Surely, you’ve experienced, or at the very least are aware of the fancy ‘health beverage’ trends that seem to be popping up all over for long periods of time; cold-pressed juices, kombucha, kvass, or even the classic wheatgrass shot. Those who drink these products typically swear by them, but they get a bad reputation due to their marketing. Most people brush these health-drinks off as some ‘new fad’ that will eventually go away, which can actually feel discouraging, since there are great benefits to some of these drinks. But perhaps, people would be more inclined to try a drink that not only has a laundry list of health benefits, but was the drink of choice for American farmers in the 18th century.
That old farmer’s drink that is making a clear and fast comeback today? It’s called Switchel, and once you look past the funny name, you’ll find incredible benefits to this apple drink than you could even imagine.
Switchel is made from pure apple cider vinegar, maple syrup or honey, fresh ginger, and water. For farmers at the time, it was used to stay hydrated. What people are drinking Switchel for today, however, goes far past the feeling of being parched.
Most people would probably agree that the separate ingredients found in Switchel offer numerous health benefits on their own. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, after all, honey is one of the world’s best natural sweeteners, and ginger has a long list of uses for the body, including help with digestion or an upset stomach. When these ingredients are combined, and fermented, which is an option when making Switchel, it’s no wonder their ‘powers’ come together in a way that can aid with so many ailments, and allow you to feel better than ever.
So, what are some benefits of Switchel?
● Your body shouldn’t be an inflammation nation - Remember how we said ginger had a lot of benefits? It is a natural reducer of inflammation. Inflammation can be far more dangerous than people initially realize, especially internally. It can also end up causing people a lot of pain. Take a few swigs of Switchel, and not only will your inflammation subside, but chances are you won’t be grabbing those over-the-counter painkillers any time soon.
● Protect your gut - Apple cider vinegar and honey both help to protect your digestive system by preventing the growth of bacteria, while the ginger found in Switchel works as a digestive aid, and can help you to feel less bloated.
● Apple power - The benefits of apple cider vinegar are seemingly endless, and with just a glass or two of Switchel a day, you’ll likely be able to tell a difference in your own body when it comes to things like chronic fatigue, or even allergies. It also prevents crystal build-up within your body, which helps to prevent stiff joints and muscles, and even arthritis.
● An energy boost - Switchel is the original energy drink of our time, and having a bit more pep in your step might be one of the first things you notice after trying it a few times. This is due to the natural electrolytes and potassium found in the drink. Try it after your next workout instead of guzzling a sugary sports drink, and you’ll feel, well...as hydrated as a hard-working farmer on a hot day!
Clearly, there are many benefits to Switchel, and you’ll find there are more than what’s been listed here. The best part is that it’s incredibly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. Check out this simple recipe to make your own Switchel, and get your body moving toward natural health, just like they did centuries ago.
● 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
● 4 Tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
● 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (you can add more to taste)
● 4 cups water or seltzer water
Combine all ingredients in a large container, pitcher, or jar.
Stir or shake to combine.
Enjoy immediately over ice, or let steep for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Stir before serving.
Article Written By: Kathleen Miller-Evidente, LVN
Kathleen Miller-Evidente is a licensed nurse specializing in geriatric care. She serves as a communication service between La Mer, families, and facilities to provide streamlined communications between office staff, doctors, nurse practitioners and the skilled nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and memory care units. She is instrumental in promoting mental health and identifying the need for La Mer services.