that I always have stocked. I love them so much that I travel with them. Montezuma’s Revenge will not find me unprepared.
I love them so much that I travel with them. Montezuma’s Revenge will not find me unprepared!
The items I am referring to are: Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe Vera Juice, and Ginger.
These items are all natural, amazing multitaskers, easy to find, and most important to me…effective.
In this article, I am going to address why you should use them, what to use, and how to use them.
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV
What to use
The first and most important thing is to establish what kind of vinegar we are talking about.
When people talk about ACV, they are referring to the organic, raw, unfiltered version, not the standard grocery store stuff.
Apple Cider Vinegar has a darker brown color and something called the Mother in it.
The Mother is a by-product of the process of making ACV and it contains enzymes and nutrients, which exactly why you want this version of Apple Cider Vinegar.
Why should you use it
Here are three reasons why you should use Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion:
- The enzymes in ACV help aid in digestion
- The acid level of ACV breaks up gas bubbles
- The acid level can kill harmful bacteria
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar
I drink Apple Cider Vinegar, and I will not lie to you and tell you that you are going to love it at first, but I can get you there if you trust me.
When you first start with Apple Cider Vinegar, you need to try a small amount, and you need a high ratio of sweetener to get it down.
So here is a recipe for the first time, 2 teaspoons of honey*, 1 teaspoon of ACV, and eight ounces of water. Mix the vinegar and honey well before you add the water or it will clump. If your water is too cold the honey will clump.
*(or more if you have to)
You are not going to be like”OOOH….YUMMY!” Not at all, but please trust me it gets better.
Do not chug-a-lug or you might choke.
An alternative to the water method is juice. Take an 8 oz. cup of your favorite juice(expect orange!!) and add the teaspoon of vinegar to that and stir.
Braggs is the most famous maker of ACV and if you could find a pre-mixed version like the one pictured. I have been drinking ACV for awhile and even I have to dilute this stuff. Which is cool because I take this on the road, add it to my water and I have digestion salvation in a bottle.
The brand Live Beverages also has drinking vinegar, but it is not the same of making it yourself. However, it is a good option to introducing you to the taste.
Kevita has a “probiotic” drink. One of the ingredients is ACV. This was not designed to be therapeutic. It is a good option for everyday use, and if there was no other option available.
What to use
Of course, there is fresh ginger and jarred ginger, which is great for cooking. Not so great for me as a digestive supplement.
I use crystallized ginger. It is convenient and accessible. You can carry with you on the go, and it has a long shelf life.
Why you should use it
Ginger is an ancient proven remedy. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine have been using this ingredient for millennia.
Here are the three benefits to using ginger for digestion:
- Relaxes the smooth muscle walls of your digestive tract, which alleviates cramping symptoms
- Combats nausea by assisting in the process of your stomach emptying into the small intestine…it is food sitting in your stomach that can cause regurgitation and discomfort
- Promotes/supports your immune system, an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the gut is the cause of ulcer, acid reflux, diarrhea, and many other maladies
How to Use It
A little ginger goes a long way in aiding with digestive irritation. This is another ingredient that you are going to want to use sparingly, which is another great benefit. It is cost effective because you are not using very much at one time.
You can take a nibble of it just like candy. IT IS STRONG! So make sure you have a glass of water your first time. It will be sweet, spicy* and exotic.
*(not pepper hot, but spicy heat…make sense?)
The method that you will most likely prefer is putting the ginger in a drink. Here is healing cocktail for you:
- one teaspoon of chopped crystallized ginger (or to taste)
- two ounces of lemonade
- six ounces of water ( if you have a sensitive palate use more water)
You can simply stir this mixture making sure to press or mottle the ginger so it can release its essence into the liquid.
If you throw it in the blender, it will turn into a frothy, refreshing drink.
Aloe Vera Juice
What to use
I keep an aloe vera plant in my kitchen 1) because it is cool 2) because it is a good burn treatment.
I personally do not harvest my tiny aloe leaves to make products with. There are great products on the market already.
For economy sake, and to control the sugar level, buying unflavored aloe vera juice is a good option.
If you like convenience and for someone to do the work for you, I personally like Alo drink brand pictured here.
Why should you use it
Aloe Vera is one of those things you should just have in your home, and it is absolutely stellar for digestive health for these reasons:
- It is antibacterial, so it can help you ward off nasty pathogens
- It coats and soothes the digestive treat, which can bring relief
- It can heal soft tissue wounds, like that damage caused by stomach acid in the esophagus; so if you have damage from years of acid reflux there is hope to halt and reverse the process
How to use it
If you are using the Aloe Vera Juice that is unsweetened, you most likely want to add it to a flavored drink. You can take it straight up, but…it is nasty…sooo…proceed with caution.
There should be dosing instruction of the bottle, but my advice is always to start out with just a tiny bit…like a teaspoon. Give your taste buds and body time to adjust to new experiences.
Perhaps you just want to try a pre-packaged aloe vera drink like Alo brand.
The first thing people complain about is the chunks of aloe. At first, it will be a weird sensory issue, but please trust me that over time, you will learn to love them and all their healing power.
But if you decide you just can not stand the chunks…Alo has your back, there are pulp free versions. They might be a bit more difficult to find, but they are there.
I hope you have appreciated this comprehensive guide to how to soothe your digestion track. If you missed Part One, catch up here
If you have questions about where to find these products, ask me in the comments or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org