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All About ACV: Uses & Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

All About ACV: Uses & Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

From healthy digestion and detox support, to helping maintain immune system function, to supporting your healthy weight management goals, apple cider vinegar may be one of the most versatile and useful home remedies in your kitchen cabinet.

A Brief History Lesson

While there is no way to document the true origin of vinegar, it likely came about as one of ancient history’s happy accidents, possibly from a batch of wine or other fermented drink gone bad. One clue is that the word vinegar is derived from the French for sour wine: vin aigre

We know vinegar was already a staple in Babylonia (now Iraq) more than 5,000 years ago. Ancient Babylonians, and later Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used it as a natural preservative and flavoring agent in foods, mixed it with hot water and spices and served it as a healthful tea, or used it as a cleaning product in their homes.
Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, used vinegar to wash patients’ wounds or blended it with water and honey and dispensed it as a health tonic. A few hundred years later, Cleopatra is said to have dissolved a pearl in vinegar and drunk the mixture as one of her exotic beauty rituals (though we don’t recommend this!)
Today vinegars are made from a wide variety of fruits – including pears, peaches, figs, and of course, apples and grapes – as well as grains such as rice, barley and wheat.

An Apple a Day…

The history of apple cider vinegar is a bit more recent. A cider-like drink is mentioned in the texts of the Greek geographer Strabo in 100 B.C. Basque farmers along the French and Spanish border have been making apple cider – and later, apple cider vinegar – for the better part of 1,000 years.

Let’s take a quick look at how ACV is made: Fresh apples are crushed, then treated with yeast to begin a fermentation process that turns the natural sugars into alcohol. At this point, healthful bacteria are introduced into the mixture to create a second fermentation that causes the alcohol to turn into acetic acid, one of the main components of ACV. A good quality ACV is made up of 5 to 6 percent acetic acid, responsible for the vinegar’s pungent smell and distinctive flavor. 

Acetic acid may also be the reason for apple cider vinegar’s many reputed health benefits, including: 

  • Digestive health. Apple cider vinegar may help healthy digestion by supporting acidity in your stomach and intestines, which may help food move through your GI tract more efficiently. In addition, naturally occurring probiotics and enzymes in ACV can provide powerful gut health support and may help maintain a healthy immune system.
  • Detox support. ACV may help support the body’s own detoxifying mechanism and can be beneficial to liver health.
  • Balanced pH. This balancing superfood is thought to help support normal, healthy pH levels in the body and a more alkaline environment for optimal health and wellness.
  • Blood sugar support. Taken at bedtime or before meals, apple cider vinegar may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range.
  • Healthy weight management. When used in conjunction with a diet and exercise plan, apple cider vinegar may help support your healthy weight management goals. Taking ACV before a meal can help you feel fuller longer, which could lead to consuming less calories throughout the day. Plus ACV is a very low calorie food, containing just three calories per one-tablespoon serving.
  • Skin health. Diluted and used topically, apple cider vinegar may help support healthy, balanced pH levels in the skin and scalp and help maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier. ACV’s cleansing and detox properties make it an excellent facial wash and skin toner.

Buying the Best

When buying ACV, look for a cloudy, brownish apple cider vinegar with "the mother," which is made up of enzymes, probiotics and other beneficial substances.

When shopping for apple cider vinegar, look for a liquid with an opaque, cloudy, brownish appearance. The best ACVs contain a thick substance floating in the liquid or settled at the bottom of the bottle. This cobweb-like material is made up of protein strands, enzymes and probiotic bacteria, and is known as “the mother.” You will not want an apple cider vinegar without it.  

Apple cider vinegars that are pasteurized, filtered and processed into a clear, golden liquid have been all but stripped of vital components. Avoid them. You’ll want an ACV that’s raw, minimally processed, and whenever possible, certified organic.

Make ACV Part of Your Daily Routine

Like the great majority of supplements, apple cider vinegar is most effective when taken consistently on a daily basis. These days ACV is available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, chewables and gummies, which makes getting your daily serving easy and convenient. But if you’re a purist or simply enjoy the strong, tangy flavor, you may want your ACV in its pure, liquid form – raw, unfiltered and with “the mother.”

Because straight apple cider vinegar can be harsh on tooth enamel or could irritate a sensitive throat, we recommend you blend it with water or other liquids, or use it in food or drink recipes for best results. For some ways to make this healthful superfood a part of your regular supplementation, see our short blog post Six Great Ways to ACV!

From pure, unpasteurized ACV, to flavored tonics, to capsules and gummies, here are some apple cider vinegars we recommend from the Healthway family of brands:

Dynamic Health Organic, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with the MotherDynamic Health Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother. Unfiltered and unpasteurized, this USDA certified organic ACV with the mother is the real thing, diluted to 5% acidity. Try it in recipes or on salads for its rich, tangy flavor, or drink it straight or blended into warm or cold water to enjoy the many benefits of one of nature’s healthies tonics. Non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, lab verified. 16oz, Aprox. 32 Servings.

Can’t get enough of this ACV? Try the gallon size and save!

For a sweeter taste, plus the soothing benefits of raw honey, also try Dynamic Health Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey.

Zhou Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies with the MotherZhou Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies. All the health benefits of ACV without the strong vinegar flavor! Zhou’s tasty, tangy gummies provide 500 mg of organic apple cider vinegar with naturally occurring probiotics from “the mother” for healthy digestion, pH levels, detox and weight management support. Vegan, gluten free, 60-day money back guarantee. 60 Gummies, 30 Servings.

Zhou Nutrition Cider Detox Apple Cider Vinegar with turmeric, ginger and cayenne.Zhou Nutrition Cider Detox. Powerful  ACV thermogenic complex may help support a healthy metabolism, normal, balanced pH levels and your body’s own detoxifying process. Formulated with turmeric, ginger and cayenne, these maximum strength capsules may help support proper digestion, gut comfort and heart health. Non-GMO, lab verified, 60-day money back guarantee. 60 Veggie Capsules, 60 servings.

Dynamic Health Apple Cider Vinegar Complete capsules with apple pectin.Dynamic Health Apple Cider Vinegar Complete with Apple Pectin. Made with apple cider vinegar powder, each easy-to-swallow capsule is equivalent to 1 Tbsp of the raw vinegar for powerful digestion support and more. Complete formula also contains apple pectin, plus digestive enzymes papain and bromelain, as well as ginger, turmeric and more. Vegetarian, gluten free, no preservatives. 90 Capsules, 90 Servings. 

KAL Apple Cider Vinegar Chewables, Green Apple Flavor
KAL Apple Cider Vinegar Chewables
Concentrated to 35% acidity from ascetic acid, these tasty chewables go down easy with plant-based sweeteners, no added sugar and a great, natural green apple flavor. A source of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, ACV may work with your body to support healthy weight management, proper digestion, intestinal cleansing and more. Lab verified. 60 Chewables, 60 Servings.

Do you prefer your ACV as a simple tablet? Try KAL Apple Cider Vinegar Tablets or Nature’s Life Apple Cider Vinegar Tablets. 

Dynamic Health Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Tonic

Dynamic Health Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Tonic. Special blend of organic ACV with the mother, plus honey, lemon, ginger and turmeric may make this liquid supplement a powerful detoxifier. Containing gingerols, shogaols and zingerones, as well as curcumin (the key constituent in turmeric) its antioxidant activity may help support healthy immune function and aid the body’s natural cleansing process. Certified organic, vegetarian, gluten free. 16oz. 

Heritage Store Rosewater Vinegar with Organic Apple Cider VinegarHeritage Store Rosewater Vinegar. ACV, applied topically, offers excellent benefits to the skin, hair and scalp. Made with organic apple cider vinegar with the mother, this simple but effective formula  from Heritage Store smooths and clarifies the skin and gently exfoliates for a brighter, healthier appearance. Or spray it onto hair and scalp as a revitalizing tonic and gentle hydrator. No dyes or alcohol, responsibly sourced, vegan and cruelty-free. 8oz


For more information about the many powerful benefits of ACV, we recommend the short book, Apple Cider Vinegar: Natural, Everyday Uses by C.M. Roesch, MPC, available from Woodland Publishing. 

Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.


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