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Ingredient Spotlight: Apple Cider Vinegar - Modern Alternative KitchenModern Alternative Kitchen

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‘Tis the season for colds and sniffles.

It seems like everywhere I go lately, someone is sick. Someone has a cold or is getting over the flu. Someone is sniffling or grabbing a tissue for their runny nose.

In an attempt to avoid getting sick along with everyone else, I started doing some research on apple cider vinegar, which I’ve heard is good for clearing sinuses and preventing colds.

It turns out that it’s also good for much, much more!

Where does apple cider vinegar come from?

Apple cider vinegar is made through a fermentation process. Apples are crushed to release liquid and bacteria and yeast are added, which causes the apples to begin to ferment. The solution oxidizes and acetic acid is formed. As the yeast and acetic acid bacteria separate from the solution, it forms a byproduct that is known as the “mother.” The mother is the stringy substance in unpasteurized ACV that makes the vinegar cloudy. After it is formed, it can be used as a starter for future batches of ACV.

At the point in the fermentation process that the mother forms, the solution is alcoholic. If fermentation was stopped at this point, the autolysis (also called “self-digestion”) process of the cells is prevented and alcohol is the result. In vinegar production, however, the autolysis process is allowed to take place. Cells are destroyed through the actions of their own enzymes. This second step in the fermentation process, once the acetic acid is formed, is why alcohol tastes off if left to ferment for too long and is what causes the sour taste of vinegar.

How can apple cider vinegar be used?

Outside of health benefits from internal consumption, which are discussed below, apple cider vinegar is thought to have other benefits, such as the ability to kill head lice or to treat warts.

Try rinsing your hair with vinegar to make it smooth and shiny. Some people also use diluted ACV on their skin to tone or as an exfoliant. ACV is said to have benefits in healing both dandruff and acne. It has properties that wash toxins from the body, even when used topically.

What health benefits does apple cider vinegar offer?

Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. It aids digestion by stimulating enzymes and the creation of saliva in the mouth. It soothes sore throats and clears the sinuses. It is even said to relieve muscle pain and to reverse aging.

Some of the primary health conditions that ACV is thought to help with are:

  • Diabetes. Studies show that ACV lowers glucose levels, which helps with maintaining the correct blood- sugar levels.
  • Blood pressure and heart health. Some studies have found that people who frequently use ACV as a dressing or in cooking have lower blood pressure.
  • Weight loss. ACV is also thought to aid in weight loss. Some attribute this to the fact that ACV makes people feel more satiated and, therefore, causes them to eat less. But many people believe that it is the properties of the ACV itself that help with weight loss.
  • pH balance. Another major health benefit of ACV is the alkaline effect it has on our bodies. When our bodies are healthy and in balance, they are slightly alkaline. However, the diet of processed foods that is typical in our Western culture generally creates an acidic pH. Apple cider vinegar is pH balancing and can assist in restoring our bodies to their alkaline state.

Other conditions that are thought to benefit from the use of ACV are allergies, joint pain, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, chronic fatigue, candida, gum infection, acid reflux, leg cramps, and ear infections.

For best results, use apple cider vinegar in its purest form.  It is best to use any food in its original and most natural state. When purchasing ACV, find a non-pasteurized version that still contains the mother. ACV that is clear and has no mother has been distilled, which strips it of many of its health benefits. The distilling process destroys enzymes and evaporates minerals in the vinegar, such as potassium, phosphorus, trace minerals, and pectin. To experience the full health benefits that ACV offers, make sure to buy a quality, unpasteurized, undistilled version!

One warning that I would issue about taking apple cider vinegar as a supplement is using apple cider vinegar tablets. Although I’ve never taken ACV tablets, preferring to use it is it’s purest form, in my research I found that tablets are shown to be lacking in many of the health benefits that pure ACV causes. In addition, there have been reports of the tablets getting stuck in people’s throats and causing chemical burns because of the acidity of ACV.

A way to use apple cider vinegar.

Now that I’ve learned so much about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, I’d like to incorporate it into my daily life. One way to do this is by making a delicious, though potent, tea drink. This is especially useful in helping to clear colds or sinus infections, but can be used for its healing properties at any time!

[amd-zlrecipe- recipe:24]

How do you include apple cider vinegar in your daily routine?


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  1. I mix about 2t of ACV with 1-2t of raw honey. Add 8oz of water and drink. Down it goes.


  2. Great tips! I never would have guessed apple cider vinegar would have such great health benefits!!!


  3. I’m pregnant and am using it currently to balance my gut bacteria and HOPEFULLY test negative on my Group B Strep test. 🙂


  4. I have just got a bottle of braggs and have been trying to drink it for two days. I first mixed 2 tbsp in water with honey and it burned my throat and tasted powerful. This morning I put 1 tbsp and used honey again and I still couldnt handle the flavor. Is there any other recomendation to make it taste better? I use local raw honey in it with filtered water. Oh and I used like a 8 oz cup.


    • Hi Erica! Sometimes I take a shot of ACV if I have heartburn, or if I feel a cold coming on. I chase it with either a small glass of raw milk and/or a teaspoon of raw honey. It does burn…but it goes away faster with this method!


    • I would try it with just 1-2 teaspoons per cup instead of Tablespoons. Two Tablespoons is A LOT! I believe the “standard” dose is 2 t. per cup.


    • I make a drink using sparkling water (or plain water works well too,) 1-2 t. of ACV and about 5 drops liquid Stevia. It’s delicious!


  5. I put it in baths and soak in the goodness. It does help with skin problems and yeast infections in adults and children. If I notice our toddler developing a diaper rash I’ll add a small amount to her bath water to help balance the ph of the skin.


  6. I drink 1-2 TBS ACV in a glass of water after dinner every night, when I eat heavy rich foods, and for heartburn. My husband has suffered from what he describes as air bubbles in his chest for many years. Doctors have told him to take Pepcid or other medications. I started giving him ACV at the beginning of every episode and it gets rid of the pain quickly. Usually he would suffer for many hours.


  7. I have been drinking this for some time. I actually like the flavor of it and mix a Tbs in my water 2 times daily. One thing to remember is it should be drank with a straw because it can damage the enamel on your teeth.


  8. We use it in a detox bath or when we are sick. 1/4c of each for kids 1c each for adults: ACV. Epsom Salts and Hydrogen Pyroxide mix in a luke warm bath and sit in it for 20-minutes. Pat dry and don’t put anything on the skin especially if sick.


  9. My mother taught me to use it on sunburns, it soothes them and helps heal it quicker, and it works. Using it in a bath is a great idea, I hadn’t heard of that. I use it a lot in cooking too. Thanks, Have a great day!


  10. I have used it as a detox also. I add 1 T. Honey, a little cayenne, and a capful of apple cider vinegar in hot water and drink as a tincure all day. I first did it when I had a cold and found that it helped a lot with my symptoms. another time I did it for 2 weeks and lost 10 pounds. Not what I was going for but I couldn’t argue with the results.


  11. oooh apple cider vinegar is divine! i use it in my bean dip recipe:


    thank you for sharing your post with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I hope to see you again this week with more seasonal and fresh/real food posts 🙂 xo, kristy


  12. Vinegar is a great natural remedy! I recently read the same thing about vinegar and its benefits for acne/blemishes. I dabbed some ACV on my skin after cleansing then used Anti-Blemish cream and it worked wonders. Thanks for this info!


  13. Thanks for sharing at {Wheat-Free Wednesday} last week. Your post has been pinned to my Pinterest board. I hope you’ll share again this week:




  14. How do you use ACR to treat dandruff?


    • Hi Kathy, I’ve actually never used ACV specifically to treat dandruff, but I have used it in my hair with great results. When I’ve used it to wash my hair, all I do is put vinegar and baking soda in two separate squeeze bottles, dilute them with water, and use the baking soda like it’s shampoo and the vinegar like it’s conditioner. The ACV really softens my hair. I’ve read that, for a more intense scalp treatment, you can rub vinegar into your scalp and then leave it in for a while (up to an hour) before rinsing it out.


  15. […] of the suppositories may include vaginal burning and irritation. The essential oil tea tree oil diluted and applied topically to the vaginal area has shown some potential as a natural home remedy for yeast infection. A compound […]


  16. […] health benefits and uses for Apple Cider Vinegar are numerous, and you can read all about those in this post. But ACV can also be used in numerous ways in a real foodies kitchen. I like to add it to a pot of […]


  17. […] ginger/garlic/honey/lemon/cinnamon tea.  It is yummy. I also drank some Elderberry Syrup, and some apple cider vinegar.  I also ate my Coconut Oil this morning. Will probably have a cup of bone broth before I go to bed. […]


  18. I always thought raw honey wasn’t supposed to be heated to more than 140 degrees (I think) because it stripped it of all its healthy properties. I wonder if you could brew the tea and add the honey once it was cooled down


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