Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Experiment: Apple Cidar Vinegar vs Stomach Flu

Last Friday, roughly 25% of the second grade at my kids' school was sent home with a nasty stomach bug that had kids puking in buckets in their classrooms. OH HELL NO. Parents received an email co-written by (no kidding) the Principal and the health department, with guidance from the CDC on how to handle such an infectious outbreak of nastiness.

I dubbed it #PukeFest2015 and of course, my friends, it has hit home.

My 4th grade son woke up the day before yesterday feeling sick, and has been periodically puking ever since. He's actually doing a lot better today, thank you baby Jesus, but we live in fear that this highly contagious virus will spread to other members of the family during this - the last week of school.

SIDEBAR: The last week of school is not all coasting, watching videos in school, and eating popsicles. The last week of school here is an activity-filled, non-stop, shit-show that requires to-the-minute scheduling and includes things like:

  • The all-important 6th grade awards ceremony and promotion to middle school party
  • The freaking Science Fair (why? WHY?? Is it because you hate us, science teacher?)
  • Seven hours of dance recital rehearsal
  • Daily swim practice from 5pm-6:30
  • Pioneer Day for 6th graders
  • End of the year gifts for teachers, etc
  • End of the year 4th grade party
  • End of the season baseball party
  • A huge, ginormous swim meet
  • Two dance recitals that take all day
  • Packing for first ever week-long, sleep away camp where child will be in the wilderness having fun and I will be at home having panic attacks because what if she is abducted by rogue backpackers or satanic cults?
Keeping up with it all when you're healthy feels like this:

fail animated GIF

And now we add to this a sick child and the potential that we will ALL soon be sick.

Back to the point! One of the teachers at my kids' school told me to go drink a capful of apple cider vinegar immediately to stave off the incipient threat of #PukeFest2015. Anyone who ignores the communicable disease advice of an elementary school teacher is an idiot. Grade school teachers are generally more knowledgeable about avoiding childhood illnesses than pediatricians and epidemiologists combined.

So last night, my husband, my 12 year old, and I began taking apple cider vinegar in a non-clincal trial to see if this actually works. Mini, who is 6, is serving as the control subject - primarily because she refuses to cooperate. My son (who is also patient X in the scenario) is also going to have some (in small doses).
I tried to tell him to dilute but he ignored me. H/T Buzzfeed.

The vinegar: We are drinking Bragg's organic, raw apple cider vinegar. I have this product on hand as a result of doing Whole 30 and all my love for it's pro-biotic, gut-healing qualities.
The dose: Husband and I are drinking about a tablespoon every 12 hours (until the danger passes). Older daughter is doing it once a day because that's all she can stand.
The remedy: My husband is acting like Ron Swanson and insisting that he consume the vinegar straight because he is a man. My daughter and I are diluting it with an equal part of water. My son is also drinking it diluted and I've added honey to make it more palatable.
The science: There is no clinical evidence that this shit will work. However, there is data that suggests:
Mostly, the thing about apple cider vinegar is that it really can't hurt you (in the doses I'm talking about, obviously anything can hurt you if you're dumb and overdo it).

One more thing: We all know the best way to prevent the spread of these things is: (1) compulsive hand-washing with soap and warm water and (2) bleach/Lysol decontamination of all possible infected areas. And trust me, we are hand washing fools and I wipe down and spray EVERYTHING from door handles to remotes to sofas to counter tops about ten times a day.

I'll be updating this post in a couple of days with lots of lovely non-scientific evidence to let you know what happens! If you have advice or resources for me, please leave a comment (as I clearly need all the help I can get).

No one else got sick. It was a freaking miracle but nobody else was sick at all. We did eventually persuade Mini to have some, as well. So our sample size was actually n=4 with no control. I mixed it into a cup of water for her with a ton of raw honey, so it sort of tasted like really bad lemonade.

So in conclusion, in our non-scientific clinical trial, a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar twice a day seemed to help (along with hand washing and OCD-style decontamination) prevent all non-infected people from becoming sick with a very, very contagious strain of the stomach flu.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2014

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