Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother: Uses, Amazing Benefits, and More

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Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother: Uses, Amazing Benefits, and More

Apple cider vinegar with the mother contains important enzymes and bacteria that have many health benefits. The mother in unpasteurized apple cider vinegar looks like a cloudy sediment floating in the liquid. It is believed that vinegar “mother” contains the key elements that make raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar a refreshing tonic that can help improve your general health.

Of course, organic fermented apple cider vinegar has many benefits in addition to the “mother” of vinegar. Some scientific studies point to the fact the raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother can help to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, and is full of beneficial antioxidants. However, many of these amazing benefits are also due, in part, to the vinegar mother.

The general benefits to your health of apple cider vinegar have been well documented on this website. In this article, I am going to examine what science says about the specific benefits of the mother in apple cider vinegar. You will also find out useful ways that you can use this type of vinegar with the mother.

Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother – What Is It?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) containing the mother is raw, unfiltered, unrefined, and unpasteurized vinegar made from fermented apples.

According to the Journal of Food Science, many people use natural vinegar products for their therapeutic benefits. For example, naturally produced vinegar contains acetic acid, gallic acid, and catechin, all of which have antioxidant properties. Among the uses of apple cider vinegar are that it is antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol.1

A popular type of apple cider vinegar that is raw and unfiltered and contains the mother is Bragg’s ACV.

The journal Medscape General Medical says that apple cider with the mother is made by a fermenting process. Manufacturers add yeast to apple juice to ferment the natural sugars in apples into alcohol. Then, acetic acid bacteria are added which converts the alcohol content in fermenting apple cider liquid into acetic acid. During the fermentation process, the mother of vinegar develops.2  

What is the Mother in Apple Cider Vinegar?

The mother in apple cider vinegar is a natural film that forms in fermented apple cider vinegar and is a culture of various bacteria.

The Journal of the American College of Nutrition explains that the apple cider vinegar mother is a natural carbohydrate called cellulose. Research into vinegar mother shows that it contains phenolic components which are important micronutrients. The mother of apple cider vinegar contains high levels of bioactive substances.3

According to the journal Food Technology & Biotechnology, apple cider vinegar with the mother is also a rich source of healthy bacterial microbiota. Unprocessed and unfiltered apple cider vinegar from organic sources also contains high levels of acetic acid. After analyzing the chemical content of unpasteurized ACV and conventional cider vinegar, researchers concluded that organic apple cider vinegar has a more diverse bacterial content.4

The vinegar mother is actually very similar to SCOBY which is used in making kombucha (fermented black or green tea drink). SCOBY is also referred to as the “mother” and is also a culture of bacteria and yeast (hence the acronym Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, or SCOBY for short).

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Refined, filtered, pasteurized apple cider vinegar

You may notice that in stores, most vinegars, including apple cider vinegar, are clear without any sediment. The main reason that commercial vinegar manufacturers do this is for aesthetic purposes.

Filtering and refining apple cider vinegar removes the mother from the vinegar and therefore becomes an inferior product. Also, pasteurizing apple cider vinegar kills off much of the good bacteria and their amazing health benefits.

Unrefined, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

The reason that unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is better for you is that it contains the mother. This collection of healthy enzymes and bacteria help to boost the health properties of raw apple cider vinegar.

Which type of apple cider vinegar is best?

The answer to the question if raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is better than the pasteurized, filtered variety depends on why you use it.

If you drink apple cider vinegar for its health benefits, then organic, raw unfiltered is the best type to use. Even though acetic acid itself has some benefits to your health, drinking cider vinegar with the mother will provide your gut with healthy bacteria and probiotics.

Bragg’s apple cider vinegar with mother

When looking for high-quality apple cider vinegar containing the mother, many people choose Bragg’s apple cider vinegar.

Although there are many producers of raw apple cider vinegar, Bragg’s ACV is made from organically-grown apples. Also, the cider vinegar is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and unrefined, meaning that it is apple cider vinegar with the mother. However any other brand of organic ACV with the mother is good too.

Mother of Vinegar: Health Benefits and Uses

Research into the amazing health benefits of the mother in apple cider vinegar has shown that it contains bioactive substances and has a diverse bacteria content. What exactly does the vinegar mother contain that makes it so beneficial?

Source of probiotics

The mother in unpasteurized apple cider vinegar contains probiotics which can improve the health of your gut and boost your immune system naturally. Dr. Rebecca L. Fahey in the journal Integrative Medicine says that probiotics in unprocessed vinegar indicate that it is a quality product.5

Antioxidants

A study in 2015 found that apple cider vinegar mother contains high levels of antioxidants.3 The Mayo Clinic says that antioxidants are essential to protect your cells from free radicals. This can help to prevent many diseases, including heart disease.6

High iron content

Another reason to drink organic apple cider vinegar with the mother is that it is a rich source of iron. When analyzing the beneficial compounds in vinegar mother, scientists found that it contains high levels of iron (Fe).3 Iron is important to help your blood carry enough oxygen and prevent the symptoms of anemia.

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Polyphenols

Because the mother of ACV is rich in phenolic compounds like gallic acid and chlorogenic acid, it can help boost your immune system and help prevent various diseases.5 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that polyphenols are micronutrients help prevent degenerative diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.7

Can you Eat the Mother of Vinegar?

Yes, it is possible to eat the mother of vinegar because it is a naturally occurring substance in organic cider vinegar.

However, it is probably very difficult to extract just the vinegar mother from the liquid. So, the best way to consume the mother is to give the bottle of unpasteurized ACV a good shake so that the cider vinegar takes on a cloudy appearance so the mother is spread evenly in the vinegar.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother

What are the benefits of drinking diluted Bragg’s apple cider vinegar or any other brand of organic ACV with the mother? Let’s look briefly at the tremendous health benefits of cider vinegar and the mother.

Lowers cholesterol

The British Journal of Nutrition published a study showing that the acetic acid content of vinegar can help to bring down cholesterol levels. Researchers found that regularly consuming diluted vinegar helps reduce cholesterol and blood fat.8

To use apple cider vinegar to improve your health and boost your cardiovascular system, drink an 8-oz. glass of water containing 1-2 tablespoons ACV. Drink once or twice a day for best results.

Helps to lose belly fat

According to research, apple cider vinegar with the mother may help you to lose weight and reduce belly fat quicker. A study on obese men found that the group who regularly consumed diluted vinegar daily lost more weight in a 12-week period than the group drinking just water. In the end, the “vinegar” group had a lower BMI, smaller waist circumference, and body weight.9

If you need to lose belly fat fast, please check out some of my flat tummy drinks or these ACV detox drinks. You can also read my ultimate guide on how to use Bragg’s apple cider vinegar for weight loss. Of course, it’s important to also reduce calorie intake and exercise regularly to try and lose weight as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Reduces insulin resistance

The American Diabetes Association reported that consuming diluted apple cider vinegar regularly can help to lower insulin resistance. After carrying out research on people with type 2 diabetes, scientists found that cider vinegar helped to improve insulin sensitivity after eating. In fact, ACV showed a similar effect to some antidiabetic medication like metformin.10

Apple cider vinegar for diabetes is just one of the foods that can help to manage type 2 diabetes symptoms. It’s also important to eat healthily to prevent developing diabetes in the future.

Regulates blood sugar levels

Another benefit of organic apple cider vinegar with the mother is that it can lower blood sugar levels. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that blood sugar levels were significantly lower in people who consumed vinegar with their meal.11

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Lowering blood sugar levels helps to improve your cardiovascular system and lose weight. Some people who regularly drink ACV with the mother drink a glass of diluted apple cider vinegar in the morning before breakfast and then before their evening meal.

Helps to control blood pressure

One of the other cardiovascular benefits that raw apple cider with the mother has is to lower blood pressure. Researchers have found that the healthy enzymes in apple cider vinegar have an effect on the activity of the enzyme renin which is connected to hypertension. It was summarized that the blood pressure-lowering effect of vinegar was due to the acetic acid content.12

Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar daily can help manage blood pressure levels. However, because high blood pressure can have serious consequences, it’s important to consult with your doctor before reducing any medication you are taking.

Antioxidants

The high content of antioxidants in vinegar mother makes brands like Bragg apple cider vinegar perfect to create detox drinks. As has been mentioned, the vinegar with the mother contains polyphenols that help kill off free radicals.

Also, the Journal of Medicinal Food reported that apple cider vinegar helps lower oxidative stress levels. This can help improve heart function and prevent the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Because of the amazing health benefits of drinking ACV, you should also think about adding cider vinegar drinks to your daily routine. You can try these recipes for delicious ACV detox drinks. Even just adding a teaspoon of raw honey to an apple cider drink can help to flush harmful toxins from your body.

Fights acne

You can also use organic cider vinegar with the mother topically to help remove acne-causing bacteria and unclog pores. For example, the mother of vinegar contains organic acids. A study from 2015 found that certain organic acids help to destroy skin bacteria when treating acne and also act as a chemical peel. This can also help reduce scaring left by acne pimples.15

For more information on how ACV can help you get clear looking skin, please read my article on how to use apple cider vinegar for acne.

Hair rinse and conditioner

You can also use apple cider vinegar to get beautiful, shiny-looking hair when using it as a leave-in conditioner. The antimicrobial properties of apple cider vinegar that I’ve discussed in this article can help kill off germs and fungal infections from your scalp that can cause itching and dandruff.

To find how to use ACV for your hair, please read my article on how to wash your hair with apple cider vinegar.

Precautions when Using Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother

When using raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains the mother, there are certain precautions that you should remember.

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First, apple cider vinegar is very acidic and therefore you should not drink it or use it on your skin without diluting it.

Digestive system. There have been a few reports of individuals who have experienced a queasy stomach when they first start taking apple cider vinegar drinks. For example, the International Journal of Obesity said that drinking apple cider vinegar before a meal can help to reduce appetite. However, some of the participants of the study complained on an upset stomach.13

If you find that you are a bit nauseous after taking a glass of apple cider vinegar, you could try reducing the dose. Then gradually build up the amount you take until you reach the optimal ACV dose of 1-2 tablespoons per day diluted in a glass of water.

Tooth enamel. One reason to never drink neat apple cider vinegar is that its acidic nature can erode tooth enamel. However, you can avoid any damage to your teeth by swishing some water around your mouth after taking a glass of diluted apple cider vinegar or drink it with a straw.

Can delay gastric emptying. The journal BMC Gastroenterology reported that apple cider vinegar can delay gastric emptying. Some people with diabetes have delayed gastric emptying (diabetic gastroparesis). Therefore, care should be taken if you regularly drink apple cider vinegar and you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic gastroparesis.14

Safety during pregnancy. Health professionals are concerned that food-borne pathogens may be present in unpasteurized foods, and although the acetic acid in vinegar may protect against this, little evidence exists. Since pregnant women have a higher risk for food-borne diseases compared to the general population, drinking unpasteurized ACV during pregnancy doesn’t worth the risk.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Without the Mother have the Same Benefits?

Scientific studies have shown that the vinegar mother contains many health benefits in the form of antioxidants, polyphenols, probiotics, and iron. Of course, studies also show that just the acetic acid content of ACV has health benefits like lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

However, even though organic filtered ACV without the mother does have some benefits, apple cider vinegar with the mother means that you boost the effectiveness of the liquid. Also, sometimes there is not a big difference in price between ACV with vinegar mother and the type without.

When it’s Important to Use Apple Cider with the Mother?

When using apple cider vinegar internally for digestive problems, to improve cardiovascular health, or boost a weight-loss program, always choose the variety of vinegar with the mother. Choose organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother for the following conditions:

When Can Refined Filtered Apple Cider Vinegar be Used?

You will find that refined, filtered apple cider vinegar is somewhat cheaper in your local store. Clear apple cider vinegar does have some uses around the home and as a beauty product. Ways of using filtered ACV without the mother can include:

Where to Buy Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother

You should be able to find apple cider vinegar with the mother at your local health store or even supermarket. More and more companies are realizing the great benefits that apple cider vinegar with the mother brings. So, it is becoming easier to find high-quality apple cider vinegar with the mother.

Bragg’s unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is also available online and comes in 16-oz., 32-oz., and 1-gallon bottles.

Read my other related articles:

Medical Sources

  1. J Food Sci.2014 May;79(5):R757-64.
  2. MedGenMed. 2006; 8(2): 61.
  3. J Am Coll Nutr.2015;34(1):80-9.
  4. Food Technol Biotechnol. 2016 Mar; 54(1): 113–119.
  5. AHCMedia. Health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
  6. MayoClinic. Antioxidants.
  7. Am J Clin Nut. 2004 May;5(1): 727-747.
  8. Br J Nutr.2006 May;95(5):916-24.
  9. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem.2009 Aug;73(8):1837-43.
  10. DiabetesJournals. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity.
  11. Eur J Clin Nutr.1995 Apr;49(4):242-7.
  12. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem.2001 Dec;65(12):2690-4.
  13. Int J Obes. 2013 Aug.
  14. BMC Gastroenterol. 2007; 7: 46.
  15.  2015 Mar 22;69:374-83.
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