Vinegar: Medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect

Carol Johnston, Cindy A. Gaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vinegar folklore is as colorful as it is practical. Legend states that a courtier in Babylonia (c. 5000 BC) "discovered" wine, formed from unattended grape juice, leading to the eventual discovery of vinegar and its use as a food preservative. Hippocrates (c. 420 BC) used vinegar medicinally to manage wounds. Hannibal of Carthage (c. 200 BC), the great military leader and strategist, used vinegar to dissolve boulders that blocked his army's path. Cleopatra (c. 50 BC) dissolved precious pearls in vinegar and offered her love potion to Anthony. Sung Tse, the 10th century creator of forensic medicine, advocated hand washing with sulfur and vinegar to avoid infection during autopsies. Based on the writings of US medical practitioners dating to the late 18th century, many ailments, from dropsy to poison ivy, croup, and stomachache, were treated with vinegar, and, before the production and marketing of hypoglycemic agents, vinegar "teas" were commonly consumed by diabetics to help manage their chronic aliment. This review examines the scientific evidence for medicinal uses of vinegar, focusing particularly on the recent investigations supporting vinegar's role as an antiglycemic agent. Epidemiologic studies and clinical trials were identified by a MEDLINE title/abstract search with the following search terms: vinegar, glucose; vinegar, cancer; or vinegar, infection. All relevant randomized or case-control trials were included in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
JournalMedGenMed Medscape General Medicine
Volume8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

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Acetic Acid
Toxicodendron
Food Preservatives
Folklore
Croup
Hand Disinfection
Forensic Medicine
Love
Vitis
Tea
Wine
Infection
Marketing
Sulfur
Hypoglycemic Agents
MEDLINE
Epidemiologic Studies
Autopsy
Edema
Clinical Trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Vinegar : Medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect. / Johnston, Carol; Gaas, Cindy A.

In: MedGenMed Medscape General Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 2, 61, 2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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