Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

April 1 2014No Commented

Categorized Under: Health food nutrition, Health product reviews

Gosh this is popular stuff!  So whats all the hype about Apple Cider Vinegar?

It was over 20 years ago that I first read about the benefits of Apple cider vinegar, in a book my mother in-law bought me called The Vinegar Book, by Emily Thacker.

Apple Cider Vinegar. A must for all health conscious people.

There are so many health benefits purported from consuming apple cider vinegar

I had never used apple cider vinegar before this and had only used the DYC brand of vinegars, that most New Zealanders were bought up with.

I had not heard of  the “mother” before and didn’t realise that to try and obtain some of the health benefits that are purported from using apple cider vinegar, the vinegar really needs to contain the “mother” in it.

Lets learn more about Apple Cider Vinegar, its origin and health benefits. 

Emily Thacker tells us in The Vinegar Book, What is Vinegar?

“Technically, vinegar is an acid liquid made from wine, cider, beer or most any mildly alcoholic beverage, by what is called an “acetous fermentation”.  What this means, is that alcohol mixes with oxygen in the air.  The alcohol then “disappears” (actually, it is changed into acetic acid and water.)”

“Acetic acid is what imparts the characteristic tart, puckery taste sensation to vinegar.  The acetous fermentation which creates it is due to a tiny microorganism, the vinegar bacillus.  This bacterium occurs naturally in the air, everywhere and is why early vinegar producers were successful. ”

She goes on to tell us “It was not until 1878, nearly 10,000 years after vinegar making began, that a microbiologist named Hansen correctly explained the chemical process which creates vinegar.  He accurately described the three species of vinegar bacilli.  These tiny creatures gobble up alcohol and excrete acid.  The process where alcohols are changed to acids is called fermentation.”

“Fermentation is thought by many to endow the end product with a special ability to heal.  It is also thought to sharply increase nutritional values.  While the primary reason for fermenting foodstuffs was, originally, to keep them from rotting, the result can be better tasting than the original – just ask any pickle fanatic.”

What is the “Mother”?  and does all Apple Cider Vinegar contain this?

Emily tells us “Natural, organic vinegars are not the same as commercially processed and pasteurised products.  In its most natural state, vinegar is alive with living organisms.  These naturally occurring creatures, as well as some enzymes and vitamins are destroyed when vinegar is processed in a high heat process, such as pasteurisation.”

“Mother” or “mother-of-vinegar” is the term used to describe the mass of sticky scum which forms on top of cider or other juice, when alcohol turns into vinegar.  As the fermentation progresses, mother forms a gummy, stringy, floating lump.  Mother is formed by the beneficial bacterial which creates vinegar. Sometimes mother from a previous batch of vinegar is introduced into another liquid, which is in the process of becoming vinegar.  This use, as a starter for new vinegars, is why the gooey scum on the top of vinegar is called “mother-of-vinegar”.  Over time, this cultivated “mother” developed special flavouring abilities.  It is still handed down, from generation to generation and guarded as a secret ingredient in special vinegars.

You can make/grow your own mother-of-vinegar.  This can be used to hurry along your own homemade vinegar, or for nibbling on, by combining 1 cup of Organic apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of fresh cider.  Let this sit, open to the air, for a few days or weeks depending on the temperature.  The scum that forms on the surface, is mother-of-vinegar.

Vinegars earliest medical uses

Emily tells us that an early Assyrian medical text describes the treatment for ear pain as being the application of vinegar.  In 400BC, Hippocrates (considered the Father of medicine) used vinegar to treat his patients.  This naturally occurring germ killer was one of the very first “medicines”. Vinegar was used as a healing dressing on wounds and infectious sores in Biblical times.  “Thieves Vinegar” got its name during the time of the Great Plague of Europe.  Some enterprising thieves are said to have used vinegar to protect them from contamination while they robbed the homes of plague victims.   Vinegar is credited with saving the lives of thousands of soldiers during the U.S Civil War.  It was routinely used as a disinfectant on wounds.

You name it and pretty much, it is purported that Organic Apple cider vinegar (with the mother) can help with it.  As well as this, it is so useful around the home.

Some of the purported health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):

To help stay healthy and alert, well into old age, combine 1 teaspoon of Organic Apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of Manuka Honey in a full glass of water. Take this tonic 3 times a day, ½ an hour before meals.

A most palatable way to take a daily dose of ACV is to add a small dollop of Manuka honey to a tablespoon of ACV and a teaspoon of olive oil.  Mix it together and drip this dressing over a small bowl of salad greens.

Apple cider vinegar is similar in composition to hydrochloric acid, the substance involved with the break down of proteins and meats from the food you eat.  To help support a better digestion of protein, mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 100ml of tepid water and sip at main meals which contain protein (animal products – meat, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs etc).

It is said that age spots (some call them liver spots) can be gotten rid of if you wipe them daily with onion juice and Apple cider vinegar.   The suggested mixture contains 1 teaspoon of onion juice (made by grating an onion finely and collecting the juice from this) and 2 teaspoons of ACV.  It is mixed together and applied with a soft cloth, alternatively ½ a fresh onion can be dipped into a small dish of vinegar and then rubbed across the offending skin.

Help relieve the discomfort of varicose veins by wrapping the legs with a cloth wrung out of ACV. Leave this on, with legs propped up, for 30 minutes, morning and evening. Considerable relief may be noticed within 6 weeks. To speed up the process, follow each treatment with a glass of warm water, to which 1 teaspoon of ACV has been added. Sip slowly.

Hiccups have been relieved if you very slowly sip a glass of warm water with 1 teaspoon of ACV in it. This can work even better is you sip from the far side of the glass!

More old wives tales using Apple cider vinegar

Emily lists so many in her Vinegar book.  They include these “tips” to live a Long, Healthy, Vital Life, Fight germs and Look Better, Feel better.

Ensure long life and health by drinking vinegar every day.  Simply add a tablespoon to a full glass of water and drink it.

To relieve the pain of a sore throat caused by a cold, mix together 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.  Take 1 tablespoon every 4 hours.  may be taken more often if needed.

Ease the discomfort of a sore throat and seppd healing by sipping occasionally n a syrup made of 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 3 tablespoons of manuka honey.

A vinegar gargle can help ease the pain of a sore throat.  Just gargle with a glass of warm water to which a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar has been added.  repeat as needed.  This also acts as a great mouth wash!

Help soothe a dry cough by sprinkling the pillow case with apple cider vinegar.

The most marvelous tonic for feet is to walk back and forth in ankle deep bath water to which 1/2 a cup of apple cider vinegar has been added.  Do this for 5 minutes, first thing in the morning and for 5 minutes before retiring in the evening.  Helps to soothe and cool hot aching feet.

Heavily soiled hands can be cleaned, while giving them a soothing treatment.  Simply scrub with cornmeal, moistened with apple cider vinegar.  Then rinse in cool water and pat dry.

Try a vinegar and water rinse to help eliminate frizz from over permed hair.  It can also brighten dark hair and add sparkle to blond hair.

Help ensure soft radiant skin and help to prevent ble3mishes buy conditioning the skin while sleeping with a covering of strawberries and vinegar.  mash 3 large strawberries into 1/4 cup ACV and let sit for 2 hours.  then strain the vinegar through a cloth.  pat the strawberry flavoured vinegar onto the face and neck.  Wash off in the morning.

Corns and calluses can simply fall away!  Simply tape 1/2 of a slice of stale bread, which has been soaked in apple cider vinegar, to the offending lump overnight.  The skin should look smoother and better in the morning.

Itchy welts, hives, swellings and blemishes can be eased by the application of a paste made from ACV and cornflour.  just pat it on and feel the itch being drawn out as the paste dries.

An unsettled stomach may calm down is you sip quietly on a glass of warm water to which has been added 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.  This may also help ease gas.

Garlic vinegar can help to keep those winter bugs away. Separate and peel all of the cloves of a large garlic bulb. Put them in 250ml of Apple Cider Vinegar and allow to steep for 2 weeks. Strain off the vinegar and discard the garlic. Only a few drops are needed in most dishes.

What about Apple cider vinegar around the home?

There are so many purported uses of ACV around the home.  these include:

Use vinegar to clean away mineral buildup on metal.  Just add 1/4 cup to a quart (4 cups) of water for cleaning metal screen and storm doors and aluminium furniture.  Add extra vinegar is your water has a particularly high mineral content.

Clean eye glasses with water to which a splash of vinegar has been added.

Wipe down wood cutting boards with full strength apple cider vinegar.  It will help to clean them, cut grease and absorb odours.  Once a week clean, disinfect and deodorize wood cutting blocks. Rub them with baking soda. Then spray on full strength vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse in clear water. It will bubble and froth as these two natural chemicals interact.

Add a generous splash of vinegar to hot water and use it, with a little soap, to disinfect baby’s toys. Be sure to rinse well.

Vinegar is a good addition to the laundry tub when new clothes are being washed for the first time.  It will help to eliminate manufacturing chemicals and their odours.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for Good Health

Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

A little vinegar and salt added to the water you wash leafy green vegetables in will float out bugs and kill gems.

A natural furniture polish is made by mixing 1/4 cup linseed oil, 1/8 cup vinegar and 1/8 cup whiskey.  Dirt seems to disappear as the alcohol evaporates.

Counter tops will shine if wiped down with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid soap, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, ½ teaspoon of oil and ½ a cup of water.

Apple Cider Vinegar at the Beach

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) really is a summer essential too. As weird as it sounds, consider keeping some close at hand, especially if you will be near the beach or water. The incidence of jellyfish is common and the sting left from their tentacle really does hurt. This is where the ACV comes in.

Studies in Australia have shown that even with a sting from the deadly box jellyfish, if 2 litres of vinegar is poured over the sting for 30 seconds, the discharge of the venom will cease. Some researchers have tried other liquids such as Coca-Cola, Fanta, lemonade, fruit juices, tomato juice, milk, wine & beer. But they found that only vinegar had the power to completely stop the discharge of venom from the box jellyfish.

As well as helping with jellyfish stings, ACV is also a known anti inflammatory & can be applied undiluted to sun burn, insect bites, cuts & abrasions, as well as any skin irritation.

Are you taking a calcium supplement?  Some use this simple test to see whether their calcium supplement can dissolve in time for their body to digest it properly.

Here is how they do it. Drop the calcium supplement tablet into ½ a cup of room temperature ACV. Stir briskly, once every 5 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes the tablet should be completely disintegrated. Tests by medical researchers found that times varied widely among brands.  Some tablets broke up completely within 3 minutes, some others were still intact in 30 minutes.

More Modern Health Claims about Apple Cider Vinegar

We have had a lot of people over the years, come into our retail shop Ideal Health, to purchase our large bottles of Braggs Organic Apple cider vinegar.  I always like to ask what people are using products for and the answer has been to help with my/my relatives blood sugar problem or diabetes.  So I looked into this a bit further to see if there was any truth in this claim.  I was surprised to see there are studies that show vinegar improves insulin sensitivity in healthy or insulin-resistant subjects.

As well as this, I found a study with people who have Type 1 diabetes.  They consumed 30ml or 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 20ml of water and drank this before main meals.  The results showed that vinegar compared to the placebo reduced blood glucose levels by almost 20%.  This is huge, when you consider how inexpensive vinegar is and how readily available it is.

Another study showed that having 2 tablespoons or 30ml of vinegar at bed time, favourably impacted waking glucose levels in those in the study with Type 2 diabetes.  Closer examination of the data revealed that the vinegar treatment was particularly effective for the participants with a typical fasting glucose level >7.2 mmol/l.  In these individuals fasting glucose was reduced 6%, compared with a reduction of 0.7% in those participants with a typical fasting glucose of <7.2 mmol/l.

Lots of people talk about the benefits of Apple cider vinegar for helping with weight loss.  I couldn’t find any scholarly articles on this but lots of people had an opinion on whether ACV could help with better weight (fat) loss.  I think the main benefit of using Apple cider vinegar for weight loss would be that you digest your food better, so your absorption of nutrients is better and your transit time eliminating the waste is better and more efficient.

Maybe you have used Apple cider vinegar for helping with better weight loss and would like to share that information with us?  We would all be pleased and interested to read this.

Unprocessed, unfiltered Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Coral Tree Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Grown & Made in New Zealand.

Vinegar can increase the accuracy of conventional tests for cervical cancer.  A 4% solution of vinegar is dabbed onto the cervix during a colposcopy.  Doctor Denis Higginbotham tells us that “it is estimated that over 98% of abnormal paps are caused by HPV  and over 99% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV.  A pap smear is looking at the cervical cells, HPV is the virus that can infect and affect those cells”.  A colposcopy is performed if the pap smear comes back with abnormal cells.   Within just one minute, the person administering the test – using the naked eye and a light – can see if there are abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix; abnormal cells turn white, because the acid in the vinegar makes protein in the nucleus of the abnormal cells coagulate and become easily visible.

Are there any precautions for using Apple Cider Vinegar?

In The Vinegar Book, Emily tells us that some people report temporary stomach distress when vinegar is taken frequently.  This is particularly a problem, when vinegar or vinegar and water is taken on an empty stomach.  She tells us that taking vinegar with honey may help to ease this problem.   Dental researchers have reported that excess use of vinegar (and other high acid liquids such as carbonated beverages and fruit juices) can cause loss of tooth enamel.  the reports concentrate on damage done to the teeth of relatively young people, but caution should be exercised by anyone using vinegar on a regular basis.  Drinking the vinegar and water through a straw, can limit its exposure to tooth enamel.

A person who took 250ml of apple cider vinegar each day for 6 years, developed low potassium levels and osteoporosis.  This is a lot of ACV to drink every day! I always come back to Moderation.

My suggestion is to have apple cider vinegar in water before a meal containing protein (meat particularly).

We do not recommend those with a candida overgrowth consume vinegar of any kind.  Use fresh lemon and lime juice instead.

The Apple cider vinegar we recommend is Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar or Coral Tree Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (made here in New Zealand).

This information should not be used to replace any prescribed medication.  In all cases of ill health, seek professional advice before making any major dietary changes.


Leanne James
Naturopath and founder of Ideal Health


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